29 August 1970 : This was the Isle of Wight Pop Festival at Freshwater in 1970 which followed the mega successful American festival at Woodstock.
There had been an Isle of Wight festival in 1969, but that was more folky with stars like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez headlining. The six day1970 festival was much wilder with classic rock bands like The Doors, The Who, who did a 4 hour set, and Jimi Hendrix, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Leonard Cohen. It was a very hippy and free love atmosphere.
The day before this picture was taken I was covering an accident where a man tried to ‘Fly’ off the clifftop to the beach below. He survived but on my way down, I passed a hippy group totally naked, swimming and basking in the sunshine. I photographed them and that image made the paper the next day.
I revisited the group the next morning followed by a TV crew. They approached the main topless girl they had seen in the paper they had seen in the paper and politely requested if they could film them. The girl agreed. … but only if they took their clothes off too.
The result was the cameraman, reporter, producer and soundman totally naked with a nude hippy girl laughing. I kept my dignity.