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RETRO REPORT; Pop City closes after Dylan wows crowd.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1969 - How we covered...

POP CITY, Isle of Wight, closed its doors at 12.20am, the entire population of over 100,000 were told to go away and not come back until next year.

For four days the "instant city" created in the exclusive Woodland Bay area of the island had been home to the hippies and music lovers who had come from all over the world to see Bob Dylan.

When the music festival ended its population was turned on to the streets and that was when its problems began. Many spent the night in camping villages dotted around the area, but for most people, 12.20am was the start of a long and unpleasant six-hour trek, train and ferry haul back to the mainland.

Of course there were unscheduled "happenings." One young couple made love in a huge area of soap foam pumped over some of the ground. Everyone said that it was "just beautiful."

But of course the main reason for the coming to the Isle of Wight was to see Bob Dylan. Since his near fatal motorcycle accident in 1966, Dylan had hardly ever appeared in public.

When he appeared he did all the old numbers like She Belongs To Me, It Ain't Me Babe, Rolling Stone and more recent material such as Lay Lady Lay and Eskimo Quinn. Half the time he appeared with the band and for the rest he played acoustic guitar.

At the end, as he left the stage, the crowd were surprised and disappointed. Several of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Blind Faith were in the audience along with many other celebrities and many expected the much hinted at "jam sessions" between the superstars. But it never came off.

After this the Isle of Wight can never be the same again.

Edited by Tony Woolway
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Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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