The exhibition charts Portsmouth musician Spike Edney’s progress from Smiling Hard, his first band in the 1960s, to his work with the Boomtown Rats & Duran Duran; his 30 year association with Queen as their musical director and keyboardist, plus the launch of his own all-star band, the SAS Band and more. This fascinating display across three rooms reveals many unseen items from his personal archive of rock memorabilia and tells his story in his own words.


Above: Singer Madeline Bell and left: Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor visiting the Spike Edney exhibition at the Portsmouth Music Experience.

Courtesy of the Caravan Gallery.

The 1968, 1969 and 1970 Isle of Wight Music Festivals Exhibition

First major exhibition celebrating the festivals in the 48 years since that first amazing event at Godshill in 1968!

Photographs, music, memories, posters, images and ephemera from the great 1968, 1969, 1970 Isle of Wight music festivals.


To accompany the exhibition, Portsmouth Music Experience curator Nigel Grundy has co-authored with Ray Foulk a 56 page illustrated publication, The 1968, 1969 and 1970 Isle of Wight Festival Experience. Along with brothers Ron and Bill, Ray Foulk organised the three festivals. People may remember their company Fiery Creations Limited formed to run the festivals.

The publication is available from the Guildhall reception desk, price £7, or online from other outlets at various prices.

Ray Foulk, with Caroline Foulk, has also written, Stealing Dylan From Woodstock. The Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 famously tempted Bob Dylan out of retreat, becoming at once launch pad and gold standard for all rock festivals. The book traces the development of the festival and looks at the organisation and back stage politics that went on up until and during the event.  

The question was how to follow it? Remarkably, in 1970 the Isle of Wight would host one of the greatest music gatherings of all time. It spanned five days and nights with an audience widely reported to have reached 600,000. The dazzling constellation of stars that included Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, the Who, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, the Doors, Leonard Cohen, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and the Moody Blues. This was Europe’s Woodstock – and all on a small island off England’s south coast.

Many remember the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970 as a magical, life-changing experience, the ultimate sixties trip of sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll and a yearning for a better world. Yet for others the question remains: Did the festival help precipitate the end of the dream of an alternative society? Or did it merely reflect changes already taking place? In their new book, The Last Great Event, Ray and Caroline Foulk delve into contemporary reports, revealing the arguments that raged at both local and national level. their inside story concludes with the parliamentary battle to stop the Island event and the attempt to ban all open air festivals nationwide.

The books are available from the Guildhall reception desk at £22.95 each, or as an author signed pair for £40.00.

Ray Foulk talking about the logistics of organising the 1968, 1969 & 1970 festivals, and his attentive audience at the IoW festivals exhibition preview evening.

During the preview evening Nik Turner (Hawkwind) and his band played a set. Touring the exhibition beforehand he was surprised to find a photo of himself in a 1970 Telegraph  magazine supplement about the IoW festival.

That’s Solent TV report from the Portsmouth Music Experience’s Isle of Wight festival exhibition.  

Visitors comments left in the Isle of Wight Festival exhibition book.