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Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival (1997)

In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Himself (Jethro Tull)
Martin Barre ...
Himself (Lead guitarist, Jethro Tull)
John Bonham ...
Clive Bunker ...
Himself (Drummer, Jethro Tull)
Chick Churchill ...
Himself (Ten Years After)
Billy Cox ...
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Himself (The Who)
Himself (The Doors)
The Doors ...
Graeme Edge ...
Himself (The Moody Blues)
Emerson Lake and Palmer ...


In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and corruption that would plague the music industry for years to come. They also witnessed the final, drugged out performance of Jimi Hendrix in England just two weeks before he would meet a tragic death. When it all was over, the fans view of rock and roll was never the same. Written by Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>

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Release Date:

21 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Message of Love: The Isle of Wight Festival: The Movie  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The release of this film was held up for nearly 27 years due to the fact that the promoters had declared bankruptcy and didn't have the finances to help cover the expenses of editing. See more »


Rikki Farr: Himself (Master of Ceremonies): [shouts at audience] We put this festival on you bastards, with a lot of love we worked for one year for you pigs and you wanna break our walls down and you wanna destroy it? Well go to hell!
See more »


Red Eye Express
Written and Performed by John Sebastian
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User Reviews

Shoddy DVD
25 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK, there's no denying this documentary does a good job of capturing the spirit of the time in which the festival occurred--we get plenty of interviews with scraggly hippies in the crowd voicing their opinions about how the concert should be free to the people and how their love for the music is being exploited by the man--yet when it comes to respectfully showcasing that very music what do we end up with? Abbreviated, often truncated versions of timeless, classic performances that I'm positive was the reason the majority of the buyers of this DVD purchased the disc in the first place.

From a bit of research, it appears this first turned up on VHS tape back in the mid-90's so its two hour length makes sense when considering the limitations of that medium (a two-hour, SP speed videotape was considered about the maximum length to get good video/audio reproduction without causing undue stress on the tape). However, when it came time to put this on DVD, it seems there was no extra effort to put out a proper release of this event, one that should have necessitated at the very least restoring the FULL-LENGTH versions of the majority of songs that appear in this movie. With all the great musical performers at this show, there is definitely a guaranteed market to return this minor investment and probably negate the very criticisms that I'm mentioning here.

Not only that, but the DVD is two-sided with each side only running an hour in length. Um, wtf? Why double-side it when a single side of a DVD can easily hold 2 hours worth of material? I know this DVD has been marked-down for sale at under $10 at most sites, so it's not a tremendous burden to purchase if you absolutely must obtain it, but still it's sad the missed opportunity they had here to release something that could have joined Gimme Shelter and Woodstock as a great document of a key musical and cultural event that was presented with the best modern technology can offer.

To quote the very words that someone voices during the film, "we blew it."

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