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A project to create a mural marking the 50th anniversary of the Isle of Wight Festival is being supported by Wightlink. The ferry company is providing free travel to Kent artist Guy Portelli whose work on the mural has him making regular trips to the island.

A focal point of the five by eight-foot mosaic mural will be handprints from 200 performers who have played at the revived Festival since the inaugural event in Godshill in 1968. Among the contributors is Nigel Olsson, whose band, Plastic Penny, played IW in 1968.

Others who have provided handprints include Dick Taylor and Phil May from the Pretty Things; Roger Chapman (formerly with Family); Mick Fleetwood; Carl Palmer; and Julie Felix.

Guy hopes the completed mural will be centrepiece of a touring exhibition showcasing the history of the Isle of Wight Festival.

“My ultimate hope is that at some point a museum dedicated to the festival might be created on the Island and that this panel will have a permanent home,” he says.

“The festival is of international cultural significance. People have travelled to the island from all over the world to attend over the years and its positive impact on the island should be recognised.

“I am hoping the mural will be part of that process. It is already creating a lot of interest among past performers and we will be adding some more very big names in the near future.”