What a surprise! I remember odd bits about the 1969 IOW Festival of course but not too many specifics, after all I was just 18 years old then and I'm 62 now! I do recall the impact of the whole weekend as it was so enormous in my life back then - I had hitched a lift to the docks and bought a ferry ticket, walking to the site and spent the whole three days living on doughnuts and little else.
You asked about the Third Ear Band. They did make an impression on me and that is why I took their (rather bad) photo. I was in the front 'row' of 35,000 people, a little left of centre and up against a fence in front of which was the press area and where celebs like John Lennon and Yoko Ono occasionally sat. I had a little Kodak Instamatic camera and one film (12 photos) which is why I have so few photos!
I remembered the band because they were so different - I'd not heard anything like that and, to be honest, I wasn't sure whether I liked the music or not at the time. I could pick up the fact that the origins seemed to be all over the place, a bit gypsy, a fair bit of Indian influence and very 'modern' and alternative in outlook. As a very young person who had travelled some distance to see rock bands like the Who and Moody Blues, it was rather grown up and other worldly for me I suppose. Now that I am several decades older I can see how ahead of their time this band really was - if I could whistle back in time now I would appreciate their stuff far more and indeed I do have a copy of the remastered Alchemy so you see they did make an impression :-)
I expect that you have managed to source a copy of the 1969 IOW programme for yourself but, if not, this is what the description of the band said:
I had no idea what that meant, still don't :-)