Woodstock was the music festival of the 1960s. Many even tout it as the greatest music festival of all time. In being one of the greatest and largest festivals, top bands and musicians were needed to fit the bill. In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was the highest-paid and most sought-after performer. But did Hendrix play at Woodstock?
Did Jimi Hendrix play at Woodstock? Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock as the last to perform, being the headliner of the festival. During his set, Hendrix played 18 songs including the famous Star Spangled Banner. Hendrix played with his newly formed group, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows.
Continue reading to find out:
- If Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock, and how many times.
- How many songs Hendrix played at Woodstock and the setlist.
- If Hendrix was the last performer of the festival.
- How much Jimi Hendrix was paid to perform at Woodstock.
Please note this article is for those unfamiliar with Jimi’s Woodstock performance and serves to answer some common questions about it.
Did Jimi Hendrix Play at Woodstock?
Yes, Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. At Woodstock, Jimi delivered one of the most historic and memorable performances of all time despite having to play at a much different hour than originally planned.
Jimi Hendrix performing at Woodstock was one of, if not the most, iconic moments at Woodstock.
Despite the disappointing size of the crowd that had diminished overnight because of weekday obligations, Jimi and the Band of Gypsies melted the stage in typical Hendrix fashion.
Consisting of the Band of Gypsies, not to be mistaken as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was Hendrix on guitar and vocals, Billy Cox on bass, Mitch Mitchell on drums, Larry Lee on guitar and vocals, Juma Sultan on percussion, and Gerarde Valez on the congas. Jimi ended up correcting Chip Monck when he introduced the group as the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
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Hendrix played multiple unknown songs at the time, or songs that had only recently been released. Songs like Lover Man had not made a studio album yet, Red House had only recently hit the US market, and Jam Back at The House was entirely brand new. This created a wild spectacle of gawking spectators, some of which had yelled out to Jimi to play more familiar hits. Which he complied with Foxey Lady, Purple Haze, and Hey Joe.
How Many Times Did Jimi Hendrix Play at Woodstock?
Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock one time. He only performed once at the 1969 festival and was not alive during the 1994 and 1999 shows.
Jimi rarely did multiple sets for festivals, especially at the height of his popularity. Early in his career, it would not have been uncommon for Jimi to do multiple sets if the organizers asked. Back in NYC, before going to London, Jimi would play multiple sets a night at various clubs around New York.
How Many Songs Did Jimi Hendrix Play at Woodstock
Jimi Hendrix played 18 songs at Woodstock. This was the average amount that Jimi Hendrix would perform at each show. His Woodstock set lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes from 9 am to 11:10 am.
Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Setlist:
Jimi Hendrix played the following 18 songs at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival:
- Message to Love
- Hear My Train a-Comin’
- Spanish Castle Magic
- Red House
- Lover Man
- Foxey Lady
- Jam Back at the House
- Gypsy Woman
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
- Stepping Stone
- The Star Spangled Banner
- Purple Haze
- Woodstock Improvisation
- Villanova Junction
- Hey Joe
Was Jimi Hendrix The Last Performer at Woodstock?
Yes, Jimi Hendrix was the last performer at Woodstock. The organizers booked him as the headliner and headliners always go last in those times. Unlike other headlining concerts, Jimi did not go on until early morning at 9 am, a first for his career.
Headliners are intended to close out the show. The purpose of this is to keep concert goers at the venue in anticipation of the headliner. Jimi was the most sought-after performer in 1969 and was an easy choice as a headliner. Although, as fate would have it, he did not perform in the original time slot.
Weather and technical issues ravaged the festival from the start. In fact, The Grateful Dead had to cut their set short because of technical issues.
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Weather and technical issues forced Hendrix and the organizers to push his set to the morning. He was offered a spot to play at midnight but he declined this as he wanted to be the last to perform, as the headliner.
Simply put, in those days, whoever closed the show was considered King.
Because he was the last to perform, and in the early hours, the crowd had significantly dwindled. From the festival’s peak of half a million concert-goers to roughly 40,000 by the time Hendrix started his set.
How Much Was Jimi Hendrix Paid to Perform at Woodstock?
Jimi Hendrix was the highest paid performer at Woodstock making $18,000 for his performance. This is the equivalent of roughly $117,000 today. This was $3,000 ($20,000 today) more than the second highest paid performer of Woodstock.
Back then, Jimi was the only artist that got big money for those times. Everyone else, besides the second most paid band, got very little. But those bands did not care that they were playing for nothing. They simply wanted to be apart of it.
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