Woodstock was the music festival that symbolized the entire generation back in the sixties. This groundbreaking festival was the defining symbol of counter-culture, anti-war, and idealism. It also helped spread new brands of music. But did you know that many missed Jimi Hendrix’s set in Woodstock despite already being famous at the time?
Jimi Hendrix agreed to play in Woodstock, but his contract stipulated that no acts could play after him. His schedule to perform was delayed multiple times. He ended up playing at 9 am on Monday. Most of the people had already gone home.
Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock Set
In the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, the organizers wanted a heavyweight band to end the concert strong. Michael Lang, one of the event’s organizers, wanted to book Roy Rogers to close the festival. (Source: WPI)
Lang felt that Roy Rogers’ Happy Trails would be a great way to climax the event, as most people grew up watching and listening to Roy Rogers. However, the cowboy singer declined Lang’s offer. (Source: Society of Rock)
Feeling disappointed, Lang and the other producers of Woodstock turn to Jimi Hendrix to be their encore act. Hendrix was at the height of his success during that time. They thought it would be an incredible culmination if Hendrix played the encore. Though not known for playing encores, Hendrix agreed. (Source: WPI)
Hendrix became the headline of the whole festival, but the rock star had his demands. His fee for playing is priced at $200,000 in today’s money. He also requested to be paid in advance. On top of that, a clause in his contract stipulated that no other act could play after his set. This means that Hendrix’s set will be the final act for the festival.
Due to all the delays in performances which were caused by several reasons like logistical problems and extreme traffic congestion, the original plan of the festival’s culmination ending on Sunday evening was pushed to Monday morning. And since Hendrix didn’t allow any other artists to play after him, the organizers could not move his performance earlier.
Hendrix came on stage on Monday at 9 am. At this time, the crowd of almost half a million already thinned out to less than 200,000. Most of the concertgoers had already gone home and resumed their everyday lives. Despite the fact, Hendrix delivered a great set, including his legendary rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner. (Source: History)
Some Other Interesting Facts about the 1969 Woodstock Festival
Despite it being a legendary concert showing its effects on culture across many generations, some exciting stories occurred during the festival, and here are a few of them.
Richie Havens’ Freedom
Richie Havens’ most famous song, Freedom, was composed and played simultaneously in Woodstock. Havens, who was the first artist on the grounds as it opened, wasn’t scheduled to play until later the day. But since no other artists were there, the producers begged him to perform. He was tasked to perform and buy time for the next artists to come. Havens finished all the songs he knew, resorting to making up a new song right on the stage. (Source: Fantastic Facts)
CCR Felt Their Performance was Unremarkable
Creedence Clearwater Revival felt their performance was unremarkable because the crowd didn’t give them the welcome and enthusiasm they expected, even though they were already an established band. It was only, later on, they realized that they weren’t warmly welcomed because most of the concertgoers were already asleep when they played their set after midnight. (Source: Fantastic Facts)