In 1970 the revered rock icon Jimi Hendrix made his last ever UK performance at the legendary Isle Of Wight Festival. Drawing over half a million people to the island with a population fewer than 200,000, Jimi’s performance made headlines around the world.
45 years later the festival, which successfully re-launched in 2002, is set to celebrate this special moment in its own history – as well as the island’s history – by inviting festival goers to take part in a world record attempt.
At 3.30pm on Saturday 13th June all those present at the main stage area, which has been permanently renamed the ‘Electric Church’ in Jimi’s honour, will wear special Jimi Hendrix masks to commemorate this special anniversary.
With over 50,000 people on site festival organiser John Giddings is confident that along with the audience his festival can create another historic moment for the Island whilst raising money and awareness for the festival’s chosen charity WellChild.
John Giddings said: “Jimi’s impact on the island and to popular music cannot be underestimated. His inspiration lives on today and is present each year in the artists performing this year. We wanted to celebrate the 45th anniversary by doing something fun with everyone at the festival this year. By buying a Jimi mask people can not only take part in this special celebration but also help raise money for our partner charity WellChild.”
All the money made from sales of the masks will go to WellChild. WellChild is a national charity that helps young people in the UK living with long-term or complex health issues. WellChild ensures the best possible support and care for all these children and the families.
Last week the festival announced plans of the 45th anniversary celebrations by confirming that they will christen their main stage as ‘The Electric Church’. Hendrix referred to his music as ‘Electric Church’, believing music was his religion, a principle also shared by the festival.
In 2006 Giddings commissioned the creation and installation of a life-sized statue of Hendrix on the island, for a more permanent reminder of his cultural significance on the Isle of Wight.
This year’s festival starts on the 11th June and will be headlined by Blur, Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys and The Prodigy. It was recently revealed that this years headliners have scored more number one albums than any other UK festival totalling 19.
This year’s festival goers will be encouraged to post pictures of themselves wearing the masks using the hashtag #Hendrix45 to @IsleOfWightFest and @WellChild.