Do you know where and when Jimi Hendrix had his final gig?

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix / Walter Iooss Jr/GettyImages

It’s now 53 years since the Jimi Hendrix Experience gave their final live gig. Of course, no-one knew at the time it was the last show.

Hendrix had played an astounding gig just a week or so earlier at the Isle of Wight Festival. He passed away on September 18, 1970 in a drugs related death in an apartment in London. But in between those two dates he and his band rocked the stage in Germany. 

They performed at the somewhat chaotic and unruly Open Air Love & Peace Festival in Fehmarn, Germany, on September 6, 1970. This was held on a small island just north of Hamburg and close to the border with Denmark. 

The festival was fraught with issues; bad weather, low ticket sales and poor organisation overall. Some bands pulled out of the festival at the last minute adding to ongoing crowd disturbances. Hendrix delayed his appearance from Saturday to Sunday,  which also seemed to unsettle the audience. He faced down some jeers and boos when he eventually took the stage. If only they’d known music history was being made.

The band’s set was pretty impressive despite all the issues. Thirteen songs played, beginning with a cover of “Killing Floor” by Howling Wolf and ending with “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Chile.” There are quite a few videos online of the band playing at Fehmarn; the quality is quite different from what we are used to these days, but worth a search and view if you are a Hendrix fan. 

Jimi Hendrix captured live for the last time

More accessible is the live album of the gig Live At The Isle Of Fehmarn. Unofficial bootlegs had appeared soon after the event, and of course after Hendrix’s death. It later emerged that the festival organisers had recorded a sound feed direct from overhead stage microphones. That was eventually  mixed and produced for the live album release many years later in December 2005.

The iconic musician that was Jimi Hendrix may be gone but the music he made still lives on. 

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