Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin Top Rock Hall’s Top Ten Greatest Festival Performances

In an age when big music fests like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo bring together hundreds of the newest and hottest acts, it’s the classic artists who still prevail when it comes to setting the standard for live festival performances in the past 60 years.

This was proved by a public vote set up by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to promote its latest exhibit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience opening this Friday (April 25th), in which music fans agree that nothing can top the great moments from Woodstock, Monterey Park and Newport Folk fests.

After thousands of votes were tallied, the Rock Hall unveiled its top ten greatest festival performances of all time, and topping the list is none other than the Jimi Hendrix Experience‘s fiery (literally) debut at Monterey International Pop Music Festival in 1967.

Coming in a close second was another act to emerge from the same festival, the Big Brother and the Holding Company, which featured one the earliest performances of rock’s queen, Janis Joplin.

According to the Rock Hall’s website, the Music Festival exhibition will be an “immersive and engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience.” The exhibit is open until January 31, 2015.

See the complete top 10 below (via Vintage Vinyl News).

  1. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967) – A legendary debut as the most incendiary group in rock and roll.
  2. Big Brother and the Holding Company – Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967) – Power, energy and an awe-struck crowd: meet Janis Joplin.
  3. Queen – Live Aid (1985) – Stealing the show at arguably the greatest live concert ever staged.
  4. Santana – Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1969) – A singular performance that introduced a new sound to rock music.
  5. Bob Dylan – Newport Folk Festival (1965) – Three songs that changed the course of popular music forever.
  6. Otis Redding – Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967) – A breakthrough performance in the truest sense.
  7. Nine Inch Nails – Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1994) – Catapulted to mainstream with mud, industrial music and a truly mesmerizing moment.
  8. Sly and the Family Stone – Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1969) – Channeling the Woodstock spirit and rewriting the book on performance.
  9. U2 – Live Aid (1985) – An artist creates intimacy in the least intimate circumstances and makes an indelible connection.
  10. Muddy Waters – Newport Jazz Festival (1960) – How the blues was masterfully delivered to a new audience.

See the full top ten with clips of each performance in the Rock Hall’s video below.

More from Britt Bickel

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