Skip to Content

Iconic Solos Performed on Festivals You Wish You Had Seen


Some of the most iconic solos performed on festivals you wish you had seen are analysed in this blog post. There are certain performances in history that amazed viewers even decades later. Those performances left a mark on the collective memory of fans, critics and musix enthusiasts.

Let’s take a journey through time and explore the magic of these unforgettable guitar solos performed at festivals.

1. Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock (1969) – “The Star-Spangled Banner”

In 1969 at Woodstock, Hendrix’s groundbreaking performance featured his iconic “Star-Spangled Banner” rendition, marking the peak of counterculture. Hendrix’s guitar solo during the national anthem wasn’t just a musical performance; it was a sonic exploration of the turbulent times. Coaxing distorted, feedback-laden sounds from his guitar, Hendrix’s performance spoke volumes about the socio-political climate—an ageless masterpiece.

2. Eric Clapton at Cream’s Farewell Concert (1968) – “Crossroads”

Cream’s farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968 marked the end of an era, and Eric Clapton’s guitar solo in “Crossroads” became legendary. Clapton’s bluesy and expressive playing showcased his mastery of the instrument, leaving the audience in awe. The solo was a fitting farewell to one of the most influential bands in rock history.

3. Carlos Santana at Woodstock (1969) – “Soul Sacrifice”

Carlos Santana’s performance at Woodstock was a fusion of Latin, rock, and blues elements, and his solo in “Soul Sacrifice” was nothing short of mesmerizing. Santana’s unique style and virtuosity on the guitar contributed to the band’s rise to fame and left an enduring impact on the festival’s legacy.

Carlos Santana at Woodstock (1969) – “Soul Sacrifice”

4. David Gilmour at Pink Floyd’s “Pulse” Concert (1994) – “Comfortably Numb”

During Pink Floyd’s “Pulse” concert in 1994, a transcendent moment unfolded with David Gilmour’s iconic guitar solo in “Comfortably Numb.” Infusing emotive playing and his signature tone, Gilmour created a sonic experience that resonated with fans worldwide, marking a pinnacle in his illustrious career.

David Gilmour at Pink Floyd’s “Pulse” Concert (1994) – “Comfortably Numb”

5. Eddie Van Halen at US Festival (1983) – “Eruption”

Eddie Van Halen’s instrumental showcase “Eruption” is a masterclass in guitar virtuosity. While not performed at a traditional festival, his groundbreaking techniques, including tapping, left an indelible mark on the world of rock guitar. Witnessing Van Halen’s electrifying solo at the US Festival in 1983 would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Eddie Van Halen at US Festival (1983) – “Eruption”

6. Stevie Ray Vaughan at Montreux Jazz Festival (1982) – “Texas Flood”

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s blistering guitar solo during “Texas Flood” at the Montreux Jazz Festival showcased his unparalleled skill and intense, soulful playing. Vaughan’s mastery of the blues left an enduring impression on the audience, and his performance remains a touchstone for aspiring guitarists.

Stevie Ray Vaughan at Montreux Jazz Festival (1982) – “Texas Flood”

Montreux Jazz Festival

The Montreux Jazz Festival, launched in 1967, has evolved into a globally renowned event, hosting diverse musical genres. It originated from founder Claude Nobs’ passion for jazz, expanding over the years to embrace rock, blues, and various genres. The festival gained fame for its performances by legends like Miles Davis and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Its scenic Lake Geneva setting, coupled with a commitment to musical diversity, has solidified Montreux as a cultural hub and an annual celebration of artistic expression.

Montreux Jazz Festival will take place in June 2024. You find tickets and the line up here.

Montreux Jazz Festival

Iconic Solos Performed on Festivals You Wish You Had Seen – Conclusion

Iconic festival solos aren’t just musical; they’re cultural touchstones inspiring generations of music lovers worldwide. Though not witnessing live, enduring recordings and stories attest to music’s everlasting power to move and captivate us.

Find out more about festivals and their artists on our blog or follow us on facebook!

Luca von Burkersroda
Latest posts by Luca von Burkersroda (see all)