If like me you’re a Jimi Hendrix fan, you may or may not know of a statue of Jimi at Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight. The statue is to commemorate Jimi’s appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. The festival took place a short distance away from Dimbola Lodge at East Afton Farm and drew a crowd of over 600,000 people, greater than that of the Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York, held the same year which he did not perform at.
Jimi Hendrix’s appearance at the festival was one of his last performances before his early death on September 18th the same year. He performed in the early hours of 31st August with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass and headlined that day of the festival. Opinions vary about his set and performance on that day, but there’s no doubt his appearance that day has significance to the Isle of Wight’s cultural heritage.
The location of the statue, Dimbola Lodge, is the home of the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and is something of a hidden treasure on the island. I’ve seen a number of excellent exhibitions there, including paintings by Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, and an exhibition of Miles Davis’ paintings.
It also holds a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Isle of Wight Festivals, past and present including some fantastic original posters, leaflets, newspaper clippings and photographs featuring, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and of course Jimi Hendrix himself.
More information about this hidden gem, can be found on the Dimbola Lodge website. Dimbola Lodge