San Francisco—no, the whole Bay Area—is gearing up for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, when an estimated 100,000 wannabe hippies descended upon the city. For those of us on the planet now who, maybe, weren’t around then, we’ve put together a cheat sheet of events leading up to and including that momentous summer.
August 29, 1966: The Beatles play their last concert in Candlestick Park. The stadium outlasted the band by 45 years, but it was finally demolished in 2015.
October 6, 1966: The “Love Pageant Rally” was held in the Panhandle to protest the criminalization of LSD.
December 10, 1965: Bill Graham staged his first show at the Fillmore as a bail benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, which was touring with its anti-racism satire The Minstrel Show, or Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel—and occasionally getting arrested. The Grateful Dead, which had just changed its name from the Warlocks, opened for Jefferson Airplane.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records – Billboard, page 9, 5 December 1970, Public Domain.
May 13, 1967: One-hit wonder Scott McKenzie releases his one hit, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair).” (To be fair, as a songwriter he had a few other hits, including “Kokomo,” but as a singer, this was his high point.)
Courtesy of Trousdale Music Pub. Inc, California U.S.A via Wikimedia
June 10 and 11, 1967: Postponed for a week because of bad weather, Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival draws 36,000 people to the Mountain Theatre on Mount Tam to hear the Doors, the Byrds with Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane, the 5th Dimension, and Captain Beefheart.
Courtesy of Marin History, via Wikimedia
June 16–18, 1967: The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Ravi Shankar make their U.S. debuts at the Monterey International Pop Festival, whose audience (estimates vary from 25,000 to 90,000) are also introduced to Janis Joplin and Otis Redding.
October 6, 1967: A mock funeral is held in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park to commemorate the Death of the Hippie—and to persuade the remaining visitors to spread the love by taking it home with them.
Courtesy of Diggers/Switchboard, Uploaded by Grenachx at en.wikipedia – private collection. Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by SreeBot., Public Domain.
Featured Photo via Bryan Costales ©2009 Bryan Costales, licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 – Bcx.Org