San Francisco is marking the 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ with a kaleidoscope of events celebrating the summer of 1967, when an estimated 100,000 young people made their way to the city’s Haight-Ashbury district to be part of a fresh, hip scene.
Back then, “San Francisco was fertile ground for an emerging counterculture movement that blossomed into a season that changed the world, giving rise to art, technologies, revolutionary politics, the international hippie lifestyle, and fostering emerging rock musicians,” said Anthea Hartig, CEO and executive director the California Historical Society, “All of which continue to resonate today.”
Wearing tie-dyed clothing and a flower in your hair isn’t required when attending a Summer of Love happening, but it would certainly be groovy to do so.
Especially today, Saturday, May 13, during Flowers in your Hair Day,” honoring the pop song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” that became a “flower-power anthem” for the summer and for the hippie movement.
Today local radio stations will play the song at noon and flowers will be distributed at various spots throughout the city, including at San Francisco International Airport, where United Airlines’ specially-numbered flight 1967 will arrive from Los Angeles at Gate 67.
Travelers will be able to take selfies with Madame Tussaud wax figures of Jerry Garcia, and Jimi Hendrix – and in a cut-out of a hippie bus,’ the Gay Men’s Chorus will sing the song of the day.
(More ‘Flowers in Your Hair Day’ events here.)
Many other “Summer of Love” anniversary events are planned or already underway. Here’s a sampling:
On Sunday, May 7, the annual How Weird Street Faire in downtown San Francisco will celebrate the Summer of Love with music, costumes, dancing, fun exhibits, circus stage shows, live and exhibited artwork, and more.
The Monterey International Pop Festival will take place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds on June 16-18, 2017. The event is scheduled on the exact same dates as the now legendary three-day festival that took place in 1967, when Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Ravi Shankar and Otis Redding made early career appearances.
Through August 20, 2017, the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park is hosting “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll,” exhibition, featuring more than 400 posters, fashion creations, photographs, political artwork and other cultural artifacts of the time, as well as music and commissioned light shows.
80 photographs by iconic photographer Jim Marshall chronicling the hippie movement and American music icons, such as the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix, from 1965-1970 are on display in the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries at City Hall through June 23, 2017. (Admission: free).
And through September 10, 2017 the California Historical Society is hosting “On the Road to the Summer of Love,” featuring a wide array of photographs and cultural ephemera as well as a variety of associated events and lectures.
Tours and more
A long list of other Summer of Love-themed music festivals, lectures, exhibitions and events can be found here, including ideas for a wide-range of offbeat, year-round walking, bus and (even) Segway tours, such as the Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour and the Magic Bus Experience, billed as a “mind-bending combination of professional theater, film, music and sightseeing” transporting tour going back in time to the summer of 1967.
Can’t make it to San Francisco? Consider Cleveland.
In Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit, “Rolling Stone: 50,” celebrates the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone Magazine, which was first published in San Francisco in November 1967, just a few months after the Summer of Love.
On view through Winter 2017 and occupying the top three floors of the museum, the exhibit draws on Rolling Stone’s explores the impact the magazine had on politics, popular culture and on the careers of individual artists.