The Grateful Dead perform in San Francisco in the summer of 1967. (©Jim Marshall Photography LLC)
In 1967, over 100,000 people from all over the United States gathered in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and Golden Gate Park for concerts by the likes of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, in addition to social experimentation and revelry. Called the Summer of Love, the period went on to become synonymous with hippie culture.
San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love all year long with concerts, exhibitions and a variety of special events. Here are a few of the happenings that we're most looking forward to.
Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead will perform songs from the band’s catalog along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti at Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheatre (June 3-4).
American Conservatory Th eater presents “A Night with Janis Joplin” (June 7-July 2), a Broadway musical celebrating Joplin’s career and influences, which include Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Nina Simone and more. The performance features many of Joplin’s hits, from “Me and Bobby McGee” to “Mercedes Benz.”
On June 23, Pier 39 hosts the Summer of Love Dance Party, featuring music from “Mania! The Live Beatles Experience.” Beach Blanket Babylon, San Francisco’s pop-culture musical revue, is also celebrating the anniversary. The cast now includes the Beatles, Hippie Gal and other groovy characters, while 1960s anthems “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” round out the set list.
In San Francisco, the de Young Museum presents “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll.” The exhibition features more than 300 cultural artifacts of the time, including rock posters, photographs, costumes, ephemera, films and more.
Acclaimed photographer Jim Marshall documented the counterculture movement from 1965-1970, and 80 of his photographs, which feature Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, will be on display at City Hall through June 17 in "Jim Marshall's 1967."
Curated by Grateful Dead biographer Dennis McNally, “On the Road to the Summer of Love” at the California Historical Society explores the historical context of the Summer of Love, largely through a variety of rarely seen photographs by photographers including Gene Anthony, Jerry Burchard, Lisa Law and more (all month).
Learn about the art, music and fashion of the hippie movement as you stroll through the neighborhood where it all began on the Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour. Relive the '60s on wheels with the Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Magic Bus Experience, a two-hour journey featuring a blend of theater, film, music and sightseeing. Wild SF Walking Tours offers The Free Love Tour, which is also free of charge. Your guitar-toting guide will take you to the former home of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin’s pink apartment.
The Haight Ashbury Street Fair celebrates the Summer of Love with live music and over 200 outdoor vendors, including food, green businesses, local artists, clothing, crafts and more (June 11).
In addition to rides, exhibits, nightly fireworks and live music, the annual Marin County Fair features a variety of Summer of Love-themed activities, including tie-dyeing, psychedelic art contests and performances of hits from the '60s (June 30-July 4).