Events, Exhibitions and Festivals Celebrating the Summer of Love This Year
2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, a yearlong celebration of a time when San Francisco served as a magnet for musicians, artists and social rebels in the mid-to-late Sixties. They created a counterculture bound by leftist politics, tribal spirit, music and art. Long considered a literary bohemia, attracting nonconformists like the Beat Generation writers of the Fifties, it was logical that free-thinking San Francisco would give birth to a radical new movement eventually embraced by the rest of the world.
Here is a sampling of cultural happenings celebrating this moment in time during 2017.
December 2016 – September 2017
Walt Disney Family Museum; Summer of Love programming
The Walt Disney Family Museum will be featuring an incredible 60’s poster exhibition.
Feb. 8 – May 21, 2017
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia
Explore how art, architecture, and design intersected with the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. Loosely assembled around Timothy Leary’s famous mantra, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” "Hippie Modernism" charts the evolution of one of the most fertile periods of recent cultural history, one that witnessed a variety of radical experiments that challenged convention, overturned traditional hierarchies, explored new media and materials, and formed alternative communities. Four distinct forum discussions featuring local activists also accompany the exhibition.
April 8 – Aug. 20, 2017
de Young Museum; Summer of Love: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll
Through a wide array of iconic rock posters, interactive music and light shows, “out-of-this-world” clothing, and photographs, the de Young's "Summer of Love" celebrates the city’s rebellious and colorful counterculture and explores the visual and material cultures of a generation searching for personal fulfillment through social change. The exhibition includes rock posters by artists including Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson, along with examples of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind garments created by such designers as Brigitta Bjerke, K. Lee Manuel, and Jeanne Rose.
April – August 2017
The Cartoon Art Museum; Comix from the Summer of Love
The Cartoon Art Museum celebrates the Summer of Love with a selection of underground comix from Bay Area creators Lee Marrs (Pudge, Girl Blimp), Trina Robbins (Wimmen¹s Comix) and highlights from the collection of Ron Turner, founder of famed San Francisco publisher Last Gasp.
April 29, 2017
Telegraph Avenue Summer of Love Street Fair
The Telegraph Avenue Business Improvement District is hosting a family-friendly celebration of counterculture featuring wandering minstrels, hippie characters on stilts, organic food trucks, mimes and mellow hippie music in People's Park. Those that come donning hippie threads will receive reduced price passes to Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia exhibition; plus a free hippie-themed film on the outdoor LED screen of the Pacific Film Archive.
May 12 – Sept. 10, 2017
California Historical Society; On the Road to the Summer of Love
Guest-curated by Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally, this photographic exhibition will start in the 1950's with "Howl" and the Beat Generation and move through the free speech movement to LSD, rock and roll and the Haight in the 60's.
May 7, 2017
How Weird Street Faire: Summer of Weird
The 18th annual festival, a gathering to celebrate peace, dance in the streets, and explore technology exhibits, world class music, art, and creative wares, is continuing the great tradition of moving humanity further along. An opportunity to make new friends and greet old ones, and appreciate each other’s differences much like the youth of the summer of ’67.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts & Smuin Contemporary Ballet; Summer of Love
Celebrated choreographer Trey McIntyre pays tribute to the Summer of Love, and Garrett Ammon and Nicole Haskins tackle classical scores to contemporary, adventurous movement.
SFO Museum, yet to be announced Summer of Love exhibition
June 7 – July 2, 2017
American Conservatory Theater: “A Night with Janis Joplin”
Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock ’n’ roll. The unmistakable voice, laced with raw emotion and Southern Comfort, made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. A.C.T. presents an evening with the woman and her influences in the Bay Area premiere of the hit Broadway musical “A Night with Janis Joplin” at the Geary Theater. It features such unforgettable songs as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Cry Baby,” and “Summertime."
June 11, 2017
40th Anniversary Haight Ashbury Street Fair
A celebration of the diverse culture and history of the Haight-Ashbury district, a world-renowned neighborhood in San Francisco, the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, held on the second weekend in June, features arts and crafts, local restaurants, and live music. Past performers have included Jefferson Starship, the Merl Saunders Band and The Tubes.
June 16 – Oct. 1, 2017
Asian Art Museum: Flower Power
In honor of the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s Summer of Love, the Asian Art Museum will present the exhibition Flower Power, featuring significant artworks that explore the rich, symbolic history of flowers in Asian Art.
June 16 – 18, 2017
50th Anniversary Monterey International Pop Festival
Presented on the exact same dates as in '67 and from the exact same stage, the Monterey Pop Festival will be celebrating this monumental anniversary in grand fashion, just as it did 50 years ago.
June 18 – 25, 2017
Proposed “Summer of Love Week”
A variety of exhibitions, performances, lectures, and symposia celebrating the art, music and history that marked this radical movement.
All You Need is Love Event, details TBD
June 20 – 21, 2017
Summer Solstice Celebration with light art activities (IlluminateSF.com related)
A unique and illuminating way to experience much of the public art and innovation that sprung up from this time, San Francisco offers over 30 light art installations throughout the city and a wealth of events, ranging from wine tastings to sailboat regattas.
June 21, 2017
San Francisco Botanical Garden: Flower Piano “Summer of Love” Sing-along
On Great Meadow Friday, from 4-6 p.m., San Francisco Botanical Garden will partner with Community Music Center to celebrate the Summer of Love in song! During the Garden’s signature summer event, Flower Piano (July 13-24, 2017), CMC’s Billy Philadelphia will lead a lively sing-along featuring some of the greatest hits of 1967, including “Happy Together” by The Turtles, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Somebody To Love” by Jefferson Airplane and “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.
June 23, 2017
PIER 39’s 60’s Dance Party
Featuring a Beatles cover band and other groovy stuff, PIER 39 is hosting a 60’s dance party that’s sure to entice visitors to come and let their hair down.
June 30 – July 4, 2017
The Marin County Fair: Let the FUN Shine In!
The Marin County Fair celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love emphasizing Marin’s dedication to the community: family, art, agriculture and the environment. In 1967, the Summer of Love kicked-off with a two-day concert on Mt. Tamalpais called the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival and is known to many as the first rock festival in history. This summer’s Marin County Fair will celebrate that 1967 spirit with music, art, fashion and more, featuring tie-dye and macramé competitions, Flower Power horticulture, Groovy/Psychedelic and Abstract art and photography, and a daily 60s fashion parade. As always, there are carnival rides, free concerts, and fireworks nightly.
July 15, 2017 – October 29, 2017
San Francisco Public Library: 50th Anniversary of Love and Haight
In this exhibit, historical photographs, grass roots newspapers, posters and flyers, record albums and manuscript materials from community groups and City of San Francisco collections will document the social and political upheaval of the summer of 1967 and how the city responded. Main Library, Jewett Gallery.