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Summer of Love Events in Northern California

Hip happenings around Northern California celebrate the Summer of Love's 50th anniversary.

a shirt from the The de Young Museum’s major exhibit The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Photo caption
An article of clothing from the de Young Museum’s major exhibit The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.

Celebrate 50th anniversary of San Francisco's Summer of Love at one of these events.

San Francisco Events

The de Young Museum’s major exhibit The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll displays more than 300 cultural artifacts from the era, including rock posters, clothing, and films. A series of immersive music and light-show installations should be a far-out highlight. Through Aug. 20. 

Why did thousands of young people descend on San Francisco in the summer of ’67? Through photographs and other objects, On the Road to the Summer of Love at the California Historical Society delves into the cultural context and social conditions that made the city such fertile ground for that tumultuous season. May 12–Sept. 10. 

Fifty years ago the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood became the tie-dyed epicenter of the Summer of Love. Pay your respects to this still-thriving commercial and residential district—while enjoying art, food, and live music alfresco—during the 40th annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. June 11. 

The Stern Grove Festival offered free outdoor concerts in a sylvan setting for decades before the hippies started doing the same in the Haight and Golden Gate Park. For its 80th anniversary season, the festival honors the Summer of Love’s legacy with a special show featuring the great British Invasion band Eric Burdon and the Animals. July 16. 

East Bay Events

The counterculture movements of the 1960s and 1970s influenced art, architecture, and design worldwide. Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive explores their historic impact through hundreds of works, including experimental furniture, media installations, and alternative magazines and books. Through May 21.

Marin County Events

With their long-standing commitment to the arts and the environment, the close-knit communities of Marin County exemplify some of the ideals of the hippie era. This year, Marin County Fair: Let the Funshine In celebrates that spiritual connection by adding ’60s-themed music, art, and fashion shows to the event’s more traditional concerts, fireworks, and carnival rides in San Rafael. June 30–July 4.

Central Coast Events

The first big U.S. rock festival took place two years before Woodstock: The Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 featured incendiary performances from the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding. Exactly five decades later, the city is hosting a 50th anniversary celebration, with three days of music and special events at the festival’s original location, the Monterey County fairgrounds. June 16–18. 

This article was first published in Summer 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.