San Francisco

‘The Legacy of San Francisco's Flower Children': Golden Gate Park Gets Ready for Summer of Love Art Light Show

A psychedelic lighting installation debuts to the public Wednesday in Golden Gate Park as a tribute to the Summer of Love 50th anniversary. The project was initiated by Ben Davis, who founded the nonprofit Illuminate. 

Davis says the event is all about bringing back the spirit of love.

"San Francisco has always been a magical place," Davis said. "But our ability to bring light and love into the world when fear and darkness is spreading is even more important than ever."

Guests at Golden Gate Park on Monday night were treated to a special look ahead of the opening as technicians from Obscura Digital, which creates large-scale light art installations around the world, when it tested its lighting projections against the Conservatory of Flowers building.

The San Francisco-based creative studio has lit up everything from Vatican City to the Empire State Building over the years.

However, this time, its talents are being showcased for an audience much closer to home.

The show was developed through a partnership with the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, the Conservatory of Flowers, Obscura Digital, the San Francisco Parks Alliance and other philanthropic partners, according to Davis.

"This is a free experience. You don't need a ticket, you just need to come to the park," Davis said. "Everyone is just trying to make something magical for the other person."

The grand lighting Wednesday will be accompanied by a free Surrealistic Summer Solstice concert at 6 p.m.

"It’s really a way to reconnect us to the spirit of light and love in a time when the world needs it," Davis said. "1967 was a challenging time — a time of war, a time of protest, a time of need an energy shift — and I think we're right back there again."

Contact Us