Monterey Pop Festival: 50th Anniversary

Beads on, revelers: Gather for a Summer of Love celebration in Monterey.

THERE ARE MEMORABLE SHOWS, and cool concerts, and pop-up sound spectaculars that can get people talking for months. Then there are the mega multi-day festivals, huge parties that can be joyful, amazing, and, on the rarest and most special of occasions, one for the ages. And when the 50th anniversary rolls around for a festival that instantly become iconic, something beyond a commemorative t-shirt or bumper sticker is the order of the day. Well, make that three days, for no less than the Monterey International Pop Festival is coming back around on the very days and in the very place it unfurled, like a giant flag bearing a peace symbol, in 1967. Prepare to celebrate...

THE SUMMER OF LOVE... at the Monterey County Fairgrounds from Friday, June 16 through Sunday, June 18. Ah, you remember well: June 16 through 18 was the exact song-filled span a half century back, a starry stretch of 72 hours that saw the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Grateful Dead, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, and The Who on stage. Even if you weren't there over that major pop culture, history-maker of a moment, or perhaps you hadn't yet arrived on the planet, you still might have rocked out via the documentary film "Monterey Pop," a longtime midnight staple of indie cinemas across the land. As for what sounds'll fill the fairgrounds over the middle of June? Count on retro and contemporary acts to pay tribute. Stay tuned for the line-up, but do keep a wider view beyond that weekend: The Summer of Love will hold all the colors of the rainbow 'round Monterey from May through September 2017. That means photographic exhibits, art happenings, and more. Surely you still have your love beads, your fringe-y jacket, your little round sunglasses? If not, we bet you continue to possess an abiding devotion to the major artists, major tunes, and major vibes of that seminal course-changing year.

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