With the ‘60s music bumping in your ears and the wind swirling around, you look up only to be blinded by the radiant color that meets your eyes and see the pure bliss from the other humans surrounding you. Flowers have been weaved into everyone’s hair, while their mouths open and close with the rhythm of the song. There’s not a soul in the crowd that doesn’t feel the sweet elation floating through the air and dancing in the wind. This sensation was born with love, and this is the Summer of Love.
Take a trip back to 1967 when the Vietnam War was on everyone’s mind. It was a time of heartbreak and despair for those who were drafted into the war against their own volition. There was nothing that could be done. It was a hopeless endeavor to believe that war could be avoided … until a generation chose to stop and throw their fists into the air to prove they could change this hopeless endeavor into a hopeful one. By knowing in their hearts that peace and love would overcome the current controversies they were facing, this generation of free-spirited, independent, creative believers became the change the world needed.
During this time, the Peace Movement was created along with several other important historical events including the Gay Rights Movement, the Free Speech Movement, the Women’s Movement and many more. San Francisco became a place where people took action instead of just spoke about it. Paul Kantner, the guitarist from Jefferson Airplane (a psychedelic rock band from the era), said just about the same thing.
“Rather than complaining about things, we San Franciscans formed an alternative reality to live in” Kantner said. “And for some reason, we got away with it. San Francisco became somewhere you did things rather than protesting about them.”
Born and raised in San Francisco, the Summer of Love is a festival celebrating its 50th anniversary of peace, compassion, understanding and, most importantly, love. The festival takes place at the Golden Gate Park, also known as Polo Field, which is in the neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. This festival will bring not just this community together, but also fellow believers from across the world. Executive Director Yves-Langston Barthaud of It’s Your District, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing communication between districts, had a couple things to say about the event.
“The Summer of Love was a time of music and gatherings, of cultural revolution and social change,” Barthaud said. “We want to honor all of the experiences and values that emerged from this era and celebrate them in our present time.”
Although the line-up for the festival has not yet been released, the music varies between folk music, jazz and rock n’ roll, not to mention exhibits of poetry and art that will be scattered over the entire festival. Relate to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and even Bob Dylan like you never have before through the 1960s feel the Summer of Love will give you.
If you share the same devotion Summer of Love proclaims, then book a ticket to San Fran this summer and share the compassion between like-minded, loving individuals. For more information visit 50thsummeroflove.com.