San Francisco Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017
By Jason Herrington

A Year Full of Exhibitions, Events and Activities Explore the Summer that Changed Everything

Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, turning San Francisco, CA into the epicenter of a cultural phenomenon known as the Summer of Love. During this transformative time, music, fashion, art and new ideas flourished and there was a feeling that everything was possible.

That feeling never left the city. The young hippies that gathered in the city 50 years ago, and the sons and daughters of those who wore flowers in their hair, went on to stand up for civil rights and the environment, dared to question authority and still flock to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, forever linking the city to the counterculture and the ideas it launched, nurtured and spread.

This month, exactly 50 years after the Love Pageant Rally, a spirited gathering in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park that helped put into the motion the events that led to the Summer of Love, San Francisco Travel and the California Historical Society (CHS) are announcing a year-long celebration of the transformative Summer of 1967.

For visitors to San Francisco in 2017, the 50th anniversary will be a celebration with major exhibitions at some of the region’s top museums, special events and concerts looking back at the Summer of 1967 and exploring what that period meant then and now.  The celebration will also include a range of service and volunteerism events inspired by the original Summer of Love.

San Francisco Travel and the California Historical Society have joined forces on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Celebrating this rare moment in history, the California Historical Society provides the detailed factual and cultural context for this seminal summer through its own exhibition and work with cultural partners such as the de Young Museum.  San Francisco Travel is the go-to resource for visitors planning a trip, including must-see events, itineraries and tours that follow the footsteps of some of the greatest musicians of all time.

The region’s diverse cultural organizations and non-profit organizations will explore not only the history of the Summer of Love, but how the counterculture it represented continues to affect the way we think and live today.

“In the summer of 1967, San Francisco was fertile ground for an emerging counterculture movement that blossomed into a season that changed the world, giving rise to art, technologies, revolutionary politics, the international hippie lifestyle, and fostering emerging rock musicians—all of which continue to resonate today,” notes Dr. Anthea Hartig, executive director/CEO of the CHS. “Fifty years later, we’re honored to work with San Francisco Travel and dozens of cultural and civic partners to celebrate and remember this seminal moment.”

“The Summer of Love made the concepts of peace, love, hope and sharing part of the landscape of San Francisco.  It’s no wonder that the city continues to attract millions of visitors from around the world who come to revel in the spirit of openness and innovation,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel.  “In 2017, we invite the world to come and discover the magic that was born here 50 years ago.  We think they’ll find the city as welcoming now as it was in 1967.”

Museums, cultural organizations, non-profit organizations and music promoters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area will explore wide-ranging aspects of the Summer of Love.  Highlights include:

  • “Fashion in Flight: A History of Airline Uniform Design” at the San Francisco International Airport, June 16, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017
  • “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50” at the Oakland Museum of California, Oct. 8, 2016-Feb. 12, 2017
  • “Death of Money: Diggers 50 Years Later” at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics, Oct. 26, 2016
  • “Bruce Connor: It’s all True” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oct. 29, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017
  • “The Digital Be-In” at the Regency Ballroom San Francisco, Jan. 14, 2017
  • “Jim Marshall: Summer of Love” at the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries at City Hall, Jan. 26-June, 2017
  • “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Feb. 8-May 21, 2017
  • “Summer of Love” at the de Young Museum, April 15-Aug. 20, 2017
  • “Intersection of Revolutions: The Road to the Haight-Ashbury, 1967” at the California Historical Society, May 11-Sept. 8, 2017
  • “Summer of Love” by Smuin Contemporary Ballet at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, May 2017
  • A Summer of Love exhibition at the Mexican Museum, June 1-Aug. 20, 2017
  • “Flower Power” at the Asian Art Museum, June 16-Oct. 1, 2017
  • Huckleberry Youth Programs 50th Anniversary in partnership with It’s Your District, June 18, 2017
  • Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Concert, June 2017
  • Counterculture Academic Symposium, California Historical Society/Northwestern University, July 2017
  • 15th Annual “Jerry Day” Concert in celebration of what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 75th year, Aug. 6, 2017
  • A new exhibition and public programming at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), Summer 2017
  • San Francisco Public Library’s Summer of Love Exhibition
  • Sunday Streets events throughout 2017 in partnership with It’s Your District
  • San Francisco Giants Summer of Love-themed home games and additional activities to be announced in Nov. 2016.

Additional events showcasing this special moment in time include “The Summer of Weird” at the annual How Weird Street Festival (May 7, 2017), the 40th Annual Haight Ashbury Street Festival (June, 2017), the Monterey Pop Festival 2017 (June 16-18, 2017) and “Let the FUN Shine In!” at the Marin County Fair (June 30-July 4, 2017).  Plans are currently underway for additional lectures, service and volunteerism events, personal appearances and other “happenings.”

To help visitors plan their “trip,” the San Francisco Travel Association has launched a special website,, which provides an ever-expanding guide to the whole groovy scene, including events and itinerary ideas.  The site also links to the California Historical Society with a complete, updated list of participating organizations and activities. Additional announcements will be made on Jan. 14, 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Human Be-In.

Visitors to San Francisco can also enjoy walking tours, apps and hop-on, hop-off tours that follow the footprints of this seminal summer.  The spirit lives on at locations like the Fillmore Auditorium and Golden Gate Park. Displays at the Hard Rock Café at Pier 39 include an autographed Grateful Dead guitar, clothing worn by Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix and one of the last photos of Janis Joplin. Madame Tussauds invites visitors to get close to lifelike recreations of these luminaries and others.  “Beach Blanket Babylon,” the world’s longest running musical revue, gives the hippies a lighthearted sendup.

In a case of perfect timing, the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is currently in the process of receiving city landmark status because of its significance during with the counterculture movement of the 1960’s when this area of San Francisco was the nation’s epicenter for hippies and what were then considered anti-establishment lifestyles.

About the California Historical Society

The California Historical Society, founded in 1871, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. It holds one of the top research collections on California history, which includes over 35,000 volumes of books and pamphlets, more than 4,000 manuscript collections, and about 500,000 photographs documenting California’s social, cultural, economic, and political history and development, including some of the most cherished and valuable documents and images of California’s past. Learn more at

About San Francisco Travel

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit,  read the Visitors Planning Guide or call 415-391-2000.  San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 44 international cities on 38 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines.  SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.  For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow SFO on and

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