Summer of Love

Summer of Love
KFRC Fantasy Fair Dryden Balin Kantner.png
Spencer Dryden, Marty Balin, and Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane performing at the Fantasy Fair, early June 1967
LocationHaight-Ashbury, San Francisco
ParticipantsPossibly 100,000 people

The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco's neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. Although hippies also gathered in many other places in the U.S., Canada and Europe, San Francisco was at that time the most publicized location for hippie subculture.[1][2]

Hippies, sometimes called flower children, were an eclectic group. Many were suspicious of the government, rejected consumerist values, and generally opposed the Vietnam War. A few were interested in politics; others were concerned more with art (music, painting, poetry in particular) or spiritual and meditative practices.[3]

Junction of Haight and Ashbury Streets, San Francisco, celebrated as the central location of the Summer of Love

Early 1967

Inspired by the Beat Generation of authors of the 1950s, who had flourished in the North Beach area of San Francisco, those who gathered in Haight-Ashbury during 1967 allegedly rejected the conformist and materialist values of modern life; there was an emphasis on sharing and community.[4] The Diggers established a Free Store, and a Free Clinic where medical treatment was provided.[5]

The prelude to the Summer of Love was a celebration known as the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967,[6] which was produced and organized by artist Michael Bowen.[7][8][9]

James Rado and Gerome Ragni were in attendance, allegedly helping to inspire their musical drama Hair. Rado recalled, "There was so much excitement in the streets and the parks and the hippie areas, and we thought `If we could transmit this excitement to the stage it would be wonderful....' We hung out with them and went to their Be-Ins [and] let our hair grow. It was very important historically, and if we hadn't written it, there'd not be any examples. You could read about it and see film clips, but you'd never experience it. We thought, 'This is happening in the streets,' and we wanted to bring it to the stage.'"

Also at this event, Timothy Leary voiced his phrase, "turn on, tune in, drop out".[10] This phrase became the chisel for shaping the entire hippie counterculture, as it voiced the key ideas of 1960's rebellion. These ideas included communal living, political decentralization, and dropping out. The term "dropping out" became popular among many high school and college students, who would often abandon their education for a summer of sex, drugs and rock n' roll.

The event was announced by the Haight-Ashbury's hippie newspaper, the San Francisco Oracle:

A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.[11]

The gathering of approximately 30,000 at the Human Be-In helped publicize hippie fashions.[12]

The term "Summer of Love" originated with the formation of the Council for the Summer of Love during the spring of 1967 as a response to the convergence of young people on the Haight-Ashbury district. The Council was composed of The Family Dog, The Straight Theatre, The Diggers, The San Francisco Oracle, and approximately twenty-five other people, who sought to alleviate some of the problems anticipated from the influx of people expected during the summer. The Council also assisted the Free Clinic and organized housing, food, sanitation, music and arts, along with maintaining coordination with local churches and other social groups.[13]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Summer of Love
العربية: صيف الحب
čeština: Léto lásky
español: Verano del Amor
français: Summer of Love
한국어: 사랑의 여름
italiano: Summer of Love
lietuvių: Summer of Love
Nederlands: Summer of Love
norsk nynorsk: Summer of Love
português: Verão do Amor
русский: Лето любви
Simple English: Summer of Love
slovenčina: Leto lásky
српски / srpski: Leto ljubavi
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Leto ljubavi
Türkçe: Aşk Yazı
Tiếng Việt: Mùa hè Tình yêu
中文: 愛之夏