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Friday 24th August 2007, Opening 7pm
"Summer of love"
@SouthBohemia Gallery, Smithdown Road, Liverpool
Featuring Marjana Wjasnova, David Hinnebusch, Joseph Brown, Daiva Gauryte, Nicole Bartos, plus others.
The Summer of Love was the summer of 1967, particularly in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, where thousands of young people loosely and freely united for a new social experience. As a result, the hippie counterculture movement came into public awareness.
The beginning of the Summer of Love has popularly been attributed to the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967. The size of that event awakened mass media to the hippie counterculture that was blossoming in the Haight-Ashbury. The movement was fed by the counterculture's own media, particularly The San Francisco Oracle, whose pass-around readership topped a half-million at its peak that year. The grassroots street theater/activism of The Diggers also garnered media attention.
College and high school students began streaming into the Haight on their spring break of 1967. City government leaders, determined to stop the influx of young people once schools let out for summer, brought added attention to the scene. An ongoing series of articles in local papers alerted national media to the hippies' growing momentum. That spring, Haight community leaders responded by forming the Council of the Summer of Love, giving the word-of-mouth event an official-sounding name
John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas took 20 minutes to write the following lyrics for the song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)": If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair... If you're going to San Francisco, Summertime will be a love-in there".
Scott McKenzie's recording of the song was released in May 1967. The song was designed originally to promote the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, the world's first major rock festival, which was attended by over 200,000 people. "San Francisco" became an instant hit (#4 in the U. S., #1 in the U.K.) and quickly transcended its original purpose.
Album cover, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandThe evolution of The Beatles and their music also contributed to the global impact of the Summer of Love. The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on June 1, 1967, in Europe and two days later in the U.S. With its psychedelic influences, Indian instrumentals, vivid album cover and drug references, it encapsulated the very essence of the Summer of Love.
The Beatles had moved beyond their "moptop" era, and on June 25, 1967, their song "All You Need Is Love" was heard around the world as part of the "Our World" radio broadcast, further emphasizing the countercultural ideals of love, freedom, and unity.
The South Bohemia Art Gallery, 196 Smithdown Road, Liverpool
Merseyside, L15 5JT, UK
(Director of South Bohemia Art Gallery)