This marks a big anniversary of the legendary season in 1967 when throngs of American youth descended on San Francisco to join a cultural revolution.
The “Summer of Love” is way over the hill, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a party.
It’s been 50 years since the summer of 1967, when San Francisco became the cultural vortex of a young people’s movement powered by psychedelic drugs, war protests, rock ’n’ roll, flower power and free love.
The disillusioned, the free spirited, the dispossessed and just-plain-bored came from across the continent to, in the immortal words of Timothy Leary, “turn on, tune in, drop out” — and mix with rock ’n’ roll icons ranging from Janis Joplin to the Grateful Dead (both of whom had homes in the city’s hippie-dippie Haight-Ashbury District).
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This summer, San Francisco pays homage to that season that helped shape the Left Coast. There are special museum exhibitions, dazzling light shows, tours and concerts:
Conservatory of Flowers Summer of Love light installation: Nightly through Oct. 21, see a light-art installation that uses Gobo projectors to transform the all-white landmark, a gem of Victorian architecture, with a series of scenes inspired by the tropical flowers within and the legacy of San Francisco’s flower children: spinning flower mandalas, animated butterflies and more. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, free; conservatoryofflowers.org.
• “On the Road to the Summer of Love,” continuing through Sept. 24 at California Historical Society Gallery, explains how that epic summer came about and why San Francisco was its inevitable home. Includes 100 photographs, some never seen publicly, that trace San Francisco’s contrarian roots to the Beat poets of the 1950s, followed by civil rights demonstrations and the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1960s; 678 Mission St., San Francisco; $5, californiahistoricalsociety.org
• “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll” continues through Aug. 20, 2017, at San Francisco’s de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. There’s a psychedelic light show, a 1960s soundtrack and galleries with iconic concert posters, classic photographs and hippie chic fashions worn by Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia and others; $10-$25, deyoung.famsf.org
• “Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love” continues through Sept. 29 at GLBT Historical Society Museum, with a look at the pivotal roles of gay poet Allen Ginsberg, gay filmmaker Kenneth Anger, bisexual philosopher Gavin Arthur and bisexual rock star Janis Joplin; 4127 18th St., San Francisco; $5, glbthistory.org.
• “Love or Confusion: Jimi Hendrix in 1967,” a collection of photos taken of Hendrix in that year, continues through Aug. 27 at the Museum of the African Diaspora, 680 Mission St., San Francisco; $5-$10, moadsf.org.
A project of the city’s Antenna Theater group, the colorfully painted, hippie-style Magic Bus is outfitted with a sound system, video projectors and a machine that blows bubbles out the back. Every passenger gets a flower for their hair and a hippie button. At times screens lower over the windows turning the bus into a moving movie theater that shows documentary footage of San Francisco’s Summer of Love; 2½-hour tour of the city, with stop at Golden Gate Park; $65-$70; magicbussf.com.
Dances and concerts
• Summer of Love Dance, July 15, with Electric Headband, a revival of San Francisco’s most popular bands of the 1960s; Presidio Officers Club, 50 Moraga Ave., San Francisco; free; presidio.gov/events/summer-of-love-dance-2017
• “The San Francisco Sound,” a multimedia musical history tour with Joan Baez heading a cast of young Bay Area singers putting a “fresh new sheen on great old songs” by the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and more; July 22, Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., San Francisco; $49.99-$67.00; summerof.love/event/san-francisco-sound
• Jerry Day: Civic and cultural event and concert celebrating San Francisco native son Jerry Garcia, the late leader of the Grateful Dead; Aug. 6, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, San Francisco; free; jerryday.org.
“Flower Power,” an original exhibition of pan-Asian artworks that reveal the hidden histories and multilayered meanings of florals across cultures, through Oct. 1, Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco; $20-$25, asianart.org.
More information online: