Trips Festival Handbill
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Trips Festival Handbill

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TOUR/SHOW:
  • Trips Festival
Item Number:
  • LSH660121-HB
ARTIST:
DATE:
  • Jan 21, 1966 - Jan 23, 1966
VENUE:
SIZE:
  • 6 1/2" x 9 9/16"

If someone claims to remember all the details from the Trips Festival, the seminal event that put San Francisco smack in the center of psychedelia, he probably wasn't there: no one actually tripping or stripping [of which there was a lot] could possibly have been lucid enough to keep track. From January 21-23, 1966, the open-minded from all over converged at Longshoremen's Hall on Beach Street for a continuous loop of sensory overload that was advertised, promoted and managed like one might push a county fair. Back in the days before euphemisms ruled the land, what you saw was what you got, and a trip was what you got at this festival. Stewart Brand took a good idea and ran with it, putting together an extended Ken Kesey Acid Test that featured the Psychedelic Symphony, the Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company, the Hell's Angels, the Open Theatre and America Needs Indians [great idea, bad fit]. The Festival gave the word 'experience' a whole new meaning as music, readings, light shows, dancing, dress up, dress optional and fresh batches of whatever made you happy took over briefly in the Bay area. Bill Graham, who was just beginning to gain steam as a promoter, signed on as de facto organizer and almost lost his mind over the reigning chaos of the first 24 hours. The Trips Festival, however, proved to be Graham's 'initiation rite' into the emerging world of the dance concert which then became the rock concert.