The Monterey Pop Festival attracted people of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. 1967 was a time so rich and full of change, in which people responded to something familiar, something old, that rang true, and called one to join in as surely as any Pied Piper ever did. I see it as an "ecotone," that space, not unlike where ocean meets land, that breeds new life from the mix of elements.
The Festival was held on the Monterey Fair Grounds, and the Fairway became a market for handcrafted items essential to hippie life: beads, paraphernalia, leather and natural fiber clothing, etc. It was also a place were recycling was already taking place, and free food was generously offered.
This woman is seemingly at peace on her small patch of grass in the middle of the crowd on the grounds of a the Monterey International Pop Festival. Her costume speaks to the turning point of dress during the late '60's: fishnet stockings and high heels, with beads, and a fringed tunic. Notice the moccasins, pointed toe lace-ups and bare feet around her. What one wore was indeed an expression of ones self, and beliefs and less about the dictates of the fashion world. Corduroy and comfort were definitely "in."
"Techies," "Geeks," and "Nerds," before we had the name!
Amidst all the latest and best sound equipment available in '67, you can see curiosity in a cross section of those who were sharing the same experience, and trying to figure out what it all meant. Some men still wore suits with pencil thin ties, safely tacked down. Some women wore "Mod" hairstyles and harlequin glasses. At times, there was standing room only in the galleries.
"Music, Love and Flowers," was the theme for the Festival.
The flowers showed up on Sunday afternoon. Here, a woman named Leslie, and a friend are seen joyfully tossing live orchid blossoms into the Press Area and the audience prior to Ravi Shankar's performance. Many blossoms instantly became hair ornaments, and vehicles for meditation and/or tripping.
This man chose to sit in the dirt that was strewn with refuse during Ravi Shankar's performance. He seemed to be in his own world, cradling one of the orchids in his hand. He was undisturbed by fellow audience members.
Police trying to figure out if any laws were being broken by the people on the grass
Those sitting on the grass were seemingly unperturbed by the scrutiny. The woman continued to massage her friend's head, and the others continued their conversation, and seemed somewhat bemused by the situation.
The town was full of attendees, and even the Motels. Note the marquee offering "Pop Rooms," and $2 parking.
Cops patrolling the fair grounds
As you can see, the police presence was very apparent, prepared for "anything." What was happening, was often invisible to the eye, and what they were afraid of, unrest or rioting, was the farthest thing from our minds.
The bumper sticker on this Cadillac struck my eye: Your Police Serve and Protect You. It seemed rather ironic in the face of all the protests of the Sixties, and the now infamous police response to protestors.