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The 1960s Revisited: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

January 22, 2016 @ 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM


The 1960s Revisited kicks off on the exact 50th anniversary of one of the most celebrated events of the 1960s counterculture: The Trips Festival. Considered a watershed event in the history of San Francisco’s underground arts scene, the launch of the psychedelic 1960s era, and a pivotal event in the growth of the region’s technology industry, The Trips Festival was the first large convention (essentially a widely attended and publicized Acid Test) bringing together all the major Bay Area figures in rock ‘n roll, beat poetry, technology, experimental theater, dance, indie films, light show production, overhead visual projections, costume design, and of course Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters distributing LSD throughout the crowd. Virtually the entire local avant-garde was involved: Committee Theater, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Open Theater, and San Francisco Tape Music Center. Anna Halprin and the San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop participated in the Trips Festival.

Stewart Brand emerged from The Trips Festival as a countercultural entrepreneur, and it set forth Bill Graham’s legacy at the Fillmore (Brand conceived The Trips Festival, while Graham organized it with Kesey and Ramon Sender). The festival itself, which had an attendance of 6,000 people, was as Walter Isaacson says in his book Innovators, “a quintessential display of the fusion that shaped the personal computer era: technology, counterculture, entrepreneurship, gadgets, music, art and engineering…. From Stewart Brand to Steve Jobs, those ingredients fashioned a wave of Bay Area innovators who were comfortable at the interface of Silicon Valley and Haight-Ashbury….”


6:00 PM – Looking Back: The Dawn of the Grateful Dead 
Featuring Peter Richardson, Dennis McNally and Nicholas Meriwether
Many of the initial Grateful Dead performances were as the primary band for the Acid Tests, including at The Trips Festival. It’s well documented that the Dead went on to become one of the century’s most influential groups in rock history. With their shows operating more like social laboratories, fans and the band alike were on a collective musical and psychological crusade. The beginning days of the Dead will be the focus of this panel discussion featuring Peter Richardson, Dennis McNally and Nicholas Meriwether.

7:00 PM – Reception with special guests Stewart Brand and David Markoff
Join Peter Richardson, Dennis McNally, Nicholas Meriwether, Stewart Brand, David Markoff and many others at a special reception celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Trips Festival and the dawn of the 1960s. Enjoy craft cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and the incredible creations of Obscura Digital.


Obscura Digital
729 Tennessee Street
San Francisco, CA 941107 United States
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