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Monday, June 19, 2017

Can Festival 50 Years Later Recapture the Feeling of Monterey Pop?

When Norah Jones considers why she wanted to participate in the 50th anniversary revival of the Monterey International Pop Festival ­– the prototype for everything from Woodstock to Coachella – she gives an answer that sounds like something a hippie would have said a half-century ago: "It just sounded like a really good energy."

The original Monterey Pop festival – which featured Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, the Who and Jones' father, Ravi Shankar, among countless others – took place from June 16th through 18th, 1967, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, on a stage that bore the words "Music, Love and Flowers." It drew approximately 50,000 fans each day yet there were no arrests. 

The sequel is taking place this weekend on the exact same dates and in the same place but with a lineup that features both Monterey newcomers – Jones, Jack Johnson, Leon Bridges – and some returning performers, including the Grateful Dead's Phil LeshBooker T. Jones (who backed up Redding with his group, the M.G.'s) and Eric Burdon.

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