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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Monterey Pop Changed The Face of Music Forever


While there’s no denying the Woodstock festival’s epochal place in the narrative of rock ‘n’ roll, the Monterey Pop Festival is the one that really altered the way pop culture worked from then on out. In 1967, Monterey Pop represented a beginning for the hippie dream, and two years later, Woodstock ended up being more of a glorious elegy for the waning Aquarian era.

The first real rock festival, the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in Marin County, actually occurred a week before Monterey on June 10-11, 1967, with an equally impressive lineup. But it was the three-day Monterey fest — which kicked off on June 16 — that really caught the public’s imagination and became a catalyst for the rise of “underground” youth culture even as it definitively established rock as a medium worthy of adult treatment. At the same time, it served notice that the counterculture constituted a mass audience that could spell big money for the music biz on an unprecedented level. The 1968 documentary of the festival had more than a little to do with the mainstreaming of that notion.

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