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Playpower: the 60s counter-culture and the Summer of Love

20 June 2017 | 16:00 - 22:00

As part of a series of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Portsmouth Guildhall will host Playpower: the 60s counter-culture and the Summer of Love this June, as a part of the Portsmouth Festivities.

The evening marks the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival and Summer of Love, and will include performances from Bruce Barthol and Scarlet Town, a book launch of Autumn of Love by Dave Allen, the launch of Portsmouth’s Psychedelic Summers exhibition inside Portsmouth Music Experience, and extracts from a 1960s documentary by Nigel Grundy.

All welcome, free entry.

Country Joe & The Fish 1967

The event marks the Tuesday immediately following the 50th anniversary of the legendary Monterey Pop Festival, with notable performers such as Hendrix, Joplin, Who, Otis R, Shankar – and Bruce Barthol with Country Joe & the Fish.

Dave Allen will also be doing a Q&A with Bruce about the San Francisco Summer of Love and the Festival.

The film documentary focuses on interviews with local people from the time and the popular music scene in Portsmouth, from the arrival of rock & roll in 1956 through the 1960s and ending with early 1970s events.

In addition, the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries will be exhibiting student work inspired by the Summer of Love in the Freda Swain Room. (Interested in submitting? Check out the link here for details.) From September, the space will host an exhibition about the Summer of Love and 1967.

Dave says that he’s excited to be taking part in the events, and that working with the University of Portsmouth, Eldon Building and the city’s Art College history is key.

“The Summer of Love and counterculture has been heavily documented almost exclusively in terms of San Francisco and London,” he explains. “The idea that nothing happens in provinces is simply not true.”

Dave discusses the importance of Portsmouth and the time period to him in anticipation of the launch of Autumn of Love, published by Moyhill, which will take place in the Harlequin Room at the start of the evening.

“The Summer of Love has gone,” he explains. “But I don’t think it ever died. Some of the ideas and practises are as powerful now as they ever were, but we have a much more mature view of what it’s all about – and that’s much more than rock and roll.”

Dave explains that although many suggest the movement inspired by the Summer of Love collapsed by the early 70’s, the changes and attitudes that people encountered, including new ideas such as the ecology movement and alternate approaches to spirituality, are still having an effect today.

“Ultimately,” concludes Dave. “I want to say that it never finished.”


Article by Jaelithe Swan






20 June 2017
16:00 - 22:00
Event Category:


Portsmouth Guildhall
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2AB United Kingdom
023 9387 0200

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