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The American Century

Monterey Pop Festival

Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” became the song that really started off the Summer of Love by enticing people to come to the Monterey Pop Festival. The festival attracted exactly the type of people that were drawn to the Summer of Love, and people flocked to it in masses. The music of the time was seen as a conduit for the creative expression of the oppressed youths who were rebelling against the establishment. For these people, the opportunity to come to California to see popular artists such as McKenzie, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Mamas & The Papas, and many more was incredibly enticing. People came to Monterey in masses and when it was over, they migrated north to San Francisco and its Haight-Ashbury district, where the Summer of Love exploded.

 Scott McKenzie - San Francisco

"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" by Scott McKenzie was released on May 13th, 1967 as a sort of promotion for the upcoming Monterey Pop Festival that was held about a month later in the San Francisco area. The festival was seen as the kickoff point of the Summer of Love centralized in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The song describes how there is a new generation of people (the baby boomers) who are coming of age and hold fundamentally different beliefs than those of their parents and the established society. “San Francisco” is a message of peace, as McKenzie tells those people who are coming to the city to wear flowers in their hair.

Monterey Pop Festival