Saturday, January 25, 2020

Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival - More of the Forgotten Festivals

The Doors
Revisionists will insist that Betsy Ross had nothing to do with anything, that Malcolm X was a compassionate humanitarian, and that Monterey Pop was not the first of the great rock festivals. Instead, despite the fact that it has slipped the collective mind, and to appease the contrarians, let the record show that the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival was held June 10th and 11th, 1967 at the Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre, high on the south face of Mount Tamalpais, Marin County, California, two full weeks before Monterey. Kicking off the Summer of Love, 36,000 people attended Fantasy Fair, the two-day concert and festival influenced by the popular Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Admission to the festival was a measly two bucks and all proceeds were donated to the Hunters Point Child Care Center in San Francisco. Fantasy Fair was originally scheduled for June 3rd and 4th, but was delayed due to inclement weather. 

Let it be known that nothing occurs in a vacuum and Fantasy Fair was the first of modern rock festivals (unless one includes [insert venue/event here]. Indeed it was a major and evolutionary gathering that featured The Doors, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Spanky and Our Gang, Captain Beefheart, The Seeds, The Grass Roots, Tim Buckley, Country Joe and the Fish and The 5th Dimension. [Several acts booked for the original dates were unable to perform, including the 13th Floor Elevators and Smoky Robinson.] The moral of the story, '67 was indeed sublime.

Admission to the festival was $2 and all proceeds were donated to nearby Hunter's Point Child Care Center in San Francisco. The Festival was originally scheduled for June 3rd and 4th but was rescheduled due to inclement weather. After enjoying a scenic ride up the mountain from points such as the Marin Civic Center and Mill Valley, a giant Buddha balloon greeted attendees when they arrived. Transportation was provided by "Trans Love Bus Lines."

The Official Program copy read: "A Benefit for the Hunters Point Child Care Centers - A gathering of beautiful things, created and collected by the artisians and craftsmen of Northern California, and represented by the exhibitors listed on the Fantasy Fair Map - a variety of "happenings." When you arrive at the Fantasy Fair, you will immediately surrounded by color and motion, the good vibrations of thousands of people flowing with the natural beauty of Mt. Tamalpais. The major happening is you, your feeling of good will, and your knowledge that the Fair and the Mountain are a part of you, therefore yours to enjoy. The woods and meadows are an open invitation to wander and enjoy yourself to the limits of your imagination. And because they are yours to enjoy, we hope that you will grove with the surroundings, doing everything you can to keep them in their natural state - For your enjoyment, The Fantasy Fair staff has prepared the Geodesic Dome Light Chamber. The Dome can accomadate 150 people per 8 minute show. We invite your participation in the wonders of the Dome, and ask that at the end of each show, you move out to make room for others waiting on line. You are also invited to enloy the giant slide, the tree swings (on the way to the valley of dancing), the vast assortment of strolling or sitting musicians (find many of them under trees or rocks), and other suprises prepared by Fantasy Fair volunteers for your pleasure and participation - Music will be performed hourly in the Amphitheatre from 8am until 6pm. We ask that after each performance the seats be cleared to make way for people that may be waiting for the next performance- The Fantasy Fair wishes to express extreme gratitude to the artists in the performing groups, who have graciously donated their valuable time and exceptional talents, and all the bands performing in the Valley of Dancing.

Those of you who have read Jay and the Americans know that I got lost amongst the crowd on the Magic Mountain. I was nine years old, a fledgling hippie.

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