Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_Fair_and_Magic_Mountain_Music_Festival

Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival
Festival ad with scheduled performers
GenrePop music, Rock music
DatesJune 10–11, 1967
Location(s)Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre in
Marin County, California
Years active1967
Founded byKFRC 610 / Tom Rounds[1]

The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival was an event held June 10 and 11, 1967, at the 4,000-seat Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre high on the south face of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. Although 20,000 tickets were reported to have been sold for the event, as many as 40,000 people may have actually attended the two-day concert, which was the first of a series of San Francisco–area cultural events known as the Summer of Love.[1] The Fantasy Fair was influenced by the popular Renaissance Pleasure Faire and became a prototype for large scale multi-act outdoor rock music events now known as rock festivals.[2][3][4]


Spencer Dryden, Marty Balin and Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane performing at the Fantasy Fair
The Doors on the main stage

The organizers chartered school buses to shuttle attendees and musicians up the mountain from Mill Valley, as Panoramic Highway had been closed to traffic. Those who missed the bus could catch a ride on the back of one of the Hells Angels’ Harleys.[5] Admission to the festival was $2.00 and all proceeds were donated to the nearby Hunters Point Child Care Center in San Francisco. The Fantasy Fair was originally scheduled for June 3 and 4 as a benefit for the center, but was delayed one week by inclement weather. Several acts booked for the original dates were unable to perform.[6]

KFRC 610, the RKO Bill Drake "Boss Radio" Top 40 AM station in San Francisco, had significant influence in the music industry among both counterculture and commercial acts. This enabled festival organizer Tom Rounds, KFRC's program director, to present a colorful and eclectic line-up of popular musicians from both in and outside the region. Canned Heat, Dionne Warwick, Every Mother's Son, The Merry-Go-Round, The Mojo Men, P. F. Sloan, The Seeds, Country Joe and the Fish, Captain Beefheart, The Byrds with Hugh Masekela on trumpet, Tim Buckley, The Sparrows, The Grass Roots, The Loading Zone, The 5th Dimension and Jefferson Airplane were among the performers who appeared.[6] The Fantasy Fair was also The Doors' first large show and happened during the rise of the group's first major hit, "Light My Fire", to the top of the charts.[7]

Among posters created for the event was one designed by artist Stanley Mouse, then gaining acclaim for poster-art created for Bill Graham, the Fillmore Auditorium and Grateful Dead.

"we did this bus thing where we parked everybody down in Marin County in various parking lots and bussed them up the mountain."
- Mel Lawrence (Fantasy Fair co-producer, later, Woodstock's operations manager)[8]

"There were school buses going up and down the mountainside. There's nothing like driving down the center line on a motorcycle with a bus going one way and a bus going the other way and a foot of clearance on either side."
- Barry "The Fish" Melton (Country Joe and the Fish)[8]

"I had my guitar in my hand and there was no way to drive up to the stage. So I'm walking and walking and going, "If I planned on going on a hike, I probably would've worn different shoes." I walked all the way up."
- Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane)[8][9]

After waiting hours[9] for a ride up the mountain from embarkation points at the Marin County Civic Center, Mill Valley and other locations, attendees were greeted by a giant Buddha balloon when they arrived at the amphitheater. Transportation was provided by the tongue-in-cheek-named "Trans-Love Bus Lines", a variation of the line "Fly Trans Love Airways, get you there on time" from the lyrics to Donovan's song "Fat Angel". Performances were on a main stage and a smaller second stage. Various art-fair type vendors sold posters, crafts and refreshments from booths scattered in the woods around the amphitheater. The festival included a large geodesic dome of pipes and fittings covered with black plastic that contained a light and sound show.[10][11][12]

The Lamp of Childhood plays while a stagehand attends to a backdrop banner
One of the craft booths at the fair

The Magic Mountain Music Festival was favorably reviewed for safety in contemporary press accounts.[13][14][15][16][17] Fights or disturbances were not an issue, and at the end of the day, trash was placed in or next to the garbage cans provided, and the crowd left Mount Tamalpais as they had found it.[18][19][20]


In a foreshadowing of dark events to come at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert, this festival was rumored to be the first to employ Hells Angels motorcycle club members as security guards. While they were not officially hired by organizers, the group acted as de facto security for the event.[8]

To some commentators, the festival represented a sea change in musical preferences among young Bay Area radio listeners as the hippie culture fully arose in mid-1967. Alec Palao and Jud Cost chronicled the San Francisco mid-sixties era music scene in 1991 in their magazine Cream Puff War #1. Writing about the weeks surrounding the Fantasy Fair, Cost noted that "the dichotomy in Bay Area music was never so evident, as the self-proclaimed "adult" scene separated itself from the "teen/pop" scenes."[21] Scram Magazine juxtaposed that view with pioneer rock magazine editor Greg Shaw's recollection that the rift between the tastes of teens and adults didn't form until later, after the freeform radio style then being established by Tom Donahue fully emerged in the fall of 1967.[22] A review of the bands that played indicates that most were groups that played the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms and were part of the psychedelic rock scene at the time.

While the highly documented Monterey International Pop Festival continues to be remembered as the seminal event of the 1967 Summer of Love, the KFRC Festival took place one week before Monterey and is considered to have been America's - if not the world's - first rock festival.[2][18][23][24][25][26][27]


Saturday, June 10[edit]

Sunday, June 11[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shannon, Bob (2009). Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946–1996. austrianmonk publishing. p. 310. ISBN 978-1-61584-545-3. OCLC 496123438. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Hopkins, Jerry (1970). Festival! The Book of American Music Celebrations. New York: Macmillan Company. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-02-061950-5. OCLC 84588.
  3. ^ McKay, George (2000). Glastonbury: A Very English Fair. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 978-0-575-06807-0. OCLC 47777589.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Marin's Summer of Love - Marin Magazine - June 2017 - Marin County, California". Marinmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2019-02-25. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  6. ^ a b Lomas, Mark. "Fantasy Fair & Magic Mountain Music Festival". Marin History. Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2011. Note: some reports and omissions from lists confirm that Moby Grape, Wilson Pickett, 13th Floor Elevators and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, although appearing on the printed program, did not play the rescheduled event.
  7. ^ Burrowes, Monica Dione (2010). Get together: the history of rock and roll in Marin County and the Marin History Museum's "Marin rocks" exhibition (PDF). Sacramento: California State University, Sacramento. p. 27. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d The Untold and Deeply Stoned Story of the First U.S. Rock Festival, by Jason Newman. Rolling Stone, June 17, 2014
  9. ^ a b "KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival". San Francisco Chronicle. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  10. ^ "She Photographed Jimi Hendrix Without Knowing His Name". KQED. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  11. ^ Levine, Kyle (25 February 2017). "Midnight Cafe". Xiphias Press – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Gallery - Magic Mountain". Sound Summit. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  13. ^ Kearney, John F. (June 10, 1967). "Mount Tam—It's Another World". Marin Independent Journal. pp. 1, 3.
  14. ^ "Hippies Get Bouquet for Good Behavior". Marin Independent Journal. June 12, 1967. pp. 1, 6.
  15. ^ Shearer, Alan (June 14, 1967). "Joyous Happening". Mill Valley Record.
  16. ^ "Old Tam Rocks and Rolls". San Francisco Chronicle. June 11, 1967.
  17. ^ Zane, Maitland (June 12, 1967). "Bash on Mt. Tam". San Francisco Chronicle.
  18. ^ a b Nicholson, John (May 2009). "A History of Rock Festivals". Rock Solid Music Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  19. ^ "Summer of Love Conference 2017 – Revisiting the Summer of Love, Rethinking the Counterculture: A Conference on the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love". Engage.northwestern.edu.
  20. ^ "1967 Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival". Steve Hoffman Music Forums. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  21. ^ Cost, Jud and Palao, Eric (January 1991). "Vejtables and the Mojo Men". Cream Puff War. Santa Clara, California (1): 17.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  22. ^ Liebler, Ted. "The Last Boss Summer: the KFRC Fantasy Fair". Scram #16. Scram Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  23. ^ Mankin, Bill. We Can All Join In: How Rock Festivals Helped Change America Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine. Like the Dew. 2012.
  24. ^ Santelli, Robert. Aquarius Rising - The Rock Festival Years. 1980. Dell Publishing Co., Inc. Pg. 16.
  25. ^ Lang, Michael (2009-06-30). The Road to Woodstock (p. 58). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
  26. ^ Browne, David. (2014-06-05). "The Birth of the Rock Fest". Rolling Stone.
  27. ^ Kubernik, Harvey and Kubernik, Kenneth. A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival. 2011. Santa Monica Press LLC. Pg. 54.
  28. ^ "Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival 1967 Setlists". setlist.fm.
  29. ^ "Scholars gather to discuss counterculture, Summer of Love - Northwestern Now". news.northwestern.edu.
  30. ^ "Relive the Summer of Love in Marin County - Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau 2022". Marin County Convention and Visitors Bureau 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  31. ^ "Rare Polaroid Photos of The Doors Performing at Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in 1967". Shootingfilm.net.
  32. ^ Morrison Moon (24 March 2015). "The Doors - Fantasy Fair And Magic Mountain Music Festival Tamalpais, Junio 10 de 1967". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21 – via YouTube.
  33. ^ "The Doors - Tamalpais Mountain Theater 1967". mildequator.com.
  34. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "The Doors- Fantasy faire & Magical Music festival. 1967". YouTube.
  35. ^ "Jim Morrison, The Doors, Mill Valley CA Fantasy Fair, 1967, by…". Glamrock.blognook.com. 24 September 2017.
  36. ^ "Jim Morrison, Fantasy Fair, Mill Valley, CA, 1967". Morrisonhotelgallery.com.
  37. ^ "Interview with Elaine Mayes, Photographer and Educator". Petapixel.com. 15 October 2013.
  38. ^ "Jim Morrison Fine Art Print from Mt. Tamalpais Amphitheater, Jun 10, 1967 - Wolfgang's". Wolfgangs.com.
  39. ^ "Sound file" (MP3). Cpa.ds.npr.org. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  40. ^ "Interview: Halimah The Dreamah in the Summer of Love". Khsu.org.
  41. ^ Eliopulo, James (29 April 2012). "Part Two of THE LOS ANGELES BEAT Interview With Emitt Rhodes". Thelosangelesbeat.coms. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  42. ^ "Hugh Masekela @ The 1967 Magic Mountain Music Festival". Samakamusic.blogspot.ca.
  43. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). 3.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2 April 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°54′45″N 122°36′30″W / 37.91258°N 122.60844°W / 37.91258; -122.60844