The Monterey Pop Festival has been immortalized in various songs, the most famous being Monterey by Eric Burden and the Animals. The festival was supposed to be the first of a yearly ongoing event. Unfortunately, it became just a singular phenomenon in 1967.
It took place over three days, June 16 to June 18, 1967. Crowds have been cited to be as high as 25,000, although this may not be accurate. The performance arena had a festival capacity of 7,000, but it was estimated that 8,500 jammed into it for Saturday night’s show. The remaining throng huddled outside the arena. Attendees were required to have either an all-festival ticket or a separate ticket for each of the five scheduled concerts they wanted to attend. Ticket prices ranged from $3.00 to $6.50. It was here that Jimi Hendrix made his first major American appearance (he was better known in England, ironically), as well as the first major appearances by Janis Joplin, The Who and Otis Redding.
Original co-founders were record producer Lou Adler and John and Michelle Philips of the Mamas and Papas. Truth is it wasn’t organized too well (they were performers, after all), but a sensational music documentary by D.A. Pennebaker was released in 1968, and the event served as the template for future festivals, including Woodstock.
Some video links: