A vintage, authentic Trips Festival concert poster printed up to advertise this important weekend event at San Francisco’s Longshoremen’s Hall on January 21, 22 & 23, 1966.
Bill Graham was the coordinating producer for this event, but it’s funny to notice how tiny his credit is on this Trips Festival broadside… he’s credited in the smallest print on the poster, bottom center in the “Festival Credits” section.
From a design standpoint, it’s interesting to note how graphic artist Peter Bailey left so much empty space in the upper left portion of his Trips Festival show poster, instead of filling it with all the day-by-day performer credits.
And from a texture standpoint, this Trips Festival billboard was constructed of light card stock, and flexes easily. You might say it falls somewhere between a paper poster and one made of stiff cardboard.
This is essentially a black & white Trips Festival window display with only one real color added to the mix, the yellow-green hue. But designer Bailey used it to great effect to create a striking piece that definitely looks colorful.
Designer Bailey, BTW, is the same graphic artist who also designed BG-1, the poster for Bill Graham’s first official weekend of concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium just two weeks after this.
In collector’s circles, concert posters sometimes pick up nicknames over the years, so that they can be referred to with just a couple of words. In this case, the Trips Festival concert placard could offhandedly be referred to as the “solar eclipse poster,” or even more succinctly, the “eclipse poster” or “solar poster.”
This Trips Festival show placard is very “wordy,” but nonetheless, what follows is the complete wording found on it:
TRIPS FESTIVAL – JAN 21, 22, 23
Friday, January 21 – DOUBLE BILL – 8-12 P.M. $2 – Master of Ceremonies: Ben Jacopetti
AMERICA NEEDS INDIANS – Sensorium 9. By Stewart Brand and Zach Stewart. 600 slides, 2 movies, 4 sound tracks, flowers, food, rock ’n’ roll, Eagle Bone Whistle, Thunderstorm, live Cheyenne Tipi, Chippewas, Senecas, Papagoes, Wascoes, Navahoes, Hopi, Ponca, Ottowa, Cherokee, Sioux, Blackfeet, Tlingit, Makah, Pomo and Miwuk, plus anthropologists.
& OPEN THEATER – “Revelations!” (nude projections), The God Box (zot!), The Congress of Wonders, Aimee Semple MacPherson sermon, masturbation sermon 1848, The Jazz Mice, Beatle readings, projections, The Endless Explosion, Ben and Rain, Steve Fowler, Amanda Foulger… and the ineluctable, evanescent & unexpectable.
Saturday, January 22 – DOUBLE BILL – 8-12 P.M. $2 – Master of Ceremonies: Ken Kesey
“OPTIONS AND CONTRACTS” by members of the S.F. Tape Music Center and Canyon Cinema – Ramon Sender, Anthony Martin, Don Buchla, Bruce Baillie, Bill Maginnis, movies, thundering elephants, real people with Big Brother and the Holding Company rock ’n’ roll [only their 2nd gig ever, way before Janis Joplin joined them], modulated guitar, sound-light console, overhead projection… and the unexpectable.
& “THE ACID TEST” – the Merry Band of Pranksters and their psychedelic symphony, Neal Cassady vs. Ann Murphy vaudeville, The Grateful Dead rock ’n’ roll [only weeks after changing their name from The Warlocks], Allen Ginsberg, Roy’s Audioptics, movies, Ron Boise & His Electric Thunder Sculpture, the bus [Kesey’s famous Pranksters bus], the Hell’s Angels, many noted outlaws… and the unexpectable.
Sunday, January 23 – CYCLOTRON, 8-12 P.M. $2 – Master of Ceremonies: Pinball Machine
HIGH ENERGY EXPERIMENTS will be conducted by [get ready for lots of ampersands] America Needs Indians & Open Theater & S.F. Tape Music Center & Canyon Cinema & The Merry Pranksters & illustrious movie makers & Gordon Ashby (Light Matrix) & Henry Jacobs (Air Dome Projections) & Don Buchla & Osborne and Stewart & The Grateful Dead & The Holding Company [interesting how “Big Brother” was omitted here] & The Stroboscopic Trampoline & many others still being assembled.
The audience is invited to wear ecstatic dress. Bring your own toys – programmed public AC outlets provided.
LONGSHOREMEN’S HALL with brand new sound system at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. Information: 392-5489. Tickets: $2 per evening or $5 per 3 evenings. Tickets at: ASUC or Campus Records Berkeley, Hut-T-1 San Francisco State, City Lights Books, and at the door.
FESTIVAL CREDITS – Produced in association with Bill Graham. Publicity: Jerry Mander/Zev Putterman & Associates. Sound-Light coordination: Don Buchla.
[And in the upper left-hand corner, in small print] – Poster by Peter Bailey: East Wind Printers
It’s interesting to note how this Trips Festival placard is laid out horizontally, because most posters back then were designed to be seen vertically, making them perhaps more conducive to posting in store windows and on telephone poles/lamp posts.
If you’re a S.F. music-memorabilia collector like me, there are actually three advertising pieces you can collect for this all-important weekend: this Trips Festival event poster plus two different fliers, one put out by Bill Graham and the other designed by the well-known Wes Wilson, who would go on to great heights in Bay-Area poster design.
Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but this Trips Festival ticket poster is desired by collectors because the three-day event is seen by pop culture historians as an important cultural touchstone for the generation which came of age in the Sixties.
This Trips Festival display sign is shown off and discussed by California collector Pete Howard (805-540-0020 or firstname.lastname@example.org). And as a serious collector, I will pay TOP DOLLAR, simply the best price anywhere, for this Trips Festival poster or either handbill, and likewise any early, seminal San Francisco hippie-culture rock ’n’ roll memorabilia.
To see a few more important psychedelic concert-poster renditions, just click over to this page right here on my web site: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm