Fantasy Fair Festival

Fantasy Fair Festival

Fantasy Fair Festival

June 10 – 11, 1967
Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre in Marin County, California
For the benefit of the Hunter’s Point Child Care Center
The Sons of Champlin, “Freedom” Recorded Live: 8/16/1968, San Francisco, CA

Whether the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969 was the greatest festival ever held is open to debate. Perhaps.

Whether it was the most important festival ever held?


Woodstock not the first

It certainly wasn’t the first rock festival. 

Indoor multi-day rock events began in the 50s, but it wasn’t until the late 60s that the multi-day outdoor rock festival, featuring more than just a series short sets by musicians playing their big hits, happened.

Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival

Usually the Monterey International Pop Music Festival gets the nod for being the first of the later type, but the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival occurred a week before. The line-up for the KFRC-sponsored event looks pretty good, too.

Day 1 (Saturday 10 June)

  • The Charlatans
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Rodger Collins
  • Dionne Warwick
  • The Doors
  • The Lamp of Childhood
  • Canned Heat
  • Jim Kweskin Jug Band
  • Spanky and Our Gang
  • Blackburn & Snow
  • The Sparrow
  • Every Mother’s Son
  • Kaleidoscope
  • The Chocolate Watchband
  • The Mojo Men
  • The Merry-Go-Round
 Day 2 (Sunday 11 June)

  • Sons of Champlin
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • The Byrds w/ Hugh Masekela
  • P. F. Sloan
  • Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band
  • The Seeds
  • The Grass Roots
  • The Loading Zone
  • Tim Buckley
  • Every Mother’s Son
  • Steve Miller Blues Band
  • Country Joe and the Fish
  • The 5th Dimension
  • The Lamp of Childhood
  • The Mystery Trend
  • Penny Nichols
  • The Merry-Go-Round
  • New Salvation Army Band

While I will admit ignorance of many of the names themselves and of those bands whose names I do recognize that I am not familiar with any of their particular songs of their

A few are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve underlined those who would play at Woodstock.

Fantasy Fair Festival

Little documentation

Unfortunately for the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival (and like so many other festivals), no worthwhile recordings of the music or the event apparently exist. There is a silent blurry hand-held camera film of the Doors performing (whose name does not appear on the poster), but little else.

There is an interesting connection between the Fantasy Fair and Woodstock. Mel Lawrence was Fantasy’s co-producer and he became Woodstock’s operation manager.

Fantasy Fair Festival
Mel Lawrence

Charitable festival

You will also have noticed that the event was for the benefit of the Hunter’s Point Child Care Center, thus preceding George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s Concert for Bangladesh by four years.

The Hells Angels “volunteered” to be security and with some reluctance the organizers approved their “request.” Fortunately, their presence worked out OK and without any incident. You can see some of their bikes parked in the following picture:

Fantasy Fair Magic Mountain Music Festival
Photo by Henry Diltz

Here is a link to a 2014 Rolling Stone magazine article on the event. RS interviewed many of the attendees, performers, and organizers

Drew Willis

Drew Willis via Facebook:  I still have the flyer, map, that was given out. Lists all of the performers with a layout of the surrounding attractions up there on Tam.

Fantasy Fair Festival

2 thoughts on “Fantasy Fair Festival”

  1. I’m not exactly sure but I understand that the Hell’s Angels did security at a number of venues including at least one of Kesey’s acid tests.
    They carry a mean and sometimes frightening reputation and deservedly so. However I do believe that they as a group have gotten a bad rap (to a degree), or perhaps as a result of that reputation.
    They were friends and got along without incident with Kesey, Garcia & the Grateful Dead, Owsley and Janis Joplin just to name a few.
    Janis at one time went and screamed at the head guy for allowing some of the boys who at the time were allowed to go to her house (in Larkspur), at any time, to eat and drink everything and then leave. A few days later the house was restocked. Hardly the sort of thing that a group of compete thugs would do.
    They volunteered the entire bike brigade during World war II, and it was my understanding that the fellow who got killed during the Stones free concert had first brandished a knife and tried to rush the stage. He was stopped and told to leave, he refused and was then escorted out. He then returned with a gun and was promptly put down …… for keeps.
    I could be mistaken and I might have some of the details out of sequence, but I remember reading this rendition somewhere and it all made sense. Even at Woodstock, they had their black shirt group that was big, strong and packed just in case.
    Outside of my comments here, I loved the article. You do great work thanks.

    1. It’s always important to hear more because more often means stuff we had forgotten or just didn’t know. Levels the playing field, as they say. Thanks for all your contributions, Paul, as always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.