Sixth Big Sur Folk Festival

Sixth Big Sur Folk Festival

September 14 – 15, 1969

Sixth Big Sur Folk Festival

Low key

The Big Sur festivals were never meant to be like a Woodstock or even a Monterey. The first Big Sur festival was in 1964. Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in California and some say the world. 

 When asked how to get there, a sensible response is, "You can't get there from here."

The festivals became a place as much for the artists as any attendees who managed to get in. And the stage and seating were basically at the same level, guests often sitting around the stage.

Sixth Big Sur Folk Festival

Such an approach did not mean that the performers were unknown. In fact, most were quite well-known. The line-up for 1969 demonstrated that. Keep in mind that the artists, in addition to doing their own sets, joined each other as well.
Sixth Big Sur Festival
Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, John Sebastian, Steve Stills and Joan Baez performing at the Big Sur Folk Festival, California, 1969, from the documentary “Celebration at Big Sur” directed by Johanna Demetrakas. 20th Century Fox/Getty
 
  • Joan Baez
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • John Sebastian
  • Johanna Demetrakas
  • Dorothy Morrison & the Edwin Hawkins Singers
  • Mimi Fariña
  • Julie Payne
  • Ruthann Friedman
  • Carol Ann Cisneros
  • The Comb Sisters
  • Chris Ethridge
  • Flying Burrito Brothers
  • Struggle Mountain Resistance Band

Celebration at Big Sur

Like the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival the same weekend and Woodstock a few weeks before, filming occurred allowing us today to view the differences between a Woodstock v a Monterey v a Big Sur v an Altamont.

Only 10 to 15 thousand people attended and Rolling Stone magazine later reported that "Everyone performed without charge. Some of the best batiks ever made decorated the spongy Esalen lawn. Children danced. Conga drummers gathered to pound the earth. A flower bed was destroyed, but the audience cleaned the trash from the grounds. The hundreds who hadn't money to get in lined the highway on top of the hill, and didn't crash the gates – even though there were no "gates."


Here is a link to the several Big Sur festivals.

A Rolling Stone magazine link about this festival. Jerry Hopkins wrote in his articles last paragraphs: 

Everyone performed without charge. Some of the best batiks ever made decorated the spongy Esalen lawn. Children danced. Conga drummers gathered to pound the earth. A flower bed was destroyed, but the audience cleaned the trash from the grounds. The hundreds who hadn't money to get in lined the highway on top of the hill, and didn't crash the gates – even though there were no "gates."

"I finally figured out the difference between this and a love-in," someone said Sunday. "Four dollars."
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One thought on “Sixth Big Sur Folk Festival”

  1. Very cool. I think it is the first time I saw Mimi’s name listed on a concert ad.
    Not that it hasn’t many times it’s just I haven’t seen it till now.

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