A half-century later, revisit the Summer of Love at Royal Albert Hall
A half-century later, revisit the Summer of Love at the Royal Albert Hall
It has been 50 years since the world celebrated (and in some corners, reviled) the counterculture Summer of Love, defined by its music, clothing and spirit of free love and peace.
London was at the epicenter of this phenomenon, and the Royal Albert Hall (“now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall,” sang the Beatles on Sgt. Pepper) played a significant role.
From 18-21 May, the landmark will host Sixties at the Hall Tours, with guides exploring epic performances by The Beatles and Rolling Stones on the same night, Cream’s farewell concert, Bob Dylan’s transformation, Pink Floyd headlining a comedy night, concerts by acts from The Who to Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Inventions and such signature Sixties events as a Mini-Skirt Ball.
Arthur Brown (of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown) described the Hall’s significance in the decade as “helping rock music to be seen as something cultural…the Hall has a different atmosphere than a club; it’s more like a Roman or Greek theatre and a magnificent one at that. Obviously it’s a very prestigious venue so there was a sense of occasion. To a certain extent it was being caught up in the dreams of the people who were behind the scenes, dreaming that this music that they loved was gonna become the classical music of its day — and rightly, it must appear in one of the homes of classical music.”
Another delicious bit of history involved The Beatles “Day in the Life,” when the Albert Hall management formally objected in 1967 to the venue’s mention in the now-iconic song, saying it damaged the image of the venerable Hall. You can read more here.
To hear behind the scenes stories of a compelling era on the tour, online booking is recommended for lower prices. A two-course dinner reservation at the Café Bar and Verdi Italian Restaurant at the Hall may be combined with the tour. Participants also receive a discount at the Gift Shop.
The Royal Albert Hall is just minutes away from Nell Gwynn Chelsea Accommodation — a six-minute cab or Uber ride or a lovely 20-minute spring stroll from #MyChelseaFlat home base.