During the early 1960s
In April 1963, Laughlin established a kind of tribal, family identity among approximately fifty people who attended a traditional, all-night Native American peyote ceremony in a rural setting. This ceremony combined a psychedelic experience with traditional Native American spiritual values; these people went on to sponsor a unique genre of musical expression and performance at the Red Dog Saloon in the isolated old-time mining town of
Starting in June 1965, Laughlin and his cohorts created what became known as "The Red Dog Experience," featuring previously unknown musical acts--Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Charlatans, The Grateful Dead and others--who played in the completely refurbished, intimate setting of Virginia City's Red Dog Saloon. There was no clear delineation between "performers" and "audience" in "The Red Dog Experience," during which music, psychedelic experimentation, a unique sense of personal style and the first primitive light shows combined to create a new sense of community. George Hunter of the Charlatans and Laughlin himself were true "proto-hippies," with their long hair, boots and outrageous clothing of distinctly American (and Native American) heritage.
LSD manufacturer Owsley Stanley lived in
When the summer of 1965 ended, participants in "The Red Dog Experience" returned to
After the first three Family Dog events, a much larger psychedelic event occurred at
Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom
By February 1966, the
The sense of style and costume that began at the Red Dog Saloon flourished when San Francisco's Fox Theater went out of business and hippies bought up its costume stock, reveling in the freedom to dress up for weekly musical performances at their favorite ballrooms. As San Francisco Chronicle music columnist Ralph Gleason put it, "They danced all night long, orgiastic, spontaneous and completely free form."
The Charlatans, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Grateful Dead all moved to
Some of the earliest
Young Americans around the country began moving to
Hippie action in the Haight centered around the Diggers, a guerrilla street theatre group that combined spontaneous street theatre, anarchistic action, and art happenings in their agenda to create a "free city." The Diggers grew from two radical traditions thriving in the area during the mid-1960s: the bohemian underground art/theater scene, and the political movement encompassing the new left, civil rights, and peace.
By late 1966, the Diggers opened stores which simply gave away their stock; provided free food, medical care, transport and temporary housing; they also organized free music concerts and works of political art.
Before the Summer of Love, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert formed the International Foundation for Internal Freedom in Newton, Massachusetts, inhabiting two houses but later moving to a 64-room mansion at Millbrook, New York, with a communal group of about 25–30 people in residence until they were shutdown in 1967.
In 1965, four art students and filmmakers, Gene Bernofsky, JoAnn Bernofsky, Richard Kallweit and Clark Richert, moved to a seven acre tract of land near
The community quickly grew in reputation and size, accelerated by media attention, including news reports on national television networks. Several other communities were formed in the region. With the Summer of Love and the explosion of the hippie movement, large numbers poured into