On June 10th, the Melrose Center pays tribute to a seminal event in the history of popular music with the Melrose Pop Festival. Over a weekend in June 1967 at the County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California, organizers led by record producer Lou Adler and musician John Phillips staged the Monterey International Pop Festival. The festival brought together acts from an array of regional musical scenes, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Memphis and London. It featured memorable break out performances by Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Ravi Shankar among others. The success of the Monterey Pop Festival led directly to the advent of subsequent large-scale music festivals, from Woodstock at the end of the 1960s right through to current-day fixtures like Glastonbury and Coachella.
While the Melrose Pop Festival will occur in a single afternoon rather than over multiple days, the event will serve as the Melrose Center’s homage to the spirit of Monterey. It will be an afternoon of Peace Love and Music, featuring six acts with Central Florida ties. Eugene Snowden headlines the bill with his special blend of blues and soul. Beth McKee brings her southern roots sound to the festivities with her Funky Time Band. Indie-folk singer-songwriter Hannah Stokes, winner of Orlando Weekly’s 2022 Readers Poll Best Singer-Songwriter award, will be accompanied by her full band. The Oak Hill Drifters will lend their rockabilly western swing sensibilities to the proceedings. Milk Carton Superstars will appear with a sampling of their songs made mostly from guitar, drums and reasonable words. And making a rare in-person performance, Orlando’s longtime leading exporter of lo-fi original music, Marc With a C, will open the festival with a solo mini-set.
Hosted by Marko Torres, the Melrose Pop Festival will take place on the newly refurbished Melrose Stage from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.