The legendary Royal Albert Hall is working with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) on a landmark celebration of 1960’s counter-culture.
The iconic venue is holding a season of performances, screening, talks and events called Summer of Love: Revisited, marking 50 years since the 1967 apex of the ‘hippie’ movement.
The programme will feature performances by singer Laura Mvula, counter-culture bands Soft Machine and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and an orchestral celebration of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album.
But a key part of the season will be four events celebrating the work of Peter Whitehead, who made some of the most vivid, intoxicating and important music documentaries of the period.
These events will be delivered in partnership with DMU’s Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre, to which Mr Whitehead – who, in his career has been a filmmaker, artist, novelist, potter, photographer, sculptor and, latterly, a falconer, running a breeding programme in Saudi Arabia - donated his archive last year.
The first of the four CATH events will take place on May 1 in the Royal Albert Hall’s historic Elgar Room. This is the world premiere of the new HD restoration of Whitehead’s coruscating documentary Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London (1967).
There will also, on May 2, be a celebration of the early days of Pink Floyd with legendary record producer Joe Boyd. It will feature material from the CATH Whitehead Archive and a screening of London ’66–‘67, Whitehead’s film of Pink Floyd’s first studio recording session and early UFO Club performances.
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A third event, on May 7, will recall the atmosphere of the International Poetry Incarnation a landmark event of the 60s counter-culture revelation held at the Hall in June 1965.
The afternoon featuring a performance by beat poet Michael Horovitz and showcasing original new compositions from rising poets, will include a rare screening of Wholly Communion, Whitehead’s documentary filmed at the event.
Finally, on May 27, will be ‘Icons at the Hall’ which will celebrate Peter Whitehead’s 62-year association with the RAH and include film he shot there of the Rolling Stones, Julie Felix and Led Zeppelin.
Professor Chibnall said: “It is a tremendous honour to be working with the Royal Albert Hall, a really world-class venue and one that holds a very special place in my affections.
“I think it shows that the CATH Centre has become a leader in its field and is now known for staging imaginative events based on its exciting archival holdings.
“It is also great to be celebrating the fiftieth of the famed Summer of Love at a cathedral of culture where so many of that era’s ground-breaking acts performed and where Peter Whitehead did some of his most historic filming.”
Tickets for the season’s events at the Hall are £12.50 to £18.50, available from www.royalalberthall.com
Posted on Tuesday 21st February 2017