12 January 2012
Director: Eric Christensen
60 minutes, 2008
Long before there were raves and the "Burning Man Festival", there was the Trips Festival. Many point to this wild weekend in San Francisco, in January, 1966, as the beginning of the Sixties. Features footage of the festival with interviews with Trips Festival organizers including "Stewart Brand", "Ken Kesey" and "Bill Graham". Original footage from the festival at the Longshoremen's Hall, North Point, San Francisco, January 21-23, 1966. Bonus features (ca. 40 min.): "Ben Van Meter"'s original Trips Festival film ; panel discussion with "Bob Weir", "Stewart Brand", Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, "Ramon Sender", "Roland Jacopetti", "Ben Van Meter" and "Eric Christensen". 60 min. DVD
The Acid Tests were a series of parties held by "Ken Kesey" in the San Francisco Bay Area during the mid 1960s, centered entirely around the use of, experimentation with, and advocacy of, the psychedelic drug LSD, also known as "acid".
The name "Acid Test" was coined by Kesey, after the term "acid test" used by gold miners in the 1850s. He began throwing parties at his farm at La Honda, California.
He took the parties to public places, and advertised with posters that read, "CAN YOU PASS THE ACID TEST?", and the name was later popularized in "Tom Wolfe"'s 1968 book, "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". Musical performances by the "Grateful Dead" were commonplace, along with black lights, strobe lights, and fluorescent paint. The "Acid Tests" are notable for their influence on the LSD-based counterculture of the San Francisco area and subsequent transition from the beat generation to the hippie movement.