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December 14, 2017

33 Amazing Photos That Show What Hippie Britain Was Really Like

Proof of just how far out hippies could be in 1960s and '70s Britain...

1. John Lennon-style hippie glasses were ubiquitous in swinging London. Even on the dance floor. In the dark.

2. The dance steps matched the attitude: casual and colorful.

3. But then again, maybe it’s less about crazy hand gestures and more about lava-lamp lighting?

4. Here’s what broadcast journalism, circa 1973, looked like.

5. 1973 was also the year The Wicker Man came out. Which might explain the surge in maypoles and freaky animal costumes.

6. A ritualistic dance around the maypole at night.

7. In 1970s Notting Hill, guitar-wielding hippies could still turn heads.


9. A rooftop recording session for this master of the sitar.

10. The lead singer of Quintessence – a band that fused jazz, psych and progressive rock – bangs his drum in Notting Hill.

11. Meanwhile, out on the street, hippies strut.

12. How to stand out on the Portobello Road in the 1970s.

13. Step inside the office.

14. Mr Tambourine Man, jamming by the apple box.

15. And here he is in meaner mood, shisha pipe ready.

16. Is this a 1969 dance festival or a 1969 cult lead by a charismatic hippie? Or both?

17. Yes, that is what you think it is.

18. Spliffs, joints + pot = ???

19. Sharing the love.

20. Croydon, 1971: political protests redefined.

21. Barsham Faire, 1974.

22. Knebworth, 1976, year of the drought.

23. Festival vox pops.

24. Nothing unusual about pushing a van. Nothing unusual about wearing… oh wait…

25. A 1967 flower power interviewee.

26. The first Pyramid stage at Glastonbury, in 1972.

27. If you’re not on the bill, no problem. A piano, a field and an audience will do fine.

28. Love – and something else – is in the air.

29. A not-so-rare sighting of a half-naked festival-goer.

30. A hippie commune living off the land on the otherwise uninhabited island of Dorinish, off County Mayo, in 1972.

31. They swap their guitars for shovels…

32. And wheelbarrows…

33. But, after the setting of the sun, and a day of communal graft, music again fills the air.

(The stills on this articles are taken from Britain on Film, a digital archive of UK places, via BFI's blog)


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