Monterey County Fair and Event Center, formerly the Monterey Fairgrounds, has been actively hosting events since 1935. The historic grounds has hosted a plethora of AMAZING musical acts.
The most famous event of Monterey’s history is the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Monterey Pop Festival was a 3 day musical event, that drew a crowd of over 50,000 people in and around the fairgrounds. The fairgrounds’ Main arena, had a capacity of 7,000, but it was estimated that nearly 8,500 jammed into it the arena for Saturday night’s show. This festival boasted the first major American performances of legendary musicians such as: Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ravi Shankar, The Mama’s & The Papas, as well as the first large scale performance, launching the career of Janis Joplin. Monterey Pop Festival was the first of it’s kind and was the embodiment of musical talent, beginning a movement in what was known as the Summer of Love. Monterey Pop Festival was a precursor for other festivals such as WoodStock, which would take place two year later.
The Monterey Fairgrounds arena is iconic having hosted for the likes of: Duke Ellington, Billy Dean, Carlos Santana, Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughn, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and more recently Mumford & Sons, as well as many, many more talented artists.
The idea that some of the greatest musicians launched their careers and cemented their place in music history by performing at the Monterey Fairgrounds and Event Center is absolutely amazing. The iconic location makes it the perfect backdrop for the California Roots Music and Arts Festival. It is the hopes of the producers that they will continue to bring back the nostalgic presence that has made Monterey Fairgrounds the epicenter for music history.