Summer of Love Coming to Beijing?

By Alistair Baker-Brian, June 9, 2021

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The wave of hippie culture which spread across the US in 1967, otherwise known as the Summer of Love, might seem a long way from Beijing.

However, on this Sunday, June 13, there will be an event in the capital under the very name Summer of Love. 

Hosted by 5 House in collaboration with Music Dish, the event features a market selling hand-crafted goods, live music, a movie, a water fight and a dance workshop. 

With a bright and multi-colored background, the event poster itself brings out a truly groovy hippie spirit.

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Image via Music Dish

The phenomenon of the Summer of Love started in San Francisco in 1967 and later swept across the US. American society was on the verge of great social change. Young people were searching for an alternative lifestyle which would break the mold of traditional conservative values, a hangover from the 1950s. 

What on earth does this have to do with modern-day China? Music Dish founder Eric de Fontenay explains:

“Society in China is changing all the time. A lot of people here are under a lot of pressure from work. And I do think that perhaps people need to take a look and think how we can better show love for ourselves, love for our neighbors, love for the planet, etc.”

De Fontenay also believes that many in China are re-assessing work-life balance, especially in relation to so called ‘996’ work culture. 

“I think people are asking themselves ‘do I want to work that kind of schedule?’ So, it seems like the right atmosphere in which to bring the Summer of Love to Beijing.” 

In other words, young Chinese people could be re-assessing their values, perhaps in a similar way to young Americans in 1967. 

Work-life balance in China has indeed come under the spotlight. Deaths of those working a 996-schedule has led many to question whether such a life is truly sustainable.

READ MORE: Death of Tech Worker Renews Concerns Over ‘996’ Work Culture

Whether this reassessment of work-life balance truly is a long-term trend across Chinese society remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it’s something the Summer of Love event in Beijing may draw attention to.  

De Fontenay says that the Summer of Love in 1967 had music, food, a market full of hand-crafted goods and more, things that will be replicated at the event in Beijing. 

“It won’t be quite the same. In San Francisco, there was a gathering of around 100,000 people. There won’t be that many at our event!”

Nevertheless, those in the capital can still experience the Summer of Love… Beijing-style. 


To purchase tickets for the Summer of love event, scan one of the two QR codes below:

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[Cover image via Pixabay]

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