Item #39889 Festival of Life, August 25-30. YIPPIE!
Festival of Life, August 25-30.


Festival of Life, August 25-30.

Np. (New York), nd. (April 1968). Five mimeographed quarto-size sheets of different coloured paper (grey, green, cream, orange, pink), stapled once. Three sheets printed recto and verso, two printed recto only. Produced by the Yippies using Ed Sanders’ Gestafax electronic stencil cutter. In “1968: A History in Verse” (p.98), Sanders records that “Three days before the Yip-out [this] 8 page press packet was lofted unto the media” (April 18, 1968).

The cover sheet prints an astrological calendar above an image of a fornicating couple and a map of the USA with a circle drawn around Chicago; the verso prints a full-page text by Jerry Rubin (unsigned): “The rich are rich because they are thieves and the poor are poor because they are victims, and the future will condemn those who accept the present as reality. Break down the family, church, nation, city, economy: turn life into an art form, a theater of the soul and a theatre of the future; the revolutionary is the only artist.”

The second sheet prints an erotic psychedelic illustration. The third sheet is a ‘Yip-Out: Resurrection of Free’ handbill designed by Martin Carey and made for the Central Park Easter Sunday Yip-Out (April 21, 1968). The verso prints instructions on how to make a whisky bottle fire bomb, “the kind of thing that made the secret police start clipping Yippie stuff for the files” (“1968: A History in Verse”, p.99). The fourth sheet includes an image of the Buddha; and the fifth sheet prints an illustrated text on theatre and life actors “creating an ecological network manifesting itself in a life oriented energy circus without authority systems”; the verso prints illustrated notes on the symbolism of the forked cross.

The Yippies’ plans for a ‘Festival of Life’, their countercultural vision of America, was intended as a response to the Democratic Party’s ‘Convention of Death’ in Chicago. Plans for it were first discussed in December 1967 and their candidate for “the next President of the United States”, a pig named Pigasus, was nominated in February 1968. Publicity for a free rock festival at the event promised appearances by Jimi Hendrix and many others, though only the MC5 played. Copies of the press pack were handed to Janis Joplin and Arlo Guthrie backstage at the Newport Folk Festival, but they, like most artists, declined the invitation, sensing the potential risk of police violence and possible arrest. After months of planning, the event culminated in police riots and the eventual arrest and trial of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and members of the Black Panther Party and the SDS.

Slight creasing to upper edges, o/w Very Good plus.

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