For the most part everyone jumped on very quickly, especially the L.A. groups; The Byrds and The Buffalo Springfield. Phil Walden, Otis Redding’s manager knew immediately that Otis would be right for Monterey and Monterey would be right for Otis. He had no doubts at all, before or after. Paul McCartney was contacted and he raved about Hendrix and The Who, as did Andrew Oldham. Simon & Garfunkel and The Mamas and The Papas were committed. There were commitments from The Butterfield Blues Band and The Electric Flag. Ravi Shankar who had been signed by the original promoter, and Hugh Masekela added to the international flavour of the festival beyond the English acts. The festival was beginning to take shape. What was missing was representation from Northern California.
Andrew Oldham and Lou Adler met with Ralph J. Gleason, the very respected journalist of The San Francisco Chronicle, and he gave his blessing to the festival as did Bill Graham, and that opened the door for the San Francisco groups like Big Brother with Janis Joplin, The Airplane, and The Grateful Dead to sign-on, which brought an innovative fresh underground feel to the festival.
Sometimes it’s just better not to think about it too long, in two months, a three-day music festival with the most established, the up and coming and the unknown…Thirty-two acts representing contemporary American rock, British rock, folk rock, progressive, jazz, African, torch songs, East Indian, and the blues…and they would all perform for free.
As Andrew Oldham recounted, “The Monterey Pop Festival was the “first major rock festival” and the beginning of the future and potential of our music. It realized the idea that music cannot only entertain – but can edutain, inform and unite. It set an example whereby a festival can create a platform from where artists and their music can give thanks and give back.”