The Family Dog Denver, 1967 - 1968

The Family Dog Denver was a venue for rock concerts that was operated in Denver by San Francisco’s Family Dog hippie collective.

Between September 1967 and July 1968 the “Denver Dog” sponsored dozens of concerts that brought The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company), The Jefferson Airplane, and numerous other legendary acts to the Mile High City. Posters were made for the concerts by a number of San Francisco’s leading psychedelic artists. What began as a psychedelic outpost of San Francisco’s Family Dog was a watershed in Denver’s hip history.

Immediately upon its opening, the venue became a flashpoint in the culture wars that saw the Denver police and both the patrons and owners of the Dog in regular conflict which would ultimately escalate into two separate court battles. This reached a pinnacle with the bust of Canned Heat on charges of marijuana possession. By the end of 1967, the toll of the battles led to the San Franciscans’ retreat from Denver. In their wake, the Denver Dog’s young local talent agent, Barry Fey, revitalized the venue under Feyline Productions and continued to produce rock concerts there throughout the turbulence of 1968. His extraordinary success saw him eventually make the transition from counter-cultural experimenter to rock and roll industry pioneer and one of the most influential promoters in music history.

Dan Obarski and Scott Montgomery, Ph.D

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