November 27, 1965
Acid Tests were a series of parties held by author Ken Kesey in the San Francisco Bay Area during the mid-1960s, centered entirely around the use of, experimentation with, and advocacy of, the psychedelic drug LSD, also known as "acid."
The name "Acid Test" was coined by Kesey, after the term "
acid test" used by gold miners in the 1850s. He began throwing parties at his farm at La Honda, California. [1 ] The Merry Pranksters were central to organizing the Acid Tests, including Pranksters such as Lee Quarnstrom and Neal Cassady.
Kesey took the parties to public places, and advertised with posters that read, "CAN YOU PASS THE ACID TEST?", and the name was later popularized in
Tom Wolfe's 1968 book, . Musical performances by the The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Grateful Dead were commonplace, along with black lights, strobe lights, and fluorescent paint. The Acid Tests are notable for their influence on the LSD-based counterculture of the San Francisco area and subsequent transition from the beat generation to the hippie movement. The Jefferson Airplane song "A Song for All Seasons" (from ) mentions the Acid Tests. Volunteers
San Francisco, California ( Fillmore) 15 January; Portland, Oregon
San Francisco (Trips Festival at Longshoreman's Hall) 29 January; San Francisco, California (
Sound City Studios) 5 February; Los Angeles, California (Northridge, Unitarian Church)
12 February; Los Angeles, California (Watts) – Youth Opportunities Center
25 February; Los Angeles, California (
Hollywood) – Cinema Theatre 19 March; Los Angeles, California (Pico) Carthay Studios
25 March; Los Angeles, California (
Sunset Strip) – Troupers Club 30 September – 2 October; San Francisco, California (San Francisco State) –
Whatever It Is Festival – three days [3 ] 31 October; San Francisco, California (Acid Test Graduation at Winterland)
16 March; Houston, Texas (Brown College, Rice University) (
despite the "graduation" concept of the final West Coast Acid Test, the actual final Acid Test of The Merry Pranksters was organized inTexas by Kesey's friend ) Larry McMurtry [4 ]
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