The 14 Hour Technicolour Dream

Pink Floyd played as dawn broke through the Rose Window into the Great Hall; the sunlight bounced off Syd Barrett’s mirror-disc Telecaster bathing the spaced-out crowd in pink light.

The 14 hour Technicolor Dream was a seminal event in the 1960s Underground scene. Two stages hosted the bands of the era – The Move, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Soft Machine, The Purple Gang. Poets and performance artists gave eclectic shows. Yoko Ono had the audience cut pieces of fabric off a model’s dress, John Lennon watched on with his friend John Dunbar.

DJ John Peel ran around the place following the rumours of who had been spotted. Legend has it Andy Warhol remained in his car the whole event, refusing to speak to ‘mortals’.

The Great Hall at Ally Pally was transformed, with a helter skelter, giant inflatables and psychedelic oil light show put on by Peter Wynn Wilson, who lit the UFO Club. Filming the event were the BBC and Peter Whitehead, who famously documented Swinging London. As the event ended Craig Sams (who would go on to found Green & Black’s) served out brown rice, part of macrobiotic food that paved the way for the natural and organic movement.

The event was organised by John “Hoppy” Hopkins as a fundraiser for the counterculture paper, the International Times, fighting back against frequent police raids. So many influential markers of the 1960s scene congregated that the gig has become the stuff of legend.