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Grateful Dead return home for a pair of “Fare Thee Well” concerts

on April 10, 2015, 3:59pm

Grateful Dead have confirmed two additional “Fare Thee Well” 50th anniversary concerts for this summer. Three dates were previously announced for July 3rd – 5th at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the site of the band’s final show in 1995. Now, in a letter to fans posted on The Dead 50 website, the band has revealed they’ll be returning home to the Bay Area for a pair of shows on June 27th and 28th at Levi’s Stadium.

“Since we made the decision to go back to Chicago to say our final goodbye, it has become clear to us that we first need to return to our beginnings, where we first said hello – to each other and to all of you,” read the statement. As with the Chi-town gigs, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti will join the Dead on stage.

The band also addressed the scalper problem that arose after the Chicago tickets went on sale. Though the band had utilized their classic mail-order system, ticket re-sellers managed to snag a large portion of tickets, which were then put online for upwards of $15,000. This time around, they’ve opted for something a little more technologically sound.

“For shows of this magnitude, it’s impossible to eliminate every scalper,” they said in the letter. “However, we offer you this: Working with our partners, we are using an online ticketing platform for the Levi’s shows that will help ensure that the tickets for these shows will get into the right hands, the hands of our true fans. We believe that this process is the best way to give each of you an equal opportunity to obtain tickets at the most affordable possible prices.”

65,000 tickets will be released via this method. (Capacity at Levi’s is between 68,500 and 75,000, depending on the setup.) Strict one-time, four-ticket purchase limits will be enforced for each show. Before you’re even allowed to purchase, however, you’ll have to first request tickets via Dead 50.

While Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, and Phil Lesh will also be on hand at Columbia, Maryland’s Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music of Jerry Garcia show on May 14th, these two Santa Clara shows will be the last “Fare Thee Well” dates announced. The band’s letter concludes, “We will not be adding any more Fare Thee Well performances. The three Chicago shows will still be our final stand. We decided to add these two Santa Clara shows to enable more of our fans to celebrate with us one more time. But this is it.”

Read the full letter, which was originally read live on the air on SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead Channel, below.

Dear Heads,

Although none of us knew it when we walked off the stage at Soldier Field on July 9, 1995, the Grateful Dead’s long strange trip ended in Chicago that night. As you are aware, twenty years later, we’re returning to Chicago to properly say Fare Thee Well.

But every good ending must start with a beginning. For us, it all began fifty years ago when we grabbed a bunch of instruments off the walls of a music store in Palo Alto California and began banging away on them in the back room, at night after the store had closed for the day.

Since we made the decision to go back to Chicago to say our final goodbye, it has become clear to us that we first need to return to our beginnings, where we first said hello — to each other and to all of you.

And so it is that we have decided to plug in for two additional shows on June 27 and 28 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California — just a dozen miles south of where Dana Morgan’s Music Store once stood. At Levi’s — as at Soldier Field — we will have the pleasure of being joined by Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti.

Ours wasn’t just a long, strange trip — it was a VERY long, VERY strange trip. We weren’t sure what it was going to be like to put a punctuation mark on the end of it. None of us anticipated the overwhelming outpouring of love and interest following our initial announcement of the shows at Soldier Field, and we were blown away by the response.

We have tried to do the right thing wherever we could for the Chicago shows by honoring the roots of where we came from, while dealing with the realities of the current times. But that’s hardly comforting when you’re shit outta luck for tickets and your only option is inflated prices on secondary ticketing websites. That would piss us off too.

From the moment these shows were first talked about, we have been thinking about what we could do to honor the roots of our Deadhead experience, even in the face of changing technologies. (Remember: Ticketmaster didn’t even go online until we got out of the game.) These shows were always intended as an expression of our gratitude, to both the music and the fans, so it’s important that we get things as right as we can.

We have always been proud of our in-house mail order ticketing process, and the phenomenal way our fans have built a tradition out of turning a standard envelope into a frame-worthy piece of art. Some 60,000 mail order tickets were issued for the Soldier Field shows by the good folks at Grateful Dead Ticket Sales — yet we were still crushed to see how many of your beautifully designed envelopes did not get tickets.

For shows of this magnitude, it’s impossible to eliminate every scalper. However, we offer you this: Working with our partners, we are using an online ticketing platform for the Levi’s shows that will help ensure that the tickets for these shows will get into the right hands, the hands of our true fans. We believe that this process is the best way to give each of you an equal opportunity to obtain tickets at the most affordable possible prices. We are are proud to announce that 65,000 tickets per night will be available via the “online mail order” for the Levi’s shows. For the nuts and bolts, go to Dead50.net.

We will not be adding any more Fare Thee Well shows. The three Chicago shows will still be our final stand. We decided to add these two Santa Clara shows to enable more of our fans to celebrate with us one more time. But this is it.

We love you guys more than words can tell, and hope to see you in the Bay Area or Chicago. If you can’t make it to the shows, we are working on ways for you to still experience our Fare Thee Well, from wherever you might be. Stay tuned for those details.

Gratefully yours,

Billy, Bobby, Mickey & Phil”

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