|Concert by Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, Jeff Chimenti|
|Location||Santa Clara, California|
|Start date||June 27, 2015|
|End date||July 5, 2015|
|No. of shows||5|
Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead was a series of concerts which were performed by most of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead: Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, joined by Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead. The performances took place at Santa Clara's Levi Stadium on June 27 and 28, 2015 and Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5, 2015. These performances marked the first time Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Hart had performed together since the Dead's 2009 tour and was publicized as the final time the musicians would all perform together.
The three shows in Chicago were initially announced on January 16, 2015 as the only three Fare Thee Well performances. Tickets were first made available through the Grateful Dead's GDSTOO mail order system. Deadheads mailed in more than 60,000 envelopes, requesting a total of more than 360,000 tickets. As a result, only about one in ten requests was fulfilled. On February 28, 2015 when tickets became available on Ticketmaster, over 500,000 people logged on to purchase tickets, which set a new Ticketmaster record for ticket demand for a concert. Following the initial sellout of these concerts, seats were made available behind the stage, and prices on secondary ticket sites such as StubHub averaged $2,000 each.
Due to the high demand for the Chicago concerts, concert promoter Peter Shapiro announced two more concerts in Santa Clara, California on June 27 and 28, 2015. To help prevent scalpers from obtaining tickets for resale to these concerts, tickets were only made available through an online lottery. Tickets to the Santa Clara shows were initially sold at very high prices on StubHub but ended up dropping as low as $19 by the week before the concerts. Prices for the Chicago concerts also fell in the weeks prior to the shows but were still averaging about $200.
The first show in Chicago drew an attendance of 70,764 fans, setting an attendance record at Soldier Field.
|June 27, 2015||Santa Clara, California||United States||Levi's Stadium||151,650 / 151,650||$21,549,139|
|June 28, 2015|
|July 3, 2015||Chicago, Illinois||Soldier Field||210,283 / 210,283||$30,683,274|
|July 4, 2015|
|July 5, 2015|
|Total||361,933 / 361,933 (100%)||$52,232,413|
Due to the high demand for tickets to these concerts they were simulcast on large screens at multiple movie theaters and concert venues in the United States as well as made available live, for a fee, on YouTube and various pay per view services. Satellite radio service Sirius played the concerts, with a slight delay, on their Grateful Dead channel. The concerts were also simulcasted at movie theaters in the United States. The pay-per-view set a new record for a music event with more than 400,000 subscriptions, surpassing a 1999 simulcast by the Backstreet Boys which drew 160,000 subscriptions.
See also: Deadheads for Obama
President Obama acknowledged the band in a special message that appeared in the official program for the event on July 3, 2015.
"Here's to fifty years of the Grateful Dead, an iconic American band that embodies the creativity, passion, and ability to bring people together that makes American music so great. Enjoy this weekend's celebration of your fans and legacy. And as Jerry would say, 'Let there be songs to fill the air.'"
Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Hart (as The Dead) had previously reunited to perform a concert at Penn State University called Change Rocks on October 12, 2008, in support of Obama's campaign. They later played two sets at the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural ball on January 20, 2009.
Since the initial announcement of these three (and later five) concerts, there has been much debate among fans as to the name of the band playing these concerts. Most media outlets, including Rolling Stone, and Ticketmaster have referred to these concerts as being performed by the Grateful Dead. However, the event's website and band member Bob Weir have only referred to the event as "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead" (this is also the name printed on the tickets). This means that the band technically had no name, although it could be considered another version of The Dead, which is the name Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Hart had sporadically performed with since the Grateful Dead's 1995 disbandment. The band has also been called simply "Fare Thee Well", e.g. on The Grateful Dead Channel and music trading site etree.
Over the course of the five shows 81 different songs were performed, not including "Drums" and "Space," which were played all five nights. Only two songs, "Truckin'" and "Cumberland Blues," were repeated.
June 27 – Santa Clara, California
June 28 – Santa Clara, California
July 3 – Chicago, Illinois
July 4 – Chicago, Illinois
July 5 – Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago "Fare Thee Well" concerts were released as a live album on November 20, 2015. There are three different versions of the recording:
When the Dead’s music was working best, it always sounded like a healthy argument among old friends — one that could spark new ideas.