Overwhelming demand for Grateful Dead's 'Fare Thee Well' shows

Deadheads' ticket requests for Grateful Dead's Solider Field concerts are overwhelming

Looks like the Deadheads have turned the slate of final Grateful Dead shows into this year’s golden ticket.

More than a week after the surviving members of the band announced a trio of 50th anniversary shows at Chicago's Soldier Field over the Fourth of July weekend, fan demand for tickets was staggering.

Following in its tradition, Grateful Dead first made tickets available through a mail order system explained on its website. In the week since the band began accepting requests, they received more than 60,000 envelopes containing more than 350,000 requests – and that’s just the mail-in pre-orders.

Tickets – which range from $59.50 to $199.50 -- don’t officially go on sale to the public until Feb. 28, and that date was pushed back from its original date of Feb. 14 in order to sort through the onslaught of requests.

Many dedicated Deadheads are going to be left looking for a miracle, however. Soldier Field’s capacity is about 60,000, which means there’s less than 200,000 tickets up for grabs.

“In an effort to honor the history and spirit of the Grateful Dead, we are going to try to fill as many of these orders as possible,” a notice on the ticket ordering site read. The band posted a handful of hand-decorated envelopes that have caught its attention on its Facebook page.

Billed as "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead," the trio of shows take place nearly 20 years to the day of the last full Grateful Dead show, which also took place at Soldier Field.

Surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will be joined by Phish’s Trey Anastasio, who will fill in for the late Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals. The band will also be joined by keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti. The band plans on performing two sets each night.

General tickets go on sale to the public on Feb. 28 through Ticketmaster –- good luck.

Twitter: @GerrickKennedy

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