The psychedelic sounds and sights and the sweet pungent smell of a Grateful Dead concert filled the air Sunday as thousands gathered for a Jerry Garcia memorial in Golden Gate Park.
The taped mix of Dead songs, alternately upbeat and sad, had the roughly 20,000 people either twirling and dancing, or crying.
“He filled this world full of clouds of joy. Just take a little bit of that and reflect it back up to him,” fellow Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir told the crowd, which erupted in applause.
After the tributes, the crowd began dancing to taped music blasting near the center of the field. A 20-foot-tall painting of Garcia with guitar in hand hung above an altar-like stage adorned with flowers, candles and photos.
Garcia, the 53-year-old guitarist and leader of the Dead, died Wednesday at a Marin County drug rehabilitation facility. Sunday’s memorial was billed as a chance for fans to honor his memory and move forward.