The Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well Shows Made a Whole Bunch of Money
The surviving members of the Grateful Dead should be able to buy themselves plenty of boxes of rain following their highly anticipated Fare Thee Well 50th anniversary shows.
According to Billboard's data, the five concerts — June 27 and 28 in Santa Clara, Calif., followed by July 3, 4, and 5 at Soldier Field in Chicago — were far and away the top-grossing events of the week, pulling in an incredible $52.2 million haul while drawing 361,933 people in total.
That sum dwarfs every other performer on the list, including second-place act Taylor Swift, whose six shows amassed an impressive $26 million that would have been enough to claim the top spot during just about any other week — the third-place performer, Kenny Chesney, grossed $9 million from six shows.
What's even more impressive is that, as Billboard notes, the Fare Thee Well tally will only continue to grow as earnings from the shows' on-demand pay-per-view airings are factored in. According to the report, the concerts "set the record for the biggest music pay-per-view event of all time, with more than 400,000 cable/satellite subscriptions and online streams" — and given that the concerts are still available for order, that number hasn't yet reached its peak.
With all that money coming in, it's only natural that we've seen talk of further Dead performances, even though the Fare Thee Well shows were billed as a farewell. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann has gone on record as saying he wishes the band had added more stops, and Trixie Garcia has hinted at "more large events" at some point in the future. "There’s a feeling that our fanbase wouldn’t be served if there were no more events," she explained earlier this month. "I think it’s pretty obvious to everybody. Everybody wants to go to more shows."
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