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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well Ticket Prices Fall

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 1:24 PM

The Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well shows, combined, will sell more tickets than any festival this year (except Coachella), according to StubHub. But it looks like the 50th anniversary shows may have also flooded the DeadHead market, causing ticket prices to plummet.

"The prices for the Santa Clara shows have been dropping pretty rapidly since April," Cameron Papp from StubHub said. "The average started above $220 and is now down to $188. It’s possible that sellers overestimated the demand in California due the popularity of the Chicago shows. Many fans already bought tickets to the Chicago shows before the California ones were even announced. The Chicago shows are also on a holiday weekend, which have made them even more popular."

The Chicago ticket prices have taken a different path, but ultimately faced the same fate.

"The average started around $800 [for the Chicago shows], went as high as $1,000 in March and have since dropped back down to $722. The announcement of Santa Clara shows probably had something to do with the fluctuation."

Here are some more statistics about the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary, Fare Thee Well shows, according to StubHub.

Fare Thee Well, by the numbers.
  • Chicago is drawing fans from all around the U.S., but Santa Clara fans are mostly coming from the West. 86 percent of those attending the Chicago shows are traveling from outside of Illinois, while California ticket buyers account for 59 percent of sales for the Santa Clara dates:

  • Top 5 Cities Traveling to Santa Clara:
    1. California – 59%
    2. Colorado – 4%
    3. Oregon – 4%
    4. Washington – 3%
    5. New York – 3%

  • Top 5 Cities Traveling to Chicago:
    1. Illinois – 14%
    2. California – 13%
    3. New York – 11%
    4. Florida – 5%
    5. Massachusetts – 5%

The Grateful Dead are commanding more sales per show than any other act on tour this year.

  • It's not that surprising, considering how few shows the band is playing (and farewell shows are always big) but to put this stat in perspective, Taylor Swift is StubHub’s highest selling overall tour this summer, but Grateful Dead is able to command nearly 65% more sales per show than she does.

  • Both series of Grateful Dead concerts (Chicago with three dates, Santa Clara with two dates) will outsell any festival this year.

Affordable tickets are available, especially for the cheap seats in Santa Clara.
  • Tickets have recently been posted on StubHub for as low as $39 for Santa Clara and $154 for Chicago

  • The average cost per ticket for Santa Clara has been $222, compared to $862 for the Chicago dates (single day passes)

The Grateful Dead overwhelmingly lead the top 10 list for ticket sales among legacy artists tours, doubling the sales of Paul McCartney at number two.

  • Top 10 legacy tours, along with the percent share of sales.
    1. The Grateful Dead – 24%
    2. Paul McCartney – 12%
    3. The Rolling Stones – 11%
    4. Fleetwood Mac – 9%
    5. Rush – 8%
    6. AC/DC – 8%
    7. U2 – 8%
    8. Van Halen – 8%
    9. The Who – 7%
    10. Garth Brooks – 6%
UPDATE: Stubhub did some recalculations. Coachella will outsell the Grateful Dead shows. 
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About The Author

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome is SF Weekly's former music editor.

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