GRATEFUL DEAD REUNION SHOWS REINSTATED

The Grateful Dead Family Reunion shows are on! Following is a message from the Dead regarding Alpine Valley.

Dear Friends:

See, faith helps. We're delighted to confirm that the local authorities have given us a permit to put on Terrapin Station as planned at Alpine Valley on August 3 and 4. We're looking forward to it.

We'll have more to say soon, but we'll start with this: Because of recent events, we will all be under more scrutiny than ever, and it's absolutely essential that we pull off two very cool days. If you don't have a ticket, don't come. If people come without tickets, our ability to book future concerts will be totally compromised. We've got all kinds of ideas for making this easy, but it's too soon to go into details.

If you don't have a ticket, don't come. We thank you for your love and patience.

Sincerely,
Mickey, Billy, Phil, and Bobby


Previous message dated June 15, 2002 from the Grateful Dead regarding Alpine Valley.

Dear Friends:

We are gratefully overwhelmed by the support you have shown us, specifically the very direct support you demonstrated in your response to the two shows at Alpine Valley.

You will all understand that we and our promoter were dismayed by the decision made at the recent Walworth County Highway Committee meeting. We certainly appreciate the concerns of anyone who believes that 200,000 people might be coming, but such a number simply does not square with the 30 years of Dead history. That being said, we are currently looking at all the alternatives available to us to insure a safe and successful event. To that end, we are attempting to resolve the issues that were brought up at the hearing, as well as looking at other venues in the general region.

As always, we are committed to working with the communities we visit. We have never wanted to create a situation in which we, our fans, or the local area has a negative experience.

We intend to play together in public this summer. We thank you for your patience and understanding - we will work this out. As soon as the proper solution reveals itself, we will make our plans public. Honest, you'll be the first to know.

Sincerely,
Mickey, Billy, Phil and Bobby


Previous Press Releases

Milwaukee (AP) - A county highway committee denied a permit to the promoters of a Grateful Dead reunion concert, saying the area could not handle the enormous crowd expected.

The Walworth County Highway Committee on Tuesday turned down the request by Clear Channel Entertainment to stage “Terrapin Station - A Grateful Dead Family Reunion” Aug. 3-4 in East Troy, Wisconsin.

“You can imagine the amount of humanity that's going to converge on little old East Troy in Walworth County," said committee chairman Odell R. Gigante. “We only have 80-some sheriff deputies. Short of bringing in the National Guard, we just couldn't handle it."

The two-day concert would have been the first time Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir staged a concert together since the death of Jerry Garcia, the Dead's leader and founder. Garcia died in 1995 of a heart attack.

Gigante said 200,000 were expected at the event, but only 35,000 are allowed in the Alpine Valley Music Theatre.


Milwaukee (Fox) - A county highway committee denied a permit to the promoters of a Grateful Dead reunion concert, saying the area could not handle the enormous crowd expected.

The Walworth County Highway Committee voted 4-0 to turn down the request by Clear Channel Entertainment to stage "Terrapin Station - A Grateful Dead Family Reunion" August 3-4 at Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin.

"You can imagine the amount of humanity that's going to converge on little old East Troy in Walworth County," said committee chairman Odell R. Gigante. "We only have 80-some sheriff deputies. Short of bringing in the National Guard we just couldn't handle it."

The two-day concert would have been the first time Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir staged a concert together since the death of Jerry Garcia, the Dead's leader and founder who died in 1995 of a heart attack. The four played together, unannounced, in the San Francisco area in 1998 and in December, 2001.

Michael Cotter, an attorney for Walworth County, said Clear Channel can appeal the decision. The county would set up another hearing, and Clear Channel could present more evidence on why it deserves the permit. The company can also sue the county for the permission.

"The ball is sort of in their court for what route they choose to take," Cotter said. "I'm sure they are not going to go away quietly."

A representative who answered the phone at Clear Channel in Milwaukee said the company had no comment.

Gigante said 200,000 were expected at the event, but only 35,000 are allowed at Alpine Valley, about 30 miles southwest of Milwaukee.

Cotter said at least 10 people spoke against the concert and four Clear Channel representatives spoke for it at Tuesday's hearing. He said many against it were afraid there would be problems similar to the last show the group played at Alpine Valley in 1989.

"There was a high degree of emotion from the neighbors obviously," Cotter said. "I think if the neighbors had their way there wouldn't be an Alpine Valley in their backyard."

Walworth County Sheriff David Graves was one of those who spoke out Tuesday and said the 1989 visit caused chaos, with property damage, drug arrests and traffic tie-ups.

The problem lies in the thousands of people expected beyond those 35,000 who bought tickets, Graves said.

"It's basically the safety and security of the people who live around the venue and the county," Graves said. "We just don't think we are prepared for that big of a crowd."

Dennis McNally, a publicist for Grateful Dead Productions, had no immediate comment Tuesday. Big Hassle Media, the festival's publicist, also had no comment.

Jim Huycke, 44, who had ordered tickets to the concert, said he was disappointed about the news. Huycke said some people are overreacting to the 1989 show, when a downpour kept many employees from showing up for work. "We have people overacting based on misperceptions," said Huycke, of Racine. David Cohen, 41, who also had ordered tickets, said he'd be surprised if the show was canceled.

"The first weekend of August is still pretty far away," said Cohen, who produces a weekly Grateful Dead radio show in Madison. "I think they will get it all ironed out before then."

The festival took its name from a 1977 Grateful Dead album. The concerts were to feature performances by the four surviving members as a band and also with their separate projects: Phil Lesh & Friends, Weir's Ratdog, Hart and Bembe Orisha, and Kreutzmann's TriChromes.

Other performers slated to appear were Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Warren Haynes and Jorma Kaukonen. The festival was to feature two concert stages, as well as a memorabilia tent with Grateful Dead items.

During their 30-year history, the Grateful Dead attained a fan base so devoted it reached cult-like status. Some die-hard fans, nicknamed Deadheads, followed the band around the globe for the jam concerts that became the Dead's trademark.

http://www.dead.net

[Published on: 6/12/02]

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