More than 60,000 pieces of mail — many in envelopes elaborately decorated by hand — poured into the post office at Stinson Beach within the last week, from Grateful Dead fans around the world hoping to score tickets to the band’s three farewell concerts taking place at Chicago’s Soldier Field from July 3 to 5.
In the tradition of the original Grateful Dead Ticketing Mail Order, tickets to the Chicago concerts — ranging in price from $59.50-$199.50 — were initially made available via a first-come, first-served mail order system beginning on Jan. 20, well in advance of going onsale via Ticketmaster on Feb. 28.
The overwhelming number of ticket requests prompted the band to cancel its other pre-sale plans, which were scheduled to roll out early next week.
Many fans who mailed in their ticket requests posted images of the colorful envelopes to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites before sending them off to Stinson Beach, a Marin County community with a population of 632 people, where the mail order tickets are processed.
Much of the fan art included motifs familiar to Dead Heads, including dancing bears, roses and the “Steal Your Face” logo, featuring a red and blue skull divided by a lightning bolt.
The surviving band members — percussionist Mickey Hart, guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and percussionist Bill Kreutzmann — will be joined by keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, Phish’s Trey Anastasio and pianist Bruce Hornsby.
The rush for tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event caused quite a flurry of activity in the small post office.