The "core four" of the Grateful Dead reunited over the weekend in Santa Clara, California, for the first two of five shows, part of their "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead" concerts. Originally though it was only supposed to be three shows, July 3, 4 and 5 in Chicago, but demand for tickets was so strong that promoters, along with the band, decided to add an additional set of "warmup" shows.
Billed as the band's "last shows ever," demand for tickets skyrocketed after the first public sale for the Chicago shows in February, when tickets sold out in minutes. That angered many fans when secondary sellers listed tickets for thousands of dollars above the initial face value of the tickets.
On the official website for the "Fare Thee Well" shows, the band posted an open letter to its fans addressing the high prices and the additional shows. writing in part: "We have tried to do the right thing wherever we could for the Chicago shows by honoring the roots of where we came from, while dealing with the realities of the current times. But that's hardly comforting when you're (expletive) out of luck for tickets and your only option is inflated prices on secondary ticketing websites. That would piss us off too."