The Grateful Dead’s series of farewell concerts broke pay-per-view records with a monster 400,000 subscriptions, proving that Deadheads are never to be underestimated.
The Dead’s five-night presentation of “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” grossed $52.2 million in ticket sales. The PPV package included footage from the band’s Levi Stadium shows in June (attended by a total of 151,650 fans) and the Soldier Field shows in July (attended by 210,283 people). The collection of live broadcasts now holds the record for the largest syndication of a live music event ever, according to broadcast producer Live Alliance.
That record will continue growing in strength, as the special remains available on VOD until August 2. Participating broadcasters included DirecTV and Dish Network, along with YouTube, marking the service’s first ever paid live music streaming event.
Deadheads supported the band in numbers unseen since 1999, when the Backstreet Boys’ PPV event drew 160,000 subscriptions.
The specials were hosted by CNBC reporter Steve Liesman, and they included live interviews with fans as well as documentary footage directed by Justin Kreutzmann.