On December 10th, 1965 a band previously known as The Warlocks took the stage at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. That show was a benefit to raise legal funds for the Mime Troupe and that band was performing under their new moniker The Grateful Dead.
For fifty years since, the band never stopped nurturing and giving back to the community. Whether it was funding sight restoration surgeries in South Asia, creating the Rex Foundation as one of the first band-affiliated 501c3 non-profits, or reminding fans before every encore to become organ-donors, the charity (much like the music) never stopped.
To celebrate this incredible 50 years of giving, members of the Grateful Dead have invited 16 non-profits to form a “Participation Row” area at the upcoming anniversary concerts in Santa Clara, CA and Chicago, IL.
HeadCount is proud to be the organizer of Participation Row, a hands on non-profit experience that first debuted at the Lock’n Festival in 2013.
This Participation Row will offer fans an opportunity to interact with the organizations that have formed such an important part of the Grateful Dead community for so many years.
Joining HeadCount at Participation Row will be longtime Grateful Dead-affiliated charities The Rex Foundation, The Seva Foundation and The Rainforest Action Network. Also on hand will be newer friends like Conscious Alliance (doing a large-scale food drive), REVERB, the Owsley Stanley Foundation, Rock the Earth, and the bone marrow transplant organization Love Hope Strength. Band members made special requests to have a few other non-profits on hand, namely NORML, Surfrider, Hidden Wings and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Rounding out the group will be Oxfam, Represent.US, and Unbroken Chain.
Participation Row will facilitate important dialog about the future of our society. But there’ll also be plenty of fun. Each non-profit will give away special Fare Thee Well limited edition postcards at their tables, designed by longtime Grateful Dead poster artists. In order to get a postcard, you'll just need to take an “action” selected by the non-profit, creating true engagement between organization and citizen.
There’ll also be a silent auction of a custom, commemorative D’Angelico guitar signed by all the band members, and a signed Fare Thee Well poster. These are the only Fare Thee Well items the band has agreed to sign, creating two truly historical collectibles. Proceeds will be split evenly among the non-profits.
Participation Row will actually kick off a few weeks before the shows, with a ticket auction for some choice seats. Bidding starts at face value, so check back soon for more info.