There are plenty of legends surrounding the Grateful Dead, from the group’s unlikely beginnings in San Francisco during the 1960s to the diverse artistic exploits of Jerry Garcia and his bandmates. The long, strange trip truckin’ to stages all over the world earned them a well-deserved place in music history.
The Dead has an extensive history in the Centennial state. You might have heard a few of their adventures shared by Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann at “Colorado Getaway – the History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country,” the recent reception hosted by the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and presented by Comfort Dental.
Seven Notable Grateful Dead Events in Colorado
- The band’s first-ever shows in Colorado took place on September 22 and 23, 1967, at a Denver venue called The Family Dog.
- Following their debut in the state, the Dead returned with regularity. On April 24 and 25, 1970, the band performed two shows at Mammoth Gardens (which is now the Fillmore Auditorium). They would be the only acoustic shows the band ever played in Colorado.
- As the band’s popularity continued to grow, the Dead played their first stadium show in Colorado at Boulder’s Folsom Field on September 3, 1972. Conditions were soggy, but the pouring rain did not stop the concert.
- By the late 1970s, the Grateful Dead was performing regularly at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the legendary outdoor venue they came to regard as “a sacred place.” They played there for the last time in August 1987.
- Also in August 1987, the Dead performed two shows in Telluride, despite locals raising concerns about the concerts and the Deadheads descending on the mountain town.
- The Dead’s last stadium show in Colorado took place at Mile High Stadium on June 28, 1991, with Santana opening the concert.
- The Grateful Dead’s final performances in Colorado took place at McNichols Sports Arena on November 29 and 30 and December 1, 1994. Leader Jerry Garcia would pass away less than a year later on August 9, 1995.