Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grateful Dead Touring Revenues, 1965-1995

The five Fare Thee Well shows brought in more ticket revenue than any full year in Grateful Dead history based on my analysis of the approximate economic performance of the band.

Per my research of shows (from Deadbase), ticket sales and concert attendance, the Grateful Dead sold about 23 million tickets and generated about $386 million in ticket revenues over 2,314 performances during their entire career.
The crazy part is that with the I Will Survive surge of the band post Jerry's 1986 coma, more than $300 million of their ticket revenues came in the last ten years of the band from 1986 to 1995. During those ten years, the band averaged nearly 20,000 in ticket goers per show over 700 shows for almost 14 million in fans buying tickets at an average price of about $23

This was a far cry from the approximate 5 million who bought tickets in the ten years from 1976-1985 after the 1975 "gone fishing" vacation period.  Ticket price inflation sky rocketed after the mid 1970s.  Note the increase in ticket sales in 1969 due to the big summer shows like Woodstock.

I welcome any comments or corrections. I was lucky to have seen accurate information from the last ten years, and I estimated prior to that using techniques I felt appropriate.  The song that playing is Money, Money (only one of 3) from May 21, 1974 at the Dub, University of Washington.