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Friday, August 5, 2016

Grateful Dead Economic Review, 1984




Although it was an uneven year for the group musically, 1984 was a near-record year for the Grateful 
Dead with $6.7 million of ticket sales.  Despite the record, the band only sold about 500,000 tickets,
which is about even with many years for the past 10 years.

This would be the last year, the band would play very small halls like the Marin's Vet, Silva Hall in
Oregon, the Augusta Civic Center, and the Berkely Community Theater.

It was a great year to live in Berkeley, like me, since the average Bay Area show had 4,705 seats
while the average show outside the Bay Area was in an arena with 13,763 seats.  A tale of two cities,
indeed.

Est Sold Capacity  Price  Ticket Sales
Total
16 Bay Area Shows               64,385               75,286         17.22  $        1,108,677
49 Touring Shows            436,033            674,408         13.00  $        5,668,423
Average
16 Bay Area Shows                 4,024                 4,705         17.22  $ 69,292
49 Touring Shows                 8,899               13,763         13.00  $            115,682

One interesting result of the analysis I discovered when I took the aggregate 1984 actual Grateful
Dead information for private internal sources and spread them out over the year is the huge difference
between Capacity and Tickets Sold.

It appears that between the band and the facility, that "sold out" were actually giving a good percentage
of the tickets as "free" or "not reported to the band". This is my first cut. I will be doing more analysis
on the entire history of the band.  Work in progress :)



Link to the spreadsheet   Link to PDF
















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