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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Madison Square Garden Took One Million Souls During Grateful Dead's 52-Show 15-Year Run, 1979-1994

New York certainly does have the ways and means.
When you include in a small amount for Manhattan's best sneak-ins, ticket scammers, girls with the band and assorted other hanger on-ers, one million New York City fans saw the Grateful Dead at Madison Square Garden over their 15 year, 52 show run there.  Or 20,000 Deadheads each saw 52 shows. In honor of Phil, the band made 11 stops there between 1979 and 1994.

There was rumors of a show in 1974 with the Band, but it did not happen.





Based on newly discovered contemporaneity information from Amusement Business. it looks like 927,078 ticket buyers paid $18,664,367 to see our heroes play at MSG.   It appears that all shows sold out, if you assume 37 more tickets sold  on January 8, 1979 is not relevant.  Of course there may have been a few tickets available in the early part of the run, but the last 43 were all listed as official sellouts in Billboard, the bible of the record business.

You always learn something new when pealing the Onion inside the Grateful Dead historic facts.  This week I learned that a Grateful Dead sellout could mean as much as 19,700-20,000  in the 1978-1983 period, which declined to 16,760 in 1988's nine night run and 14,600 in 1993's six night run.
This could be due to how the band set up their equipment or how the house was set up depending on ticket demand.  I'm curious what real experts in this field think of this reason.  Perhaps it as simple as 1993 shows did not really sellout or MSG sold far fewer tickets and they still wanted to announce sellouts.

The 11 Grateful Dead Runs At Madison Square Garden

Run                                                                             Tickets  Avg Price   Sales         Shows
Madison Square Garden - January 8, 1979            39,403 9.28 $365,816 2
Madison Square Garden - September 6, 1979    59,267 10.55 $625,011 3
Madison Square Garden - March 10, 1981            40,000 12.00 $480,000 2
Madison Square Garden - September 21, 1982    39,049 13.07 $510,511 2
Madison Square Garden - October 12, 1983            39,000 13.50 $526,500 2
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1987    92,911 18.27 $1,697,589 5
Madison Square Garden - September 24, 1988 150,837 19.20 $2,896,369 9
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1990 110,945 21.35 $2,368,825 6
Madison Square Garden - September 18, 1991 163,932 22.86 $3,747,519 9
Madison Square Garden - September 22, 1993    87,598 26.50 $2,321,347 6
Madison Square Garden - October 19, 1994          104,136 30.01 $3,124,880 6
    Totals                                                            927,078 20.13     $18,664,367 52














  Gig                                                                 Tickets Sold                 Average Price                 Ticket Sales
Madison Square Garden - January 7, 1979          19,683 $9.28    $182,736 
Madison Square Garden - January 8, 1979          19,720 $9.28          $183,080 
Madison Square Garden - September 4, 1979 19,756 $10.55 $208,337 
Madison Square Garden - September 5, 1979 19,756 $10.55 $208,337 
Madison Square Garden - September 6, 1979 19,756 $10.55 $208,337 
Madison Square Garden - March 9, 1981          20,000 $12.00 $240,000 
Madison Square Garden - March 10, 1981          20,000 $12.00 $240,000 
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1982 19,525 $13.07 $255,256 
Madison Square Garden - September 21, 1982 19,525 $13.07 $255,256 
Madison Square Garden - October 11, 1983 19,500 $13.50 $263,250 
Madison Square Garden - October 12, 1983 19,500 $13.50 $263,250 
Madison Square Garden - September 15, 1987 18,582 $18.27 $339,518 
Madison Square Garden - September 16, 1987 18,582 $18.27 $339,518 
Madison Square Garden - September 18, 1987 18,582 $18.27 $339,518 
Madison Square Garden - September 19, 1987 18,582 $18.27 $339,518 
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1987 18,582 $18.27 $339,518 
Madison Square Garden - September 14, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 15, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 16, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 18, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 19, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 22, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 23, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 24, 1988 16,760 $19.20 $321,819 
Madison Square Garden - September 14, 1990 18,491 $21.35 $394,804 
Madison Square Garden - September 15, 1990 18,491 $21.35 $394,804 
Madison Square Garden - September 16, 1990 18,491 $21.35 $394,804 
Madison Square Garden - September 18, 1990 18,491 $21.35 $394,804 
Madison Square Garden - September 19, 1990 18,491 $21.35 $394,804 
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1990 18,491 $21.35 $394,804 
Madison Square Garden - September 8, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 9, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 10, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 12, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 13, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 14, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 16, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 17, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 18, 1991 18,215 $22.86 $416,391 
Madison Square Garden - September 16, 1993 14,600 $26.50 $386,891 
Madison Square Garden - September 17, 1993 14,600 $26.50 $386,891 
Madison Square Garden - September 18, 1993 14,600 $26.50 $386,891 
Madison Square Garden - September 20, 1993 14,600 $26.50 $386,891 
Madison Square Garden - September 21, 1993 14,600 $26.50 $386,891 
Madison Square Garden - September 22, 1993 14,600 $26.50 $386,891 
Madison Square Garden - October 13, 1994 17,356 $30.01 $520,813 
Madison Square Garden - October 14, 1994 17,356 $30.01 $520,813 
Madison Square Garden - October 15, 1994 17,356 $30.01 $520,813 
Madison Square Garden - October 17, 1994 17,356 $30.01 $520,813 
Madison Square Garden - October 18, 1994 17,356 $30.01 $520,813 
Madison Square Garden - October 19, 1994 17,356 $30.01 $520,813 
Totals                                  927,078 $20.13       $18,664,367