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Dead & Co. coming to Ithaca on final tour

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  • Staff Report 

Dead & Company will embark on their farewell tour this year, marking an end to their touring career. However, if you want to catch them one last time, you’re in luck. Dead & Company will be playing a benefit concert at Cornell University on May 8 at Barton Hall, as part of their tour.

The band will be returning to Cornell for the first time in 46 years to commemorate their legendary 1977 show. The event is expected to be a massive draw, with the venue having a capacity of 4,800 seats. Organizers have also arranged for discounted tickets for students, with alumni and staff tickets to be released via lottery.

The concert has been brought to campus by Alumni Affairs and Development and will raise funds for Cornell’s 2030 Project and MusiCares. The 2030 Project aims to develop and accelerate tangible solutions to climate change, while MusiCares is a non-profit established in 1989 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to support the health and welfare of music industry professionals.

Rob Klein ’97, an ILR major and a longtime fan of the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company, was instrumental in organizing the upcoming show via his professional networks in the sports media entertainment industry. “The legacy of the 5/8/77 show is well-known to fans around the world,” he said. “That Dead & Co. would come back to Cornell and play at Barton Hall, and do so while supporting the Cornell 2030 Project and MusiCares on their farewell tour, is truly special.”

The 1977 show has become a legendary moment in Grateful Dead history, spawning numerous bootlegs, an official release, a book, conspiracy theories, and endless debate by diehard Deadheads. The band’s performance that night was tight and inspired, and the concert included staples such as “Saint Stephen” and “Morning Dew” while skipping classics “Truckin'” and “Dark Star.”

Despite a freak May snowstorm that arrived that day, which happened to be Mother’s Day, the specialness of the show was heightened, and the Barton Hall performance became one of the Grateful Dead’s greatest gigs.

The upcoming concert is a chance for Cornell alumni and fans of the Grateful Dead to relive the magic of that iconic 1977 show. It is also a chance to support Cornell’s 2030 Project and MusiCares while enjoying the music of Dead & Company one last time. Tickets are available through a lottery system, and more information can be found on Cornell University’s website.