“Hey hey, hey, come right away. Come and join the party every day.” – Grateful Dead’s Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion)
Unlimited devotion indeed. If you’re a Head, you know instinctively what I’m talking about. If you’re a marketing exec, you know cerebrally what I’m talking about. The numbers of the Deadhead community do not lie.
There’s no band on that stage in this picture, but there’s a packed theater of dancing and smiling people. It’s a big family reunion. Who else besides the Grateful Dead could get 1000 people to travel into the frigid February night to gather together for a dance party? There was no live band, no opening act, and no movie. All it took was the lure of being transported back to a Dead show. The newly reopened Capitol Theatre in Port Chester NY presented “A Dose of the Dead” on 2/16/13. The occasion? The release of a complete concert recording from 2/24/71 at the Capitol Theatre. The Dead played there 18 times over 1970-71. Woah if those walls could talk!
The Cap is a legendary house and everyone from Janis Joplin, Traffic, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead to Phish, David Bowie, and even the Rolling Stones have rocked its walls. So it’s really quite natural to anyone who’s ever loved live music to understand how a room soaks in the energy of all the people who have raged before them. It was dreamlike to close my eyes and listen to the Dead and imagine them in the room with us. Pigpen alive. Jerry alive. It was bliss to hug old friends and smile at a Head who you knew you had seen many times before. We had all danced to the same songs in the same rooms so many times before. Deadheads are devoted indeed. To the music, to the band, and to each other. As a community, we are “a rare and different tune,” and dancing to the Dead is good for the soul.
Peace out! -Jackie
Sometimes the words “music festival” can alarm and panic an entire city or even state – like in that Southpark episode “Die Hippie, Die” where the music festival comes to town and won’t leave. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s hilarious. The concerns we as promoters have been asked to address range from completely reasonable to downright absurd.
One of my favorite pre-show meetings is the public safety meeting. We call together all the public health, emergency and safety officials and run through our security, traffic, ems, and overall emergency plans. The cops and firefighters know the drill and we all speak the same language in regards to security and emergencies. Dealing with them to execute our emergency plans is pretty black and white. Many things in the festival production world are very gray, but planning for an emergency isn’t one of them.
What I love about the cops and firefighters is that they’ve handled all kinds of situations and have seen the best and worst in people. We’re just throwing a big party. They get it.
My old man and Duganworks co-founder, Jim Dugan, is working for world peace. One peace pole at a time. One flag ceremony at a time. Reminding us that a simple change of mind or a peaceful intention can make all the difference in the world. It is about intention. If I wake up in the morning and intend to be peaceful, and remind myself throughout the day that I wish to be peaceful – then I am more peaceful. The people I interact with benefit from my peacefulness. It’s quite amazing.
Stay tuned in for more up and coming events!