With eight more shows left on the Dead & Company’s sold-out “Final Tour,” the band is already setting records for charitable contributions made by their fans. This year’s series of memorabilia auctions have reached $1 million in just over a month, making it the most lucrative auction series in the band’s eight-year history.
A single D'Angelico guitar, signed by the band and played by their legendary guitarist Bobby Weir at Wrigley Field in Chicago on June 10th, has attracted a bid of $128,000. It will continue to be up for bid until the final set of the tour finale in San Francisco on July 16th. That contribution will propel the overall total to at least $1.14 million. The grand total also includes nearly $220,000 from fine art pieces created and donated by Dead & Company drummer Mickey Hart, auctioned along the tour stops and at a special event in advance of last week’s concerts in New York.
The charity auctions are organized by HeadCount, the non-profit voter registration organization that works with Dead & Company as well as Harry Styles, Lizzo and many other top touring acts. Weir is a board member of HeadCount and an artist endorser for D’Angelico Guitars. The auctions benefit HeadCount along with the environmental group REVERB and over a dozen other "Dead Family" non-profits, personally-selected by the band.
Most of the auctioned guitars feature illustrations by revered contemporary poster artist AJ Masthay, and include iconic Grateful Dead imagery also seen on official tour posters.
Five different guitars with Masthay’s artwork, each specific to a particular stop on the tour and a corresponding poster, have closed for $60,000 or more. One that was played by Weir at Citi Field in New York on June 22nd closed that night at $125,000. Another fetched $114,420 a few days earlier in Saratoga, NY, with a generous bidder adding the last $420 with a wink.
Additional signed guitars, drumheads, posters and fine art will be auctioned at upcoming stops in Boulder, CO, George, WA and San Francisco. The remaining items are on display each night at “Participation Row,” the charity social action village which has traveled with the Dead & Company tour since 2015 and has raised nearly $4 million for charitable causes since its inception.
Fans who can’t bid on a guitar can have the chance to win one for free by taking actions with the non-profits on Participation Row. Those who are not able to attend in person but wish to participate in the auctions can also submit bids remotely by contacting HeadCount’s Major Gifts Director, Kristina Raines at [email protected].
Dead & Company also donates $2 per ticket to charity, and has run multiple online charitable promotions tied to the tour. Find upcoming Dead & Company tour dates here.
HeadCount is a non-partisan non-profit organization that harnesses the power of music, culture and digital media to register voters and inspire participation in democracy. Since 2004, we’ve registered over one million voters through our work with musicians like Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Dead & Co,, Billie Eilish and Alicia Keys; organizations such as Global Citizen; events including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Pride Festivals, and RuPaul's DragCon; plus partnerships with brands like Spotify, Ben & Jerry’s, and American Eagle. Our award-winning online campaigns have been seen over a billion times, while our 50,000 volunteers can be seen at more than 1,500 live events each year. We reach young people where they already are – at concerts and online – to inform and empower.