Stella Blue’s Band Announces the 5th Annual Free Dead in the Park Concert

Article Contributed by gratefulweb | Published on Friday, March 22, 2024

Stella Blue’s Band is excited to announce the fifth annual Free Dead in the Park concert, benefiting Riverkeeper, and presented by The Capitol Theatre and RYTHM Cannabis. Following in the footsteps of the Grateful Dead more than 50 years ago, Stella Blue’s Band will take the stage at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, New York City, at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 14. They will perform two sets of music to raise awareness and funds for cleaning up and protecting the Hudson River and its ecosystem.

“We’re thrilled to be back supporting Free Dead in the Park and Riverkeeper, bringing together the power of good music and collective action for the environment in the heart of New York City,” said Peter Shapiro, owner of The Capitol Theatre.

“Free Dead in the Park is our family reunion, and it gets better every year,” said Steve Liesman, the band’s rhythm guitar player, a member of Riverkeeper’s board, and the senior economics reporter for CNBC. “It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of the Dead in beautiful Central Park while helping support the vital cause of cleaning up the Hudson River.”

Free Dead in the Park began in 2018 when Stella Blue’s Band first played in the bandshell to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s epic free concert there with Jefferson Airplane and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In the years following, the show has benefitted Riverkeeper and its mission to protect, clean up, and advocate for the Hudson River and surrounding ecosystems.

“Listen to the river sing sweet songs with the Stella Blue’s Band at one of Riverkeeper’s most beloved events, Free Dead in the Park,” said Tracy Brown, President of Riverkeeper. “Join environmentalists and music enthusiasts in celebrating and supporting the preservation of the Hudson River.”

“RYTHM is thrilled to support Riverkeeper and its indispensable efforts to safeguard the Hudson's ecosystem. Giving back is central to our mission, and we are humbled by the opportunity to support the community while celebrating the inspirational music of the Grateful Dead,” said Ben Kovler, Founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, a leading national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and producer of RYTHM Premium Cannabis.

An exclusive commemorative T-shirt, featuring a photo of Bob Weir onstage taken by photographer Jay Blakesberg, will be gifted to new Riverkeeper members who sign up at the event. The band is grateful to Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia’s management team for permission to use this historic photo.

The show is supported by a group of committed private and corporate contributors, including the Morgan Le Fay Dreams Foundation, Warner Bros. Discovery, the Lanza Family Foundation, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and Friends of Free Dead in the Park.

The event would not be possible without the dedication, commitment, and support of staff at the NYC Parks Department, which has helped to make the concert a success every year.

The event’s promotional and shirt graphics were contributed by the incredible Brian Woodruff of B. Woodruff Artworks.

The show will be produced by G4D Productions with support from Best Instrument Rentals.

Riverkeeper ( protects and restores the Hudson River, and safeguards drinking water supplies through community partnerships, science, and law. Our core programs improve water quality, restore habitat for an abundance of life, and address the impact of climate change on our waterways. Founded in 1966 as the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, Riverkeeper became the model for more than 320 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and helped establish globally-recognized standards for waterway and watershed protection. We continue to work toward the goal of a swimmable, fishable, and drinkable Hudson River for all.

The Capitol Theatre ( is the original rock palace. The venue has a rich history of showcasing rock legends like The Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and many more since it opened in 1926. In 2012, The Capitol Theatre underwent a transformative renovation under the guidance of entrepreneur Peter Shapiro and has since hosted many of music’s most prominent performers, including Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh, and Ringo Starr, among others.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (, which produces RYTHM Cannabis, is a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer that promotes well-being through the power of cannabis while giving back to the communities in which it serves.

Stella Blue's Band (, founded in 2009, recreates the experience of being at a Grateful Dead show. The band has been lighting up the tri-state area for more than a decade with its six-piece lineup, including two drummers, strong,