Skull & Roses Festival

Next year’s SKULL & ROSES at Ventura County Fairgrounds, April 19-23, 2023, will be the fifth incarnation of the gathering, which is thriving just like the rest of the Grateful Dead culture it celebrates. This little party by the sea has grown enormously both in numbers and sophistication, to the point of having an original member of the Grateful Dead headline the festival for a second time. But the commitment to joy, dancing, and peaceful community is unchanged, which is perhaps why it’s grown so much!

The final day of Skull and Roses 2022 dawned, revealing an overcast windless sky, which was a welcome respite from the hot, windy conditions from the days before. When Keller Williams and Grateful Grass took the stage in the early afternoon, the sun began to peek through the clouds revealing a vast crowd assembled for the festival finale.

The third day of the fourth Skull and Roses Festival saw the biggest crowds ever and record warm temperatures. A strong onshore wind helped mediate temperatures. When the Alligators rotated onstage just after 4 pm, the fairgrounds were packed with music fans. The band was actually created initially as a one-off to perform at the festival. According to promoter Dennis McNally, “The Gators came into being because Chris, the promoter of Skull and Roses, had a problem—and a vision.

The second day of the 2022 Skull and Roses Festival dawned bright and sunny. By mid-afternoon, the festival grounds swelled with a much larger crowd than the first day, with many day-trippers arriving for the first time. The temperature soared into the mid-'80s, a near-record for the day, but luckily a stiff breeze from the ocean cooled things off in the late afternoon. Kitesurfers began to replace the small army of surfers who had dominated surfers' point earlier in the day.

It has been a long strange trip for the fourth annual Skull & Roses Festival. The biggest and best iteration of the festival finally took place this spring after a nearly three-year-long pandemic delay. The much-anticipated event drew the biggest crowd to date, attracting Deadheads from all over California, to the Ventura Fairgrounds, for four days of music inspired by The Grateful Dead.

If you’ve been on the fence about attending this year's SKULL & ROSES April 7-10th in Ventura, CA, here are just a few reasons why this is a NOT to be missed festival!

PHIL & FRIENDS

This year, and for the first time, an original member of the Grateful Dead, bass player Phil Lesh, joins SKULL & ROSES. The line up will feature: Phil Lesh, Stu Allen, Grahame Lesh, Jason Crosby & John Molo.

OTEIL & FRIENDS

TICKETS on sale now for a very Grateful evening with Cubensis, America’s longest-lived Grateful Dead Tribute Band making a rare trip to NorCal, PLUS Skull & Roses Festival House Band The Alligators- A high energy chompin’ tribute to the Pigpen Era of the Grateful Dead. Get your dance on, gather with good peeps in Sugartown and get ready for the best Skull & Roses Fest EVER this April 7-10 in Ventura. Setbreak giveaway, vendors TBA.

SKULL & ROSES is a four-day festival exploring unique Interpretations of Grateful Dead music & the community that surrounds it. The festival was postponed in 2020 and is looking forward to its grand return for the 4th - and what is sure to be the best - installment so far at the holy grail of the West Coast Grateful Dead scene, the Ventura County Fairgrounds (California), from April 7-10, 2022.

Unless you’ve passed through Los Angeles or attended a Skull and Roses Festival, the annual Ventura Fairgrounds gathering of Dead Heads and bands playing Dead music, you probably don’t know too much about the Alligators….this needs to change.

Skull & Roses Festival officially dropped reschedule dates yesterday and also announced a virtual party happening this week…as we can’t all be together this weekend in Ventura.

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