Bad news, Grateful Dead fans: Overnight parking or camping won't be allowed outside Soldier Field during the band’s Chicago farewell shows in July, despite the efforts of many petitioners.
Soldier Field spokesperson Luca Serra said Tuesday that officials decided not to permit overnight parking or camping during the Grateful Dead's "Fare Thee Well" tour after an assessment by the Chicago Park District and other city agencies.
More than 11,000 Grateful Dead fans signed a petition earlier this year asking officials to allow concert-goers to stay in the lots outside the venue, citing safety concerns with driving during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“While we understand the desires of some of the community excited about the band’s last performances, the decision was made with the health and safety of concertgoers and lakefront visitors as top of mind during this busy weekend,” Serra said in a statement.
Serra said Soldier Field shares the campus with three museums and a harbor and is close to the “very populated” South Loop community, which is why camping is typically not allowed.
“For those traveling, we recommend staying at Chicago’s exceptional hotels to experience all that Chicago has to offer during their stay,” Serra said.
Camping is a tradition for many Dead fans and typically led to what some described as a tent city, where people would often sell food, drinks and other goods outside venues.
The band’s three-day 50th anniversary performance is scheduled to take place during the Fourth of July weekend is said to be their “last-ever performance together.”
Tickets for the highly anticipated event sold out within moments Saturday, causing prices to soar as high as $116,000 on resale sites like StubHub.