Grateful Dead fans are hoping to call Soldier Field home for the band’s three-day 50th anniversary show this summer, but whether they’ll be allowed to set up camp or be told to keep truckin’ has yet to be determined.
A petition started this week on Change.org asks that the Grateful Dead community be allowed to camp in the parking lots at the venue over the Fourth of July weekend as the band takes the stage for what is set to be their “last-ever performance together.”
“It would be the safest thing for the city of Chicago and the Deadhead community to allow overnight camping,” the petition states.
The petition, which had nearly 6,000 signatures by argues that allowing camping would be safer than having fans drive to and from performances. It also claims the move will “increase the exposure for downtown businesses” and “allow emergency vehicles better access to roads.”
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.
Soldier Field Spokesman Luca Serra said officials are aware of the petition.
“While we understand the desires of some of the community, this is something that requires a cooperative evaluation from several entities to make a determination,” Serra said in a statement. “Opening the parking lots for a longer period than what is typical (4 hours prior to the show start) will require resources from a variety of city service departments during a very busy weekend in Chicago.”
Serra said an evaluation into the matter will take place over the next several weeks “to ultimately make a determination that is in the best interests and the safety of the city and the people coming to the shows.”