The Grateful Dead will issue CD’s and video releases of their recent”Fare Thee Well” concerts on November 20 under the title ‘Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead.’ The July 3rd, 4th and 5th concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field finds the band’s surviving members – drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, bassist Phil Lesh and guitarist Bob Weir – playing two sets of music each night alongside guitarist Trey Anastasio, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and pianist Bruce Hornsby. A limited-edition release will offer audio and video of the complete event via the band’s website.
The Fare Thee Well release will be available in a variety of formats. The most basic versions is a two-CD “best of” collection, featuring highlights from all three nights, which will also be available digitally. A two-disc DVD and Blu-ray release will contain full video from the band’s final concert. The group is also issuing a four-CD set with either double-disc DVD or Blu-ray, which will contain full audio and video from the final performance.
All the releases will be available on the band’s website, but the most extravagant versions – the ones available only via Dead.net – will comprise 12 CDs and either seven DVDs or Blu-rays; these contain the full audio and video from all three shows in individually numbered packaging, which has been limited to 20,000 copies each. One of the DVDs or Blu-rays in these editions is a bonus disc containing unique footage from the shows: a behind-the-scenes look filmed by Kreutzmann’s son Justin, shots of the band’s ticketing office documenting the more than 350,000 ticket requests it received, a peek at what went on in the parking lot of Soldier Field outside the shows and backstage material from the gigs.