The pay-per-view event of the year will be Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao next weekend...but music fans will have even better options now that the Grateful Dead has announced its "Fare Thee Well" concert series at Soldier Field in Chicago will be available via a Live Alliance-produced pay-per-view showing.
Sure, it ain't free (unlike last weekend's Coachella set streams were), but Deadheads should be Grateful they get the opportunity at all. No doubt the Live Alliance opportunity came about due to the general shortage of tickets for the band's last five shows. The group announced that it would be playing three shows at Soldier Field earlier this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the group. Those tickets sold out almost instantly, and many complained that the Dead were wrapping up in the Midwest and not its homeland of California. Thus the group announced two more shows in Santa Clara, which sold out with equal speed. The band could stage a 50-date farewell tour and tickets would sell out just as easily.
The next best bet: Allowing fans to watch from home. Fans will be able to watch all five gigs live for $79.95. That may seem steep but if every righteous Deadhead knows that watching just one gig won't do...the band is legendary for its set diversity, and its last few shows will surely feature epic jams. Plus, it's a better deal than the $99.95 HBO is asking for next weekend's big fight (which could just as easily end in a round or two).
If you can't afford that, some movie theaters will be broadcasting the concerts as well (check out Fathom Events for more details).
The PPV broadcasts will be hosted by CNBC's Steve Liesman and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton (a huge fan of the band), while intermissions will feature interviews with the band and more.