This article is from the Grateful Dead FAQ, by John J. Wood, Eric Nay and Ihor Slabicky firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
The Grateful Dead Ticket Service (GDTS) was set up for ordering Grateful
Dead tickets direct by mail, bypassing the monopolized TicketMaster.
Their is info about GDTS Too at the end of this section.
"After four months of heartfelt consideration, the remaining members of the
band met December 8th (1995), and came to the conclusion that the "long
strange trip" of the uniquely wonderful beast known as the "Grateful Dead"
is over. Although individually and in various combinations they will
undoubtedly continue to make music, whatever the future holds will be
something different in name and structure."
"While we won't be playing under the name "Grateful Dead,"
we're still going to be plenty busy in 1996."
Here's how things used to work...
Basically when the Dead had a Spring, Summer, and Fall
tour run, as well as assorted other concerts (though these
are usually in California). Approximately two months before each tour,
GDTS would announce on the hotline [see #1] the shows and their mail order
dates. Each tour may have be broken up into several different mail order dates
for different shows. This fragmentation was done so GDTS can process the
thousands of requests over a period of time. Typically, the hotline
message was four days before the actual mail order date, meaning you
have four days to get your order (and money!) together. For Spring Tour
1993, part I was announced on December 23, and the mail order date was
December 28, 1992; Part II was announced December 23, with its mail
order date January 11, 1993.
GDTS mail orders were processed on a first come, first served basis by the
date your order was POSTMARKED. However, if there were more postmarked
orders for the first mail order date than tickets, GDTS would collect all
those ticket orders and employ a random selection process for filling
orders. The key here was to get your mail order postmarked on the first
day of mail order for the show you want. For example, if the mail order
date was December 28, it would be best to go to your post office and
have a postal employee hand postmark your order on that day. Remember:
it's illegal for the post office to postmark any date other than the
The instructions for mail order are described below. I cannot stress
enough to EXACTLY follow the instructions: if your order is wrong in
any way, you WON'T get your tickets, unless someone at GDTS is feeling
charitable that day.
**Example: Joe Deadhead wants to order two tickets to all shows
for the Knickerbocker in Albany, New York. The spring
dates are for March 27, 28, and 29.
-Two #10 envelopes (a #10 envelope is otherwise known as a legal-size
business envelope, and measures approx. 4-1/4" x 9-1/2", why its
called a #10 is apparently a mystery.)
-One 3x5 Index Card.
-At least one US Postal or American Express Money Orders.
-At least two US Stamps= $0.32/per
0) Inside #10 envelope addressed to you.
This is the envelope that your tickets will be mailed back to
you in. Do not put any information on the outside of this envelope
other than your name and the address your tickets are to be mailed
to, and the necessary postage.
0) Outside #10 envelope, addressed to GDTS.
Inside the #10 envelope:
1) 3x5 Index card
2) Money order for tickets [and registered mail fee]
3) #10 return envelope for tickets
Please include your name, return address, the dates and # of
tickets for each on the OUTSIDE of your order.
The address to send your order to is:
Grateful Dead Ticket Sales - Name of Concert
P.O. Box C-S 81x0 (x is usually a 5 or a 9)
San Rafael, CA 94912
this address occasionally changes, always confirm it before
ordering, by calling the mail order hotline (415) 457-8457.
Example #10 outer envelope:
Joe Deadhead (Postage Stamp) 12345 Terrapin Way Big River, TN 01812 Grateful Dead Ticket Sales - Knickerbocker [2-3/27, 2-3/28, 2-3/29] P.O. Box C-S 8190 San Rafael, CA 94912