Grateful Dead Smokes Backstreet Boys With Pay-Per-View Record

The Grateful Dead just keeps on truckin’, toasting the pay-per-view record for live music shows set in 1999 by the Backstreet Boys. More than 400,000 subscribers paid to watch one or all of the Dead’s five Fare Thee Well concerts via cable, satellite or online stream, according to broadcast producer Live Alliance.

According to our sister publication Variety, the Dead’s five-night concert presentation grossed $52.2 million in ticket sales. The Dead’s 400,000+ views are a big jump over the ’90s boy band’s 160,000 views back in ’99, says Live Alliance, although, to be fair, the Backstreet Boys were the first to hit the 100,000-plus mark for paying customers.

The Dead shows, available on YouTube, the Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon Fios and AT&T Uverse, ranged in single-show prices from $19.95 to $29.95, with a package deal available at $109.95.

Long known for its massive, devoted following of tour-trailing fans, the surviving Dead–Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart–were augmented by Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio for this reunion tour, a going-away trip marking the band’s 50th anniversary. The five concerts (two from Santa Clara, California, and three from Chicago) will remain available via pay-per-view until August 2.

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