Dead and Co.’s show at Citi Field in New York City turned deadly on Friday night when a man attempted to do a flip while on the fifth-floor balcony of the baseball park’s seating area and fell to the concrete below.
The fan plunged some 50 feet during the show’s intermission at around 9pm. He was taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Members of Dead and Co. were not aware of the incident and continued the show as scheduled.
Police on the scene indicated that the man, who was in his 40s, was possibly under the influence when attempting the fatal flip. “The people are inebriated, the people are intoxicated,” an anonymous security guard told The New York Post after the incident.
“He was unresponsive, and he hit the ground head first. There was no way he survived,” said a driver, identified only as Dan, who was working outside the stadium at the time. “He was way too drunk. You could smell it. His brother was with him. He was crying.”
A culture of drug use and palpable danger has followed the Grateful Dead ever since their initial formation in San Francisco. That being said, there is a strong sense of personal responsibility within the Deadhead community to prevent tragedies like this from occurring.
The version of Dead and Co. currently touring is a far more tame offshoot of the Hells Angel’s-friendly, LSD-infused Grateful Dead of the late ’60s. Excessive drug use still occurs at shows, but that remains true of every live concert, and is not exclusive to the Dead.
The tragic events will not deter people from flocking to live shows, but please, enjoy your concerts, but remember to enjoy responsibly