Deading to the beach: First-ever Dead Ahead festival kicks off Friday

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Grateful Dead fans will be taking over Riviera Cancun, Mexico, to enjoy some music, sun and more at the first-ever Dead Ahead festival, which kicks off Friday, January 12.

The festival will feature four nights of music, with artists like The Dead’s Bobby Weir and Mickey HartJeff ChimentiOteil BurbridgeDon Was and Jay Lane, along with special appearances by Derek TrucksSusan TedeschiMargo PriceSturgill Simpson and more. 

The festival begins with two headlining sets from Weir and the Wolf Brothers, featuring the Wolfpack. It’s followed by a ”late night rhythmic experience” with Hart’s Noche de Ondas, featuring a guest list that includes Trucks, percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo and Karl Perazzo, bass player Isaac Eady and drummer Lane. Hart promises a performance that “ties together many musical worlds.”

Saturday night will be headlined by Oteil & Friends, followed by a late night show from Lettuce celebrating the Jerry Garcia Band.

The last two nights will feature curated collaborations celebrating the Grateful Dead songbook, all with Weir, Hart, Chimenti, Burbridge, Was and Lane, with Sunday’s set featuring guests Trucks, Tedeschi and Simpson, and Monday’s featuring Price, Rick Mitarotonda and Simpson.

The weekend is more than just a concert, though, with attendees able to enjoy pool parties, jam sessions on the beach, golf outings, performance artists, interactive art installations and plenty of other activities.

While this is the inaugural Dead Ahead festival, it isn’t the first time members of The Dead have held a festival south of the border. From 2018 to 2020 Dead & Company headlined their own Playing in the Sand festival in Riviera Maya.

More information and a full schedule can be found at deadaheadfestival.com

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