Thursday, October 8, 2009

August 7, 1976: Wembley Stadium, London, England – Grateful Dead, Santana, New Riders of the Purple Sage (Cancelled)

Bill Graham had lined up England’s national soccer stadium (capacity 80,000 plus) to lay on an outdoor show at Wembley called “Greetings from San Francisco”.

The Dead were booked, Santana were booked and the NRPS were keen to hit London. The bands had been lined up to fly in on August 5 from JFK to London Heathrow. Wembley had been sold out the previous summer for an all day event featuring Elton John, The Eagles, Joe Walsh, Beach Boys (with Chicago’s horn section) and Rufus. However, it seems that Bill Graham was overambitious to think that he would be able to fill Wembley for his San Francisco show. Although tickets were issued, the show ended up being cancelled. The Dead would not return to England again until the Rainbow Theatre shows in March 1981.


  1. Rainbow Theatre in 1981.

    There were also plans to do London around the time of the Egypt trip, but they were also cancelled.

  2. Thanks for the correction about the Rainbow shows. They returned to the Rainbow again in October the same year. I attended the March 21 and 24 shows and later in the year made it along to two of the October shows (I think the 3rd and 6th).

    I have a poster for the planned September 19, 1978 show (also at the Rainbow Theatre which was the European end of the Egypt visit. The plan was for the band to play the Rainbow as they returned to the US through London. The tour poster is on the same base Alton Kelley artwork as the Egypt poster. It turns up now and again.

  3. I had tickets for the Wembley show in 76 and queued overnight to get tickets for all 3 Rainbow shows in 78. As may be imagined, I was pretty pissed off with the cancellations.