Review - Jerry Day 2018 @ McLaren Park (8/5/18)

Melvin Seals (Photo: Kate Haley)
Melvin Seals and the JGB (Photo: Kate Haley)
The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park embodies the best in community. For the 16th consecutive year, Deadheads, an army of tie-dye clad volunteers, local government, and one hugely dedicated core team was there to celebrate Jerry Day 2018.
Deadhead with a Bertha bag (Photo: Kate Haley)
16 years ago, Jerry Day’s founder, Tom Murphy, first set this in motion in the interest of both honoring San Francisco’s native son, Jerry Garcia, and to revitalize McLaren Park, which had been overtaken by crime. Murphy learned that Jerry Garcia spent part of his early life living with his grandparents in the Excelsior District and saw this as an opportunity to affect change through community pride.
The Gary Gates Band (Photo: Kate Haley)
This free event continues to host iconic bands, including this years' headliners Melvin Seals and the JGB and Stu Allen and the Mars Hotel, both honoring the musical legacy of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. The Santa Cruz based Gary Gates Band started the jubilee off brilliantly.
Sunshine Garcia Becker and Lady Chi of the JGB (Photo: Kate Haley)
Amidst the twirling and exaltation, real change was happening as donations were freely given to fund further improvements of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, an effort that began in 2003 with the support of organizations such as the City of San Francisco and the Jerry Garcia Estate. Trixie Garcia has served as an advisor at Jerry Day since its inception.
Scott Cooper of the Gary Gates Band (Photo: Zaki Shemisa)
The overarching theme of any Dead show was an utter sense of kindness, and that tune is as true today as ever. Tots ran about, grandparents danced with grandchildren, and the stories unfolded in the music. Laughter, bubbles, and pinwheels filled the air. Dennis McNally spoke and the bands couldn’t have brought a more beautiful jam. [Ed. note: you can find our full interview with Dennis McNally here.]
Audience Deadheads (Photo: Kate Haley)
If the bus came by but you weren’t able to get on this year, check out the full stream of the entire event up on YouTube below. You'll also find the setlists from both Melvin Seals & the JGB and Stu Allen and the Mars Hotel.

Jerry Day operates as a 501C and donations are graciously accepted year round. Hope to see you there next year!

Melvin Seals & JGB Setlist Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, San Francisco, CA, USA 2018

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel Setlist Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, San Francisco, CA, USA 2018

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