News > News > Riverkeeper > The Capitol Theatre and Rythm Cannabis Present the 4th Free Dead in the Park – A concert to benefit Riverkeeper

The Capitol Theatre and Rythm Cannabis Present the 4th Free Dead in the Park – A concert to benefit Riverkeeper

Free Dead in the Park 2023-500-cropped

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Stella Blue’s Band is excited to announce the 4th annual Free Dead in the Park concert to benefit Riverkeeper, presented by The Capitol Theatre and RYTHM Cannabis. Following in the footsteps of the Grateful Dead over 50 years ago, Stella will take to the same stage at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park in New York City at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, for two sets of music to raise awareness and funds to help clean up and protect the Hudson River and its ecosystem.

“The music of the Grateful Dead, the spirit of social action, and the energy of New York City all go hand in hand every year at Free Dead in the Park,” said Peter Shapiro, owner of The Capitol Theatre.

“We’re honored to follow in the footsteps of the Dead at this amazing location and focus on the vital cause of cleaning up the mighty Hudson River,’’ said Steve Liesman, the band’s rhythm guitar player, a member of Riverkeeper’s board and the senior economics reporter for CNBC. Free Dead in the Park began in 2018 when a fan of Stella Blue’s Band obtained a $25 permit for the band to play in the bandshell to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s epic free concert there with Jefferson Airplane and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. It’s since blossomed into a major fundraising event for Riverkeeper.

“Free Dead in the Park is such an exciting and significant event each year because it connects music fans with the environment and gives them the opportunity to make a difference in their community by helping protect the Hudson River,’’ said Tracy Brown, President of Riverkeeper.

“Green Thumb is excited to continue our support of Riverkeeper and its invaluable work to preserve the Hudson’s ecosystem. Giving back to local communities is core to our mission, and what better way to do so than while celebrating the music of the Grateful Dead,” said Ben Kovler, Founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, a leading national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and producer of RYTHM Cannabis.

An exclusive commemorative t-shirt featuring a photo of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir onstage taken by the one and only Jay Blakesberg will be on sale at the event and its proceeds will also benefit Riverkeeper. The band is grateful to Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia’s management and Rhino Entertainment for permission to use this historic photo.

The show also has support from a group of committed private contributors — the Morgan Le Fay Dreams Foundation and Friends of Free Dead in the Park.

The event would not be possible without the dedication, commitment, and support of staff at the NYC Parks Department, which has helped to make the concert a success in years past.

The event’s promotional and shirt graphics were contributed by the incredible Brian Woodruff of B. Woodruff Artworks.

The show will be produced by G4D Productions with support from Best Instrument Rentals.

Riverkeeper is a member-supported organization that protects and restores the Hudson River from source to sea and safeguards drinking water supplies through advocacy rooted in community partnerships, science, and law.

The Capitol Theatre is the original rock palace. The venue has a rich history of showcasing rock legends like The Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and many more since its original 1926 opening. In 2012, The Capitol Theatre underwent a transformative renovation under the guidance of entrepreneur Peter Shapiro and has since hosted many of music’s most prominent performers, including Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh, Ringo Starr, and others.

Green Thumb Industries Inc., which produces RYTHM Cannabis, is a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer that promotes well-being through the power of cannabis while giving back to the communities in which it serves.

Stella Blue’s Band, founded in 2009, recreates the experience of being at a Grateful Dead show. The band has been lighting up the tri-state area for more than a decade with its six-piece line-up, including two drummers, strong, soulful vocals, and high-energy performances.

Click here for promotional graphics.

For more information, including links to articles about the Grateful Dead’s 1968 concert, please check out

Stella Blue’s Band, Steve Liesman: [email protected]
Riverkeeper, Leah Rae: [email protected]
Green Thumb Industries Inc., Shannon Weaver: [email protected]

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