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Third ‘Free Dead in the Park’ concert to benefit Riverkeeper May 17 in NYC

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RISE Cannabis Dispensaries presents Stella Blue’s Band concert at Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

Free Dead in the ParkNew York, N.Y.Stella Blue’s Band is excited to announce the third “Free Dead in the Park” concert to benefit Riverkeeper, presented exclusively by RISE Cannabis Dispensaries. 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 17, 2022, for two sets of music to raise awareness and funds to help clean the Hudson River.

“We want to use this wonderful music as a force for good, whether it’s lighting up people’s souls with the sounds of the Grateful Dead or turning their attention to Riverkeeper and the work we need to do to ensure the health of the Hudson,’’ said Steve Liesman, the band’s rhythm guitar player, a member of Riverkeeper’s board and the senior economics reporter for CNBC.

Riverkeeper, which protects the Hudson River watershed and drinking water supplies for millions of New Yorkers, is active along the length of the river, from its source to New York City, battling against illegal discharges and advocating for the river’s communities, fisheries and wildlife.

“This event will remind everyone of the beauty of the great outdoors and the need to protect our environment and continue to make progress cleaning up the mighty Hudson River,” said Tracy Brown, President and Hudson Riverkeeper.

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.

“Green Thumb is honored to support Riverkeeper through a sponsorship of Free Dead in the Park. Giving back to the communities we serve has been part of our mission since our founding, and we are especially excited to align our support with the legendary music of the Grateful Dead,” said Ben Kovler, Founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, a leading national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of RISE dispensaries.

Green Thumb currently has three RISE medical cannabis stores in New York, including: Manhattan, Rochester and Halfmoon. The company is also planning to open a new cultivation and production facility on the site of a former federal prison in Warwick, N.Y., in 2023.

Free Dead in the Park has support from the Garcia Family and the management company for the late Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. They have approved use of a legendary picture of Garcia in the bandshell in 1968, taken by famed Grateful Dead photographer Rosie McGee, for a special commemorative event T-shirt, sales of which will benefit Riverkeeper.

The show also has support from a group of committed private sponsors known as Friends of Free Dead, the Morgan Le Fay Foundation and The Capitol Theatre.

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

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

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 7-piece lineup, including two drummers, strong, soulful vocals and high-energy performances.


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]
RISE Cannabis: Shannon Weaver, [email protected]

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