Surviving members of the Grateful Dead are keeping alive plans for a reunion this summer, now that concert promoter Clear Channel Entertainment has appealed a Walworth County (Wisc.) highway committee

Surviving members of the Grateful Dead are keeping alive plans for a reunion this summer, now that concert promoter Clear Channel Entertainment has appealed a Walworth County (Wisc.) highway committee's decision last week to deny it a permit for two August shows at East Troy's Alpine Valley Theatre.

The committee said last week that the venue and the area could not handle the enormous crowd expected for the Aug. 3-4 concerts. The event was expected to draw 200,000 fans, but only 35,000 are allowed at Alpine Valley, said Odell R. Gigante, chairman of the highway committee.

A letter posted on the Dead's official Web site said the estimated 200,000 concertgoers "does not square with the 30 years of Dead history." It also said the band intends to play publicly together this summer, and that members are looking for other venues in the region. "We are currently looking at all the alternatives available to us to insure a safe and successful event," said the letter.

Terrapin Station - A Grateful Dead Family Reunion would be the first time Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir have staged a concert together since the 1995 death of Dead founder Jerry Garcia. The four surviving members played together unannounced in the San Francisco area in 1998 and in January.

The county's executive committee has set an appeals hearing for June 27, said Michael Cotter, an attorney for Walworth County. The company can sue the county if the executive committee denies the appeal, Cotter said.

John Kunz, executive director of Clear Channel, which operates Alpine Valley, did not immediately return calls yesterday (June 17). He has said the company may be able to resolve some of the committee's issues.


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