Deadheads Seeking Soldier Field Campout

Fans of the Grateful Dead want a campout style atmosphere during three 50th anniversary concerts in July at Chicago’s Soldier Field, but whether the venue will allow it is another question.

Jeremy Davis, of Florida, started an online petition – which had about 8,000 signatures by Saturday -asking that overnight parking be allowed in lots surrounding the stadium along Lake Michigan.

Davis said it would keep the anticipated tens of thousands of fans from crowding downtown streets and reduce traffic congestion. He added that fans — eager for what could be one of the band’s last shows — are willing to pay more and it could be an economic opportunity for Chicago.

Also, it’s long been a Deadhead tradition with fans bringing RV’s to concerts with “no negativity,” he said.

“It’s something that we’ve been doing for so long,” said Davis, who works in finance but also makes jewelry sold at concerts “This is almost a no brainer.”

Officials in Chicago said many factors have to be considered, among them safety. Opening lots around Soldier Field for more than four hours prior to the show — the typical time — will take resources and coordination from police, the fire department and other agencies. He said an evaluation would take place over the coming weeks.