How do I order tickets by mail?

The Grateful Dead Ticket Service (GDTS) is set up for ordering Grateful Dead tickets direct by mail, bypassing the monopolized TicketMaster.

Here's how it works: Basically the Dead have a Spring, Summer, and Fall tour run, as well as New Year's and assorted other concerts (though these are usually in California). Approximately two months before each tour, GDTS will announce on the hotline the shows and their mail order dates. Each tour may be broken up into several different mail order dates for different shows. This fragmentation is done so GDTS can process the thousands of requests over a period of time. Typically, the hotline message will be four days before the actual mail order date, meaning you have four days to get your order (and money!) together. For Spring Tour 1993, part I was announced on December 23, and the mail order date was December 28, 1992; Part II was announced December 23, with its mail order date January 11, 1993.

[Note: For 1993's Spring Tour, the m.o. instructions included a non-standard request, that being the placement of "Spring Tour Part I" or "Spring Tour Part II" after GDTS in the address that you send the m.o. too. Since it's not standard, its not included in the following examples. If it becomes a standard practice I'll update it then.]

GDTS mail orders are processed on a first come, first served basis by the date your order was POSTMARKED. However, if there are more postmarked orders for the first mail order date than tickets, GDTS will collect all those ticket orders and employ a random selection process for filling orders. The key here is to get your mail order postmarked on the first day of mail order for the show you want. For example, if the mail order date is December 28, go to your post office and have a postal employee hand postmark your order on that day. Remember: it's illegal for the post office to postmark any date other than the current day.

The instructions for mail order are described below. I cannot stress enough to EXACTLY follow the instructions: if your order is wrong in any way, you WON'T get your tickets, unless someone at GDTS is feeling charitable that day.

Example: Joe Deadhead wants to order two tickets to all shows for the Knickerbocker in Albany, New York. The spring dates are for March 27, 28, and 29.

Items needed:

  • Two #10 envelopes (a #10 envelope is otherwise known as a legal-size business envelope, and measures approx. 4-1/4" x 9-1/2", why its called a #10 is apparently a mystery.)
  • One 3x5 Index Card.
  • At least one US Postal or American Express Money Orders.
  • At least two US Stamps= $0.32/per
  • Inner #10 envelope addressed to you

    This is the envelope that your tickets will be mailed back to you in. Do not put any information on the outside of this envelope other than your name and the address your tickets are to be mailed to, and the necessary postage.

    Outer #10 envelope, addressed to GDTS

    Inside the #10 envelope:

  • 3x5 Index card
  • Money order for tickets [and registered mail fee]
  • #10 return envelope for tickets
  • Please include your name, return address, the dates and # of tickets for each on the OUTSIDE of your order. The address to send your order to is:
            Grateful Dead Ticket Sales - Name of Concert
            P.O. Box C-S 8190       (x is usually a 5 or a 9; here it is a 9)
            San Rafael, CA 94912
    this address occasionally changes, always confirm it before ordering, by calling the mail order hotline (415) 457-8457.

    Example #10 outer envelope:

     Joe Deadhead                                        (Postage Stamp)
     12345 Terrapin Way
     Big River, TN 01812
            Grateful Dead Ticket Sales - Knickerbocker [2-3/27, 2-3/28, 2-3/29]
            P.O. Box C-S 8190
            San Rafael,  CA  94912

    Index Card

    A 3x5 index card-NOT PAPER!-, any other size will not fit in our files and may get lost. On this 3x5 card, write in the upper left hand corner:

            Your FULL NAME
            Your Address
            Your Area Code and Phone Number
            Work number (optional)
    In the middle of the card, put how many for which date. Put your ticket request by preference:
  • if you want tapers tickets make sure to write TAPER next to you request
  • Specify GENERAL ADMISSION or RESERVED SEATING if this option is available, or;
  • ANYTHING AVAILABLE- as your last preference is the best way to ensure that you get something instead of nothing.
  • Example 3x5 Index card:

          Joe Deadhead
          12345 Terrapin Way
          Big River, TN  01812
          H - (325) 458-0989
          W - (325) 466-0954
                            Albany 3/27 - 2 tickets @ 27.50 = $ 55.00
                            Albany 3/28 - 2 tickets @ 27.50 = $ 55.00
                            Albany 3/29 - 2 tickets @ 27.50 = $ 55.00
          (TAPER/GA/RES/ANYTHING AVAILABLE) registered mail = $  6.75
                                                              $171.75 enclosed
    Note that if you don't want to be so verbose that it is OK to just specify the tickets and preferences and not the math part.


    Total up all your tickets. GDTS recommends you have your tickets sent back via registered mail. GDTS will take care of the registered mail: all you need to do is include the registered mail cost of $6.75 in your money order.


    Make payable to: GRATEFUL DEAD TICKET SALES-CONCERT NAME for the exact amount. Make sure your name and address are on the money order. Keep your receipt!! If your order is not filled, your payment will be returned to you.

    No personal checks or cash EVER!!

    Note that the total amount on the postal money order MUST BE EXACT! Since the ticket office may receive more requests than there are tickets, correct requests will be processed first, and you may miss out. Numerous rejections have occurred due to errors like incorrect dollar amount, no stamps, etc.


    Joe wants two tickets to each Albany show, and each Albany ticket is $27.50. The registered mail fee is $6.75.

           Payment = ( 6 tickets * $27.50 ) + ( 6.75 Registered Mail fee )
                   = 165.00 + 6.75
                   = 171.75
    Make out money order to GRATEFUL DEAD TICKET SALES - ALBANY for $171.75, with Joe's name and address. Joe keeps the receipt.

    Canadian mail order additional instructions

    If you are ordering from Canada, here are some helpful instructions:

    Ticket prices are the same, of course, only in US dollars. There is only one option for canadian orders: canadian postal money orders in u.s. currency. THERE IS NO OTHER ACCEPTED FORM OF PAYMENT (i.e., no american express money orders as is ok in the u.s.).

    Have your mail hand-stamped by the canadian postal workers.

    Instead of putting stamps on your return envelope (SASE), enclose with your SASE an international postal coupon. I've been told that GDTS will accept one of these as equivalent to one u.s. first class postage stamp. Be sure to add the equivalent additional amount in coupons if you are ordering more than 8 tickets.

    Since your mail is passing through two postal and border systems IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU REGISTER YOUR MAIL. The price is the same as for american orders ($6.75); just add this amount to your canadian money order.

    Finally, your order will take a little longer than an american order because of the border and postal issues, but it does work!

    [Thanks to joseph muller - JMULLER@SSCvax.CIS.McMaster.CA]

    #10 Return Envelope

    Include a #10 sized self-addressed, stamped envelope for your tickets. This envelope can be folded in 3 to fit in the outside envelope. Please do NOT decorate your return envelope with Grateful Dead art or mention of tickets: it only invites theft (e.g. - Tickets Enclosed). GDTS loves and displays the artistic and colorful incoming order envelopes!!!
         Return Postage:	$.32 for 1-8 tix
        			$.55 for 9-16 tix 
    Do not add extra postage. Remember: the registered mail fee does NOT include postage, so you must put a stamp on your return envelope.

    Example #10 return envelope

           [Note: No address for GDTS.                      (Postage Stamp)
            They have a stamper.]
                                  Joe Deadhead
                                  12345 Terrapin Way
                                  Big River, TN  01812

    Other Rules

    One order per envelope and one order per person. Each person must fill out their own order. Duplicate orders of any kind will cause disqualification of all involved orders. For example, if 3 concerts are announced in the same venue, you may order the max. number of tickets to all 3 concerts in one envelope, unless GDTS states otherwise. Mixed orders or orders for more than one city in one envelope will not be accepted. All orders will be filled on a "first come, first served" basis by date postmark, NOT by when GDTS receives them.


    Make sure your envelopes are stamped. Postal employees may by habit meter your mail if you don't watch them. Express Mail and Federal Express are never accepted and are a waste of your money.

    If GDTS decides to do a random selection mail order, they will announce it on the hotline before hand. If GDTS receives more mail postmarked the first day than they have tickets for, then the mail order automatically changes to random selection.

    The mail order hotline (415) 457-8457 will give the correct information and address to mail for tickets. Do not use any other address or your request will not be filled!! If the hotline instructions are different from the above, then always follow the hotline instructions or your order may be rejected.

    Please write to GDTS with any suggestions, problems, praise or complaints at:

        Grateful Dead Ticket Sales
        P.O. Box  9812
        San Rafael, CA  94912

    [P.S. Notification from GDTS, be it tix or a rejection notice, almost always comes before tix actually go on-sale at a local outlet. If ya find yourself still waiting to hear and the on-sale date is fast approaching, say 4-5 days away, don't panic, just give 'em a ring at the ticket problem # listed above in question 1. They're usu. very helpful if it comes to that.]

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