Phil Lesh & Bob Weir Will Perform A Special Duo Set At LOCKN’, And You Probably Won’t See It

first_imgToday, LOCKN’ Festival announced their “Super VIP” lineup and, as usual, it’s pretty damn exciting. The Super VIP sets are extremely intimate, exclusive performances held during the festival that are open only to those with Super VIP passes (which also get you access to special viewing areas for Main Stage shows, a separate campground, air-conditioned bathrooms and showers, catered meals, and more). LOCKN’s Super VIP program offers a fortunate few the opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences–the chance to see huge artists up-close-and-personal, on a small stage, in a small crowd, tucked away alongside tens of thousands of GA attendees.The announcement press release describes the LOCKN’ Super VIP sets as “a culmination of creativity, inspiration, and imaginative collaboration.” This is no exaggeration. On Friday, August 25th, Keller Williams & Friends will play the Super VIP stage. Sunday will see Jorma Kaukonen play a solo performance, and Friday and Saturday late-night, Super VIPs will be able to enjoy dance parties with DJ Logic. But the clear highlight of the LOCKN’ Super VIP schedule is “A Very Special Hour w/ Phil Lesh & Bob Weir on Saturday, August 26th.The two founding Grateful Dead members will also be performing an exciting set for the main festival crowd with the Terrapin Family Band (a one-time tribute to the Dead’s seminal 1977 album Terrapin Station), so the LOCKN’ masses will surely get their fair share of Phil and Bobby. And, of course, LOCKN’ is one of the year’s biggest festivals for a reason: With a ridiculous schedule of some of the best artists in the scene (that Thursday String Cheese > Umphrey’s > String Cheese > Umphrey’s > Biscuits lineup is almost too good to be true) and a host of other exciting artists and collaborations on the docket (Gov’t Mule, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Widespread Panic, John Butler Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, moe., The Marcus King Band, etc.), nobody is getting shorted on incredible music at this event. It’s a slam dunk.But the fact remains that on LOCKN’ Saturday, Phil Lesh & Bob Weir will play together on a piece of land that’s simultaneously occupied with thousands upon thousands of people who gladly would travel halfway across the world–let alone hike across Infinity Downs Farm–to see these two guys play together, and that majority won’t see the performance. It’s a topic on which people tend to have strong and differing opinions.That’s an inherent part of the increasingly prevalent market for high-end, super VIP, exclusive perks at music festivals. To provide an incredible, singular experience for some you have to, by definition, exclude the many. And that makes sense. Exclusive access is a marketable commodity. We’ve started to see it everywhere to varying degrees, and a few new events have even popped up that cater exclusively to the exclusive crowd charging outrageous sums to “party like rock stars.”They’ve been decidedly hit-or-miss. Last year’s inaugural Desert Trip capitalized successfully on the high-end live music market, selling tickets that ranged from roughly $450 – upwards of $1700 for 3-day tickets. Fans shelled out, and the event was a success, because the event lived up to the high-end experience it offered, with a ridiculous lineup of a generation’s greatest artists, amenities, and curated experiences that matched the ticket prices.But we’ve also seen the pay-to-play model backfire in disastrous fashion. Last weekend’s royally botched Fyre Festival sold extravagantly priced tickets to a purportedly extravagant event, but when attendees arrived at the event’s island locale they were met with no accommodations, lack of water and sewage systems, partially built infrastructure, feral dogs, and other general chaos. All flights to and from the island were cancelled. The event was cancelled before it started, and the organizers had been promptly hit with a $100M class action suit by Monday morning.Whether or not you like it, we live in a free economy, and any business in any industry in this country is driven by the golden rule: supply and demand. As long as the market for exclusive experiences exists, there will always be a vast majority that gets excluded–the proverbial “Phil-and-Bobby-are-playing-right-behind-that-fence-right-there-and-you’re-not-allowed-in,” if you will. And people will always have strong and differing opinions on the matter: “Pay-to-play” vs. “Equality for all.” Just watch…Whatever your thoughts on the high-end live music market, we’ll be in Arrington, VA from August 24th – 27th to join in one of the best parties of the summer. And if you’re heading to LOCKN’ but you’re not Super VIP–don’t fret, friend. We guarantee you’ll see more great music than you know what to do with that weekend. Enjoy it!For more information on LOCKN’, or to purchase tickets, head to the festival’s website. [Cover photo via Getty Images]last_img

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