Plan to Rename Jerry Garcia Amphitheater Saddens Deadheads

Music venue in John McLaren Park looking neglected

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    FilmMagic
    What would Jerry think of the plan to change the name of his very own Amphitheater?

    The music would play, and it would play for free.

    But at a cost -- to the legend of Jerry Garcia.

    A plan to bring 50 free concerts to an under-utilized venue in San Francisco's low-profile McLaren Park is angering some fans of the Grateful Dead, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The late Grateful Dead guitarist Garcia, who was born in the city's Excelsior neighborhood, has an amphitheater named for him not too far from his boyhood home. There's an annual "Jerry Day" festival there -- but not a whole lot else.

    Seeking ways to use the space, the Recreation and Park Department is mulling a deal that would bring 50 shows to the space -- free of charge to the public who would attend. The catch is that the deal is with Levitt Pavilions, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that rehabs venues -- and the amphitheater would be renamed.

    The stage, currently the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, would be renamed "The Levitt Pavilion San Francisco at Jerry Garcia Meadows." The song remains the same? Not quite, according to fans of the Dead, who have submitted a petition with more than 1,000 signatures opposing the name change.