The Days Between: Several Bay Area Bands Honor Jerry Garcia in Concert

Counter-culture icon and Grateful Dead co-founder Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942, in San Francisco and died on August 9, 1995, at a treatment center in Marin County.

Since Garcia’s death, Deadheads across the globe call the nine days in August between his birthday and his passing “The Days Between,” which is seen as a time to honor and celebrate the memory and the music of Garcia and the Grateful Dead.

This summer, “The Days Between” is also a two-day music festival set in Northern California on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6–7, that features performances from Dark Star Orchestra, plus North Bay and Bay Area favorites like David Nelson Band, Stu Allen and friends, Full Moonalice and others.

Presented by Shooting Star Events, The Days Between takes place at the beautiful Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, where oak woodlands and majestic meadows provide a magical setting to gather and enjoy music, camping, food and craft vendors and community.

“In this very unique year, we are pleased to have the opportunity to safely reunite with friends and family,” write organizers on the event website.

The Days Between festival will follow all Covid-19 event safety guidelines as designated by the state. Proof of a Covid-19 vaccine at least two weeks from final dose or proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival are required for everyone over age 12. Masks will be encouraged for all attendees.

Performing to critical acclaim for over 20 years and over 2800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra headlines both nights of The Days Between.

On any given night, Dark Star Orchestra will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead’s 30-plus years of extensive touring or, the band will use the Dead’s wide-ranging catalog to program a unique set list for the show.

The rest of the two-day festival’s lineup features several familiar North Bay bands and artists like the David Nelson Band, performing on Aug. 7. Nelson’s friendship with Garcia dates back to pre-Grateful Dead days when the two played in The Wildwood Boys in the early ‘60s.

Best known as one of the original members of psychedelic country rock band the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Nelson has led his namesake band since 1994, mixing roots-rock and psychedelic country-rock at shows that feel like family reunions.

Some of the members of the David Nelson Band are also in the eclectic collective Full Moonalice, performing on Aug. 6. In addition to the five core members who make up the original Moonalice group– the new Full Moonalice ensemble features the harmonizing folk siblings, the T Sisters, and the father-son soul team of Lester and Dylan Chambers.

Other bands appearing at The Days Between include Los Angeles-based Jerry Garcia Band tribute act Jerry’s Middle Finger; Santa Cruz and Bay Area string band Grateful Bluegrass Boys; musician, radio host and author David Gans; guitarist and Deadhead aficionado Stu Allen; North Bay band Tumbleweed Soul; and the Whiskey Family Band, fronted by Poor Man’s Whiskey co-founder and songwriter Jason Beard.

Black Oak Ranch has a rich history of hosting unforgettable festivals and events. The Electric on the Eel event, featuring the Jerry Garcia Band, moved to the ranch in 1992, renamed as Electric off the Eel. That event then evolved into The Hog Farm Pignic, which ran until 2001. After Garcia’s death in 1995, Deadheads gathered at The Pignic to collectively celebrate his life and mourn the loss. Black Oak Ranch is also the home of Wavy Gravy’s Camp Winnarainbow, a circus and performing arts camp for kids and adults.

Two-day tickets to The Days Between festival include camping options ranging from car camping, RV camping, walk-in camping, ADA camping, family camping and luxury camping; all of which are centralized with no camp being too far away from the action. Carpooling is highly recommended, as each vehicle will need a vehicle or RV pass. Get more info and tickets at

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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