Ventura Offers Array of Alternatives to Skull & Roses This Week

April 15, 2024
Ventura Offers Array of Alternatives to Skull & Roses This Week

Last Week, beloved Grateful Dead tribute festival Skull & Roses canceled its 2024 event, which would was planned for April 19-21 at Ventura, Calif.’s Ventura County Fairgrounds. With this abrupt change of plans, a great number of deadheads have been left without an alternate arrangement to make use of time booked in the area. Thankfully, though the stage has been broken down, the music endures. A selection of artists from the scene and the region have scrambled to stage new events to accommodate the would-be attendees; with the listings below, fans still traveling to Ventura can piece together their own festival programs.

The first available alternate show arrives on Wednesday, April 17, when The Peoples Dead will perform at Tony’s Pizzaria in Ventura Beach, Calif. Originally slated as a Skull & Roses Pre-Warmup Party, this event will offer live Dead covers with no cover at an intimate local-favorite spot only a block from the beach. Then on Thursday, April 18, the Crowne Plaza Hotel will commence its three-day programming, offering Dead-inflected performances on the oceanfront patio for guests and passers-by alike; the first act to perform in this series will be Dead Set 805.

Next, beloved Angelino Dead cover unit Grateful Shred will kick off its Shred 420 run, taking the stage at Los Angeles’ Lodge Room on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 to celebrate the holiday in style. Friday’s performance will feature a pre-show reading by Eric Ernest Johnson & Friends, then Saturday will show the debut of e@z, featuring Elgin Park, Robert Walker, Joey Waronker and Gabe Noel, as well as an opening set from Healing Gems. Saturday’s experience will also be amplified by attractions and atmosphere from Vendors Row; get passes to both nights here. The Peoples Dead will perform at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday and Saturday, and Hyrider will take the stage at the hotel on Friday for 3 sets from 5:30-10:30 p.m. On Saturday, the hotel will also host an Acoustic Dead Set from John Lovero of Higgs and Dan Stein of Shambala, as well as a performance from Neil Levin.

Come Sunday, April 21, the scene will be out in full force with an array of exciting events around the region. Grateful Shred will continue its party with a special 4/21 bonus show and dance party at Belly Up at Solana Beach, Calif., billed as “even higher than the night before!” Up the coast, Joe Marcinek will hold his widely-celebrated Dead Funk Summit at Hermosa Beach, Calif.’s Saint Rocke, blending the Dead’s inimitable stylings with NOLA funk with an ensemble including Particle’s Steve Molitz, Cubensis’ Nate LaPointe, Dumpstaphunk’s Tony Hall, Galactic’s Stanton Moore and Jason Hann of The String Cheese Incident, plus an opening set from Shambala. Get tickets here.

Sunday will also show Golden Road Festival presenting a special program at Ventura, Calif.’s Ventura Theatre titled Maybe It Was The Roses; this bill boasts performances from Saviors, Spirits and Wingmen–featuring members of Dead and Co., Dark Star Orchestra, Golden Gate Wingmen and more–and Garcia Grisman Revisited, composed of Stu Allen, Ronnie McCoury, Joe Craven and Jim Kewin. Reed Mathis, The Alligators and No Simple Highway will also take the stage, among other special guests still to be announced. For tickets and more information, visit

This list will be updated with further events and details as they are announced. Skull & Roses is currently in the process of distributing refunds to all ticket holders; contact for refund information.