Long Jams, Short Videos: The Grateful Dead Are Now on TikTok

They're celebrating 4/20 by joining the social media platform

The Grateful Dead, seen here performing in 1976, have now joined TikTok on 4/20
The Grateful Dead, seen here performing in 1976, joined TikTok on 4/20.
Ed Perlstein/Redferns/Getty Images

Experts differ on what the longest Grateful Dead jam is, but the candidates for that honor all appear to be in excess of 45 minutes. As for the group’s longest show, you’d be looking at somewhere between 245 and 280 minutes in length. All of that to say, the Grateful Dead are not necessarily the first band that comes to mind when you think about bite-sized pieces of audio and video.

Nonetheless, technology has a funny way of making unexpected connections. That’s why the Grateful Dead now have a TikTok account — launched, inevitably, on 4/20. As of this writing, there’s only one post available there, featuring a collection of live footage and audio from a 1969 performance of “St. Stephen” recorded at Fillmore West.


Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right ⚡️💀🌹

♬ St. Stephen (Live at the Fillmore West San Francisco, 1969) [2001 Remaster] – Grateful Dead

That said, the Grateful Dead are far from the only iconic musicians of decades past that have made their way to the platform in question. The Beatles’ official TikTok account has 1.4 million followers, while Pink Floyd’s account is at just under a million.

Who Was Jerry Garcia? We Asked the Guy Who Photographed Him for Two Decades.
Jay Blakesberg remembers his 17 years with the Grateful Dead as “the great American adventure”

And while those numbers pale in comparison to more contemporary artists using the platform — to cite one example, Bad Bunny has 31 million followers for his TikTok account — a million people having access to one’s posts is nothing to sneer at. It does seem like the appeal of the Grateful Dead could be a bit more challenging to translate into a TikTok-friendly format, but seeing how that question is answered could also make this an account worth watching.

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