Seeing numerous stories here about how the party enticed many people and knowing many more stories along the same lines long before, I'm glad I never felt a need to go when I could have for that reason. I liked the GD's music (esp the Terrapin Station album, B Side suite specifically), never really listened to live shows and the ones I did were just terrible sounding back then, so it never really clicked.
Fast forward almost a decade later and a pretty rough divorce that left me in a deep and very dark hole & listening to a lot of aggressive and/or angrier music, when I was ready to climb out, who but who walked through the door, pretty literally at that, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Some 8 years after Jerry moved on no less. Sat down one day, turned on, tuned in, curled up in a ball on the couch and dropped out. Put in Dicks Picks 18 and the rest was history.
That moment got me hooked on the GD, and by then the quality of traded live shows had increased tremendously thanks to technology & the internet - thank God for digitalized archives and the tapers.
In that journey I left my body, and re-found many paths I had strayed from as well as learned a few things that day about myself, about life and our connection to it both individually and collectively, and about music and the Grateful Dead. Was right after that The Dead would announce their return and that they would reunite with all plus Jimmy, Joan and Jeff. Bonnaroo bound was I. :0) :0) :0)