Tie-Died: Rock’n’Roll’s Most Deadicated Fans

Director: Andrew Behar

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Tie-Died is an artfully crafted film which gives a comprehensive look at a cultural phenomenon that has been going on for the last three decades. Through footage and interviews with Grateful Dead fans from coast to coast, we are able to explore this ever popular subculture. More than just a group of hippies traveling the country, these people have formed a community, an actual minisociety. Some Deadheads, as they are called, live out of their cars (Volkswagen buses are the auto of choice), selling various goods at the shows, and some even raise their children on the road. They feel a spiritual bond with both the band and other Deadheads. Many types of people are drawn to the Grateful Dead, from free spirits and nineties’ hippies, to various professionals seeking an alternative lifestyle. And something keeps them all coming back, year after year.

But much has changed since the band began touring. The Grateful Dead have always been associated with drugs, and newly enforced, stricter drug laws have brought undercover drug-enforcement officials to the shows. Minimum sentencing has put many Deadheads in federal prisons for possessing small amounts of drugs .This community of followers can be viewed as a vestige of the sixties, a group which wishes to remain outside of the mainstream; they know what to expect and have chosen to live their lives this way. Director Andrew Behar (Painting the Town) has made a visually stunning film, rich with original performances by various Deadheads, who are as musical as their idols. Following the Deadheads who follow the Grateful Dead is quite an experience.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

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