The Dead & Company will perform its upcoming “Playing In The Sand” concerts in Mexico without co-founding drummer Bill Kreutzmann, who’s dealing with heart issues. The shows run in Cancun, Mexico on January 7th, 8th, 10th and again on the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th. Drummer Jay Lane, who sat in for Kreutzmann last fall, will be behind the kit once again with Mickey Hart.

Kreutzmann formed the Grateful Dead in 1965 with Jerry GarciaBob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan.

Kreutzmann took to Twitter to announce his absence from the shows — which are running into snags with many Deadheads opting to stay home rather than brave a super spreader event in light of the covid upsurge.

Bill Kreutzmann’s message to fans:

Playing in the Sand has become my favorite tour stop in recent years and there’s so much about it that’s just so great. And thus, it is with a heavy and still recovering heart that I have to relay a note that I received from my doctor this morning…ordering me to sit this one out.

As many of you know, I had some health issues this past fall. After a lifetime of playing special beats, it’s almost no wonder that my heart came up with its own idea of rhythm. All jokes aside, my doctor has ordered me to take it easy… (and stay safe) through the end of January so that I can continue to drum and play for you for many tours to come. I have a lot of music left in me and there’s no stopping me from playing it.

I’ve never been one to obey orders or play by the rules but in the interest of longevity, I hope you’ll understand. I wish my brothers in the band the best these next two weeks and I look forward to meeting back up with them — and with you — before you know it. Please stay safe out there so that we can do it all again.


  • Along with Grateful Dead members Bob WeirMickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann — the Dead & Company is rounded out with guitarist John Mayer, former-Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge, and longtime RatDog and Dead sideman, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.

CHECK IT OUT: The Grateful Dead on July 19th, 1989 performing “Deal” live in East Troy, Wisconsin: