The GRATEFUL DEAD performed 11 famous shows at the VCF between 1982 and 1987. Especially noteworthy was that on the eve of the ‘86 shows that JERRY GARCIA lapsed into a diabetic coma and the world stood on edge. The band returned in 1987 to triumph yet again in Ventura for a final time.

NOTE: Undersea alien bases have been widely documented between the fairgrounds and the Channel Islands just offshore since the early 1900’s. Many have speculated that these strong energies played a significant role in the supernatural qualities of the eleven, now legendary, Ventura shows (…and the three that got away).


See vintage photos from Grateful Dead Ventura shows between ’82 and ’87.

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed once at the VCF on June 21, 1970. The Experience played to a crowd of nearly 4,000. Conflict erupted between a group of over 400 rebel gate crashers and approximately 80 local law enforcement officers. The youth threw rocks and bottles. Fifteen were arrested. HENDRIX was dead but two months later.

Babe Ruth: What is now the main parking lot once functioned as “Babe Ruth Field” home of the Ventura Yankees, minor league affiliate of the N.Y. Yankees between 1947 and 1949. Though late in his life “The Babe” hit batting practice with the team the day the field was “dedicated” in his name. Though unable to be officially confirmed, local legend states that he hit a seagull and sunk a sailboat with two of the six home runs he hit that day. Like Garcia and Hendrix, Ruth also passed away a very short time after his performance at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

PHISH also performed two famous shows in the arena. The band tripped twice to Ventura on July 30, 1997 and July 30, 1998. These shows were so highly inspired that they were immortalized in a six CD box set containing complete concerts and soundchecks from the two shows.