During Grateful Dead‘s “Fare Thee Well” concert at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, something out of dreams took place. As their set winded down, and band played a 17-minute rendition of “Viola Lee Blues”, a beautiful and perfectly-placed rainbow emerged over the venue. According to a Billboard article, however, this was not a natural occurrence, but rather a $50,000 technological investment – their statement and accompanying “insider” quote has since been redacted, however.
Over on Reddit, the real vs. fake argument is continuing as we speak. Some attendees describe clouds and rain coming before and after the rainbow, and that its appearance was gradual and natural-looking.
Other have turned their sights to a 5 year old Gizmodo article, which discusses a man-made rainbow machine capable of producing realistic rainbows of comparable size.
In light of the ongoing debates, Paul Hoffman, Grateful Dead’s lighting director has finally come forward to reveal how they did, indeed, produce the artificial rainbow: