The City of Bridgeport and Gathering of the Vibes have finalized an agreement to hold the annual music, camping and arts festival at Seaside Park for the next five years, through summer 2012. This year's 13th annual event, scheduled for July 31–Aug. 3, 2008, features New Orleans legends The Neville Brothers, southern rockers The Black Crowes, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and Friends and Bridgeport's own Deep Banana Blackout.
Mayor Bill Finch (D-Bridgeport) commented, "We're excited to continue developing Bridgeport's relationship with Gathering of the Vibes. The Vibes is an exceptional addition to Bridgeport's blossoming arts and entertainment scene, as well as a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Park City to thousands of out-of-town guests from throughout the country. We look forward to growing together over the next five years."
Gathering of the Vibes Executive Director Ken Hays added, "I want to thank Mayor Finch and the entire City of Bridgeport for all their support over the years. The Vibes at Seaside Park is a true team effort and I couldn't be more pleased about today's announcement. As a lifelong Connecticut resident, it's a privilege to call Seaside Park home for the next five years."
The four-day festival offers entertainment options for the entire family. In addition to showcasing 40 bands on three stages, this year's event launches the bold Green Vibes environmental initiative, aimed at educating attendees on issues related to global climate change. Local organizations committed to developing sustainable energy alternatives will be highlighted, while a "Solar Stage," featuring up-and-coming artists from the Bridgeport area and beyond, will be powered by on-site solar panels. A wide variety of custom arts and crafts vendors will be on hand, while designated kids areas provide diversions for even the youngest of attendees (kids 12 and under are admitted to the event free of charge). Convenient shuttle service to satellite lots, local hotels, the Bridgeport Metro North station and Port Jefferson Ferry makes the event an easily accessible day trip from anywhere in the northeast.
Gathering of the Vibes 2008 marks the festival's fourth appearance at Seaside Park. The 1999 and 2000 concerts were unprecedented ventures for the Park, with thousands of campers taking up residence for extended weekends of music and revelry, which propelled the event to national prominence. Following a sweeping restoration and renovation project at Seaside Park, Gathering of the Vibes returned to the Long Island Sound waterside haven in August 2007. Approximately 20,000 attendees per day enjoyed musical performances by acclaimed artists such as Buddy Guy, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir. This year's event will again showcase musical legends and emerging artists at the Park's 370 pristine acres.
WHAT: Gathering of the Vibes Festival 5-Year Contract Signing
WHEN: Friday, June 27, 2008 at 10:30am
WHERE: Seaside Park Bandshell, Bridgeport, CT
WHO: Mayor Bill Finch, Gathering of the Vibes co-founders, Ken Hays and Bob Kennedy, Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Director Charles Carroll, University of Bridgeport Vice President of Facilities and former Bridgeport Director of Public Facilities George Estrada, and members of the business and arts communities.