With 25,000 attendees expected per day, the 16th Annual Gathering of the Vibes music, arts and camping festival and the City of Bridgeport prepare for larger than expected crowds along the 370-acre waterfront of Seaside Park.
“We are working with the city parks department to make sure that everybody who comes to the Vibes has an amazing experience,” says festival promoter Ken Hays. “We’ve secured more parking lots, shuttle buses, porto-lets and increased safety patrols,” Hays added.
The Vibes 2011 line-up includes Los Angeles rockers Jane’s Addiction, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, FURTHUR featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, Dr. John & the Lower 911, The Taj Mahal Trio, Levon Helm Band, Toots and the Maytals, Tedeschi Trucks Band and moe. alongside 50 bands performing on 4 stages. The complete schedule of performances can be found at www.GOVIBES.com.
What differentiates the Vibes from other music festivals is its multi-generational fan base. With so much global uncertainty flooding the air waves, the festival offers families an opportunity to get away and reflect upon what’s truly important; family, friends, live music and community. Last year, 2,300 children accompanied their parents to the musical retreat. Gathering of the Vibes 2011 proudly partners with the nation’s top performance based musical academy, School of Rock, and also KORG USA, Lag Guitars, Vox, Blackstar, and Zildjian to create a truly interactive Rock and Roll performance space for kids and their parents to enjoy. This year, Kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by parents, and on Sunday, “Family Day at the Vibes,” kids 15 and under are admitted free of charge.
Vibes continues to “give back” to the local Bridgeport community in the form of a $100,000 donation that facilitated the construction of a splash pad on the city’s east end. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday, July 15th, celebrating the official opening of the water park just in time for families not fortunate enough to have parks and playgrounds within walking distance.
“Giving back has always been important an important part of the Vibes and the response to the water park has been overwhelming,” shared Hays. “There are so many needs in the community and in the words of Jerry Garcia, “you just gotta’ poke around” to find a way to make a positive difference.”
Gathering of the Vibes began in 1996 as a celebration of the life of Jerry Garcia who had passed away the previous summer. Initially named “Deadhead Heaven,” the festival continues to be an annual forum for fans across the country to remember the counter-cultural icon. Gathering of the Vibes combines legendary artists with emerging acts to appeal to a wide cross-section of live music enthusiasts.
Although VIP tickets are sold out, a limited number of camping tickets and single day passes are still available at prices ranging from $20 on Sunday for Connecticut residents to $225 for the full weekend camping package. Ticket prices and information can be found at www.GOVIBES.com.