So you’re thinking about going to the Gathering of the Vibes? What is there to think about?!? It is one of the kindest bestest festivals ever. And it’s all inspired by the same inspiration that moves Deadheadland brightly – the love, light, and music of Jerry Garcia.
The Grateful current runs throughout this fest! Obviously with Furthur and The Rhythm Devils both playing (for the second year in a row for both bands!) it is guaranteed to be a haven for Deadheads. While Furthur is stopping in mid-tour, it is the ONLY show The Rhythm Devils are playing all year! Billy has been so busy with 7 Walkers, and the Mickey Hart Band is touring in August… here is a chance to see them playing together.
Need more reason? How about Jane’s Addiction! Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, and Dave Navarro are guaranteed to be groovy – have you seen how they dress?. And if there was ever a place for them to break out there version of “Ripple”, Vibes would be it. (On a personal note, I used to go to see the Grateful Dead with Stephen Perkins and his late brother Mark (RIP), who was my good friend. It warms my heart to see Stephen’s band play at this festival – and I know Marc would be so effin’ proud of his little bro! Plus Mark is hangin’ with Jerry, so it’s all good,y’know?)
Not enough? How about: Elvis Costello, Levon Helm, Toots and the Maytals, Taj Mahal, Deep Banana Blackout, the McLovins, David Gans… the list goes on and the groove does not stop all night long!!!
With lovely grassy campgrounds in beautiful Seaside Park in Bridgeport Connecticut, and some of the nicest people ever come to this fest – old and young heads, kind people. Your people. My people.
Being as that I am from the west coast, I was not sure what to make of my first visit to Vibes. With a 15 year history I had certainly heard of the event in the past… fortunately I had friends (from all over the country) there, so I felt at home. Plus it was not very hard to make many new friends, whom I hope to reconnect with this year. How sweet it was – Gathering of the Vibes is a wonderful world! So much so, that I can’t imagine not being part of it again. So very grateful…
Large and comfortable campgrounds, some even have shade – but it is always recommended you bring some of your own! Set up a tent, chill under a canopy, and hang out and get to know your neighbors. I met people from India and Indiana – from Boston and Brooklyn. And I certainly wasn’t the only person from California there. I had a lovely swim in the Sound (the water between Bridgeport CT, and Long Island NY), and party and danced in the sounds and vibes all weekend.
Last year had some great highlights! I had a double dose of Jeff Mattson, playing with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band and Dark Star Orchestra! Of course Furthur’s set was stellar and included a masterful complete “Terrapin Suite”. The Rhythm Devils, featuring Keller Williams and Davy Knowles knocked my socks off – a whole different Vibe than Furthur, just as fun in a different way. And Primus – did not suck(!) – though they were very weird! Good to see our Ratdog pal Jay Lane, playing with Les Claypool again! Little Feat did a great “Dixie Chicken > Tennessee Jed > Dixie Chicken” – a meaty sandwich of Lowell and Jerry tributes!
More good musical treats last year: David Gans – does a wonderful set, very fun and heartfelt, and he has this song that is made up of snippets of 6 or so Grateful Dead songs that will drive you nuts if you are the type that begs to call the tune… David Will be there this year, too, and will also be broadcasting LIVE on Sunday, his Sirius Grateful Dead Channel show “Tales From The Golden Road”.
And I was very impressed by the young jam
mers in The McLovins – this band is not kid stuff, they can really play. I love there mix of genre’s and jams – and this year they play on the main stage!
The Vibes covers many musical genres too – while not for me, last years festival closed out with Damian Marley and NAS – and I hear the kids loved it! Heh heh… I snuck off before they played, but I did get to see one of my all time favorites, Jimmy Cliff (he was second to last) – and wow he did a powerful set of positive reggae and world music vibration!
With some of the same acts as last year, and many others, this year promises to be even better!
Good friends, good music, good vibes! Plus Wavy Gravy!
So don’t debate it, if you can make it (even for just one of the days) – GO TO VIBES!
See you there!
P.S. – be sure and visit the Karma Wash – tell ‘em Deadheadland sent ya!