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The 17th annual Gathering of the Vibes festival, a musical extravaganza that includes good food, camping, family-friendly events and even charity, started this afternoon and continues through Sunday night.
The festival at Seaside Park in Bridgeport is expected to attract 25,000 visitors, known as the “VibeTribe,”between July 19 and July 22.
This year, more than 45 bands will be playing, including Primus, The Machine, Phil Lesh & Friends Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby, The Avett Brothers and Steel Pulse. Local favorites, the McLovins, as well as The Avett Brothers will perform.
Parents can listen to their favorites free of guilt as their children and teens enjoy youth-tailored entertainment.
The Kid’s Corner is open from 9 a.m. to sundown each day, featuring music as well as educational and creative workshops.
One World Puppetry & Ash Street Puppets will team up to help kids make their own life-size puppet over the weekend. Nick of Time, The Giant will perform wizardry and incorporate giant toys into his show to engage kids while BioBus promotes marine biology to people of all ages through workshops, special walks, and interactive games.
Teens may be more attracted to events like “Everyone’s Drumming,” a percussion show with audience engagement.
But aside from all the fun, Gathering of the Vibes has a charitable agenda. A food drive will take place all weekend.
Last year, 7,218 lbs. of food and clothing were donated, and the festival is hoping for even more in 2012.
Kids 12 and under are admitted for free when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, except for VIP Packages.
On Sunday, single tickets are free for kids who are 15 and under when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Kids 12 and under are free for weekend camping.
A “Terrapin Flyer” shuttle bus is available with unlimited rides for $20.
A band and stage schedule can be found on Gathering of the Vibes website.