If you grew up in the era of Woodstock or simply love music camping, and the Grateful Dead, Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport may be your jam.
The 19th annual weekend-long music festival kicked off at Seaside Park Thursday, July 31 and runs through Sunday. It's the 10th year Gathering of the Vibes has been at that location, according to the event website.
Former Grateful Dead members Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart will perform with The Disco Biscuits as a headlining act.
On Friday, the lineup includes Slightly Stoopid, John Fogerty, Deep Banana Blackout and EOTO.
Saturday’s lineup includes Vibes veterans Assembly of Wine in the morning; Mystic-based Barefoot Truth in the afternoon and Dumpstaphunk.
You’ll be singing along with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros when they perform “Home,” “40 Day Dream” or “Janglin” on Saturday.
Dispatch and Allen Stone are the headlining closing acts at the festival on Sunday evening, with Dispatch on the Main Stage at 6 p.m. and Allen Stone on the Green Vibes stage at 4:45 p.m.
Sunday also features kid-friendly events on Connecticut Family Day. A School of Rock 2014 AllStars performance featuring American teen musicians is scheduled and kids will have the opportunity to jam with major artists performing on the Main and Green Vibes stages, according to a news release. At 11 a.m., kids can learn about sound mixing with L-ACOUSTICS or listen to Andy "The Music Man, followed by a parade (parents welcome) and World Peace Flag Ceremony at 11:45 a.m.
At noon Sunday, Chris Hubbard, the production manager for the Gathering of the Vibes, will teach teens what it takes to produce a concert. Families can also bring their kids to the Grateful Games Kids Olympics, ride on an 85-foot high Ferris wheel, do family yoga, drum or sing in workshops, have a caricature painted of them, and enjoy face painting and dancing with "life-sized puppets," the news release stated.
Other performers at this year's event include Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, Dispatch, Lotus: Talking Heads Deconstructed, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Umphrey's McGee, moe., Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Maceo Parker, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Dumpstaphunk, Allen Stone, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dark Star Orchestra, Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Leftover Salmon featuring Bill Payne of Little Feat, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Keller Williams' Grateful Grass featuring Jeff Austin and Reed Mathis, Rusted Root, Ryan Montbleau and friends, Stanley Jordan, Strangefolk, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Deep Banana Blackout Dopapod, White Denim, Kung Fu, Assembly of Wine, Bronze Radio Return, Crash, American Babies, Twiddle, Donna The Buffalo, EOTO, Orgone, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Barefoot Truth, Love Canon, The Main Squeeze, Digital Tape Machine, David Gans, the McLovins, The Primate Fiasco, Band Together CT, Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Comic Dust Bunnies, Banooba, Andy The Music Man, The Brummy Brothers and Our Beloved MC Wavy Gravy.
Inspired by the Grateful Dead music culture, the Gathering of the Vibes originates from a tribute music festival to honor Jerry Garcia after he died in 1995, according to the festival website. Bob Kennedy, a fan and local business owner and promoter, organized "Deadhead Heaven - A Gathering of the Tribe" in Garcia's memory at the SUNY Purchase Campus, relocating it to Croton Poin Park in New York two years later and calling it Gathering of the Vibes, the website states.
The Vibes moved to Seaside Park in Bridgeport in 1999, with Bob Weir performing in 2000 as "the first Grateful Dead alumni," according to the website. While Seaside Park went through renovations in 2001, the music festival took place in Red Hook and then Mariaville, both in New York, before returning to Seaside Park in 2007, the website states.
Past Vibes festivals have drawn in globally renowned performers like the Grateful Dead, Gov't Mule, Elvis Costello, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Allman Brothers Band, James Brown, Jane's Addiction, The Black Crowes, John Butler Trio, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Cliff, Primus, George Clinton and P-Funk, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, and Damian Marley and Nas, according to the Gathering of the Vibes website.
Single day tickets cost $75, with VIP tickets priced at $50 for kids under 12 and $225 for anyone older.
More information on tickets and scheduled artists is available on the Gathering of the Vibes website.