Review & Photos | Gathering Of The Vibes 2013 | Bridgeport

Sunday, July 28th

Sunday was designated as Family Day with single-day admission price set at nearly half- price when juxtaposed to the other days as well as free admission granted to any child under the age of 15 and Connecticut Residents received a discount as well. Local favorite from neighboring Stamford, John Popper and Blues Traveler, came home to perform a bevy of hits at Vibes for the first time; Max Creek played at numerous GOTV’s, included the very first, and showcased their talent and 40+ years of experience highlighted by a cover of “After Midnight” and their original classic “Just a Rose”; John Butler Trio received the most adulation of the day as they won over a blossoming crowd on a beautiful day with raucous takes on familiar hits like “Treat Your Mama” and “Better Than That.” The Black Crowes closed down the house on Sunday with ripping versions of “Feeling Alright” and “Jumping Jack Flash” in addition to a poignant take on the hit that put them on the map over two decades ago, “She Talks to Angels.”

Bill Evans, the veteran saxophone player who once recorded numerous albums with Miles Davis and performed with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Mick Jagger, and Ian Anderson, was the Artist-at-Large for GOTV in 2013. He infused his talented skill with many sets including joining in with Railroad Earth, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Deep Banana Blackout, Steve Kimock Band, Govt Mule, Blues Traveler and the entire second set of Phil and Friends.

The School of Rock (Teen Vibes Stage) are the top 2% most talented students from a nationwide search that audition to be part of the all-stars program. The highlights included Nick Depuy and New Canaan High School covering “You Enjoy Myself” and “Up On Cripple Creek” and The Remnants sharing a blistering “Frankin’s Tower” and “Lovelight.”

Vibes is more than just music. This year it boasted a 90-foot Ferris Wheel, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. There was a food and clothing drive and Cosmic Karma Productions performed miraculous acts with fire in the pits. Non-profit organizations set up in the “non-profit village,” vending options were varied and various and the weekend's music was streamed on WPKN 89.5. The incomparable Woodstock veteran, Wavy Gravy, was the Festival MC. Some fans complained about the parking – claiming the later one arrived, the closer to the stage one got to park. A fan died of an accidental drug overdose – the third such fatality since 2009 and upper-class Fairfield residents (located over 10 miles away) blasted their local police station with over 15 phone calls in the middle of the night complaining of noise pollution to no avail. Tickets varied in price from $225 for a weekend camping pass, $475 VIP or $85 Fri/Sat for a day pass. However, with an attendance of nearly 25,000, the overall sense was that the festival was a smashing success.

In an era of abundant festivals with a plethora of attendees using the music as an occasion for an excuse to over-indulge in artificial euphoric means, it’s refreshing to witness a gathering ripe in love of family: family as a genetic unit and family as a cohesive structure of friends serving as a bonding force. If one is gathering vibes, might as well make them upbeat and this memorable Festival serves up a cornucopia of positive familial vibes in spades.

[Published on: 8/1/13]

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