BRIDGEPORT, CT (August 6, 2010) – The fifteenth annual Gathering of the Vibes wrapped Sunday night (August 1) to the sounds of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved”, performed by one of his surviving sons, Damian Marley along with Nas. The four-day festival at Bridgeport’s Seaside Park saw magnificent weather the entirety of the weekend excepting a brief drizzle when the gates opened early Thursday morning. 20,000 people per day were on hand to celebrate friendships, love of music, and on the last day of the event, Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia’s birthday. Bridgeport Mayor Blll Finch welcomed the Vibes crowd to the Park City’s crown jewel. “Seaside Park provides an excellent showcase for the City of Bridgeport to visitors from all over the region and the country” said Finch. “This is a unique venue for a gathering of this size – where else can you enjoy four days of great music in a beautiful waterfront park?” Camping numbers were down this year, but were offset by an increase in single day, local attendee sales.
The Vibe Tribe stepped up this year in significant numbers by contributing to several local causes. $23,000 was donated to the families of two Bridgeport Firefighters who lost their lives the previous weekend. $25,000 was raised for Headcount, a voter registration not-for-profit. $20,000 was raised for China Care Foundation, dedicated to providing medical care and facilitation of adoption of Chinese orphans to families within the US. 5,000 + pounds of food and personal hygiene items were donated to stock the shelves of the Connecticut Food Bank and Bridgeport Veterans Affairs program. The food donated will provide upwards of 3,000 meals for those in greatest need. Financial support was also provided to the Bridgeport High School music program and Children’s Center for the Arts in Bridgeport.
Less than 3 days after the last song was performed Sunday night, the entire 370 acres of Seaside Park was cleaned and reopened to the public. Throughout the event, the West Beach remained open and accessible for Bridgeport residents to enjoy. This mass clean-up and removal was no small task as 225 Porto Potties, 6 flushable bathroom trailers, 1.5 miles of chain link fence, 12 – 56 foot mobile office trailers, a 53 foot shower tractor trailer, 40 tents ranging from the enormous 140 x 60 hospitality tent to the 20 x 30 media tent along with 160 cubic yards of recyclable plastics and aluminum had to be removed from the park. Vibes executive director Ken Hays is pleased with the load-out. “It’s always our goal to leave this beautiful park in a condition cleaner than when we started our load-in. I’m incredibly appreciative of the job both the Vibes and City did to return Seaside to its pristine condition. The park looks just great – we could use some rainfall to green up the grass, but other than that, we’re looking good.” Twenty temporary power structures were erected that fed power off the UI electrical grid. Through a partnership with Vibes and Community Energy, all of the coal power used for the festival will be offset by renewable, wind energy credits. These credits provide the capital needed to bring new clean energy facilities online.
More than forty bands on three stages combined, performed more than 90 hours of music. Five members of the Grateful Dead performed with their respective bands. Astonishing sets were turned in by Furthur, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Primus, Galactic featuring Cyrus Neville, Umphrey’s McGee, Jimmy Cliff and more. After their sets, several main stage artists went to the Teen Scene/Kid’s Corner stage to perform with young attendees. Jackie Greene, Ryan Montbleau and John Molo were amongst the artists that headed across Seaside Park for double duty.
Forty nine year old attendee and Fairfield, CT resident, Goffe Briggs summed up the sentiment of Damian Marley’s closing song and felt that everyone there was loved and part of a family. “No matter what kind of music, age, (or) background, we all came together” said Briggs, and added that this year’s Vibes was the “greatest festival of my life”.