Founded as a tribute to Jerry Garcia, the festival will definitely have lots of Grateful Dead alumni this year. Along with Lesh, Weir & Hornsby, this year’s Gathering will host the Mickey Hart Band and Bill Kreutzmann’s 7 Walkers. The lineup also includes STS9, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Greyboy Allstars and Steel Pulse.
Returning to the annual event will be GOTV favorites Dark Star Orchestra, Zappa Plays Zappa and Deep Banana Blackout.
The festival is giving its fans the opportunity to select an up-and-coming band to perform at this year’s Gathering. By using the “Road To The Vibes” app fans can vote on one rising talent to appear at this year’s festival. Voting deadline is June 1 and the winner will be announced in early June.
Although GOTV draws approximately 20,000 fans each year, the festival’s early days weren’t so crowded. Debuting at SUNY Purchase College in 1996, the first Gathering attracted 3,500 people.
“Myself and a couple of friends got together and produced ‘Deadhead Heaven: Gathering Of The Tribe’ back in 1996,” Gathering Of The Vibes founder Ken Hays told Pollstar in 2011. “From there it truly evolved organically. There was no mission statement or business plan of any sort. It was very much organic and it’s grown as such.”
These days the Gathering takes place at Bridgeport’s Seaside Park, a 370-acre beachfront venue. Along with four days of music, the festival strives to be family friendly with features such as the Family Camping Area, Kids Corner, Teen Scene and a “School of Rock Teen Vibes Stage” where you can find musical instruction and main stage artist jam sessions.
Single day, weekend passes and VIP packages are available. For more info, click here for the Gathering Of The Vibes website and here for Pollstar’s 2011 interview with GOTV founder Ken Hays.