BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival has come a long way in 20 years, and Ken Hays has been at the helm the entire way.
The festival began as a memorial party for the late Jerry Garcia then known as “Deadhead Heaven – A Gathering of the Tribe” at SUNY-Purchase in 1996 and has since grown into a four-day event at Bridgeport's Seaside Park.
This year's marquis performers include: Jam Band icons, The String Cheese Incident, Gregg Allman, Wilco, Weezer and Ben Harper, along with many more.
"Its a great time," Hays told Daily Voice. "Whenever you get a group of like-minded individuals together, magic happens."
This year will mark the 11th year the Vibes will take place in Bridgeport at Seaside Park.
"It's just a beautifully manicured park that most people would not expect in the Park City," said Hays, a Weston resident who was born in Greenwich. "This is truly one of their gems."
Hays and his team have seen quite a bit since the days of "Deadhead Heaven," but he ranks performances by the late James Brown and Jane's Addiction among his favorites in the first 20 years.
But what does Hays foresee in the next 10 years?
"More good times," Hays said. "Its been a great ride for 19-and-a-half years."
Hays also discussed:
- What to expect at the festival this year. (0:08 into clip)
- Why the festival is held in Bridgeport. (1:00 into clip)
- What the "Green Vibes" initiative entails. (2:12 into clip)
- His favorite performances in 20 years. (3:46 into clip)
- Challenges that come with putting on the festival. (5:11 into clip)
- Where the festival will be 10 years from now. (6:10 into clip)