We already knew that Gathering of the Vibes was going to feature ex-Grateful Dead members. But now the official lineup has been announced and the exact (re)incarnations are no longer a mystery. There's no Furthur or Rhythm Devils as there had been the past two years. This time we're getting each ex-Dead member with his own respective project: Phil Lesh and Friends (for the first time since 2008), Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby with Branford Marsalis (that should be interesting), Mickey Hart Band (who are also playing the Ridgefield Playhouse on Friday, April 13) and 7 Walkers (featuring the other drummer, Bill Kreutzmann). Of course, there will probably be some cross pollination depending on how schedules align.
Primus returns following their successful appearance in 2010, a treat for the non-hippie sect.
The biggest act that's new to GOTV is The Avett Brothers (pictured) who are sure to attract younger, more mainstream fans and to balance out the weirdness of Primus with their straight roots rock Americana sound.
Sound Tribe Sector 9, Yonder Mountain String Band, Zappa Plays Zappa, The Greyboy Allstars, Dark Star Orchestra, Deep Banana Blackout and Steel Pulse begin to round out the bill. Festival staples like Max Creek, Zach Deputy Keller Williams and the McLovins will again be on hand. Local indie rock heroes Mates of State make their Vibes debut.
"What's really unique about Vibes is that we had 2,000 kids age 15 and under last year. That's what really separates us from the Coachellas and Bonaroos," says Vibes founder Ken Hays. "You can bring the whole family to Seaside park for a day of fun in the sun."
The late night silent disco will be back on the beach (everybody wears headphones, so it seems silent to passerby), the School of Rock Teen Vibes stage returns to showcase young local talent, and the main stage music will go right up until 2 a.m. on Saturday for the first time.
Now in its 17th year, the folks behind Vibes have learned the secret formula for creating a solid annual festival: Bring back what worked in previous years, with care not to be too repetitive. Add a new band or two who've never been to Vibes and attract some new sounds and listeners to the mix. Then, just hope for some great weather.
Here's Primus at their last Vibes appearance:
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