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Gathering of the Vibes Review and Photos - 2006
by Lauren

The Gathering of the Vibes music festival was held August 18 through 20, 2006 outside of Albany, NY

scroll way down to read the article below

Wavy Gravy and Lauren
Wavy Gravy and Lauren Air Chair

Deep Banana Blackout

Deep Banana Blackout
morning yoga
rain didn't dampen the spirits
Burning Spear World Peace Prayer


The Gathering of the Vibes music festival was held August 18 through 20, 2006 outside of Albany, NY

Getting There and Setting Up

The GOV was held from August 18-20, 2006 at Indian Lookout Country Club, in Mariaville, NY. This event is organized with extreme care and precision, and it seems to get better every year, which makes an event where you can relax and enjoy yourself and not worry.

From the east, the highway exit is Duanesburg. The physical site for Gathering of the Vibes  is easy to get to and it's all highway driving from most directions until the last 5 miles where you will be driving through beautiful rolling countryside with cows and bales of hay. It's a great way to unwind from the road. If you pass the Stewartıs market, itıs your last easy chance for a real bathroom and cold drinks or snacks, flashlight batteries, and gasoline Donıt miss their delicious hand scooped ice cream counter. Try the "Peanut Butter Pandemonium", mmm!

The show and the stoke started for many travelers while they were still driving. WDST from
Woodstock, NY broadcast tempting tidbits from Fridayıs show on air at 100.1. Each entering car is searched carefully for prohibited items such as glass, fireworks, and weapons. You might be in a long line for entry at any hour you arrive, except possibly on Thursday morning. Thursday evening at 10 pm found fest-goers lined up for 4 to 6 hours for entry. People in line are usually pretty good natured because for them the party has already started. When you go to GOV, If possible, plan ahead so you will be inside the gates and at your campsite by 8 pm. That way you can set up your tent by the fading daylight, instead of wrestling with the darkness.

Camping is conveniently next to your car on grassy lots. Each campground area has some kind of toilet facility and running water. You may have to walk a little farther for a flush toilet or shower. The crowd is still just the right size for this venue and the lines for everything except driving entry are never long or much of a wait. The coffee line in the morning at Green Mountain Roasters is always a popular spot. Yoga class was given by Jennifer on Sat. morning at 9 a.m. in the main field, just in time for yogis and yoginis to be stretched out, newly aligned, and finished with shivasana by the morning sound check at 10. There were over 800 kids attending GOV this year with their parents. The Kids Korner is always a hit, and this year a Teen Tent was added as well.

Music Highlights

Deep Banana Blackout had the Friday night main act spot on the schedule this year, unlike last year when they played in the daytime. Night time is the right time for this high energy funk flavored band. Jen Durkin channeled Robert Plant on the two delicious Zeppelin covers, including "Whole Lotta Love" from the Red Sky set 10 years ago,  when this festival was held in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Seeing Deep Banana Blackout do those two songs was a highlight of my lifetime of live music watching. Too bad this band is no longer touring!

Crawling out of the tent Sat. morning, fest-goers were met with soft gray overcast light instead of the blazing sunshine they always hope for, and there was light drizzle later in the afternoon. Hey, it's August in upstate NY and a bit of rain is not unexpected.

Chuch started their set super strong with a few Little Feat covers to get the crowd moving, played impeccably. Chuch (pronounced with the same vowel sounds in "book" is a versatile band. At the end of their set, they encouraged the audience to "go out and see live music and support their local musicians" but as they said, they were preaching to the already converted at GOV.

G Love and Special Sauce was a crowd pleaser with their wide ranging styles from acoustic to hip hop. Hot Tuna's set was packed with favorite tunes from their repertoire and they sounded great. Bob Weir joined them on the last tune, which helped get him ready for his set later. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann as The Rhythm Devils. found this act together for the first time in 30 years. Between acts concert footage from Perry Farrel and other bands played on the 2 screens next to the stage.

Ratdog sounded SO fine Saturday night as the main act. One of their best shows ever. Donna Godchaux-MacKay joined them, and it was... well... we know thereıs "nothing like a Grateful Dead concert," but this was damn close. Last year the rain started during Ratdogıs show. This year, the rain actually stopped for a while during their show, but even rain couldn't dampen this hard core dancing spinning wet crowd's joyous experience. As soon as Ratdog finished, the skies let loose with torrents of rain, accented with spectacular lightning and thunder. Nice that the seriously bad weather waited for the end of Bobbyıs show. For those not inclined to being wet, the show sounded great on the car radio where you could listen in your campsite and stay cozy dry. (See Tent Tactics below.)

Sundayıs sunny weather was appreciated all the more because of Saturdayıs rain, and the happy synchronous vortex vibe at the GOV got back on track with the good weather.
Burning Spear did a microphone check, singing some beautiful a capella melodies for the lucky viewers gathered by the stage before his show. When the whole band played, their act ignited toward the end when they picked up the pace and played music that inevitably caused dancing! People danced happily in the sunshine while Burning Spearıs band threw down the jam. This is what itıs all about.

After Burning Spearıs mike check, there was a beautiful World Peace Prayer. 130 nations of the world were recited in call and response format by Phoebie and the crowd, and after every 10 countries were spoken,  the invocation "Let peace reign on earth" was chanted by the crowd together. The peace prayer was touching, reminding us of and connecting us to countries we might not have been thinking of, and brought a tear to many eyes.

Many other bands played and the Gathering of the Vibes Organization publishes an attractive free program guide describing the bands on the program and the Non-Profit Organizations found at the festival in the NPO Village.

Plenty to Buy

Vendors of food and merchandise are set up on "Shakedown Street." Plenty of delicious types of food are for sale. Eggs, sausage, sweet potato fries or chips, petal french fries, veggie wraps with various fillings, shish kebab, smoothies, coffee, beer and more. And if you need to accessorize your costume, or deck yourself out in new Vibes style from head to foot, youıll find what you need for sale on vendorıs row. Air Chair is one of the most comfortable chairs ever (see photo above) and their booth was always full of happy sitters trying out the merchandise.

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GOV Survival Kit and Tent Tactics

In addition to your tent , sleeping bag and the items listed on FAQ on the GOV site, here are some items that can make your stay more comfortable.

Bring with you and carry with you during the shows:
Water bottle, plastic to sit on (the plastic sheets that garden shops put in your car under the plants you buy is a perfect festival sit-upon and emergency umbrella.)
plastic rain poncho. FLASHLIGHT with fresh batteries in it. This is a must for evening. There's plenty of stuff to trip over. Itıs handy if you fix a way to wear the flashlight around your neck. Bring something to carry it all in while you're watching the shows.

Shoes - I recommend a sturdy shoe that you can wash if it gets muddy. People do walk barefoot, but there are some small sharp rocks around so I would definitely not recommend being barefoot at night when you're walking around.
Bring a radio to listen to the show at your campsite.
If you need coffee in the morning bring coffee makings so you wonıt have to wait in line in the morning.

Washing - There are faucets in all the camping areas. But if you want to splash some water on your face, or rinse some silverware at your campsite, itıs nice to have the liquid of life handy without having to dip into your drinking water. I use Dunkin Donutıs "Box of Joe" as a portable reservoir. Finish the coffee, then remove the foil bag, rinse, and refill with water. Throw a hand towel, and a bottle of diluted Dr. Bronnerıs soap into the "Box of Joe" with the bag of water, and voila, a handy sink to-go.

Tent tactics
Surveying random fest-goers, I found that 100% of those staying in tents had some or much water in their tent after Saturday nightıs downpour.

Coping with the rain
1. Bring a waterproof air mattress that will lift you and your bedding above the future puddle on the bottom of your tent.
2. Cover your tent with a heavy duty tarp when you set up. This is still no guarantee water won't seep in from below. See number 1.
3. Re-waterproof the seams of your tent before the event.
4. Start bailing!

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