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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!