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Part II of a Two-Part Interview with Ken Hays

Click Here for Part I

The Gathering of the Vibes music festival is primed to rock ‘n roll into  its 15th season honoring Jerry the Garcia, and introducing thousands of new fans to bands with great vibes of their own.

There’s food, arts and crafts, sunshine (and sometimes rain) at Seaside Park in Bridgeport Connecticut. And for four days, the air above the shores of Long Island Sound will be filled with music you rarely get the opportunity to hear live. Bands like Furthur  with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, Jimmy Cliff, Little Feat, Dark Star Orchestra, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Rhythm Devils featuring Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzman and Keller Williams. The Vibes homepage gives you the full lineup, which includes the perennial Wavy Gravy (who MC’d Woodstock) as VIBES Master of Ceremonies.

Little Feat, playing at the 2010 Vibes -- press photo courtesy GOTV

 I talked with Festival Director Ken Hays back in April, first about his concept for the festival (which we covered in an earlier post), and then we got down to talking about how bands survive in this altered music world, where YouTube controls the fates of as many musicians as American Idol. How do you launch with a creative sound and find your listeners, when they are already bombarded with so much else to see and hear?  Here’s what Ken had to say…

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Several years ago I took an entertainment law class at NYU with an instructor who had worked a great deal in the music industry. At that time, around 2004, he proclaimed the music industry as we knew it, to be dead, and so he had turned his efforts to film and film scoring to try to make up for the lost income. But what were the many recording artists who had spent a lifetime amassing their bodies of work supposed to do in an industry that seemed to have eyes only on American Idol? The clever ones learned to reinvent themselves. Read more

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