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ATTN: KEN Re: Handicamp Issues


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#1 iclue76

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:03 PM

I will be writing a more formal letter but I would like to point out a few snags that I came across this weekend.

This was my 15th or 16th Vibes. Missed one in between I believe. I never had any real complaints as to the bands, music, security, parking, lines, food, space, etc.

First and most unimportantly, where were the souvenir tickets that were promised? I was told by someone at check-in that there were none this year.

Second, where do we reserve handicap camping? Because we were told by numerous crew that we have to reserve handicamp? Never heard of this in all my years at vibes...never needed to do so and never saw anything about it anywhere on the site or in the forums. My friend who is 63 years old with fibromyalgia and severe arthritis was denied camping in handicamp BECAUSE IT WAS FULL?!?! Yes, that's right. She had her handicap parking sticker and we arrived around 3pm on Thursday. Thank God we had boardie passes as backup b/c we would've ended up somewhere in West Camping. Furthermore, I had to go through such extreme lengths to get her a ride from a golf cart to the stage. Luckily, some Green Vibes people pulled through on Saturday Night. She missed the Furthur show b/c she could not walk but wanted at least one main stage experience that I arranged eventually for Saturday. Then when the JA show was half-over, we walked over to the VIP Main Gate and asked for help getting her a ride back to camp and after waiting almost until the encore...the woman came back and gave us the hotline #, we were told all the golf carts in VIP were not operational. Upon speaking to someone on the hotline and being on hold for five minutes, he came back and said sorry we can't help you. So she started making the trip back to camp on foot. I asked two cops sitting in a golf cart if they could help, they laughed us off. Meanwhile, just to point out, we are not spunions, we were sober.

Kept trying to flag down carts but were denied over and over again. Finally stopped at the med tent where we were told once again that their golf carts were non-operational. Then the girl told us, sorry we can't help you even though at that time, my friend was ready to pass out. Luckily right at that point another golf cart drove past that I was able to flag down and despite the guy not really wanting to do it b/c him and his crew haven't even been able to eat dinner yet...he complied and took pity on my friend and drove her back. After that whole fiasco, we didn't try again on Sunday even though she really wanted to see Dr. John.

Listen, I know how things are hectic for you guys at Vibes. I understand that Ken does his best every year to accommodate everyone and provide a great Vibes and entertainment for our scene.

However, this is really a shame especially for people who have been spending hundreds of dollars each year for the past ten plus years at Vibes. This is a shame for those of our scene who have physical disabilities but still are our family. Take care of each other, we say it all the time. Instead of working crews on such lengthy shifts, why not get more people on shorter shifts? Feed them at least so they aren't so agro. Next, why not offer a dedicated shuttle for handicapped vibers?

I'm not one to complain, I hardly ever post on here anymore but that doesn't make me any less of a viber. My whole crew are veteran vibers and have given tons of support to and for Vibes. Last year, it took Ken himself step in to get my friend a spot in handicamp, to which we were actually escorted to.

Something needs to be done about this. Like I said, I will be sending a more formal letter to Ken in the near future.

#2 Mr.BBG

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:59 AM

yeahhhh that sucks, i have a friend who is in a wheelchair and we opted to not go to vibes for these very reasons.... looks like the vibes has turned into a money devouring beast instead of a carring comunnity driven festival... thats the way she go's i guess.

#3 sums

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:23 PM

there were souvenir tickets at the merch booth. i'm sorry you were given bad information at check in! if there are any left, i'm sure we can send you one...

as far as handy camp: each year we reserve a good size space for handy campers. you can e-mail "info@gatheringofthevibes.com" ahead of time to reserve a spot. for the past few years that we have had a "formal" handy section, there has been plenty of space left over after sign-ups and we then guide people in as they request. this year handy camping was full. there were almost 4 times as many requests as last year (!)

as far as rides in the show; we got a lot of calls about this at the hotline. we did not have festi-cabs this year which was probably a big reason that it was difficult for people to get around. we did not have the resources to escort so many people and this is on my list to "do something about" for next year.

i was really astonished at the amount of disabled/alter-abled/injured folks this year! on reflection, i have no idea why i was so surprised though considering i am recovering from a broken foot, my husband just had achilles tendon surgery and ken was even walking around in an orthotic boot from a muscle tear!

i'm really serious that accessibility is my number one priority to discuss with ken and the operations & camping crews for next year as it was a huge issue.

we really appreciate all constructive criticism as it is the most effective tool for making the changes that need to be made so iclue76, i thank you for your thoughts.

mr.bbg, on the other hand, your comment is neither helpful nor kind.

#4 Jwheelz

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:40 PM

there were souvenir tickets at the merch booth. i'm sorry you were given bad information at check in! if there are any left, i'm sure we can send you one...

as far as handy camp: each year we reserve a good size space for handy campers. you can e-mail "info@gatheringofthevibes.com" ahead of time to reserve a spot. for the past few years that we have had a "formal" handy section, there has been plenty of space left over after sign-ups and we then guide people in as they request. this year handy camping was full. there were almost 4 times as many requests as last year (!)

as far as rides in the show; we got a lot of calls about this at the hotline. we did not have festi-cabs this year which was probably a big reason that it was difficult for people to get around. we did not have the resources to escort so many people and this is on my list to "do something about" for next year.

i was really astonished at the amount of disabled/alter-abled/injured folks this year! on reflection, i have no idea why i was so surprised though considering i am recovering from a broken foot, my husband just had achilles tendon surgery and ken was even walking around in an orthotic boot from a muscle tear!

i'm really serious that accessibility is my number one priority to discuss with ken and the operations & camping crews for next year as it was a huge issue.

we really appreciate all constructive criticism as it is the most effective tool for making the changes that need to be made so iclue76, i thank you for your thoughts.

mr.bbg, on the other hand, your comment is neither helpful nor kind.


I may be able to be of assistance with planning on this for next year sums, I had a great experience overall but I also have some ideas which may further improve things for all handy campers.

#5 sums

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:49 PM

i would love to hear them, jordan! :)

#6 iclue76

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:06 AM

Thank you Sums for your response and concern about this issue.

It would be cool if we could get the commemorative passes but I'm not gonna fuss too much about it.

I'd like to point out to all you people out there who put out the negative vibes and spread gossip about what Vibes is and has turned into...

Vibes is a tradition for us that started in 1996. It was magical then and it is magical now. Every vibes while certainly distinguishable in flavor has always kept the common thread and that's about family. That's what vibes is all about. It's a place that was created by fellow family for us all to gather and enjoy the music; and enjoy each other. It's a place to share an experience of oneness. It's a place to let it all out. It's a space of freedom for three or four days from reality. Good vibes, good music, good people.

That little thread while it is sometimes a bit obscured by other things IS still alive and growing now down to the younger generations. That's what we should be focusing on.

We all had a wonderful and may I add, EPIC good time at vibes this year despite the snags along the way. Every good journey has its snags...it's how you navigate around them that counts. Things could have been much better for the handicamping situation and all but in the end...it all worked out. I got her the rides and I am so grateful to those people who helped us out. Ken and his team ever since the days of Terrapin Tapes have always done the best for our music scene and for us, as people attending this festival. Our safety is always first and foremost, our enjoyment and all of that is always a front runner. As someone who has been to all but one of 'em...I can state for a fact that every year there are improvements made to make us all happy. There's no way they can make everyone happy, that's not realistic but I do know that they damn do try their best. Where else can you go see a concert and go ride some go karts until 4am (Plattsburgh)? All vibes are memorable and a large part of that is thanks to the hard work of many volunteers, crew and staff.

Also, people are talking about dumping the water and stuff...now c'mon people, I was going through all those checkpoints many times throughout the weekend (brought my bike) and never was asked to throw out water, a can of coca-cola yes, and by Saturday they were only sniffing the open containers to make sure there was no alcohol. Sorry that those few people had to deal with some kind of agro person telling them to dump the water, maybe the staffer was just having a bad day? Can Ken or anyone control the attitude of every single person every single hour of the festival? Nope. Each person is responsible for their own attitude. Although, making it a point to allow water, sealed or not through the checkpoints would truly be appreciative. It was a scorcher out there, I even tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk. It partially cooked.

Anyways, just wanted someone to be made aware of the handicamp situation so next year it's a little more smooth and even more enjoyable for my older friends whose bodies aren't as nimble as mine at 35. Thanks again Sums and thanks to Ken for yet another crazy wonderful adventure!

I don't know about the rest of you folks but Vibes is a very special place and I know that no matter what, I will always be there. It's the one place that brings me close to what it's like to truly feel at home. :heart: :boogie: :dance: :rose: :v: :heart: :ura1:

and P.S. When we checked in, along the drive, staffers were telling us, "welcome home!" That really set the tone for the whole weekend so thank you again! :)

#7 blueallah

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:47 AM

We also came in Thursday afteroon and had a guy with a broken foot/crutches and were told handicamp full. First parking guy directed us to the way way way out west. We protested and 2nd parking guy sent us to a nice spot under the trees by the shower trailer. Still a long way for a guy on crutches (he said it would work) and the rest of us were lovin the shade so we threw the camp together. As soon as we were done setting up and enjoying a cold drink, the white shirt parking boss came by and threw us out. Said he wasn't ready to open that area up until he filled in the way way way out West. He didnt care how far it was to walk on crutches he said he was the guy hired to control parking and that's what he was going to do. Once he took off on his ATV we worked a deal with the yellow shirt security and actually got a bit closer for the guy on crutches but lost our shade tree. The new spot was near the West lot bathrooms at the front by the fence along the main road. That area never filled in while others were walking from the way way way out west. The parking boss definitely did not have a clue about showing kindness to handicapped folks or parking in general. Why would he insist the people paying an extra $20 to come in on Thursday park further away than those coming in later? And never completely fill in the front? There were huge patches of empty space significantly in front of where Thursdays arrivals were directed. Help everyone, handicapped or not, and give the parking czar job to someone else next year.

#8 Depends

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:55 AM

In 2008 I attended vibes on crutches. Staff, security, everybody was super helpful....:gop:

#9 TEO

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 12:21 PM

I'd like to point out to all you people out there who put out the negative vibes and spread gossip about what Vibes is and has turned into...

Vibes is a tradition for us that started in 1996. It was magical then and it is magical now. Every vibes while certainly distinguishable in flavor has always kept the common thread and that's about family. That's what vibes is all about. It's a place that was created by fellow family for us all to gather and enjoy the music; and enjoy each other. It's a place to share an experience of oneness. It's a place to let it all out. It's a space of freedom for three or four days from reality. Good vibes, good music, good people.

That little thread while it is sometimes a bit obscured by other things IS still alive and growing now down to the younger generations. That's what we should be focusing on.


Thank you, we can all use the focus and reminder at times. :heart:

#10 sums

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 01:10 PM

We also came in Thursday afteroon and had a guy with a broken foot/crutches and were told handicamp full. First parking guy directed us to the way way way out west. We protested and 2nd parking guy sent us to a nice spot under the trees by the shower trailer. Still a long way for a guy on crutches (he said it would work) and the rest of us were lovin the shade so we threw the camp together. As soon as we were done setting up and enjoying a cold drink, the white shirt parking boss came by and threw us out. Said he wasn't ready to open that area up until he filled in the way way way out West. He didnt care how far it was to walk on crutches he said he was the guy hired to control parking and that's what he was going to do. Once he took off on his ATV we worked a deal with the yellow shirt security and actually got a bit closer for the guy on crutches but lost our shade tree. The new spot was near the West lot bathrooms at the front by the fence along the main road. That area never filled in while others were walking from the way way way out west. The parking boss definitely did not have a clue about showing kindness to handicapped folks or parking in general. Why would he insist the people paying an extra $20 to come in on Thursday park further away than those coming in later? And never completely fill in the front? There were huge patches of empty space significantly in front of where Thursdays arrivals were directed. Help everyone, handicapped or not, and give the parking czar job to someone else next year.


you should have called that hotline. i would have made them let you stay there! that they told you to move from that spot with an alter abled person is completely unacceptable!!!

#11 TEO

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:19 PM

What if you were not on duty at that point? :eek:

#12 sums

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:39 PM

i'm reachable 24/7 by phone or radio. i was there from about 7 or 8am to about 10pm each day. i was there for the entire ingress starting at 6am on thursday.

#13 sums

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:40 PM

i dealt with several calls like the one blueallah describes. each time the person was allowed to stay or moved to an even better spot! ;)

#14 Erinisme

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:46 PM

While I'm sorry that a hanicamper didn't get where they would like to go, I don't get the whole looking for a ride on a golf cart.....were you thinking they were all festie cabs (which I think really need to come back next year)....staff has tons to do at vibes and those on golf carts are usually on a mission....

We had a friend who seriously hurt his leg the week before vibes...he borrowed a wheel chair and we helped him out all weekend getting him where he needed to be.

Would it be possible for you to bring one next year to help your dad get around? Just trying to look for another option to make vibes even more kick ass for you :)

#15 iclue76

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:04 PM

While I'm sorry that a hanicamper didn't get where they would like to go, I don't get the whole looking for a ride on a golf cart.....were you thinking they were all festie cabs (which I think really need to come back next year)....staff has tons to do at vibes and those on golf carts are usually on a mission....

We had a friend who seriously hurt his leg the week before vibes...he borrowed a wheel chair and we helped him out all weekend getting him where he needed to be.

Would it be possible for you to bring one next year to help your dad get around? Just trying to look for another option to make vibes even more kick ass for you :)



Hey well when we couldn't get into the handicamp b/c it was full we were assured and promised that getting a ride down to the field would be no problem. She may have to invest in a wheelchair for next year but that's up to her and whether or not she'll be able to make it depends on her condition next year. Thanks for the advice though!

#16 Erinisme

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:09 PM

I didn't read well enough sorry, didn't know you were told you'd get a ride :)


Check out freecycle.org you can more than likely get a free one :) If it's only for Vibes you can deck that wheel chair out :)

#17 wizard

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:01 PM

Have my free souvenir and also had no problem with my handicamp pass. Have been doing handi for three years and staff has always been helpful. if you look closely there are a few posts concerning handi camping. Well done once again Vibes staff

#18 nancykind

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:46 PM

i took a picture of a girl frying an egg on the beach road, was that the egg you were frying too? it was cooking slowly until someone ran over it with their bike and then it cooked in about 2 seconds. :funny1:

#19 iclue76

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 08:31 PM

i took a picture of a girl frying an egg on the beach road, was that the egg you were frying too? it was cooking slowly until someone ran over it with their bike and then it cooked in about 2 seconds. :funny1:


Haha! Yep that was me and that was my boyfriend who ran over the egg on his bike! :lol:

#20 Tabbooma

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:03 PM

Well said :heart:

Tabbooma saw some boardies helping out other boardies in need all weekend, most of it was pre-arrainged. Curious, is there a volunteer or signup for people to offer up some time over the weekend to aid folks in handicamp, is there dedicated staff to this in handicamp? Tabbooma would definitely like to help. :v:


I don't know about the rest of you folks but Vibes is a very special place and I know that no matter what, I will always be there. It's the one place that brings me close to what it's like to truly feel at home. :heart: :boogie: :dance: :rose: :v: :heart: :ura1:

and P.S. When we checked in, along the drive, staffers were telling us, "welcome home!" That really set the tone for the whole weekend so thank you again! :)



#21 iclue76

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:51 PM


Curious, is there a volunteer or signup for people to offer up some time over the weekend to aid folks in handicamp, is there dedicated staff to this in handicamp? Tabbooma would definitely like to help. :v:


I would be interested in volunteering to aid the handicamp folks as well! I think that's the only thing I left out of my post. Please keep me notified if you can. Thank you. :smile: :ura1:

Also, in a few weeks, I'll be a Licensed Massage Therapist and thinking about doing some massages next year for those handicapped persons. If there's a possibility of setting up some kind of tent for it, volunteer basis or not, I could get a bunch of other LMT's together for the weekend.

#22 mona Cherashore

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 01:15 AM

I had a cane this year and got rides back and forth to boardie camping all weekend. I would walk up to a cart that was just sitting there and the people on the carts were very accommodating.