Vibes Contract Ups Fees

The Gathering of the Vibes is staying put at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Conn., for another five years in a new agreement with city officials, but the decision will come at a cost to the fest.

The city has shouldered hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime hours for police officers in recent years, according to documents obtained by the Connecticut Post through a Freedom of Information request.

In 2010 and 2011, the city paid around $250,000 in overtime hours for police presence and the festival paid back less than $115,000 each year. In 2012, the festival paid $118,000 of a $319,000 police bill.

From now on, the buck will be passed to Gathering of the Vibes.

“I feel like we have a fair deal moving forward that Vibes can handle,” promoter Ken Hays told the paper. “Clearly the administration feels the Vibes is a good thing for Bridgeport. I do too.”

Under the new contract, Vibes will pay police $250,000 plus an annual 3 percent cost-of-living increase, the Post said.

The festival’s rent will also increase under the deal to $50,000 annually and the city will be reimbursed for wastewater processing.

The city reportedly has an option to back out of the deal after two years.

Meanwhile, Vibes founder Ken Hays donated $100,000 to the city to build a splash pad in the city’s water park.