midnight in the trance zone

Welcome to The Gathering archives

Remember when we danced all night and all day on top of Takaka Hill? When the most important party gear was your tent, sleeping bag, sunnies and sunblock? When you planned your journey to Canaan Downs or Cobb Valley months in advance, and couldn't wait to get there?

Follow us up the single-track dirt road that leads to paradise, and to the party that changed all our lives.

This is The Gathering.

The website is divided into six main sections - one for each of the six parties. Within each section you'll find archival material on every aspect of the event, including the history and facts & figures of that party, photos, media coverage, official Gathering artwork and your stories.

This archive is a collaborative effort. Your photos and stories are at the heart of The Gathering. There are a million tales to be told, and a million photos out there which deserve to be seen.

This is an open invitation to all Gatherers and Gathering crew to send us your stories and scans of your photos from the Canaan Downs and Cobb Valley years. We'll add them to the site and together we'll make this a complete archive of the magic that was... The Gathering.

You can send us:

The Gathering archives blog:

  • Regular postings and news about this site
  • Links to cool Gathering stuff that we haven't yet found space for on the website
  • An opportunity for you to give us instant feedback

Check out the blog

The Gathering on the radio

Inspired by this website, Radio NZ has put together a documentary of everyone's favourite Gathering memories... here's what they say:

"We recall the crawl up the single-lane dirt road to Caanan Downs, the sound of a dull 'doof doof' in the background and the twinkling of glitter up ahead. We reminisce with musicians, organisers and punters about the golden age of dance music in Aotearoa, the freaks and the faeries, the filth, the sun, the rain, and the partying."

The documentary was first broadcast on National Radio on 29 December 2007, and was repeated on 25 January 2008 (and a bunch of times since). You can grab the podcast from the Radio New Zealand website at search results for The Gatherers - click on "The Gatherers".

ONYAs finalist

The ONYAS finalist

The Gathering archives website is a finalist in the ONYAs web awards, in the Best Content (personal) category.
Read the blog post.

"A multi-media mashup of memoir, fractured histories and anecdotes from a series of events that erased the memories of many that were there. Alisonís site is a public service..."

96-97 photo

The Gathering 96/97

The first party. Born from the inspiration of Entrain, 4,000 Gatherers turned up to share in the magic, and create something new on top of Takaka Hill.

97-98 photo

The Gathering 97/98

The party doubled in size, as suddenly everyone wanted to dance under the open skies to welcome in a new year. We filmed the whole party and made The Gathering documentary.

98-99 photo

The Gathering 98/99

It was hot, it was dusty, the sun blazed down as 8,000 Gatherers danced for 2 days and nights at Canaan Downs. The year of the iconic "crowd" pics.

G2000 photo

The Gathering G2000

The millennium party. 15,000 Gatherers on-site as G2000 became the place to see in the new century. It rained and rained, and became a lesson in survival for us all.

G1 photo

The Gathering G1

The first Cobb Valley Gathering. A new millennium, and a new venue.

G2 photo

The Gathering G2

The last ever Gathering.

documentary screenshot

The 97/98 documentary

Our first documentary was screened across the country. A piece of New Zealand history, it is now kept at the NZ Film Archives. Are you in it?

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