Gathering wins unique event award
The Gathering, Nelson's annual alcohol-free New Year dance party, last night won the title of "Most Unique Event in the South Island".
The Gathering won the award at the eighth annual New Zealand Event Management and Event Marketing Conference in Christchurch. Conference organiser Rendell McIntosh said the Gathering was recognised as one of the most outstanding events in New Zealand during the past year.
He said the 48-hour dance party at Canaan Downs on Takaka Hill, which attracted 8000 people last year, was hailed as a "logistical nightmare" involving tonnes of equipment being trucked to the remote site.
The Gathering took the title ahead of the other finalists, Central Otago's Brass Monkey motorcycle rally and the $10 Queenstown Challenge.
The Nelson Arts Festival and the New Zealand Wearable Art Awards were finalists in the arts category of the Outstanding Achievement Award, which was won by the TV2 Laugh Festival.
The Gathering organiser Murray Kingi said today the event "stood out quite incredibly" at last night's awards function from the other events, which were mainly sport, wine and food-oriented. Mr Kingi agreed with the judges' statement that the Gathering was a logistical nightmare. "I still can't believe we do it."
Former Gathering organiser Greg Shaw said today he was proud of the event and its latest achievement. He said the Gathering was an example of successful community involvement, with the end result being great music in a magic environment. "Being a no-alcohol event has a lot to do with it."