Organisers planning for 12,000 at The Gathering

Nelson Mail 23 September 1998

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Organisers of the New Year's Gathering dance party are planning for 12,000 people to flock to the top of Takaka Hill - 4000 more than last year.

Last year the 48-hour party, which drew people from around the country, caused long traffic snarl-ups. But Detective Segeant Derek Milne of Motueka Police said he had been in contact with organisers and was satisfied with what was happening. An unspecified number of police are to be committed to the event but their main focus will be to keep the Takaka Hill road clear.

Gathering director Alison Green said that camping sites, security personnel and medical facilities were all to be boosted to cope with the extra numbers. Strategies devised by organisers in an attempt to bypass last year's major traffic problems included giving management of the entrance road to security personnel who would work in conjunction with police, she said.

"We plan to open the site at least one day earlier to allow traffic to get in and will get cars to drive into the site before we process them, we have also been trying to negotiate bulk transport deals with local bus companies."

To meet any medical emergency two doctors are to be stationed in a field hospital and will be able to deal with trauma cases on site this year. A helicopter is also to be on standby on site during the event.

Tickets to The Gathering will go on sale at the end of next month.

More than 100 DJs and 35 live acts, and FM radio station, a cinema, and seven dance zones are to feature at the party. A documentary of last year's Gathering is to be screened at the State Cinema tomorrow.

Nelson Mail, 23 September 1998

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