The Gathering G2000
Well, what can we say about G2000 - the million dollar party to welcome the dawning of a new millennium? That it was the best of times, and the worst of times? Maybe. It was the biggest ever Gathering, with 15,000 people onsite, including 1,500 crew and 500+ DJs, live acts, VJs and performers.
Is it on? Is it off? The demise of Sweetwaters and the demand for gear meant that prices skyrocketed, and at one stage we weren't sure we could afford to make it happen. The crazy "skinhead" rumour that morphed into the tallest tale (with the least substance) ever. Dancing in the trance zone at midnight with 15,000 other Gatherers thinking "if we're wrong and the rumour is true - they'll be coming through the trees right about now - and I reckon we can take 'em!"
5,000 forged tickets, 5,000 new Gatherers unprepared for the extremes of weather up the hill, half as many people again as we had catered for, half a million dollars made by someone else who had put no effort into the enormous undertaking that was G2000.
And the rain. It began as the first beats rang out across the fields, and it didn't let up until well after the party was over. G2000 became the year of the rain, and the mud, and the cold wet Gatherers. It became an endurance event, one which about half the people decided to give up on sometime on January 1. That left the rest of us - the die-hards, those who'd brought warm and waterproof clothes (and many who hadn't) - to dance on until the very end.
What a party! We made the TVOne news on January 2, as Ali described conditions up on the hill and the efforts by the crew to keep people warm and dry and to put hot food and drink in their bellies. Gatherers, crew and the local community came together to help each other out, and keep each other safe. Despite the worst weather we'd ever had (or perhaps because of it) no-one who was there will ever forget it. There's nowhere else in the world we would rather have been than at G2000.
In this section:
How many portaloos? How many bouncy castles? How many radio stations? And how many incredible DJs, live acts, VJs and performers did their thing under the (not so sunny) skies?
Listed as one of the "100 best parties on the planet" by Mixmag, rumoured to be no. 7 on Oprah's Top 10 millennium events list, there was masses of coverage leading up to G2000.
And then the media got stupid and did heaps of inaccurate reporting after the party was over - totally overstating the so-called "hypothermia evacuation emergency". Stoopid people. Moral of the story: never trust a journo.
Although we didn't really need a poster for G2000 as all the tickets were sold halfway through October, Stefan designed one which was distributed with a limited print run in December. We're looking for a copy to scan. Do you have one?
Currently in this section you'll find scans of the booklet, the CD, the ticket, the G2000 stickers, The Package special issue and the Ministry of Health's What U Should Know booklet.
The old Ambient zone became a walk-in movie theatre and Ambient moved into the forest along with Jazz/Classical/World music. There was a second movie zone in amongst the trees nearby. The crew area moved a little further away from the action, and the recycling area shifted to make room for the crew. Apart from that, G2000 was pretty similar in layout to 98/99.
Images of the midnight mayhem, the artworks, the music-makers, the 15,000 Gatherers and crew - and the mud, the mud, the mud.
G2000 was an interesting year - very photogenic in a muddy kind of a way. The team who made The Gathering documentary in 97/98 took heaps of footage for a doco of G2000, but it's never been finished. Wonder if we could get our hands on it...
The Nomad did quite a bit of filming of the crowd squelching around in the Trance Zone and the footage ended up in his video for Where Are You? Kewl! We've got the video and the raw footage. Do you have any video or film footage you can add to our collection?
How was your millennium? Did you stick it out until the Last Trance, or did you seek refuge somewhere warm and dry instead? Didja like Murray's Midnight Surprise? And how much mud did you have to wash out of your disco pants afterwards?