About this website

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The Gathering was the Woodstock of our generation. Every New Year for six years we danced for two days and two nights on top of a mountain or down in a valley in the middle of nowhere and together we created magic.

Something so good deserves to be remembered, which is why I've decided to start building The Gathering Archives website.

The Gathering is a festival of freedom, dance, music and participation. Your presence creates The Gathering....

This website is all about participation, and your presence creates it. I've got heaps of "organisational" stuff to get it started - timetables, artwork, lists of DJs, media coverage etc. What I don't have - and what will bring this site to life - is YOUR stories, YOUR memories, YOUR photos and video footage.

It's easy to add your bit to this growing archive. You can send me your stories, photos and memories via this website. You're also welcome to send me changes, corrections and alterations to any factual info on the site, and I'll make sure they're made. How to make a contribution to this website.

Everyone who was part of The Gathering - whether you were a Gatherer, a member of the crew, or a DJ, VJ, Live Act or perfomer - has a unique perspective on this great party, and has a fascinating story to tell, and photos/video that deserve to be seen. You probably also know stuff I don't know about the Gathering(s) you were part of.

I'm also interested in the perspectives of people who were on the periphery. Maybe you were a local who was affected (in a positive or negative way) by The Gathering. Maybe you were a journalist sent to cover the event. Perhaps you were part of the local services in the area (Police, Council, Red Cross, St John's, Salvation Army etc) who helped in some way to make the party happen.

  • If you were there and you want to reminisce - this is the place to be.
  • If you want to show someone else what they missed out on by not being there - this is the place to do it.
  • If you want to explore the esoteric details of putting on a party for 8-15,000 people once a year - this is the place to look.
  • If you're a historian, archivist, journalist or librarian looking for definitive information about the piece of New Zealand history that was The Gathering - this is the place to find it.

About the initiator of this website

My name is Alison Green, and I was involved in the organisation of The Gathering from mid-1997 until September 2000.

I was Wellington regional organiser for The Gathering 97/98, and stage manager of the Trance Zone that year. I designed, wrote, developed and maintained the original Gathering website from 1998 until it came offline in September 2001. I was the publicist for The Gathering 98/99 and for G2000, and one of the three main organisers in 98/99 (with Murray Kingi and Greg Shaw). I left The Gathering in September 2000, a few months before the first of the Cobb Valley parties.

There's very little left online about The Gathering, and I think that's a real shame. It was an amazing event, and one which has deservedly become part of New Zealand's history in the same way as Nambasa and the original Sweetwaters parties have. It changed a lot of people's lives, and for those of us who were involved in the organisation of the event, it gave us moments of perfect joy, and also sometimes pure angst and total stress. Perhaps you can't create magic without a bit of trauma along the way!

Recently someone recognised me as being part of the Gathering - something which used to happen on a regular basis, but hasn't happened in quite a while. It got me thinking about TheG, and I realised that New Year 2006/07 marked the 10th anniversary of the first Gathering at Canaan Downs. I decided it was high time we got something online again.

I have conceived this website as a project which starts small and includes quite a lot of stuff from the original Gathering website - because you have to start somewhere and I've got lots of archival material - and which hopefully becomes an ever-growing project that includes the memories, stories, photos and experiences of the thousands of people who were part of The Gathering - both crew and the Gatherers themselves.

When I started putting this site together I was planning to limit it to the four Canaan Downs years - mainly because I was personally involved as a crew member and organiser in three out of the four Canaan Downs Gatherings - and had left The Gathering before the event moved down to the Cobb Valley. I felt at least somewhat qualified to build an archive of the parties I was involved in - less so for the ones I wasn't - plus I have very little archival material from the Cobb Valley parties.

However, I've had some feedback from a couple of original crew members who felt very strongly that a Gathering archive site must include all 6 parties so - here you go - over to you to fill in the yawning gaps in the G1 and G2 sections...

Alison Green, October 2007

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