Crowd masses for Gathering

The sun was shining yesterday for thousands of New Year revellers making their way to the Cobb Valley in Golden Bay for The Gathering dance party.

However, the good weather is not expected to last and gatherers should prepare for wet weather, Nelson weather forecaster John Mathieson said.

A strong, moist, humid northwesterly wind would come in for the last few hours of the three-day party on Thursday, bringing rain.

The gates opened on Sunday and hundreds of people arrived and set up tents, but most of the expected 10,000 people turned up yesterday, media liaison officer Nicolle Smith said.

There were no cancellations among the 14 international and 160 New Zealand acts. Gate sales were not available and the closest ticket outlet was the River Inn in Takaka.

Manager Erin Galland said a rush on tickets ensued over the weekend. A lot of overseas backpackers were buying them, she said.

Stallholders Finn Croucher and Clare Havell arrived at the site on Saturday and were looking forward to their first Gathering.

As well as operating a vegetarian food stall, the pair also came to dance. "It's the most important thing," Ms Havell said. - NZPA


Caption: GOOD TIMES - Ruth Pond of Palmerston North at last year's Gathering. Picture: NELSON MAIL Supplied by New Zealand Press Association

Evening Post, 1 January 2002

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