The Gathering 2001
Open-air dance festival to celebrate New Year.
Working dates: June 2000 - September 2000
Event dates: 31 December 2000 - 3 January 2001
Vital statistics: 72 hours, 8,000 Gatherers
New Zealand's biggest dance event, attracting Gatherers from all four corners of Aotearoa - and from across the globe.
Held annually over 3 days at New Year's, for the first four years the event was held at Canaan Downs, 2,500ft up on top of Takaka Hill near Nelson. Over that time the party quadrupled in size and by the year 2000 was estimated to bring well over $8million into the local economy each year.
It received strong support from local authorities, communities and businesses. For G2001 the event moved off Takaka Hill and into a new location in Golden Bay.
The year began slowly, with The Gathering's director being overseas for 2 months. In his absence I prepared a small amount of initial publicity, oversaw the development of our new in-house ticketing system (following the forgery situation we experienced the previous year, this was an imperative), and organised the annual call for submissions from DJs, live acts and VJs.
We had decided to move to a new venue for G2001 - partly because we felt that the Canaan Downs site could not sustain such large numbers without environmental damage; and also because the terrible weather of G2000 convinced us that we needed a site with better access, where we could more easily ensure Gatherer safety and comfort.
My roles included:
- Media liaison & publicity co-ordinator
- DJ/live act liaison
- Management of the call for mixtapes
- Website designer
My responsibilities included:
- Publicity and promotion
- Overseeing the development and implementation of our ticketing anti-forgery strategy with NetLogic
- Managing the call for submissions from DJs, live acts and VJs
- Maintenance of my role as the "public face" of The Gathering
- Writing content for and overseeing initial production of The Gathering info booklet and development of The Gathering website
- Moderator and "voice" of The Gathering on The Gathering mailing list.
Following the director's return from overseas I continued with my work but at the beginning of September 2000, after much thought and inner struggle, I decided to resign my position with The Gathering. I felt that the underlying philosophy of the party had changed to such an extent that I no longer felt able to continue working on it, nor did I feel I could continue to do the best job possible of "selling" it to the Gatherers and the media.
It was a very difficult decision to make - The Gathering was an extraordinary event, a festival that was right up there with the best in the world, and it gave me immense satisfaction to be a part of it for so long. It was a privilege to work with our incredible crew; and to represent The Gathering (and meet so many wonderful Gatherers) was a joy.
We had made magic out of nothing - and to have been a part of that is, and always will be, a highlight of my life.