by Jon Burns
For those not in the know, Global Gathering is the biggest dance festival in the entire Universe. 50,000 ravers head to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Raveon, geddit) for two days of house, breaks, beats, techno, trance, drum’n’bass, and whatever else can be mashed up into a frenzy on ye olde wheels of steel.
Despite the floods, the site is on an airfield and was relatively unscathed. There was a lot of mud, but most ground was solid with minimal disruption, and we didn’t see any on the campsite allegedly under water… I think we can put that one down to a few folk we don’t like roughing it!
Musically, the line-up was again top-notch with the likes of Faithless and Basement Jaxx headlining, and a plethora of superstar DJ’s keeping the party happening.
Highlights on the Friday were Faithless, classic dance anthems perfectly performed and major audience participation. Over in the Air tent, Plump DJ’s played an awesome breaks set to a massive crowd jammed into in not quite so massive tent, and Kissy Sell-Out played a blinding nu-rave/old school set in the Strongbow Cider House to a croud that luckily had a bit more room to dance.
Lowpoint of the Friday was slipping over and landing in a massive puddle which coated one half of me perfectly in mud and having to get changed. My personal highlight was meeting one of Stanton Warriors as he did a very intimate on a little bus with about twenty people on board… Then deciding to take over on the decks when he finished, which would have been great for all if I could DJ, but they let me play for a bit… Sounded a bit like galloping horses, hmmmm.
Saturday started off really well, sunshine, happy people got ready for the gates top open and dance the day away, the whole place had a really nice vibe. The fact that the sun was shining meant that the site dried out even more, and the ground was less muddy… Or so I thought.
After checking out the drum’n’bass at the 1Xtra sound system, and having a bit of a chill in the VIP area, we went for a dance at Evil Nine. The music was great, the sun was out, and we played a game of disco football, bad idea… The ball came to me, I kicked it one way, the mud took my leg the other way, and my knee-cap went a whole different way, abruptly ending Global Gathering for another year!! But hey, there’s nothing quite watching the Red Arrows fly-by whilst you’re waiting for the paramedics!
Last year I could only make the Friday and I was looking forward to the whole weekend, but hey, at least I know now that its possible to get from Stratford Upon Avon to London on one leg with not too much difficulty… It is a great festival, and if you like dance music, you can’t do much better. Damn, I guess there’s always next year!