NEAR TWELVE p.m. we were back at camp changing clothes - feeling good, fully amping.
Beyond our tents hundreds of good-cheer Gatherers flowed, sports fans on the march, pilgrims on the path - Mount Kailash, Shikoku, Varanasi - livers and lovers, dancers, all on the Trance Zone surge.
Beside me Joseph, Sam and Big Dan, towering over us at six foot nine; and us part of a much larger rugged-up snug mob: people in a multitude of beanies, jackets and warm wool jerseys, some carrying umbrellas, some squatting down, news cameras present, clouds, steam; all just one huge homogenous yearn towards that empty, emerald field out front.
The rain down, still coming down, but tolerable, perhaps even enjoyable, the heavier drops chubby and cool on your face, the lighter ones misting into a fine spray. A novelty. I mean how often are you outside, outdoors, and uncovered in rain really?
Besides, electricity was in the air, we were on the verge of a thousand years, and no wet in the world could quench our fire, our barbarous souls at that time, in that place.
The first bass-ladened beats crack-ti-cracked the air; the crowd spiralled higher; the track something suitably singular, epic. We were barely contained, frothing against the rope.
Time slowed, paused, ticked over.
Twelve o’clock and the rope was down,
The rope cordon was down and you couldn't help it, suddenly you were moving, shifting, straining with all of your might, running for the middle of the Trance Zone, bumping and jumping with your friends, with hundreds of others, running and shouting and hooping your delight; past the cameras, across the grass, through the rain; just one crazy pell-mell sprint for the centre for no other reason than it had begun.
The music was here.
And The Gathering had finally, truly begun.
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