NEAR 12 PM, we were back at camp for a change of clothes - feeling good, fully amping.
Beyond our tents flowed hundreds of Gatherers in good cheer, sports fans on the march, pilgrims on the path to Mount Kailash, Shikoku, Varanasi - livers and lovers, dancers, on the Trance Zone surge.
Beside me Joseph, Tim, and Big Dan, towering over us at six foot nine; and us part of a much larger mob, rugged-up and snug: people in a multitude of beanies, jackets, and warm wool jerseys, some carrying umbrellas, some squatting down, news cameras present, clouds, steam; and all just one huge homogenous yearn for that empty and pristine field out front.
The rain still down, coming down, but bearable: the heavier drops chubby and cool on your face, the lighter ones ghosting about in a fine mist. A novelty, even. Enjoyable. I mean how often are you outside, outdoors, and uncovered in rain really?
Besides, electricity was in the air, we were on the edge of a thousand years, and no water in the world could have quenched our spirits, our buoyant hearts at that time, in that place.
Simmering. Anticipating. With restless intent. But not for long. Like artillery at the start of an attack, enormous Japanese drums opened up with booming incantations. The chatter of the crowd went up to fever pitch.
The first bass-ladened beats crack-ti-cracked the air; the buzz spiralled higher; Rubix’s track something suitably epic. We were barely contained, frothing against the rope.
Time slowed, paused, ticked over.
12 o’clock and the rope was down.
It was down and you couldn't help it, suddenly you were running, running for all you were worth, running for the middle of the Trance Zone, bumping and jumping with your friends, with hundreds of others, running and shouting and whooping your delight; past the cameras, across the grass, through the rain; just one crazy pell-mell sprint for no other reason than it had begun.
The music was here.
And The Gathering had finally, truly begun.
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