"9 O'CLOCK check in boys, a few words for our adoring audience please." I brought my camcorder to bear on Joseph and Tim.
Joseph raised his arm in mock celebration, "It's 9 o’clock, it's New Years Eve 1999, and it's fucking pissing down."
"Fuck yeah!" Tim added climbing over Joseph, raising his own arm in support. We dissolved into laughter. It couldn't be denied, it was fucking pissing down.
The rain had been bad throughout the day but ever since the night it had turned torrential. Beyond the edge of the light of the food tent - where we sheltered - a silvery curtain was now wetly slapping at the saturated ground.
And this the bigger problem, for the sheer amount of water that had fallen, combined with the poor drainage and the enthusiastic dancing of the thousands of Gatherers, had turned many areas into muddy bogs, especially the Trance Zone.
In some places it was now calf deep and spreading, eating up the grass like erosion, like flesh eating bacteria.
A quagmire, actually, with most having given up the fight to stay clean, people sitting down to make mud castles or practice swan dives, even break-dance in it, and the water pooling, many a tent now periscoping out of scummy ponds, and of course, the kicker, ever since the unseen sun had set, bitterly cold.
The location, the open air, the good - the great - friends, the DJ’s, the sets, the sound systems, the dance arenas, the drugs, the artwork, the performance artists, the other Gatherers, the community ethos: all melded into an exceptional atmosphere, and nothing was going to break us or our determination to celebrate the millennium in style.
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