Gathering of the Tribes Events 2004

2004 was a fantastic year for Gathering of The Tribes. Our three event series, last fall, was a resounding success. Thank you to everyone that participated in various ways and contributed so much wonderful energy! Here’s a recap of the events. As you read through these brief synopses, keep in mind that the magic continues in 2005 and we hope that you will join us this year to share in it.

Be the change you want to see in the world” - M. Ghandi


 


Burning Man
GoTT Council (Black Rock City Edition), September 2nd, 2004, at the Brane Village, BRC, NV

For the first time at Burning Man, a neo-tribal dance network council took place bringing together the GoTT network and other kin. This took place at the first ever Brane Village-essentially a GoTT village with tribal dance collectives from all over joining camps. Inside a geodome supplied by a member of the Seattle Oracle Gatherings, we hosted the talk combined with Cinnamon Twist’s Planetary Culture workshops and the Palenque Norte entheogen related talks. During the GoTT Council, we went around and heard from various dance tribes and harm reduction reps as well as individuals doing things in their communities. We did a SWOT analysis of the tribal dance movement observing for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This was also to model a process that could be used in one’s home tribe community. These were recorded on video and paper, and posted in the dome for a short period. It is hoped that this will be a regular council featured at Burning Man as it is a ripe time of year to check in with the many who converge in the desert and serves to inspire many who have never heard of the neo-tribal dance movement or the many aspects of it. It also helps with networking at Black Rock City in a way missing at times. There still are many dance collectives at Burning Man hoped to be better represented in future including El Circo, Mystic Family Circus and many more. It would also be great to see more of the key Burning Man organization people involved which was attempted but didn't happen.

The Palenque Norte talks and Planetary Culture talks will likely be posted at www.palenquenorte.com and are highly recommended and relevant to the theme "Vault of Heaven". If you are interested in developing the 2005 GoTT Council @ Burning Man please contact Sobey at Wavedancer at planet-save.com.


- Sobey, Tribal Harmonix, British Columbia



Earthdance
September 17th – 19th, 2004, Northern California


In 2004, working in partnership with the Northern California Earthdance™ festival, the Gathering of the Tribes Conference was held outside of the Los Angeles area for the first time. Earthdance™: The Global Dance Party for Peace™ is an international event and philanthropic endeavor promoting peace and cultural awareness. It’s also quite a spectacle and distilling the experience down to a quick blurb is no easy task, but here goes. Held on the legendary Hog Farm, the northern California Earthdance festival is a meeting ground for music, arts and activists of all walks to commune together. As the mission of GOTT is to facilitate community, networking, and resource building for the arts activist communities, this opportunity was not to be missed. GOTT featured three-days of programming with speakers such as Daniel Solnit of the Institute of Local Economic Democracy and Rick Doblin of MAPS. The soul of the conference, however, was truly rooted in the attendees of Earthdance itself. Two workshops that typified the unique setting of Earthdance were the Activists Meet and Greet held on the first day, and the Future of Festivals held on the final day.


The Northern California Earthdance™ festival, features an “Activists Alley” where groups from all over the nation can set up shop and inform people of their organization and causes. What better way to start our conference than to meet with the other grassroots organizations! Despite this being the first event of the first day, and with very little time to promote, the GoTT dome was packed. The workshop was held in “round table” style, and representatives from a wide variety of organizations such as Dance Safe and the Rainforest Action Network discussed current projects and future plans.


Another unique occurrence at Earthdance is that - because it takes place at the end of the Festival season – most of the planners and organizers of the major festivals attend Earthdance. This happening gave birth to the Future of Festivals workshop. The workshop, held on Sunday afternoon, served well as the closing session of the weekend’s GoTT festivities. The dome was standing room only and the energy was beyond electric. This is simply one of the most amazing workshops I have ever attended. Sitting in a circle in the center of the room were organizers of Earthdance, Reggae on the River, Harmony Festival, Burning Man, and the Joshua Tree Music Festival and that’s just to name a few. This workshop focused on creating an outline for a course of action for festival organizers to begin working with each other as an alliance in order to keep the Festival circuit vibrant and dynamic. While many concepts were discussed, the dominant themes that emerged from the discussion were the “greening” of festivals and pooling resources.


Suffice it to say, this blurb is not doing the Gathering of the Tribes at the Earthdance Northern California festival justice at all. At all! I didn’t have time to go into the gorgeous location where I sipped a cup of tea with one of my best friends as we watched a double rainbow over the mountains at sunset. I did not get to mention the amazing freshly cooked, mostly organic food, the music that filled the air for most of the day, or even the fact that the Hog Farm has full featured HOT SHOWERS. No my friends, no one can tell you what the Northern California Earthdance festival truly is. You must experience it for yourself. I’ve been involved with “underground” dance culture for over 15 years, been an active organizer of dance events for 10 years and have been involved with the planning of the Gathering of the Tribes since it’s inception. I can truly say that was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had and I cannot encourage strongly enough that as many GOTT-sters as can make the pilgrimage should come out for our second installment in 2005. It will be worth it.

-Tania, GoTT Planning Committee, Los Angeles


Prophets Conference
October 15th – 17th, 2004, Sedona, AZ


Once again, GoTT joined forces with the Prophets to bring together two generations of activists, spiritualists and visionaries. Entitled “The Good News”, this particular Prophets Conference served up a generous helping of many of the elements in play affecting positive change in our world today, from a spiritual perspective, of course. All weekend, we were treated to inspirational and informative food for mind and spirit. The setting could not have been more perfect, to get this message across. Held in a grand hotel, amongst Sedona’s stunning and majestic red rocks, the lure of the conference, was well matched by the breathtaking nature surrounding it.


For many of us GoTTsters, the highlight of the weekend was a charmingly funny talk by our beloved Alex Grey followed by a multi-media presentation by GoTT founder Dustianne North. Alex shared with us slides of some of his artwork coupled with his hilarious narrative of the events surrounding the creation of each piece. Dustianne’s words, supported by still images, audio and video footage which spanned many years, offered to the conference attendees, a glimpse into the inspired and joy-filled lives led by many in the neo-tribal movement. This one-two punch of psychedelic visionaries flowed into an elemental ritual performed by GoTTsters Christina, Jeffrey, Rebeca, & Bianca and set to live music by RaRa Avis. RaRa’s music, beautiful & ethereal, led us well into an evening of dancing and merriment. Continuing as our musical guides, this memorable night, were DJ’s Tamer, Dela, Bartek, and Petey.


There were several other noteworthy talks given, including two gems Sunday morning by Lama Surya Das and Caroline Casey. On Saturday, there was some deep, beautiful journeying facilitated by Hank Wesselman and Jill Kuykendall. Past GoTT speaker, Barbara Marx Hubbard, presented the closing session of the conference entitled “Cracking The Evolutionary Code: The Speed Up In Self Transformation”. As we greatly missed Barbara’s presence at GoTT at Earthdance, the month prior, it was really nice to hear her powerful words again.


All in all, last fall’s Prophets Conference in Sedona was a moving, thought-provoking, hope inspiring journey which also happened to be a lot of fun. Many of us felt blessed to be involved and gained much from it. We were also stoked to be bringing our unique energy to such a supportive and receptive group of beings. Symbiosis can be a beautiful thing indeed!


- Vishal, GoTT Planning Committee, Los Angeles