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
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
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
- Vishal, GoTT Planning Committee, Los Angeles