Godskitchen Global Gathering 2004
Tuesday, 17 August 2004
Saturday July 31st 4pm - 7am
Long Marston Airfield / Near Stratford-Upon-Avon / Warwickshire / UK
In a remote airfield somewhere near a place called Stratford-Upon-Avon, 40,000 people answer to the call of a hedonist's playground. They are a vast assortment of beings, yet one and all are similarly powerless to the mesmeric attraction of a place where you can "Lose yourself, make new friends and party harder and longer than ever before, to an endless supply of ultra-bangin' choons! Featuring a line-up of over 100 dj's across eight arenas, including: Paul van Dyk, Fergie, Ferry Corsten, Xpress 2, Jon Carter, Carl Cox, Dave Clarke, Roger Sanchez, Sasha, Plump DJs, Stanton Warriors & more…"
Global Gathering was without a doubt the biggest, most monumental extravaganza of electronic rhapsody that I have ever had the pleasure of attending! It was a Bacchanalian fantasy of truly epic proportions, a sumptuous carnival of sensory delight. And it was far too much for me to assimilate all at once. Consequently I spent the first hour or so simply wandering around trying to digest it all…
To the immediate right of the entrance there was the 'Beach Outdoor Stage' which would later be graced by the likes of Tim Deluxe, Roger Sanchez & Paul Oakenfold. Several tones of sand had been shipped in for the occasion and a gigantic water slide had been installed nearby, then as if that wasn't lavish enough there was a gigantic shark's head rising ominously beside a flock of gallant looking deck chairs. An enormous Triton (the trident wielding ocean god for those of you who weren't aware) surveyed the mayhem in stoic silence and as I meandered through the throng my attention was suddenly diverted by the splutter of engines… Right above my head two planes were performing a delightful little synchronized routine. I was impressed.
Next I ventured into the heart of the festival, where lo & behold I stumbled upon a carnival. Quite significant in its own right, there were rides and prizes and flashing lights galore. Following that was a splatter of colourful market stalls which to my surprise featured a number of vendors selling magic mushrooms. If you are reading this now then you know I somehow resisted the 'temptation' & returned with my sanity intact. Still further afield I found a tent dedicated entirely to stand up comedy… a nice cultural touch I thought. Beyond that there was a mini skate ramp (was there anything that they didn't think of-!) & a deserted train carriage which was tastefully plastered with quality graff & capably piloted by a seriously funky hip-hop selecta who was appropriately stationed beneath the inscription 'Afro Dizzy Scratch'.
By this stage the sun was starting to slide lazily over the horizon and I figured it was time to check out some of the beats in action. First stop was …surprise, surprise…the Air Arena which boasted names of the following calibre: Lee Coombs, Stanton Warriors, Plump DJ's, UNKLE Sounds, Adam Freeland, Hybrid & Hyper. It was 9.30 in the evening and Plump DJ's stepped up to the helm to deliver a predictably flawless installment of the finest breakbeat currently available on this planet. A remix of Scram, which I have since discovered to be unavailable to the public, had a delightfully frenzied effect on the audience. And as I listened to their mixes literally melting in and out of one another I marveled yet again at the supreme extent of their brilliance.
Heading in the vague direction of the VIP tent where I was compelled to sidestep row after row of people either vomiting or urinating, I stumbled upon Global Gathering's most glaring flaw: the heinously inferior cuisine. And after an admirable degree of searching I reached the gloomy conclusion that the most appealing vegetarian option at this shebang was the magic mushrooms. Mildly despondent, I shuffled over to God's Kitchen with an ember of hope that He might cook me up something tasty. Instead I wa Tags