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Global Gathering 2006
Date: Friday 28th July to Saturday 29th July 2006
Long Marston Airfield, nr Stratford-Upon-Avon
Occurrence: Annual
Hours: Friday 5pm – 2am, Saturday 2pm – 6am
Ticket Price: Weekend £105, VIP £155; Saturday £62, VIP £95
Genre: Various
Dress Code: N/A
Capacity: 35,000
Pictures: Set1 Set2
Itís the end of July, and you all know what that means! Yes, Global Gathering is back for another two day dance spectacular at The Long Marston Airfield near Stratford Upon Avon.

It all begins on the Friday, and runs from 5pm-2am, but due to that evil called work, we couldnít make it, therefore missing out on a great line-up that included Tong, Tiesto, Groove Armada, Daft Punk, SashaÖ.. I heard it was quite an evening as I sat (not envious at all) on an overcrowded train on my way home!

So, to Saturday and what a day! About 50,000 people in a field from 2pm-6am, making it the BIGGEST dance event in the WORLD. Paul Oakenfold and Eric Morillo have proclaimed it as the best festival they have ever played at! So I think you can safely assume that it was not a bad day out! The Global site is huge, with stalls, stands, fairground rides, an open air cinema, skate ramps, Mixmag signing area, bungee jumps and even a lap dancing club to keep everyone amused, if the 9 stages/tents arenít enough!

At the entrance to the site there was a small Strongbow arena which was jumpiní when we arrived, so it was straight in there for a bit, where we heard lots of electro and dirty house tunes, with some very well known DJs such as Justin Robertson and the popular Crazy P.

Venturing further into the site, Eric Morillo was on the outdoor beach stage and he was superb, playing to a massive crowd, banging out a good mixture of various house genres. Itís a bit strange, at first, hearing dance music outdoors when you are so used to a club environment with sound reverberating off the walls, but itís also cool not to get your eardrums perforated for a change!

Now, the Godskitchen tent is the main tent, size wise anyway, and it is seriously huge! God knows how many the Gods holds, but itís a lot! Four or five amazing green lasers, massive screens, a big stage rather than a booth for the DJ, it has it all in there. Fergie was on doing his thing and announcing to all that we were live on Radio 1, which went down well. Marco V then followed on, ploughing his way through many tech trance stormers; he always seems to be on very early?

In danger of wearing ourselves out, we went for a little break in the Hed Kandi tent. Itís always fun with in there with good sing-a-long house tunes, and a cool area outside to lounge around chilling out on the hammocks! It also had a little raised area so the special VIP people (ahem) could get a better view of the beach stage!

Suitably refreshed after a relaxing cup of tea it was back to the Gods tent where it was heating up. Ferry Corsten was finishing his set as we waited for the legend that is Paul Oakenfold. The tent was rockiní and everyone was loving his own Cubikated madness! What a tune!

It was then that I noticed an ever so small notice on the back of a pillar; hmmm, what is this I wondered? ďWe regret to inform you that Mr PVD cannot make it due to family illnessĒ. Bit of a blow, but canít be helped. Nobody seemed to know this though, as people were trying to tell me later on that Eddie Halliwell was in fact Paul Van Dyk!

So back to Oaky, and he played his usual trance style that I always enjoy. Does anybody know what that tune is he always opens with just now? During his set the tent became rather busy, and that is a big tent to fill! I heard the rain was a tad heavy outside and it soon became boiling in there due to excess bodies! Anyway, half way through, Oaky dropped Seven Cities, and the whole tent had their hands in the air and singing along! What a moment!

Still sheltering from the downpour, we saw Armin follow on and he also delivered a top quality set, quite techy, which seemed to be the way in the Gods tent, which we approved of greatly! Not much of the euphoric breakdown stuff that we witnessed at HiFi. Eddie Halliwell aka PVD (just kidding) was excellent I thought. He played his usual hard dance style, really techy and banging. At one point due to the excess heat (I think) they removed the small umbrella by the decks and replaced it with a small tent thing! Throughout most of the sets there were fireworks going off sporadically at the front of the stage, which also got big cheers! Similarly, when Fatboy Slim took to the beach stage, there were plenty of fireworks, plus glitter cannons too. There were even a couple of aeroplanes flying very low over our heads! Missed most of Mr Cookís performance but I was informed the he entertained as always. Too many DJs not enough time!

As I said earlier, the site is huge. A little tip; DONíT ever come here without a phone, as you are unlikely to see your mates for a very long time! 6 am to be precise! Also, do not go on the water ride thing, it is pants!

How good is Eric Prydz? We saw him at HiFi and he was wicked, and likewise tonight. It seemed like he played for days in the Bedrock tent! You really have to be into the music to enjoy this tent. Saw Josh Wink briefly and wasnít feeling it, but Prydz is different class. He plays electro mainly, some progressive, a touch of minimal, all woven together unbelievably well. That remix (without the vocal) of Good Life is still rockiní it! As was his own remix of Bringing Down the Walls. He never smiles or gestures much, but he looks cool rather than boring up there in his hat! I saw a guy dancing with a lampshade on his head! Was he trying to out do Mr Prydz in the headwear department? The shafts of light from outside signalled that it was almost time to go, and I hadnít even seen the Carl Cox tent or the Defected, not to mention the Polysexual and Drum n Bass arena! The sun was now rising, and it was a beautiful morning as 6am arrived. Another year to wait, as we faced the perilous journey home, after queuing for 1 hour for a shuttle bus! We even met someone called Austin Tables on the bus, who is apparently a bit of a legend! But thatís another story.

Nice work Global people!

Venue: 8
Music: 10
Crowd: 9
Sound System: 9
Total: 36 / 40

Rating: Gold Award
Review written by: Kevin Boyle
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