From the 31st July to the 3rd August 2014, DGR UK had a stall at this year’s Green Gathering in Chepstowe.
As someone new to these kinds of festivals, it’s been an interesting experience for me. I arrived on Wednesday to meet our little group of people, and help with setup. The sun was shining, we chatted, put up tents and gazebos, pondered our stalls and watched the rest of the gathering being built. More traders, and public, arrived on Thursday, and bit by bit the fields were taken over by all manner of structures, tents and vehicles. We even got a quick talk about how a large marquee is set up.
But for all the material things appearing, a gathering is as much held together by the people and the causes they represent. And there were many; a physical manifestation of all that needs fixing in the world, but also of all the goodwill that is there to fix it. And there was a lot. Not only places and workshops to inform yourself and increase your skills, but also many spontaneous encounters with worthwhile, interesting and kind people, and unfortunately much too little time to explore it all.
For DGR UK this has meant a successful workshop, many people talked with at our stall, and many connections made and explored. After the gathering a website for the ‘Resisting Together’ group was launched, to supplement the existing Facebook group and provide information for people who aren’t on Facebook.
For myself, I have learned a lot about how such a gathering functions, about how to talk to people, and about a lot of the many problems civilisation causes, and the many projects that need help. I’ve also been reminded just how different life can be from the ‘normal’ civilised world most people live in. Even though it was just a very small patch of the world and just a short amount of time, and we still relied on so much of civilisation to make it happen, it’s far enough removed, and different enough, that going back home, sitting on the train, locking my door behind me at home, feels like a culture shock.