On the Road

A Guide to the Rainbow Gatherings

rainbow gathering food circle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50461467@N00/ – food circle @ Rainbow Gathering

Hippies are alive and well in these gatherings in nature where travelers from all round the world come together.

Those who think that the age of hippies has died have obviously never attended a Rainbow Gathering. Hippies, freaks, musicians, jugglers, and all kinds of weird and wonderful people congregate at a given place in nature and set up a village to last for a cycle of the moon. Then all the structures are taken down, the VW vans trundle out and it’s like it never was.

There is no central Rainbow organisation and it doesn’t exist anywhere on paper. Instead the gatherings are kept going by various Rainbow ‘families’, hippies who have been going to the gatherings for a long time and now take some of the responsibility for organising the next one.

‘Organise’ should be understood in its loosest possible sense here – at the end of each gathering a council is held when they decide when the next one will be held. Anyone who’s interested in helping scout for a place and talking to the local authorities puts their phone number or email address down and maybe actually turns up when the time comes.

But what is a Rainbow Festival?

Imagine something like a free festival with no stages, electric or any kind of commerce going on at all. Instead there are hand dug shit pits, a kitchen fuelled by wood and a central fire around which people gather to eat in a large circle twice a day. In between meals there are performance workshops, reiki workshops, massage workshops, all completely free. There are musicians jamming everywhere and people sleeping in tents, tepees and sleeping bags wherever you go.

Some travelers just drift from one gathering to the next, making it a lifestyle in itself. They catch lifts in vans and converted buses, living in hippy communities or out in nature between each gathering.

Sound like fun?

Well, grab your guitar,

And a bag full of marijuana,

And go with the flow down to the Rainbow

And get some hippy rehab.