Want To Gather Somewhere?
We gather our thoughts, gather our belongings, gather ‘round when there’s something we need to talk about. We gather all the unmatching socks from the dryer and throw them back into the pile.
We gather because we need to—and during the past two years this need has gotten physical. We’ve reached a point where we’ve grown wary of in-person gatherings, so we got used to coming together from a distance. But still, we tried. We gathered on our balconies and waved to each other, we gathered in the comments section of live Instagram concerts, we even came together via the sourdough starter kits we pondered at the supermarket.
Then we welcomed moments spent together in the metaverse—TikTok Lives, Twitch streams, and Fortnite have redefined what it means to be together while we’re apart to share a moment of emotional intimacy amongst a group of strangers.
Because when we think of it, events and places where we come together are like magnets to us. And maybe gatherings are just another way for us to prove we exist? Somewhere others can see us, being ourselves, somewhere else. We all do it. We all seek to be seen, and so we form groups and we get together.
But if you’ve been to an in-person gathering recently—like a concert or a business conference—you may have sensed the new “skin hunger,” the desire to smell and feel the physical presence of the other. Then you may have realized that you’ve forgotten the basics of small talk and how to be yourself when you’re “out there.”
At a time when the in-person gathering has taken on the luster of a thousand diamonds, and the virtual space has grown to welcome us in our multitudes, we have a unique chance to re-evaluate what we’re really looking for when we come together—and question our contribution. How is it different for those who attend? For those who curate, program, and design an experience? And how will we bring to life the in-between space of physical and virtual, within a new definition of “in-real-life?”
The only way to find it out is by doing it. Here are some of our favorites to help you decide on somewhere to go—slowly, humbly, and with genuine intention.
PS. Our co-founder Tim Leberecht is currently at the TED conference in Vancouver—no intro needed, we assume—and will be reporting back with surprise guests this Wednesday, April 13, 5 p.m. CEST at our Resident Circle. Usually open to members only, we’re opening this one to all free subscribers—become one here and join us!
Taipei Performing Arts Center, Taipei
Summer 2022, 800 spectators
Want to sit in a sphere theater hall built by Rem Koolhaas while hanging halfway up in the air? Us either (kidding). The program is still to be announced, but it’s bound to be grandiose. Keep a close watch this summer, and some space in your calendar.
September 28-30, the size of a small-ish town
Founded by creative powerhouse Sid Lee and a certain circus troupe called Cirque du Soleil, attending C2 (Commerce + Creativity) is like stepping into a dreamworld of technicolored inspiration.
Maison Gainsbourg, Paris
Late 2022, a handful of people in a singer’s niche townhouse
Have you ever passed in front of the mythical graffiti-covered wall of 5 bis rue de Verneuil in Paris and wondered what’s inside? This year the doors are bound to open for the first time since Serge Gainsbourg’s death in 1991 to welcome a coveted museum.
August 25-28, a few thousand
Up for the ultimate cosplay of your life you didn’t know you were into? Well, here’s a stage: Korea’s hottest pop culture expo brings together everything from open game tournaments to a world of characters in movies, comics, animations, music—and of course, the metaverse and NFTs. Show your universe, as they say!
Fortnite Concert, In-Game
Your timezone, millions
According to a recent player survey, artists like Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Queen, and Daft Punk are the current frontrunners to perform a live Fortnite concert in 2022. Join other avatars for a meta gathering of millions—simply choose a new skin, dance in ways you never thought were possible for your matter-based anatomy, and lose yourself in the ether of a good old-fashioned liminal experience.
Urban Confessional, Worldwide
Flexible dates, yourself and a handful of strangers
The concept is simple: make a sign that says “Free Listening,” stand in a public space, hold up your sign, and listen to strangers as they walk up to you and tell you whatever’s on their mind. One rule: they talk, you listen.
Critical Mass, Your City
Year-round, the amount of people that fit on the ground floor of a department store
For anyone who subscribes to the straightforward philosophy of “Riding your bike shouldn’t cost you your life.” Think spontaneous city streets taken over by a massive crowd of cyclists to show the true power—and rightful space—of self-propulsion.
Total Lunar Eclipse, Planet Earth
May 15-16, 7.9 billion people
This year’s edition of the Saros 131 full lunar eclipse series—founded in AD 1427—features a mud-red blood moon that will make you remember the perfection of our universe by simply looking up and zooming out.
Studio Ghibli Theme Park, Nagoya
Starting November 1, all the Miyazaki fans of the world
Don’t think “theme park”. There are no roller coasters here. This is more of an opportunity to become part of a setting from your favorite animation films, like the spirits’ bathhouse run by the witch Yubaba, or Howl’s Moving Castle.
Christopher Street Day, Berlin
July 23, one of the biggest and funnest pride crowds in the world
Remember a lavishly dressed Guy Pearce riding through Australia in a giant silver shoe atop a travel bus, performing opera in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? You can catch the live version here. Take part in a 65,000-people wave of exuberant costumes, rainbow flags, live music bands, moving dancing platforms, and triumphant liberation that fills the city, culminating at Urania theater in Schöneberg.
Open Your Heart in Paradise, Maui
November 30 to December 5, hundreds of beings
In 1963, psychologist Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) was dismissed from Harvard for activities linked to research with psilocybin and LSD. He later traveled to India and found another route to higher consciousness: meditation. This gathering honors his vision and practice for conscious exploration, repose, and self-renewal.