Gather Night: an inclusive approach to clubbing

Anna Madlener wrapped up her experience of the Gather Festival with Gather Night at Trädgården, one of the best known club scenes in Stockholm. Here, she eviews the Friday event and shares her nightly experiences.

The Gather conference by itself was filled with stimulating and inspiring inputs. What topped the conference and made it uniquely different from any other conference I have been to before, was, however, its culminating night at Trädgården.

Curated by Mattias Polanco, founder of the acclaimed Love Potion promoter in Stockholm, it attached a night of carefully selected musical performances that resonated well with the daily topics. Allowing visitors to also just come to the party gave the unique opportunity to get an understanding of what had previously been discussed in parts at the conference. For all those who had heard about how the night life is a creative space for talent development, promotion and inclusion, Gather Night presented this aspect perfectly. It also gave both Polanco and Trädgården the opportunity to show the expertise they have in this music world, by putting artists on the line up that are usually not on Trädgården’s more mainstream, ’’big name’’-bookings.

It meant, for many of us dancers, that we got the opportunity to be hugged in more challenging, eery sounds by Zaltan or Young Marco on one hand, exotic tunes by Ntombi Ndaba an Esa’s Afro-Synth Band, and beats from improvisation maestro Sebastian Mullaert on the other. The difference and versatility of nightlife was reflected at Trädgården and spoke directly to the idea of Gather in its entirety.

– Mattias asked me to play a set from the selector scene, a bit weird and obscure B-side stuff. We play music that reminds of the 90s rave scene, so Mattias invited me to play this kind of a set for Gather, said Zaltan, also owner of the record label Antinote. 

Gather also gave an opportunity for artists to decorate the club, inspired by the festival’s visual identity. Mattias Polanco also invited a group of artists that reflected his divine taste in this art. 

– The conference tried to have a progressive approach, giving all the different subjects a platform even though they might not be the norm in society. When I did this programming, I took the same approach, to make every booking important, both time-wise and music-wise, said Polanco.

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