On the Floor: All night long

Partying at Whare Flat.
Partying at Whare Flat.
Every year for more than 20 years people have been running dance party-styled events around Dunedin on the winter solstice, otherwise known as the shortest day of the year.

This year's event at the Waiora Scout Camp at Whare Flat has been organised by a collective of people, none of whom wanted to be identified. Nevertheless, an event spokeswoman was prepared to give up a few secrets.

"I've been told our solstice celebrations stem from a pagan/punk movement in Seacliff around 25 years ago... The last few years have been organised by different party collectives, including Rise and Shine and the Mean Team."

This year the organising collective came together through a process of word of mouth.

"There are people in this crew who have been involved for five to 15 years and there are some who are involved for the first time."

The group is using new media including networking sites, and says much of the information for the event can be found on its Facebook site.

"The official media release is on the Facebook event page, but it's basically three zones: main outdoor dance floor, tribal zone around the fire, and indoor ambient. A broad range of music all night, camping in midwinter temperatures, and a splendid night hangi in the morning are included in ticket price."

Organisers remain tight-lipped about who is playing, as it's something of a tradition to say little.

"No set list will be released. I'm told that's one of the Dunedin solstice things. It's a party for a party, not to see 'so and so' play at 'such and such' a time, and not for glorifying the DJs - who are also all playing for free because they want to be there. Some would say `all the usual suspects and a few neat surprises'. It'll be grand."

Catch it

The annual winter solstice celebrations begin at the Waiora Scout Camp at Whare Flat today at 5pm and run through until clean-up and a hangi around noon tomorrow.

• With it being midwinter, organisers recommend everyone brings plenty of warm dry clothing, a torch, food, water, and a healthy respect for mother nature.

• There's no official transport to the site, but organisers say there are ride-share websites which could help.


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