Comedy \ Folk \ Easy Listening
Founded in 2012 by Actor/Comedian Shaun Majumder in his hometown of Burlington, NL., The Gathering has become one of the province's most popular cultural experiences, combining the best food and music, and mixing it with the wild nature and scenic beauty of the Burlington area in the heart of rural NL.
What started as a celebration of the harvest of the community greenhouse built as part of the newly formed social enterprise, The Gathering has evolved into one a fair sized festival that brings together multiple events all centred around fire, food and music. With comedy shows featuring the province and the country's best talent, including, of course, Shaun himself, and two full days of music from the province's headliners and up-and-comers alike, there's something for everyone. Mixed in with the laughs and the tunes are NL culinary superstars that are cooking up a storm and serving patrons with the best in traditional and modern cuisine, cooked over open fire and consumed on the rocks, beaches, grassy meadows and grounds nestled next to the Atlantic Ocean.
With a mission to help spread NL culture to as many as possible, The Gathering is a dry festival that encourages family participation. It's also run by a not-for-profit social enterprise that reinvests all money raised from its endeavours back into the community to help grow and sustain an eco-tourism industry in the area. Not only is Shaun the face of the festival and the operation behind it, but he's also the hands-on visionary and worker who will be seen all weekend lending a hand, preparing for events, interacting with crowds and doing everything he can to help make every experience a special one. In that same spirit guests and artists who attend the festival also come as both performers and patrons – sitting in on other concerts, enjoying down time with family who has tagged along and, of course, sampling in the fresh air and fresh delicacies being served at the food stations.
Perhaps most telling about The Gathering, though, is the involvement of the community that surrounds it. People chip in and help out, and there is truly a host of people welcoming everyone who calls their town 'ome for the short time they stay. Hospitality and kinship are escalated beyond what many expect, and people leave knowing that they've become part of something far beyond a normal event, but rather it's a cause, a spirit, and idea, and a purpose to do more, be more, and experience more.
All in all, The Gathering is unique in its vision and its mandate, but also in its execution. Yet, that uniqueness is what sets it apart, and makes it the beacon that draws so many to want to experience it for themselves.