Trance dancers bring the bass to the bush

00:00, Feb 11 2013
Alien Nation
KOOWL TIME: Unofficial helper Matthew Koowl enjoys the sun on the bank above the main stage at the Alien Nation trance party in the Wairoa Gorge.

While the streets of Richmond bustled with the usual retail rattle during the weekend, hidden in the hills behind Brightwater, bass music rumbled and a tribe of "aliens" enjoyed one of New Zealand's longest-running outdoor raves.

Four hundred members of the trance music tribe gathered in the Wairoa Gorge for the annual Alien Nation dance party.

Head organiser Warwick Harrington said yesterday - the final night of festivities - that the three-night celebration of trance and other electronic music and family-friendly good vibrations had been beautiful.

The 13-year-old annual event went ahead this year after Mr Harrington won a legal battle against the Tasman District Council in the Environment Court.

He said he was glad to leave the legal worries behind him and get on with having a good time with more than 400 other trance lovers from around Nelson, New ,Zealand and overseas.

Mr Harrington said there was usually very little trouble at Alien Nation.


Unlike many other outdoor dance parties in New Zealand, people took out everything they took in with them, he said. There was no alcohol-related violence or injuries at the glass and alcohol-free event, and the community of dancers, who camped at the site, helped each other to have an enjoyable, responsible time.

"A lot of us have been coming here for years," he said.

"For many of us, it's the ‘family' catch-up of the year.

"The biggest trouble we have had this year is bee stings," he said. That and many, many mosquito bites.

The Nelson Mail