Rainbow Gathering Festival

The original Rainbow Gathering was in 1972, and has been held annually in the United States from July 1 through 7 every year on National Forest land.  Throughout the year, regional and international gatherings are held in the United States and in many other places around the world.
The first Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes, a four-day event in Colorado in the United States in July 1972, was organized by youth counterculture "tribes" based in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Twenty thousand people faced police roadblocks, threatened civil disobedience, and were allowed onto National Forest land. This was intended to be a one-time event; however, a second gathering in Wyoming the following year materialized, at which point an annual event was declared. The length of the gatherings has since expanded beyond the original four-day span, as have the number and frequency of the gatherings.
Although groups from California and the Northwest region of the U.S. were heavily involved in the first Rainbow Gathering, the U.S. Southeast was strongly represented as well. At least 2,600 people from throughout that region attended and provided support for the 1972 Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes on Strawberry Lake, above Granby, Colorado. There was also strong representation from other regions of the U.S.
Rainbow Gatherings are temporary loosely knit communities of people who congregate annually in remote forests around the world for one or more weeks at a time to enact a supposedly shared ideology of peace, harmony, freedom, and respect. Anyone is allowed to attend and participants refer to themselves as a "Rainbow Family". The goal is to create what they believe is a more satisfying culture—free from consumerism, capitalism, and mass media—that's nonhierarchical, furthers world peace, and serves as a model for reforms to mainstream society.
Media coverage of Rainbow Gatherings has been unfavorable since the 1980s when journalists started to describe Rainbow Family members in terms such as "aging hippies", "grown-up flower children", or "middle-aged white folks". In the 2000s, the media focus shifted to the increase in crime in the local communities closest to Gatherings, ranging from petty crimes like retail theft to violent assaults and serious traffic charges, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Despite the movement's environmentalist and pacifist aspirations, Gatherings, which are typically held in national forests and other ecologically sensitive areas, are known for having a deleterious impact on the local environment and participants have developed a reputation for excessive drug and alcohol use, disruptive and criminal activity, and for their cultural appropriation and misrepresentation of Native American traditions and beliefs.

This has resulted in increased police presence at Gatherings and a poor reception from community members and business owners in nearby towns and reservations. In the U.S., these issues are also contributing factors to the decline in attendance at regional and national Gatherings.

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