The Gathering festival brings fire, food and music to Burlington, N.L.
It’s not your typical festival — gourmet meals in the woods with musicians, sleeping in a lighthouse or under the stars in tent city.
Shaun Majumder, one of Canada’s best-known comedians, was born and raised in Burlington, and spent many summers coming ‘OME’ to his hometown.
Majumder wanted to give others the amazing feeling he experienced every time he returned to Burlington.
“There’s no place like ‘OME’,” says Majumder with a laugh. “It’s all about reminding people of the cultural elements of this place, and all of rural Newfoundland.”
The Gathering festival is a true Newfoundland experience. There is picking berries on the trails, having toutons for dessert, and a shed crawl to finish off the weekend.
With comedy, music and food, there is something for all ages to enjoy.
“It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe,” said Majumder. “It’s not about celebrities or about which big act we have playing. It’s about quality, and everybody being equal and involved.”
“Everyone in the community pitches in,” said Rudy Norman, ‘OME’ executive director. “One couple has been giving up their home to the same performers for the past four years.”
Norman was the opening act of Thursday evening’s comedy show.
“By no means am I a comedian,” he said laughing. “But, I was telling Shaun a story a few weeks ago, and he said, ‘man, you’ve got to do that on stage.’ He believes in people, that’s just the kind of guy he is.”
Audrey Bartlett and Pauline Young are housekeepers for the ‘OmeSweetOme’ tents, but during The Gathering festival, they have a much larger job.
They clean accommodations and portable toilets for hundreds of guests throughout the weekend.
“We enjoy what we do,” said Young. “We get to meet people from all over the world.”
The pair say Majumder makes sure everyone in the community is as involved as they would like to be.
Shaun Majumder thanks performers — including Bud Davidge, right, and Rex Goudie, left — at Saturday evening’s show in Burlington.
Musicians at Saturday afternoon’s shed crawl.