Our Name

Any gathering that bears the name “Rainbow” is a completely free, non-commercial event. All supplies are donated, or paid for with money donated to the Magic Hat. There is no admission fee. No money is exchanged within the Gathering. This frees us from legal and licensing entanglements and guarantees us our Constitutional right to gather on public land.

Our Gatherings are also open to all peaceful people. There are no invitations or memberships. No one is turned away, except for breaking the pledge of non-violence. If you have a belly button, you can be a Rainbow. The Rainbow is made up of all colors.


Experienced scouts teach new ones as they inspect many potential sites discovered from topographical maps and aerial photos, and following leads from local people in the chosen area. They coordinate thru the regional focalizers, and by attending Scouting Council in April.

Site Criteria

A Gathering site should have:

Good water – deep springs or well-protected surface water – enough to fill the drinking, cooking, and washing needs of hundreds or thousands of people. They should be at a distance from the main camp, to prevent contamination.
Open meadows – for councils, workshops, pageants, and frisbees. Keep meadows clear of individual camps.
Firewood – Lots of dead wood lying on the ground, for kitchens and friendship circles.
Parking space – large enough for several hundred cars and vans, within reasonable walking and shuttle distance – but separate from the Gathering proper. For young children, the elderly, and handicapped, the walk-in should not be too long and strenuous. For optimum peace and safety, allow only supply and emergency vehicles into the Gathering.
Only one road – or as few as possible. You will want one road for ambulances and heavy supplies, but you don’t want easy access for car stereos, beer coolers, and a rowdy party scene. Conversely, don’t set the site at the end of a dead-end road. Don’t set a trap for yourselves. Place it on a thru road so there is both a front and a back gate.
No one site will have all these in equal abundance – for instance, good springs are often on a steep mountainside far from a broad flat place good for parking. Look for a balance for all these needs.

Howdy Folks

When the site has been chosen, the Howdy Folks goes out to local focalizers in the mail, and on computer networks. This is the “official” notice of the site.

It contains verbal instructions for getting there, as well as a map. It also has phone numbers for getting information while on the way. The focalizers make copies, and send them out to their mailing lists. They also may distribute them at local Rainbow and New Age events, food co-ops, and other places where enlightened people congregate.

Seed Camp

At least a week before a Gathering is to start, a dedicated group of people arrives early to:

  • inform the local Forest Service about our impending arrival
  • find and develop water sources
  • set up the first kitchen and dig the first latrines
  • locate and mark out the parking lot
  • layout trails and remove obstructions
  • locate Main Circle and dig the firepit
  • set up Welcome Home.

This is a time when you can work intensely with a few other people and form some deep friendships.

From this seed grows the flower of our Gathering.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

– The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.