A Rainbow Gathering is an anarchist, utopian, new age event that brings modern hippies together for a celebration of love and freedom. There are no rules, no entrance fees, or power hierarchies.
During the gatherings, groups of free spirits give and take workshops, dance, drum, meditate, hold hands, do yoga, or take psychedelic drugs. The entire experience is a community effort and everyone takes on responsibilities to make it possible.
Photographer Denis Vejas first began going to Rainbow Gatherings about 8 years ago. He discovered the concept while hitchhiking with a group of Italian hippies.
Shortly after meeting the Italians, he did a little research online and found a mailing list that promised to send him details about the next gathering in Europe. When the email finally came, he gathered supplies and traveled to the meeting point.
“When I stepped into the woods that day, the welcome was slightly overwhelming,” he says of his first gathering. “Naked and half-naked people ran up to me to hug me and tell me they loved me, a group of hippies sang Krishna songs, and others were dancing to the drums while someone passed me a joint. ”
“At my first Rainbow Gathering and every one that followed, I met traditional hippies and nomads, alcoholic Russian priests, hardcore anarchists, hackers, self-proclaimed prophets, reincarnations of famous religious figures and artists of all kinds—all holding hands in a circle.”
Since that first experience, Vejas has participated in and photographing gatherings around the world.
This collection of shots were taken between 2011 and 2014 at gatherings in Mexico, Guatemala, Russia, and Morocco.