Gathering of the Clans

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The Gathing of the Clans

The original amtgard event, the oldest, grandest, and at times the biggest amtgard event. Run each year by the Burning Lands.

The Gathering of the Clans XXXIV (2016)

For all the official event info for this year's event, please see our website.

This year's Clan features a complete re-branding, with more features and prizes available than ever before.

Event History

Originally it was just an amtgard camping trip to the Sleepy Grass campground in the Sacramento Mountains just east of Alamogordo, New Mexico, about two hours (one hour to Alamo and one hour up the mountain) from El Paso.

In time it grew, and as Amtgard grew it was the one place where people from the farflung corners of the Amtgard world would come together to meet, up in the cool mountains in the middle of the heat of summer.

The stories from Clan are the stuff of legend. Even today, the classic Amtgard story begins, "No Shit, there I was, Thursday night at Clan...." (This story is actually based on the real-life experience of Sir Jhonus of the Empire of the Iron Mountains. But the phrase, "No shit there I was" is actually an SCA-ism")Photo proof.

The event typically runs Thursday through Sunday late in July but as the event grew larger people started showing up earlier and earlier. It was not uncommon to find people camped out the prior weekend. The timing of the event coincides with the normal monsoon season for New Mexico, typically there would be drought conditions with fire bans right up to a few weeks before clan, when they would almost always be lifted. This is a very "wet" time period by New Mexico standards.

The event reached its heyday in the late 90s, attendence swelled to over 1000 and the campsites stretched all the way down the Sleepygrass campground, where Clan stayed most of its first 20 years, with only one departure to a Waterfall Site nearby. However, a number of factors eroded the events attendence, including the emergence of other large events throughout the country, especially Rakis which is only a month before, and the loss of the Sleepygrass campground when the native Checkerspot Butterfly was declared to be at risk and it was deemed the Clan might have a negative impact on its population by trampling the grassy meadow where its main foodsource grew.

In 2000, Clan moved to the Atkinson Meadow about a mile or two from the Sleepygrass site. This site, while larger, was not as ideal for a number of reasons, including the road, the fact that offroad motorcyclists used a trail passing through the center of the field, the inability to drive to most of the campsites and the spread out nature of the meadow kind of lead to a less cozy feeling than was known at Sleepygrass. In 2003, facing increased costs, Clan moved to Bonito lake campground near Ruidoso, New Mexico. In 2011 it briefly moved to a new site near Weed, New Mexico.

As of 2015, Clan is currently being held at the Sacramento Retreat in Mayhill, New Mexico.

While it is no longer the end all of Amtgard events, it is still undeniably one of the premiere Amtgard events. It is where the Kingdom Circle of Monarchs meets and the Burning Lands holds it court.



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