Last years VAT demand unveiled quite an engagement amongst the participants of The Gathering. It spawned massive protests against the demand and the comprehensive media coverage made the Department of Finance pass a hastened exemption for The Gathering in the VAT case. Three of the persons who fronted the case of a VAT exemption has now sent their greetings by video to all participants and volunteers.
Film director Harald Zwart was early in defending The Gathering in the media as a culture event. He is currently resided in China and working on another motion picture in the Karate Kid series.
The norwegian Minister of Finance, Kristin Halvorsen, was the one to break through the debates and pass the exemption for The Gathering to be released from the demand of nearly a million Norwegian kroner in due VAT. With her video greeting she talks about why the event was defined as a culture event (and not a sports event :-)). She's also curious about this "Arne" and who that might be...
Trond Giske, our Minister of Cultural Affairs, is a vigorous man and he fought to get the exemption through and keep The Gathering VAT free. He emphasizes the importance of events such as The Gathering and how it helps ensure the creative and technical work force for the future.