Set Sail with Outlandish Gatherings—now in its third year! The four-day nautical-themed weekend is based on Voyager, the third book of Diana Gabaldon’s genre-bending Outlander Series. Popular Outlander cast members Grant O’Rourke (Rupert) and Stephen Walters (Angus) will both make appearances at the Gathering along with other special guests.
This year’s event takes place in beautiful coastal Georgia, where storm-tossed protagonists Jamie and Claire Fraser find themselves washed ashore in the American colonies at the end of Voyager. The Gathering will be held in Savannah, October 7-10, 2016 and headquartered at the Hyatt Regency Savannah in the Riverfront District, with additional accommodations provided by the nearby Hotel Indigo on Ellis Square. The city of Savannah won out over Newport, RI and New Orleans, LA based on the results of a survey of previous Gathering attendees.
A Busy Weekend of Events
After registration on Friday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, the weekend kicks off with a chartered dinner cruise aboard the three-decked riverboat Savannah River Queen, featuring southern cuisine, music, dancing, and ice-breaking events to help everyone to get to know one another better. (The Savannah River Boat Company was just rated the #1 Sightseeing Cruise in America for 2016 by Leisure Group Travel magazine.)
On Saturday’s excursion to Tybee Island, participants will explore the beachfront community and enjoy the island’s annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest, which includes a thieves market, parade, costumes, and live music. As the sun prepares to set, Outlander fans will find themselves at the Tybee Island Light Station, a colonial era lighthouse near North Beach, for a private Shipwreck Party under an immensebanquet tent decorated for the theme. Fans will mingle with Outlander cast members O’Rourke and Walters while enjoying live music and entertainment and a Low Country Boil and Southern BBQ, prepared onsite by BLocal Catering. Period costumes and kilts are encouraged for the shipwreck “survivors”—whether they be dressed as 18th century passengers, sailors, naval officers, pirates, or privateers. Additional guests include multi-instrumentalist/singer/actor Elias Alexander and Outlander Gaelic consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin, both of whom are making a return visit to the Gathering.
On Sunday, O’Rourke, Walters, and Ó Broin will be featured at a “Lunch with the Highlanders” at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, with VIPs seated at tables with one of the special guests. There are also “Meet & Greet” sessions before and after the luncheon where attendees will receive an autographed print of the actors and a photo opportunity with each of them. An intimate VIP “Scotch Talk” at Garibaldi’s will include the cast members and a Master Class whisky tasting sponsored by The Balvenie US. In the evening, a Ghosts & Gravestones trolley tour will introduce guests to the macabre and supernatural history of America’s most haunted city.
The Monday of the Gathering falls on Columbus Day, and guests will participate in a fundraising walk for World Child Cancer
. This will be Outlandish Gathering’s third year raising money for the London-based non-profit that provides diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care for children living in developing nations. Outlander star Catriona Balfe
(Claire Fraser) is a patron of the organization, which has enjoyed support from fans around the world. The walk will allow participants to see a number of Savannah’s points of architectural and historical significance. Those not attending the Gathering are encouraged to support the “Power of 10 Challenge
” by encouraging ten friends to donate $10 to World Child Cancer via the Gathering’s JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Outlandish-Gatherings1
With staff and special guests, more than 360 attendees from five countries, 36 states, and the District of Columbia are currently registered for Outlandish Gathering 2016. All 300 initial spots for the Gathering sold out in less than three weeks—before the cast appearances were even announced. This prompted organizers to open another 50 spots once O’Rourke and Walters were confirmed. The four-day event has been sold out since the end of February, with more than four dozen remaining on the waitlist. If additional attendees can be accommodated, spots will be offered to those on the waitlist on a first come, first served basis—so interested parties should add their names to the list as soon as possible: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/outlandish-gatherings-savannahtybee-island-tickets-21051658076
Previous Gatherings Outlandish Gathering 2015 followed a French Dragonfly in Amber theme and was held last August in Quebec City, Canada during the city’s annual Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France celebration, and the first-ever Outlandish Gathering was held May 2-4, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in August, 2013, Outlandish Gatherings was the first to organize a “for fans, by fans” gathering for Outlander fans and has grown to be the largest four-day Outlander fan event in the world. At the helm are director April Steele, event manager, Jennifer Veach, operations manager Trisha Mandel and graphic designer Audrey Landry.
The average cost per person for this four-day Gathering and all general events is $560 per person, including registration (this does not include travel, accommodations, or VIP events which have limited capacity).
About the Book
Fans of the series know Voyager continues the story of time-traveler Claire with her return to 18th century Scotland and her Highlander husband, Jamie, 20 years after he sent her back to 1948 to bear their child in safety before he prepares to die at the Battle of Culloden. After attending medical school and raising their daughter Brianna to adulthood, Claire has learned that Jamie did not die at Culloden after all. She decides to brave the perilous journey through the enigmatic standing stones that allow her to travel back 200 years in time. Reunited with Jamie, their happiness is short-lived; they are soon on a high sea adventure in search of Jamie’s fourteen-year-old nephew, Ian, who has been abducted by pirates aboard the Bruja, a Portuguese ship headed for the West Indies. Pursued by a British man-o-war decimated by smallpox, Jamie and Claire find themselves separated once again. After adventures on Hispanola and Jamaica the voyagers find themselves making a hasty escape aboard a “stolen” pinnace, once again chased by the British Navy. Their small craft manages to escape the hulking British ship with the aid of a powerful storm that blows them off-course and run aground on the coast of the Colony of Georgia in a political climate that heralds the coming of yet another rebellion.