With mini Gumball reunions appearing all over the world, if you're heading for the Goodwood festival of Speed or Glastonbury music festival this weekend I'm sure stories of feeling like a 'rock star' as you waded through the masses of people upon entering Vienna will continue to fuel the champagne tents!
Well I thought I'd add a little future news to the gossip, and formally tell you about the 2006 Gumball! Listen up...because this one is going to be ground breaking.... here's some info to whet your appetite.....take a deep breath before you read this - it's alot to take in. I apologise in advance for overloading you with info - but this is quite a big deal.
As you are aware the Gumball 3000 Rally route changes every year and has increasingly taken in developing countries, typically those emerging from non-democratic regimes (eg, Russia, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, etc..), as its my way of integrating those nations into the wider international community and also for the purpose of encouraging social and cultural exchange between nations, as well as being great adventures for the events participants. After being courted by the Ministry for Culture in Beijing and meeting with the North Korean Government over 2 years ago; for 2006, to cut a James Bond real life experience short, we decided to consider taking the event to Asia, and after considerable planning and negotiations we have decided to incorporate a 3000 mile route which incorporates Europe, Asia and North America in just 10 days, with the rally starting in London and finishing in Los Angeles.
It is proposed that, following the first leg drive overland from London to Istanbul, we are going to fly all the cars and people to Beijing (in Antanov Cargo Planes), and then drive north into the DPRK (North Korea), staying in Pyongyang before crossing the DMZ into South Korea, across by sea to Tokyo and then again by air to the US to finish the rally in Los Angeles. The provisional date for the rally is April 29 - May 8th 2006, to avoid clashing with Monaco GP, Cannes, etc....
After a year of visiting North Korea regularly, in March we received written permission from The General Kim Jong IL and the government of the DPRK for the Gumball to enter the country from China, and cross the DMZ into South Korea. This is a most exceptional permission, especially given the very high-profile of the Gumball Rally; creating an opportunity to bring people of all nations (including Amercians, Japanese and South Koreans) together, particularly to end the technical war with the US and better global international relations and securities. Since being granted this permission from the DPRK, following meetings at the highest level with the United States goverment we have since gained permission and support from the South Korean, US Governments and the United Nations to support the rally, and all the opportunities that it may create. Therefore the 'theme' of next year's 2006 rally will be a 'World Peace Rally'. However, with politics being as they are, should events not enable us to cross from North into South Korea, then as a contingency plan we have also confirmed an alternative and equally amazing route from China to Tokyo.
The governments of each continent have also agreed for us to stage 'Music Concerts' that will be televised internationally. We therefore plan to organise the first ever music concert in North Korea, and intend for U2 or The Rolling Stones or similar artists to perform. With the music concerts being a major part of the Gumball, especially as they are further opportunities for the various countries, sponsors and public to benefit and enjoy the event, in 2006 we will organise 4 concerts during the 2006 rally in London, Beijing, Pyongyang and Los Angeles.
So thats our big news that we couldn't discuss until now. I hope you find it interesting to say the least. Its been an incredible 2 years behing the scenes in achieving the above, now I want to exploit it in the best ways possible - as situations like this don't come about very often in ones life. Afterall, the President of South Korea won the Nobel Peace prize 2 years ago for his efforts in attempting to cross the DMZ - even though his attempts failed. If this all goes to plan, then the media value to the Gumball brand is phenomenal.
Have you seen Team America yet???? Well get ready to meet Kim Jong Il.
Finally, I've also attached the 'post rally press release' of this years event, confirming some of the highlights, and there's an indepth version of who got up to no good on the website...talking of which, with our own forum now up and running, going ballistic after we got 57 million hits during the week of the rally, we've created a 'PRIVATE AREA' to the forum that is exclusive to Gumball participants from all years. To receive your log on password for this please email [email protected] and Mike Lawrence, our webmaster will sort this out!
Hope to see you at Goodwood...and if you are up for taking part in next years rally, with it being limited to just 80 cars we are taking entries immediately from past Gumballers (before we accept any entries from new people), fees are increased to marginally help cover the cost of the cargo planes, but with the overall cost to put on the event reaching the tens of millions, if you have any ideas and contacts to some major sponsors please let me know. For questions about participating please contact either Nick or Julie in the HQ.
"We got a welfare car. You know when they give you a cheque every month!" DC's Big Black (taken from the Gumball film '6 Days in May' directed by Ruben Fleischer...available to buy on DVD in the US August 23rd... to watch the trailer go to www.gumball3000.com and go to the Drive-In Cinema)