We had excellent attendance this year with 289 people (up from 224 in 2012 and 180 in 2011). We set the capacity of the event at 300 people and sold out in less than 48hrs! We then had a large number of refunds two weeks before the event and ended up not having a sold out event. Losing those 11 ticket sales reduced our profit by over $1000. I think the capacity of 300 people is sustainable and I recommend keeping it at that level next year.
There was a slight increase in our Participation Grant funds this year to $2,250, but there was a major increase in interest for those grants. It appears people are finally realizing that we will give them free money if they ask for it.
We added a Temple Burn this year, which I think was a great success and I recommend continuing the tradition again next year.
We changed the date of the event from the June 21st solstice weekend to the July 1st Canada Day weekend. This made a huge difference in the weather and did not appear to have any negative impact on our attendance. I recommend keeping with this tradition next year.
We held the event at Sunny Daze Campground as we have in the past.
We had some issues with the porta-potties. I requested the same service as last year, which was two dump-outs. This was not specifically mentioned in our contract and I only reminded Heinrich once, months before the event. So, we went two days without a dump-out, which is too much. Even when I asked for an emergency dump-out, it was not possible because the Tall Tree festival is the same weekend and all of the pump trucks were at that event. There is an option to rent a festival porta-pottie trailer, which I highly recommend for next year. This option has a large trailer with actual washrooms installed on it. The washrooms have running water and flush toilets as well as air-conditioning! The onboard tanks are large enough to get through a full weekend without requiring a dump-out part way through. They cost a bit more than what we rented this year, but I think our event has reached a size that requires this service. The trailer would be parked at a central location, possibly near mainstage behind the cook shack.
We need to reserve the venue for the following year during the event. At least one year advance reservation is required to secure the Canada Day long weekend.
We had a budget of $17,000 plus $4,250 for art grants and participation grants. We rolled the KindleArts art grant budget into the Otherworld budget, which I think better represents our actual expenses. Compared to 2012, when our budget was $12,000. Our final profit this year after expenses has not been fully calculated, but I estimate we banked about $5,000 for KindleArts. This compares to about $2,000 profit banked in 2012. This increased profit is due to the elimination of the lower priced tiered tickets and higher attendance (and better weather). Considering we spent 40% more on our budget and profited 250% more, I’d say the event was a huge success as a fundraiser and I recommend we do it again next year.
For more information regarding the financials, please review my GDoc budget. Morgan Andrews will also be preparing a more accurate financial statement.
Ticket and Sales Process ~ Jared Warren
All regular tickets were priced at $95. No complaints were received as a result of eliminating tiers and increasing prices – apparently Otherworld is still good value.
Site capacity was negotiated to be 300. Children and contractors did not count toward that total. 30 of the tickets were reserved for subsidization.
Ticket sales were announced in advance and predicted to sell out quickly – buyers were prompted to get PayPal accounts in order. Ticket sales and subsidy registrations were opened on Saturday, April 20 at 7pm with a cap at 250 (children’s tickets count toward cap). Those 250 tickets sold in 40 hours and then a waiting list opened.
All subsidy ticket offers were approved. 25 offers were accepted; 5 were not accepted and added to the available full-price pool. A few people both applied for a subsidy ticket and bought a full-price ticket just in case. When they were notified that they received their subsidy tickets, they were given a refund on their full-price tickets.
email@example.com was directed to both Nato and my email addresses. I had access to a database view through kindlearts.ca/reg that allowed me to diagnose many ticket issues. Nato attempted to build a Google Spreadsheet interface to the waiting list, but it didn’t work properly so the waiting list was managed mostly manually.
Ticket transfers were automated and moved smoothly except for the occasional reminder/resend by email of passwords. Ticket refunds and offers to the waiting list had to be processed manually by Nato. No official end date for refunds was communicated, so we reluctantly accepted all requests. Team leads were not prepared to handle the fact that ticket transfers caused their volunteer lists to change. (Most people who buy a ticket late never end up doing an official volunteer shift.)
After it became clear that all vital volunteers had bought tickets, the remaining 30 were incrementally offered to people on the waiting list. People on the waiting list generally didn’t respond immediately to offers and after prompting declined the offers. Overall, the waiting list took a very long time to get through and bought very few tickets.
Total guest list: 289
Subsidized count: 25
Full-price tickets: 252
Last-minute sales (not through PayPal): 2
Regular sales: $23,940
Subsidized amount: $950
Donations to subsidy tickets: $40
Donations to CORE: $405
What Worked Well
Prompting people to prepare to buy tickets
Beginning sales on a weekend evening
Having multiple people with access to database records to respond to ticket inquiries
CORE made a fair bit of money
Encourage people to do third-party sales to those without PayPal accounts – Burn in the Forest set up a Google Doc to facilitate this
Build better interfaces on the data so those with less computer literacy can monitor the waiting list and respond to ticket inquiries. The current “All Registrations” view is useless without more information.
Figure out how to better support team leads handling ticket transfers and late registrations.
Get rid of refunds except in extenuating circumstances. No other festivals (particularly not Burning Man) have as generous a refund policy as Otherworld. Set up a ticket aftermarket to help people arrange ticket transfers – Burn in the Forest uses a Google Doc for this.
Get rid of the waiting list – see above.
Accept more subsidy applications than there are subsidy tickets.
Use donations to the subsidy fund to create more subsidy tickets or remove that donation mechanism.
Participation Bursaries Committee Report ~ Duncan MacRae
The Participation Bursaries committee was tasked with disbursing $2,250 to applicants to be used for non-art-related expenses, such as theme camp infrastructure and materials for Happenings, as well as granting requests for subsidy tickets, up to a maximum of 30 tickets. We granted 28 ticket subsidies and we received requests for bursaries totaling ~$3,700. All applicants were granted at least some of the funding they requested, and all applicants who requested funds followed through on their commitments at Otherworld.
Oversee subsidy ticket distribution
Create a process for collecting applications for participation bursaries
Make the community aware of the bursaries and the process for applying
Assess applications and decide on how funds will be disbursed
Inform applicants about how much funding they will be receiving, or if their application was not accepted
Coordinate with Kindle Arts Society treasurer to ensure that bursary recipients understand the process for receiving funds
What went well?
Only 28 people applied for subsidy tickets, out of a possible 30, so all applicants were granted subsidized tickets
The participation bursary disbursement process was created and followed
The community was generally aware that bursaries were available
Funds were disbursed on time
Recipients were informed of the process for receiving funds
What could be improved?
The participation bursaries application form could be improved for clarity
The process for receiving funds could be made clear up-front to all applicants as they fill out their forms, rather than after the fact
The criteria for disbursing funds could be firmed up and made clearer
There was a little coordination with the art grants committee, but only as an afterthought
The bursary application form should ask applicants how much the applicant is planning to spend in total, not just how much they are asking for. The committee felt that seeing the estimated total cost to the applicant would help in deciding how much to grant a given applicant because it was felt that applicants who were willing to put in more money of their own would be a better use of bursary funds. e.g. if an applicant is planning on spending $500, but is only asking for $100 from the bursaries committee, the committee would likely grant the entire amount, whereas if someone were planning on spending $500 and applied for $500, the committee, with limited funds to work with, would likely only grant a small fraction of that, and likely have a conversation with the applicant about whether they can afford to contribute more of their own funds. In this way, the participation bursaries can be leveraged better to ensure that more resources are put into the event, making for a better overall event.
The expense forms and expense reimbursement process should be made clear to the applicants from the beginning. An email should be sent to the applicants upon filling out the form with directions on how the process works. In addition, the process should be made available on the Kindle Arts website so that potential applicants can see it and understand what their obligations are.
The criteria for fund disbursement should include, in addition to the criteria listed on the website (Creativity, Interactivity, Excitement, Social Value) a criterion for the likelihood that a given project will be completed/followed through on. The committee gave more weight to applicants with more fleshed-out plans and who had a track record for delivering on their promises. This year, everyone who applied managed to follow through on their commitments very well, but it is the committee’s belief that we should consider an applicant’s likelihood of being able to follow through by considering their plan and their previous experience in putting together projects.
Coordinate with the Art Grants Committee to make sure that there aren’t any art grant applications that should be participation bursary applications and vice versa.
What Where When Report ~ Duncan MacRae
The What Where When (WWW) is the guide to theme camps, activities, and events (or Happenings) at Otherworld. It is made available online, as well as at Center Camp and in a paper booklet. The paper booklet I created only had the schedule of events and a map, while the full guide had information on all registered theme camps, all Happenings and scheduled events, a map, and a description of the Ten Principles of Burning Man.
Accumulate all of the information about the goings-on at Otherworld, including theme camps, Happenings, and Otherworld activities such as the variety show and burn(s)
Encourage the community to lead and host Happenings
Build the schedule of events
Create a guide to Otherworld based on information collected
Print a copy of the guide for a WWW board at Center Camp, making the information available to everyone
Print a number of paper guidebooks for participants, both for informational purposes and as a keepsake
What went well?
The guide was completed and distributed online prior to Otherworld
Information about all theme camps and registered Happenings was included in the guide
The guide was made available at Center Camp
General feedback says that the guide was readable and useful
The printed guides were produced fairly cheaply (~$75 for 110 paper guides) and the Center Camp guide was produced at negligible cost by laminating letter-sized printed paper and posting it on an easel
What could be improved?
The guide was completed and delivered less than a week before Otherworld
I did not have time/take time to do as much canvassing of the community for Happenings as I would have liked
There was some difficulty in finding space for Happenings that were not associated with a theme camp
Some Happenings were announced at Otherworld via megaphone, but doing so for all Happenings proved to be problematic
I did not get any information about the art at Otherworld and so there was no mention of it in the guide
Recommendations for next year
Get the guide finished and out the door earlier. This could be accomplished by using this year’s guide as a template/example and filling in the appropriate information as necessary.
Add Otherworld art to the guide by coordinating with the Art Grants committee.
Ask theme camps if they have available space for Happenings as early as possible and try to fit Happenings into their spaces, at least notionally, before the application deadline. This will make it quicker and easier to build the schedule.
Decide in advance which Happenings should have a megaphone announcement. If a Happening has a very specific start and end time, and does not lend itself to dropping in in the middle (a workshop is a good example), then it might be a good idea to have someone announce it. If it’s something that people can just wander into as they like (a hoop jam, for example) then it’s probably fine to just let it happen.
Make more announcements about Happenings on Facebook and in emails.
Consider recommending a co-lead for this activity. It was a lot for me to accomplish by myself, but if I had someone to help I think I could have delivered a better product. It would be helpful to be able to share the work of creating the content and reaching out to the community. It would also have been nice to have someone who could proofread, as I made a few misprints and having a second pair of eyes would likely have made that process smoother.
I used Staples to print the paper guides and I would recommend them again. They were cheaper than Island Blueprint, from whom I also got a quote, and they were able to deliver in under 48 hours (they said they could have done it overnight if it was absolutely necessary).
I used my office’s laminating machine and printer to make the Center Camp WWW board out of nine sheets of laminated letter-sized printed paper. It worked well and I would recommend laminated paper as a good solution. Laminating with my office machine and printer was a negligible cost, but if the next person in charge of the WWW wants to use the same solution, it would cost about $2 per sheet, so be sure to budget about $20 on top of the cost of the paper guide. This is still probably the cheapest solution for a simple, durable WWW board at Center Camp.
Theme Camps – Megan Mcdonald
We had a lot more theme camps this year. Placement was very tricky. We rented a U-Haul truck just for theme camps, but most people were self-reliant and did not require transportation, so we cancelled the truck and requested assistance from DPW. They love transporting other people’s stuff.
DPW report ~ Edd Mcdonald / Chris Lamb ~ Co-Lead
Set up, maintain and tear down event provided infrastructure for OW.
Generally speaking a great success. DPW success is contingent on other leads communicating their infrastructure needs early and well, so that we can be prepared and respond to those needs in a timely fashion.
This year set a high benchmark for communication, with a corresponding level of self sufficiency. Leads had their shit together and had no last minute surprises for us. Even when they had a last minute problem, they generally dealt with it themselves. This made our job smooth and easy.
Problems & Solutions
The generator for Rangers and Centre Camp continues to be an issue. If only a small one. Twice during the event I got pulled aside to refuel and start the generator, which I wouldn’t mind greatly, except the first time was in the last 10 minutes of the talent show, and the second was just as the effigy fell.
Further develop the DPW “On Duty” position and have that person check and top up the generator before the evening’s activities.
Rather than have a 5000 watt generator charging the radios and running a couple black lights, we could charge a small bank of batteries which the lights and radio charger could then run off of, it would be far more efficient and would mean we could run the generator for a shorter time and at convenient hours.
Transport ended up waiting around for other people to have their stuff torn down and packed up on Sunday.
An established deadline for having things on the truck on teardown day so that transport has a time when they can reasonably expect to leave would be helpful.
Thursday night went very loud and very late. It’s still technically pre-event and the end of a long work day for DPW, especially transport.
A suggested sound curfew of midnight pre-event so that people who worked all day hauling and setting up can sleep before the event would be helpful.
Your long term DPW lead tends to get drunk while on duty. Fire the Bastard.
Having a separate transport lead worked very well. With this year’s high level of organization and communication, this wasn’t the nightmare that it has been in previous years.
Nice Schwag. Thanks Ashes!
The Fluffer beer and snacks also went over very well, especially with the new DPW whose first event this was. Coming around with a beer, some schwag, and a “good job” is an effective motivator.
DPW always gets twice as many respondents to the ticket sale survey as will actually respond to my email. Then I acquire a couple of enthusiastic volunteers who didn’t sign up at all.
I make no effort to chase down non-responders or people who don’t find me on site.
For on-site help, I actually have about a dozen reliable people who make it all go smoothly, and a few more extras who are happy to lend a hand if I point a finger and give them a job.
I would like to discourage those organizers who sign up for everything and are then too busy to actually help set up or tear down from volunteering for DPW. It happens every year, and while understandable, results in lowered expectations.
Perhaps some tactful wording on the ticket survey to the effect of only signing up for DPW if you are availible to come early on setup day and devote several hours of work.
We came in under budget, but only slightly as the water pump made its way into our budget when it wasn’t originally intended to be.
We have 73 (ish) LED’s from the throwies back, and lost 3 of my UFO lights (the ones that go in the porta potties).
Gate and Greeters ~ Pamela Lloyd / Alison Eustace ~ Co-Lead
Gate seemed to go relatively well with the usual headaches associated with volunteers not showing up for their shifts and the normal parking nightmare. This is a challenging role that requires a lot of planning and I think it went really well.
Variety Show ~ VaVa / Dorothy Smith ~ Co-Lead
Others involved: Main Stage Crew (Mike Gano, Matt), Lori Ravenstorm (stage hand assistance), performers, Town Crier (Meganmaphone)
Overall, the Variety Show went really smoothly and ran as planned. We started on time or early (before 8:30 which was the planned time). As soon as the “oontz oontz” was shut off it was the clear signal to people that the show was starting. It was new to have this the first official night of the event (usually it was night 2). We felt it was well attended and worked well to keep it on Friday night as per year’s past.
Ample time was given for performers to sign-up for the Variety show ahead of the event. This worked well and we had a good turn-out of people (about 14 acts). FB, Kindle Arts website and email lists were all used to send out notices and create excitement. The cut-off to apply was about 1.5 weeks before the event, which lined up with cut-offs for other call-outs and allowed time for the Leads to communicate with performers, answer questions, gather their music and tech info, and put together a set list for the event.
We had posted the set list to all via email, along with sound check, equipment drop-off and all other relevant details a few days before the event.
On the tech side, all music was sent to Stage Crew ahead via Dropbox and also brought to event on a memory stick as a back up. This made things quite smooth vs trying to wrangle cd’s from each performer.
Working with Mainstage Crew ahead of time (Gano, Matt) worked really well. Gano and Hiltz communicated with me well from the start and gave lots of details. It helped that I had attended OW before and knew the space, and that I am experienced in producing similar events.
The set-list was posted at the stage and enough copies brought for hosts, and tech crew to refer to. It was also great to have gotten info from Hiltz and others who had visited the stage.
The show was well received. Performers showed up on time and did a great job. Dorothy and Lori helped to locate performers in the crowd to make sure they were ready to go on in their spot. VaVa mainly did the stage set up/strike with help from Lori. This worked well. We also had a basket for gathering clothing for the burlesque acts.
The show ended just as it was getting dark, and in perfect time for the fire show to happen afterwards. We were able to keep in touch with the Fire Lead to advise on how timing was going.
Not much was needed here. VaVa stayed to make sure performers gathered their belongings. Anything left behind (nothing was, but one chair) was to be gathered in a box and kept at Mainstage for pick-up.
Stage decoration. There was some confusion over who was going to decorate the stage or if this was even needed. Variety Show crew was unsure if we needed to do this and asked about it. We gathered some basic materials to do this. As it turned out, since the Treehouse bus couldn’t be there, their decor worked best on the stage and that was put in place. Additionally, we had not anticipated/been informed of a video screen that was erected on stage.
Suggestion: Stage and Variety Show Leads talk this point over for next year/make a plan so they can work together on it.
Stage space sharing. Again, with the Treehouse bus not coming, there was much less space on stage than was anticipated, due to the DJ’s and all equipment/speakers moving to the stage. This was similar to past years and Gano/Matt worked with us to make sure we had enough room for the performers still. It turned out fine and we managed any additional tripping hazards/safety issues for performers.
Suggestion: Assume this will be the case for space on stage in future and keep this in performer’s minds/manage expectations.
Music & Lighting. The tech info had to be re-numbered as the audio unit being used didn’t order the tracks by name/number. This was a quick fix which Mike and VaVa sorted. It was good that we did a sound check and were able to catch these little tech details before the show. We also made the call to have the Harp un-mic’ed as it was not picking up the sound. We made this work through teamwork/turning off the generator for the stage just for that act. It was great to have support and accommodation from the stage team on this.
The lighting was a non-issue while there was still daylight. That was most of the show. The final few acts, it was starting to get dark. Mike/Matt fixed up a mini-spot light to give a bit more light and that helped. If the show had run much later, this may have been more problematic (lack of lighting).
Suggestion: Discuss with tech crew how they prefer files to be named for audio/what type of files they can accommodate (mp3/cd etc). Have them test the music ahead (this saved us for one corrupt file). Have a back-up lighting plan for if the show runs long/things get dark.
This is a fun and interactive way for our performing talent in the community to participate at OW. It would be great to see it continue and I would be happy to lead the effort again in future years.
Should others take the lead, I suggest those who have a stage management/theatre background and who had previously been to OW and seen the Variety Show. I found it very very helpful to have that information in my tool kit.
Fire Shows ~ Allan Whysker
Three fire performances were planned for during the Otherworld: Patterns event. The first occurred on Friday, the opening night. As the pattern of events was changed this year due to a change in dates of the week, a formal fire performance was requested by the Event Lead to follow the variety show. Due to limited space caused by the Tree House Art Car art, the show was held out on the roadway next to the effigy. With many performers and safeties being busy setting up their camps having arrived later in the day (or even later in the evening) there was no attendance to the prearranged safety meeting. So, at show time, it was an “off the cuff” orientation to the performers, and I was fortunate to acquire Leanne Todd (Seattle) to act as our safety and was able to provide her with a more detailed orientation, albeit still “off the cuff”. The show went on without any hitches for approxiamately 40 minutes.
The second show, the main event was scheduled to occur prior to the Man burn, last minute details were hashed out with the Fire Safety Lead regarding fueling the effigy, allowable proximity of fire performers to the fueled effigy, and timing of the finale act in regards to the mutant fire vehicle and the lighting of the effigy. Again I was lucky enough to have Leanne Todd (Seattle) join us a second time as main safety, with Terri Grassick (Vancouver) jumping in as Fire spotter between her performances, and our own Megan McDonald when Terri was busy. I spent the bulk of the performance at the back ensuring performers stayed clear of the man. I did have a couple people not registered to spin fire ask to, and were let into the program, with great success. Only one incident of concern occurred at the second fire show, one of our performers was determined to be not sober enough to continue in the show and was asked to leave after nearly interrupting/bumping into one performer during their performance, nearly walking through the fueled area for the man, and appeared to be fixating on her fire tool during her act. Again, I had virtually zero attendance to the prescheduled safety meeting.
The third show was to happen 2230ish down on the river, on the Empress pier, unfortunately the Temple burn took considerably longer than expected to burn so the performance didn’t begin until after 2430hrs… The DJ for this show had long since left, so my Ipod was hooked up to the remaining amplification system and we played a DJ Mike Downey mix (our security guy). Only two fire tools got wet. However, there was an area front left of the pier which was the electrical hub for the piers electrical/lighting, and I was nervous the whole night someone would knock it into the water or dribble water on it coming out of the water after rescuing their fire tool. The fueling area was located by a fallen tree at the water’s edge (to minimize wandering through by the audience) but navigating over the rocks to and from the pier was difficult.
Security wise, the new pilons and rope worked exceptionally well in my opinion, no line crossing occurred during the first two shows. The small pilons from previous years were incorporated to mark out the fueling area. For the third show, as the river works as a natural barrier, only the small pilons were used to mark off the performers pathway, which also worked as a do not cross indicator for the audience.
For me the biggest issue was the communication, multiple emails in advance of the event went relatively unanswered. I found out just prior to the event that there was an email address setup for the Fire Performance Lead, which I guess didn’t get used, at least I didn’t get to answer any questions people may have been asking. I also found there were some issues with the volunteer signup webpage in that people didn’t know what they were signing up for, Fire performance/Fire Safety/Effigy Fire Perimeter, etc. Perhaps a more detailed indicator check box thingy for next time? I know everyone is jockeying for position not knowing which shows to do, and which shows to skip, etc. But, event coordinators are asking me how much time I need for each show. How much gas should I purchase for each show, How many performers at a time/how many safeties do I need, etc. The “mandatory” safety meetings were useless. But the shows were awesome despite the short comings of the organization.
But I would do it all again in a heart beat…
Main Stage ~ Mike Gano / Matt Gibson ~ Co-Lead
I think the scaffolding worked great. I recommend we use that again next year to close off the space. It made a really big difference. Even with only 5 to 10 people dancing, it felt cozy and full …whereas before even with 50 people dancing, it felt kind of empty. And having a chill space nearby also kept the vibe alive, as people could peel off and rest/cuddle and then come back and dance. We provided (and cut to shape) the plywood to make dancing platforms for the scaffolding. These are 5′ x 5′ with notches cut in the corners. Of course this means you need more than one board per platform. For safety reasons, we prevented people from climbing above the first platform. We monitored this during the burns and had to ask a few people to move down.
The gravel that Heindrik laid down on the floor was awesome in preventing a mud pit (not that it rained much). I would ensure there is a fresh layer (and even more) for next year.
Remember to refuel the genny prior to each night’s sets. We still burned through a full tank on the 10kw genny before the night was done. It would be good to have some planned solution: rig a larger tank or refillable tank (while running). Or mix it up with a musician or speech or something that does not require power while refueling.
#1 Recommendation: Do not put porta-potties right on the dance floor. By the 2nd day, our entire dance floor reeked. I suggest putting them at least 50 feet further into the parking area.
Only official roles were lead and co-lead.
Figure out which DJs are going to Otherworld (not all checked “main stage” when they purchased their tickets).
Put together a line-up: with 11 DJs, we gave most DJs 2 slots (Friday night and Saturday night) and then kept Sunday night flexible. There was minimal DJing/music during the day as it got pretty hot up there.
Make a thorough list of all gear needed (including cables, fuel, lights, etc).
Ensure you have some commitment ahead of time for both setup and take-down. for the level we achieved, setup took a full day and take-down about 1/2 a day.
We had 4 VJs performing, but they managed to work out amongst themselves who would play when.
Effigy ~ Brian Culp / Jane Allen ~ Co-Lead
This was the first year we had both the Man effigy and the Temple effigy. Brian did a huge amount of work and practically built both effigies by himself. The Man was illuminated with LED’s powered by a buried extension cord run from the cook shack. The LED’s were burned with the Man. Due to the construction of the Man, there was no easy way to actually install it onsite. Luckily, it was delivered to the site by a friend with a flatbed truck with an attached crane. In the future, make sure the structures can be disassembled and reassembled onsite relatively easily. We may not always have access to a crane! Ibby and Cam Bremner provided pyrotechnics for the Man burn, which was awesome! We had a hard time lighting the Temple burn, which was due in part to somewhat moist wood with the Temple living in the forest and shade for the weekend. It was also in part due to the diesel fuel used. In general, diesel fuel does not work well. In the future, I recommend dousing the structure with citronella oil about 1-2hrs before the burn. Then adding an ample amount of white gas directly before ignition. This fuel mixture has worked very well for effigies in the past, so I recommend we stick with this mixture in the future.
Center Camp ~ Abbey Boone / Nikole Avery ~ Co-Lead
The biggest challenge CC faced this year was shelter! Last minute the carport we’ve used in the past (Cam McLeod) went missing and we had to purchase a carport from Canadian Tire (which we returned for refund promptly after the event). Cam did find the carport in the end so next year I suggest checking in with him early-on to make sure we can use it again for CC. Otherwise it’s time to find some new infrastructure for CC. If this is the case I highly recommend consulting someone who knows something about temporary carports etc… the one we bought from Canadian Tire was a disaster with 8000+ pieces and took the majority of our time to set up. Awful. It also only opened from one end resulting in a very humid hot box with the good weather this year.
Also – the platform the CC is built on is decaying and the termites were crazy! They were everywhere inside the tent and gross. I am not sure how long Heinrich plans to keep the platform there or what condition it will be in by next summer.
Playatech – was awesome. But this is an expense ($200) which doesn’t need to go in the $450 budget for CC next year unless Kindle wants to start amassing an extensive collection of Playa-friendly furniture! The day beds went to Bitf and Burning Man. They have been slept on by hundreds on people. Money well spent Kindle! Sadly, coming home from BM two pieces went missing that can easily be replaced. If anyone wants to borrow them for anything they are being stored at Chez Boon’s.
WWW Guide – still lots of paper copies left over this year. We could def print fewer copies next year. The art board we used was a good way to display the calendar or events. I think creating a PDF of the guide available for download and printing off the event page ahead of time could save a lot of money in printing. This way people who want a printed guide can do it at home before hand, everyone else can use CC for info. (This might not be my area since I didn’t produce the guide…just my input!)
Other than the carport sitch CC was a dream! The art, lighting, decoration, coffee camp, etc… came together without a hitch.
It’s hard to say how long it took us to do each major task – the infrastructure took the longest to set up but after that hanging the art and lights and setting up the playatech took about 4 hours. The lights take some time to hang and require some skill – you have to keep in mind where all the ends have to end up in relation to the power cord and generator. With everything included CC took a full day from morning to night to set up. All of the volunteers did early entry to have the camp prepared in time.
Rangers ~ Amara Smith / Monique LeBlanc ~ Co-Lead
Ranger Lead @ event Friday – Saturday: Amara
Ranger Lead @ event Saturday – Sunday: Monique (aka Mimi)
Ranger Lead @ event Sunday – Monday: Allan
Mimi and I were responsible for recruiting and training volunteers to be Rangers at Otherworld 2013. Duties also included: scheduling, printing, radio training on-site, having snacks and drinks available, and providing leadership and mentorship to volunteers as Ranger Leads during the event. Allan stepped up to be Ranger Lead Sunday to Monday.
We held 2 Ranger training sessions in June. One conducted by Cam Hacault and the other by me. We had approx 12 people attend each session and gave them the first opportunity to sign up for Ranger shifts at Otherworld. Most shifts were filled after these sessions.
Ranger shifts were 4 hours in length with 2 extra Rangers on from 10pm to 2am Friday and Saturday nights. Ranger shifts were staggered to ensure continuity and consistent debriefing between Rangers. Having extra Rangers on shift was extremely successful and they were utilized so that 2 were at major events (ex. Variety Show, effigy burn) while the other 2 could mind the rest of the site.
There were shift gaps during the event, most notably 12am to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, which were covered by the Ranger Lead on shift. This time is also one of the busiest for incidents that require Rangers. Perhaps we should look at shorter shifts during that time frame? Or incentives? I would also suggest a procedure for dealing with volunteers who do not show up for their shifts. How do we confront them? Do we allow them to volunteer next year? There was a plan to write volunteer shifts on wristbands at the gate. However, this was never implemented.
Suggestions for next event:
Year-round Ranger training sessions, especially right after an event. Several people asked us how they could help and become a Ranger during the event.
Ranger lead 24hr shift is too long. 12 hours would be more reasonable. However, we would need much more Lead Rangers and could be a logistical challenge.
A procedure for documenting issues needs to be improved upon. We used a Communication binder for Rangers. They needed to sign in/out for their shifts as well as write up any incidents or encounters. It was also a place for them to write suggestions down. However, the Comm Binder is left in an open area where anyone can access it. Allan made the suggestion of having Rangers fill out an occurrence report, and leave them with the Ranger Lead on duty, and that Ranger Lead should be giving any relevant information to rangers coming on duty. The occurrence report could look something like a First Aid Report.
For the protection of the Rangers, there should be a male and female on at all times. It would be very easy to perceive inappropriate interactions.
When participants purchase tickets, there should be a required-answer question about whether they have any allergies or medical alerts. Answers should only be accessed by Rangers and First Aid
Parents should be told that their children (ie. those under the age of 12) need to stay with their parents or guardians at all times. Amend the parental consent form to reflect this. These participants get free entrance under the assumption they will have constant supervision.
Leave No Trace ~ Calvin Steeves (and the event producer)
Calvin and I did the sweep of the camp together, which was a huge help over me doing it myself the year before. Also, having a truck with some space was essential. We ended up with about two bags of garbage and three bags of lost and found. This was the most lost and found we have ever had and typical for garbage. For almost 300 people and no garbage cans, this is a pretty amazing feat. We were done cleaning up by 7pm.
Giving out garbage and recycling bags at the gate seemed to work well. Most garbage tends to build-up at theme camps. There should be better communication to people with theme camps explaining they are responsible for all of the garbage at their camp, even if the garbage did not come from their campmates. Calvin delivered all garbage to the dump and organized the lost and found.
Documents such as the insurance application, fire safety plan, evacuation plan, and participant waiver are available as necessary.
Event Producer ~ Hiltz Tanner ~ Wrangler
We started planning Otherworld right after Kasbah, which is a good idea to ensure there is no overlap because many of the same people are working on both events. We started the planning process around the beginning of March, which worked quite well. That being said, we need to develop a schedule for deadlines as soon as the planning begins. I waited until late April to create deadlines, which was too late. If the leads know their deadlines for milestones well in advance, there will be less chaos closer to the event.
We hired Mike Downey for security. We also provided free tickets for him and his girlfriend. This was an excellent arrangement and I highly recommend it again for next year.
We hired Cowichan Valley First Aid and they were great to work with. They had two medics with one women and one man on at all times. They switched off part way through the weekend to keep their medics fresh. This worked very well and I recommend using them again next year.
The campground was booked by a wedding for Canada Day weekend in 2014 by September. That means we will need to go back to our previous date of June 21st for the Solstice. I recommend booking the campground during our event for the following year.
I have a feeling that many of the leads who have been working on Otherworld since the beginning are starting to get burnt out. I have done my best to provide succession planning by ensuring that all teams have Co-Leads. Also, continually recruiting new leaders and empowering them to take on leadership roles. This will be an important part of keeping Otherworld alive and vibrant.
Running Otherworld for the past two years has been amazing!
Next year I will be getting married shortly after Otherworld and I will have too much going on in my personal life to play a large role in the planning process. I would like to offer my services to the Doarch for 2014 as a consultant and I can lead the event for a day, but that will be the extent of my involvement.