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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am
Posts: 83
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I'm so excited about the festival and don't know how I'm going to be able to wait until August. I think I've read every post on the forum. But I have a few questions... How far is your car from the campsite? Wondering how on earth I'm going to get my stuff to the camp area. What do you wear? What about the costumes, is there a parade or a dress up day? Also I've seen some mention of the campsites, what area do you like?


Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:02 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:35 am
Posts: 337
Location: Linnea n'ha Gaia. Eastern US.
Yay, Fest talk! Karie, these are great questions. I was a first-timer last year and had all the same confusion, so if it's any consolation, don't worry! It'll all work out! =D

The distance from your car to where you pitch your tent will vary, depending on where you pitch your tent. Probably no more than a mile and a quarter... but the Land feels bigger on the inside (at least it did to me, that first day), so it can seem like 10 miles! My plan going in last year was to schlep all my gear from the parking lot in a wagon or a hand truck, but once I got to the Land I decided I'd use the shuttles. There are shuttles (big tractors and such) on opening day to drive you and your gear from the parking lot way back into the Land, closer to where the various camping areas are. Personally, I'm so glad I did it the "usual" way the first year. Now I know what to expect, and this year I'm going to schlep.

What you wear is going to depend on the weather. Last year was hot and humid, but more or less rainless. I ended up wearing shorts and loose (open) camp shirts all week. Most important, though -- comfortable shoes, particularly on load-in day! I ended up walking a hundred miles that week, literally.

People dress up all the time, starting from the Line outside! =D But a lot of womyn are just in shorts, or whatever. There are also several parades going on through the course of the week.

As far as the camping areas goes, when you get a chance, get Babs' Tips for First Timers (there will be a link for it soon, somewhere on the boards, I imagine). It has a lot of outstanding information that was unbelievably helpful. (Thanks, Babs!) Personally, I'm a Bread and Roses (ie, chem-free -- no alcohol, no drugs) kind of womon. Far up the hill in the trees... even on an anniversary year, it was uncrowded -- more so than most state campgrounds I've camped in. Just gorgeous.

Gah, I can almost hear the drums and the 'Welcome homes' and feel the warm air, and I want it to be August so badly! =D


Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:56 am
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am
Posts: 83
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
When you used the shuttles, did you have a cooler, lots of stuff or did you pack light? I know I'll have more stuff than I can carry in one load. Tent, air mattress, cooler, clothes and bedding. I'm going to try to go as light as possible, but I imagine the liquids alone, drinks and such, will weight quite a bit on the way in. Another question, I see people talk about grills and cooking but I thought all the food was provided? Is this just for those who want to stay at their campsite?

So the Babs' Tips isn't out there yet? We set the tent up in the basement for the kids last night and that really got me even more excited!


Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:12 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:35 am
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Location: Linnea n'ha Gaia. Eastern US.
Food is provided, yup, yup. And I thought it was great! But it's vegetarian, and some people prefer to bring meat. Or some people don't particularly like the food that's on the menu, so they bring their own. Or some people have dietary issues, and they bring their own food. And I suppose some womyn just like cooking at their sites.

Karie, I had so much stuff! I was pretty much convinced that they were going to laugh me off the Land when they saw how enormous that pile was. =D I had... oh... two big Rubbermaid tubs, three duffels, two chairs, at least one backpack, a handtruck. But first of all, nobody laughed or even raised an eyebrow. And second... I didn't have nearly the biggest load. Not by a longshot!

Part of the issue was that my gear was really designed for car camping -- ie, heavy and big. I've since made adjustments and downgraded quite a bit to lighter-weight, smaller packing stuff. But that's just my preference.


Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:53 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:15 am
Posts: 67
Location: Southern Vermont
"More womyn, less gear!"

One thing that womyn often bring that is totally unnecessary is cases of bottled water. These are heavy, take up space in your car and on the shuttle, and are mostly made of plastics packaging. Yuck.

The water on the Land is well water that is cool, clear, clean and tastes great! There are designated taps throughout the Land that have been tested for drinking use, so all you need is a re-usable water bottle to carry with you during the day and maybe a 2-4 liter container to fill up and have at your campsite.


Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:09 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:49 pm
Posts: 1731
Location: West Michigan
omg I AD0RE questions! LindaD covered a lot, but I'll chime in because I'm loud like that L0L

1 Car to campsite...just like Linda said it depends where you camp. If you join me and the awesome folks in the Twilight Zone, we have out 0WN parking lot! It's so close to our camping area we just make multiple trips back and forth from the car. However, if you camp elsewhere you can do the shuttle or schlep. My first year I had 1 bin, 2 duffels, and a backpack (and I thought that was a lot). I took the shuttle to treeline (the first stop) and camped in Solanas Ferns (which is general camping). By the time I waited for a shuttle, loaded on, loaded off, then carried my gear from the shuttle stop to my site, I could have been done schlepping and already setting up. At the end of the week I carried my stuff out (2 trips, no cart).

2 What to wear...around the campsite I wear boxers, that's it. Around "town" in the main fest area I'm usually in tanks and sun skirts. At night for parties I dress to the theme (we have theme parties every night in the Zone). I always have a poncho in my backpack and if I'm going to night stage I make sure to take a longsleeve shirt or hoodie. If you camp far from the main fest area it's smart to have a backpack with you with everything you need for the day since you'll rarely (if ever) make it back to your site.

3 Costumes!!! There is a Femme Parade, a Butch Strut, a Plush Promenade, plus every day is a dress up day at Fest! As I mentioned we also have theme parties in the Zone. If you attend you don't HAVE to dress up but it's so fun! Some past parties have been the Uniform Party, new years eve cocktail party, butch/femme 50s, leather & lace, hott mess, pjs, and on and on!

4 Camping areas...I L0VE the Zone, but it depends on what you are looking for. Close to downtown? Quiet? Solos (single and/or solo at fest)? General? Crowded? Roomy? Close to showers and Janes? I like the Zone for many reasons. First, we throw the BEST parties on the Land, no question. We are close to Janes and showers (and our showers have the shortest lines). We are far from downtown, but we have plenty of room to spread out and the shuttle stop is just steps away. 0ur fire pit is amazing. We have a great field for stargazing. The Zone folks are my family within the fest family and I love them all!

5 Amount of gear...if your budget and travel plans allow, get a garden cart (this is mine from last year, it's smaller than some but was still a great help and was only about $50 at Big Lots: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... d=40600384). It's much easier to schlep with a cart, even if it's just from the shuttle stop to your campsite. Drinks...as zcarviv said, don't bother with water. And the saints concessions sell coke, vitamin water, coffee, tea, etc etc etc, so you don't REALLY have to bring those either. Alcohol wise, I usually bring a (plastic) bottle of rum, some 20oz cokes, and a case of hard cider. But if you want to drink and don't want to bring in your own stuff, you will find plenty of friendly women with beer and other drinks. Come visit me and I'll give you a cider!

6 Food...food IS provided, as Linda said. I love the food. The only thing I don't like is Sunday brunch because it's huevos rancheros and I don't like scrambled eggs. We use our stove mainly for coffee and bacon, and the grill for venison steak (my grrrl handles all that...I'm the vegetarian at our site L0L).

7 Babs will post her tips a few months before Fest. Someone around here might have an old copy of it they could email to you.

YAY FEST!


Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:50 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I think I will get one of those carts and just haul my junk to the site. I probably should bring snacks and stuff but I don't care either way about meat. I was a veg head for about 7 years but those darn chili dogs kept calling my name. And when I felll off the wagon, you know it... it was the first thing I ate.

So if I wear sarongs, well... is that sarong? Har har. I saw a thread about sarong jokes. I LOVE them. Do you know there is darn near 100 ways to tie them? And for the costumes, that sounds soooo awesome!!!! I love funky crazy costumes. In Saugatuck / Douglas at the night halloween parade, so many fantastic costumes. My fave was a couple dressed as martinis. Somehow they had rope lighting in their "glass". I wish I had a pic.

So solos is for... solo. But what is the Zone? I don't want quiet, I don't want chem-free. :) lol. I could carry all my camp equipment except the wine. And speaking of stargazing, I took the dog around the block the other night when it was like 6 degrees, so beautiful out. Or maybe it was the wine?!?!?! lol

So... now what about campsite decor? Flags? I'm thinking about a "festie virgin" sign. And another that says "free hugs"!!!! :)

Is it August yet?!?!?!?!?!


Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:49 pm
Posts: 1731
Location: West Michigan
The Zone is for anyone! As long as you don't mind epic parties every night, noise til 4 or 5 am, and drinking, etc. N0T quiet, N0T chem free lol! People always say they don't want to camp in the Zone because it's "soooo far away from everything!" Well I always say I'd rather have a longer walk to get to things during the day when it's sunny and I'm sober. Trying to get back to your tent at 3am when you are tipsy is not as fun lol.

Campsite decor...I have two banners, one says "Trixie Belden" the other says "Detroit Crew." Those I made with fabric paint and pieces of fabric/an old sheet. I also have a rainbow fish wind sock and a bunny umbrella. Aaand some small flags with feminist-y things on them. I think that's it...I hang all of those in the trees and on my "living room" canopy tent. oh oh! And we have battery operated rainbow flashing dragonfly lights. AWES0ME.


Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:30 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:46 am
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Location: Cincinnati
I see Trixie is recruiting for the Zone! You make me giggle trixie.

karie, if your bringing your kids though you may want to land in another place. The Zone is adult themed..... I do think all of your questions have been answered... and I bring a few different sarongs. They are awsome and have about 12 billion uses at Fest!


Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:58 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am
Posts: 83
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Thank you Trixie, Tori, zcarviv & Linda for all your answers. As you can tell I'm so excited and can't wait to explore all The Land has to offer. I'm so looking forward to meeting new people and sharing experiences.

The Zone sounds fun... I love parties! I went to a hot tub party last night with some friends. I totally forgot my swimsuit. I drank Rolling Rock all night so the buzz on wasn't out of control. We had a party over the summer and my friend kept pouring me bourbon, omg. I don't know what she was thinking. I fell asleep on the toilet! LOL

I think I'll be able to buy my ticket this week and then I'm in!!! Wooo hooo!!!!


Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:25 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:32 pm
Posts: 13
Location: GR, Michigan!
Karie, you will LOVE it!

Good to see another Grand Rapidian here!


Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:26 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am
Posts: 83
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Hey Sam, can't wait... so excited!!! So you've been before, I'm assuming.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:34 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:32 pm
Posts: 13
Location: GR, Michigan!
Yep, this will be my third year, and I simply CANNOT WAIT!!!

Where did you hear about MichFest?


Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:54 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am
Posts: 83
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Hey Sam, from a friend in GR who recently moved back after a while. You should email me so we can catch up before Fest. I've emailed a few people here on the board and it has great for my curious mind as to what to expect.... so excited. My email is s_karie at yahoo.

:)


Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:01 pm
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:09 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Minnesota
I love reading this. So ready for August!

Karie, if you want Bab's tips I have it saved in my "important" email folder. Email me at m.latourelle (at) live (dot) com

August, here I come!


Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:57 pm
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