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Dart Load In 
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Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:10 am
Posts: 15
Location: Des Moines
I was hoping someone could explain the load in process for DART for me.

In the past I have schlepped my gear from midway and then another round from the parking lot, but after a hip injury doing just that took way too much out of me last year and I would like to use DART, and would like to know how that process works compared to the normal load in. Can I still use my little garden cart? What do I need to know to prepare?


Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:42 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:07 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Portland, OR
When pull up in your car and they band you (assuming you already have your ticket), tell them you need to use the DART Shuttle, and they will direct you to a spot closer to it.

You unload your stuff near the DART shuttle stop and go to Orientation just like always. Carts are fine, no worries there. When you get back, you tell workers you have been to Orientation and all of your gear is there, and they will give you a number, a sharpie and a roll of duct tape. You will then tag every piece you brought with a piece of duct tape and write the number they give you on all of those tags (they pile up everything with the same number in the same place when you get to DART Downtown (the only place that shuttle stops, btw...it does not stop anywhere else) so all of your gear will end up in the same pile). You then wait (there is seating and shade and water there) for workers to call your number. All of your gear with that number on it is loaded and then you are told where to go - usually to a van right in front of the van they are loading the gear on (last couple of years they do the lift van for gear and have another passenger van just for womyn). When the gear van is full and all of the womyn whose gear is loaded are ready to go, off you go to DART Downtown. Then everything is unloaded onto tarps, in piles, according to number. At DART you can get help from workers and shifties to set up your tent (if you are camping in DART Downtown only) or you can take your stuff wherever you need to go.

It is expected that, if you are able (and it is OK if you are not - everyone has different reasons for needing DART services), you help load and unload gear. We all make two staggered lines facing each other and hand stuff down the line to the DART workers handling the loading and unloading.

I use the DART Shuttle (and you do have to register with DART to use the shuttles and any other DART services (like DART kitchen line) even if you do not camp in DART) but don't camp in DART. I just grab my 2 bags and chair (I fly in) and go to where I camp and start setting up.


Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:02 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:28 am
Posts: 195
Location: Between Hither and Yon
As a DART festie fora while now....I add these suggestions

1. Remember to register for DARTdowntown by the deadline

2. In the Parking area, after you are directed to the unload zone, I've always been asked if I need help unloading. Accepting the help available makes the job go faster..especially if you have a lot of gear or a scooter to unload. Many hands make light work..and for many DART campers, moving in DAY is huge and requires everything we've got.

3. If you are able to put colorful duct tape on your gear before you arrive...just plain but placed in clear view and ready for you to add a number with permanent marker it speeds up the process.

4. The DART laid area is a smaller tent with a couple benches vs the larger tent for all the other shuttle stops.

5. The DART Vehicles do stop other places but they only load and unload gear at THE DART Shuttle stop in the parking lot and at Dart Downtown.

6. We differently abled individuals are very creative ways to work and save energy. I have found that I can help a lot more in moving gear from the shuttles if I sit in a chair in my staggered passing position. Others that are totally wheel chair bound wheel right up and use their upper body strength to assist...

7. There is a DART Parking area as close as possible to the shuttle pick up area..If you need it...ask the parking person as you leave the unload area. It's close, but for me..I still need my walker after I've parked the truck to get back.

8. Don't forget a full water bottle and a snack or two in your day pack to have with you...nice to have rain gear handy too...and a tarp to wrap around gear if rain is predicted....

9. The whole process takes time...enjoy it and have fun making some new friends! Who knows, they may be your neighbors for a week!


Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:32 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:10 am
Posts: 15
Location: Des Moines
Thanks so much for the info. For some reason I was seriously freaking out about it.


Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:37 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:07 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Portland, OR
No problem, and no need at all to freak out. There are womyn all along the way - workers and not, to help and guide and welcome!


Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:38 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:45 pm
Posts: 134
Long time DART camper here, CCE there for many years, on DART crew this year. I will likely see you for load in/load out! Good stuff said so far. Probably you know this already, but every year we have womyn arrive who don't realize it- Helping Hands (set up/take down assistance) is only available for womyn who are camping in DART downtown. Not sure exactly the rules for DART Rv, but it sounds like you're a tent camper.

A few other things to remember once you & your stuff have arrived at DART downtown on a Duttle or van:

There is a specific process for loading/unloading gear on our or off vehicles in DART downtown. Like others said, crew/shifties/volunteers who are able to, help do this part. Please keep in mind that at some point you will not be handling each piece of your own gear, even if you're able to help unload. When this first happened to me as a camper, I had minor panic. Trust the process & that gear handlers are invested in not losing or damaging your stuff.

If you are traveling with something especially fragile, medical equipment, or an instrument, it may be best to keep that with you as you get off the vehicle if you are able. Definitely keep your water bottle with you!

Womyn are asked not to jump out of the off-loading line because they spot one of their own items, even if in the moment it seems easiest. Folks unable to help with unloading are also asked never to jump into/through the system to grab one of their pieces of gear. This can be dangerous for everybody involved. Trust that the festival has thought a lot about the safest & most efficient way to run the process.

If you need help with set up- we are happy to help anybody who had registered for Helping Hands assistance- please set up your tent at home ahead of time so you have some familiarity with how to do it & know all the pieces are there. And bring the instructions! Sometimes a camping palace can be incredibly complex (or seem so) to set up for a helper.

Hope that helps ease some of your very understandable concerns. See you in a month!
-spark


Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:22 pm
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