FAQ

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Thank you for coming to EMF 2014. Please do the following:

This is a work in progress. Keep checking for updates.

Contents

General

Who are you?

Electromagnetic Field is run by a non-profit organisation and produced entirely by volunteers. We are members of well-known hackerspaces and other organisations. Get in touch if you want to join us in making this happen.

Why are you doing this?

There now are dozens of hackerspaces and makerspaces in the UK and across Europe, and countless other communities of craftsmen, artists, designers, engineers who are interested in the same DIY ethic; but they have few opportunities to all meet up. Most events catering to these communities are small regional conferences and often focused on very specific themes.

We want to change that :)

Why Milton Keynes?

We looked at a fair number of candidate sites. The site we ended up with was the best candidate for a number of reasons:

  • It comes at a comparably low price (some of the candidate sites we looked at asked for tens of thousands of £££.)
  • It has great transport links to much of the UK (both roads and trains.)
  • It is close(ish) to a few data centres and high speed Internet uplinks.
  • We were there last time and it seemed to work well

Bonus: it is very close to Bletchley Park :)

How big is it?

In 2012, we had an attendance limit of 500 and fully sold out. This year we are expecting around 1,200 people. Buy your ticket early to avoid disappointment.

Ticket Sales

How can I get a ticket?

Tickets are on sale from our web site here:

https://www.emfcamp.org/tickets/choose

This time there will be no day tickets and camp tickets are likely to sell out in advance.

How much does it cost?

Adult tickets are currently £105. There are tickets available for under-16s at a lower price (accompanied by an adult). Children under 5 can attend for free.

If you have a Camper van you will need a Camper van ticket.

If you want to bring a car you'll also need a car parking ticket.

You can pay by bank transfer (in pounds sterling or Euros), a one-time direct debit (in pounds sterling or Euros), or by credit or debit card via Stripe (which charges a small fee).

Can I get a day ticket?

Sorry, EMF 2012 was sold to capacity and we found that the day tickets prevented people from attending the whole event. For this reason, we can only offer tickets for the whole event. You are welcome to only come to one day, or to stay off-site and attend only during the days, but you will need a weekend ticket.

Can I get a family ticket?

Unfortunately, as every attendee including children counts towards our capacity limit, we are unable to offer family or group tickets. We have however already discounted the child ticket prices by 60% which is as far as the budget allows.

Will I be able to turn up and buy a ticket?

It is unlikely that any tickets will remain by the time of the event. Watch this space.

Do volunteers pay for their ticket?

Everyone is expected to buy a ticket, including people in the organising team and all volunteers.

Is there an age limit?

We encourage children and young people to attend. We are planning specific activities for children as well as daycare facilities, and will confirm more details nearer to the time.

However there are a number of things to bear in mind:

  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • There will be dangerous things on site, but they will be clearly marked.
  • Licensed alcohol sales are only for people of age 18 and over. Bar staff will ask for ID.

Can't enter the transaction reference?

If you are having trouble entering the transaction reference into your online banking, just remove the hyphen. Some banks don't like it and don't tell you.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes, please see Code of conduct. If you buy a ticket you are agreeing to abide by this.

What terms and conditions apply to ticket sales and attendance?

Please see our terms page.

Can I pay more? TAKE MY MONEY!

If you can afford it and wish to help support the event financially by paying a bit more for your ticket, you can buy a Supporter ticket. We're a non-profit event and so the money will go towards making the event even more awesome.

Planning your Attendance

Where is it? How can I get there?

Refer to Location. NOTE: We have moved! It's only a few miles down the road, but please don't go to the old site!

When can I arrive? When do I have to leave by?

The site will open to ticket holders at 10:00 Friday morning.

All ticket holders must leave the site by 12:00 Monday.

We will be there before and afterwards setting up and packing up, if you want to help with this please let us know and we can make arrangements. It's worth noting outside these times we can't guarantee availability of toilets/water/electricity/internet etc.

Have a look at our Timeline for an updated summary.

When do things kick off?

The talks and workshops will begin after lunch on Friday, although people will be setting up earlier in the day. You can arrive from 10am.

Talks and workshops run daily through to the evening, although we expect villages will be doing things late into the night!

What should I bring?

Please take a look at our Packing List for information on what you should and shouldn't bring.

Will there be food?

We appreciate we didn't do well at this last time. This year we have lined up multiple food stalls, hopefully catering to all your needs. Initial details are at Food

Will there be a bar?

Yes, we'll be running a volunteer-staffed licensed bar selling beer and wine, as well as soft drinks and the hacker energy drink Club Mate. Far from the usual crap festival beer, we will be serving real ale from local breweries with all profits going towards making the next iteration of Electromagnetic Field more awesome.

The bar on site opening hours are subject to licensing which will be finalised soon.

By the camping areas there will also be push taps of drinking water available for free.

Can I bring pets?

Sorry, animals (except registered assistance dogs) are not allowed.

Can I smoke?

Smoking is not allowed in any of the event tents or in the food/bar area. Elsewhere, please be considerate and very careful to extinguish your cigarettes to avoid setting the dry grass on fire. Please make sure cigarette butts are disposed of in rubbish bins rather than just thrown on the ground as the site is used by livestock at other times of the year, and it's a pain for the clean up crew to pick them up after the camp is over!

Can I bring X/Y/Z?

tl;dr Probably

Please let us know if it's going to be large/use a lot of power/be noisy or anything else you think we should know. We don't plan on stopping people bringing the latest cool laser helmet for shark 3d printer arduino powered UAV thing, but we need to plan for it. Note that access to the site is several hundred metres from the carpark and you will not be able to drive up to the site.

Things prohibited by our contract: balloons, sky lanterns and the like.

Can I leave and re-enter?

Your wristband will allow re-admittance, but the site is gated and we will be trying to restrict movements to daylight hours. In reality this is unlikely to be a problem, but please speak to us if you have any special requirements. The farm gate is locked overnight and would require a volunteer to come up to let you out.

Please note that it is a condition of our contract that we don't allow you to roam the farm. Apart from anything else, there is likely to be heavy farm machinery in operation. For this reason, the entire event area is fenced off. We can shuttle you to the parking area, from where you may drive off the site or be collected.

Camp Infrastructure

Can I see the camp layout?

We're working on this at the moment. Some initial information can be found at: Location.

You can see the site map at map.emfcamp.org. Please note that this is still in early stages of development; we know it is slow and has bugs, don't worry about reporting them. All layout is still subject to change.

Is there parking available?

Yes. Parking tickets are on sale with tickets. Please note the car park is not adjacent to the site, but there will be a shuttle. You will not be able to drive up to or onto the site to drop anything off.

If you don't yet know whether you will be bringing a car, you can buy your event ticket now and buy a parking ticket at a later date (deadline to be announced, probably early August).

Parking tickets are not required for motorcycles.

Can I bring my camper van?

We have limited parking for camper vans - you can buy a ticket for £30 through our tickets site. These tickets include a parking ticket for the towing car in the car park.

Will there be Internet access?

Yes, we are provisioning onsite high speed wifi and wired access (direct to your tent!), see Network.

Can I make a fire, or bring my own BBQ?

Open fire is strictly prohibited except in the main fire pit. Please adhere to this requirement of both the landowner and health and safety.

Barbecues must be used off the ground to reduce fire risk and prevent damaging the ground.

Foraging for wood on the site is not permitted according to the terms of our contract with the landowners. Please bring your own fuel to site.

I see a lake on the satellite image. Can I do X in it?

The lake and brook are out of bounds by order of the site owner!

What about medical cover?

We will have our our own lovely volunteer first aiders + SJA coverage.

Getting Involved

What will I be able to do?

We're planning a full line up of speakers and workshops as well as awesome things around the site. We will also be supporting community organised 'villages' and looking for volunteers to help run the event.

What is a 'Village'?

Villages are camps organised around a theme, it could be anything, but is often a location or a topic (e.g. lock-picking). By organising villages ahead of time we can help provide better equipment (e.g. large tents to use) as well as making sure that they have an area ahead of time. If you want to find out more about villages, join one or see what villages have already been organised check the Villages page.

How do I give a talk/run a workshop?

The Call for Participation is now open, so if you want to give a talk or run a workshop, please fill in the form soon. We really want a wide variety of topics from as diverse a group of people as we can, so don't be shy! If you've missed the CfP then don't worry, there will be lightning talk sessions and villages are welcome to run their own talks and workshops.

Would people be interested in a talk on X?

Yes. There are obviously a few caveats on that but they're covered in the Call for Participation

I want to bring/make something awesome, can you help?

Hopefully. We have a limited budget to put towards making the camp amazing and we want to share it with those of you who will bring awesome things. At EMF2012 we had a giant hammock, floating LEDs, a wooden dinosaur and 'EMF' written in 5m tall steel letters. If there's something amazing that you'd like to make and bring along but need some help buying materials we'll be opening our submissions process soon.

How do I volunteer?

The easiest way is to tick the 'interested in volunteering' box when you buy your ticket (sorry volunteers still need a ticket). If you missed it don't worry you can volunteer at any time by signing in and ticking the box. Once you've signed up to volunteer we'll get in contact with you closer to the time to organise shifts.

Villages

Can we reserve a location for our village?

No, not really. What is possible is to obtain an advisory lock on a certain general area, but there will be no reservation system in place and if your village shows up late the spot may be taken.

When can I build my village?

we are working on answering that question very soon. This mainly relies on toilets, water and power being availible. We will post some information later on the village page in the wiki.

Our village wants to rent a tent, is that possible?

We are working on that, information about that will be added to the wiki when availible.

Our village is planning a cool workshop / performance / ..., can the program mention it?

Probably! Please contact general@lists.emfcamp.org.

Our village is really big, does that need special planning?

Probably: yes. Please contact general@lists.emfcamp.org, the single point of contact for all things villages concern so far.