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Home :: Talks :: Photos, etc. :: Villages :: Teams :: Interests :: Contact :: FAQ


Who are you?

Electromagnetic Field is a non-profit event run entirely by a group of dedicated volunteers. EMF 2018 is the fourth major festival we've held in the UK, and a lot of us also help run other festivals in Germany and the Netherlands.

Can I help out?

EMF is organised entirely by volunteers. The event's success relies on attendees helping out to the extent they are willing.

More information on helping out during the event will appear on the Volunteering page in due course. If you are able to help plan and work before the event, check out the Teams page to see which teams need help.

How accessible is EMF?

We take accessibility very seriously, and we want to let as many people experience the fun of EMF. However, it is ultimately an event in the field, and we can't work miracles with our limited budget.

The site will be well-lit during the event, and we will aim to cover access to the stages with trackway. Travelling between stages may take some time. There will be accessible toilets and the current plan includes an accessible shower with a wheelchair ramp. We cannot guarantee 24/7 power, so it must not be relied on for medical needs, but the power infrastructure team will be on call through the night.

If you will be attending with a carer, they are entitled to a free ticket. Please [mailto:[email address removed] email us] once you've got your ticket so we can allocate your carer a ticket. Registered assistance dogs will be allowed.

If you have any other accessibility concerns, please [mailto:[email address removed] drop us an email].

Is EMF family-friendly?

Yes! We want EMF to be a great event for hackers of all ages.

We will have free childcare provided by the award-winning Nipperbout, which was exceedingly well-received in 2014 and 2016. You don’t need to register in advance for childcare, just turn up. There will be a designated family camping area, and a whole track of events and workshops for young people.

EMF has a comprehensive lost-child policy with DBS-checked staff available to help out.

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.

How old do you have to be to attend EMF by yourself?

You need to be 16 or over on August 30th, 2018 to attend EMF without an adult.

Ticket Sales

What does the ticket price include?

The ticket price includes admission to the event, admission to all of the talks, and most of the workshops. Some workshop organisers charge a fee in order to cover material costs, and places on most workshops will be limited.

Your ticket also includes:

Can I bring a caravan/camper van?

Yes, we will have a dedicated camper van area on site, within the main fence, with 16A power provided. You'll need to buy an additional camper van ticket.

If you are coming with a caravan, parking for your towing car in the car park is included.

Please try to arrive before midday on Friday and leave after midday on Monday to reduce traffic movements on site. If you're planning on leaving earlier, please let us know when you arrive so we can park you close to the exit.

We unfortunately can't provide water hookups or drainage/emptying facilities. You will not be able to empty your tank during the event.

If I tow a caravan with a campervan, will I need a ticket for each?


(Somehow this is actually a frequently asked question!)

Do volunteers get a free ticket?

Everyone who attends is expected to buy a ticket, including the founders and the core organisation team. So many people contribute to running EMF that it would be financially impossible to give everyone who helps out a free ticket, and unfair to draw a line past which volunteers receive free tickets.

The sole exception to this rule are first aiders, who must be trained to the high standards of our first aid team, and are expected to carry out three eight-hour shifts in return for a free ticket.

The transaction reference you've provided isn't accepted by my bank!

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 why.

Can I transfer tickets to someone else?

Yes - once you've bought a ticket you can transfer it to someone else by entering their email address on our site. We recommend you do this if you're buying tickets for other people, so that they can receive updates directly from us.

We would kindly request that you don't sell tickets to other people for more than the price you paid for them.

You can find people who may be interested in getting your ticket at Ticket_Exchange.

Can I get a refund?

We may consider issuing refunds to those who can't attend if the event sells out. We will not issue refunds for any reason before then. (However, you can sell your ticket on to someone else - see above.)

Why do you sell tickets in such annoyingly small batches?

Because we don't want to take more of your money than necessary.

EMF is a non-profit, and we aim to end the event with enough surplus to let us comfortably run the next event, but not too much more. The budget for EMF isn't solid until about six months prior to the event (especially when we've moved to a new site) but we need cash earlier in order to pay deposits to key suppliers. These secure important things like toilets, temporary structures, and the site itself.

If we were to put all of our tickets on sale early, we would have to set ticket prices higher in order to make provision for potential budget changes. By selling smaller batches earlier, we ensure everyone's ticket is the best value, and that as many people as possible can have the chance to attend EMF.

Why have I received one barcoded ticket for x people?

This is intended, when scanned on the gate the number of tickets used and unused for that barcode will be shown. For people arriving separately, you can either send them a copy of the PDF for use on the gate, or use the transfer tickets option (preferred) on the My Account section of the website to transfer tickets to other people. Doing so will also allow them to receive EMF email communications and use website features that require authentication such as volunteering, customising your event schedule, or adding village/side events to the festival schedule.

Planning your Attendance

Where is it?

The EMF site is Eastnor Castle Deer Park, located just east of Ledbury, Herefordshire.

How can I get there?

See Travel for more details

Can someone take me there?

See the Travel#Carpooling section of the Travel page

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

The site will open to ticket holders on Thursday at 4pm. All ticket holders must leave the site by noon (12pm) on Monday. Talks and workshops won't start until after midday on the Friday so there's plenty of time to arrive on Friday morning.

We will be there before and afterwards setting up and packing up. If you want to help with this, please let us know (by emailing [mailto:[email address removed] [email address removed]]) and we'll let you know when you can turn up. If we have not confirmed that we're expecting you before or after the event you will not be admitted to the site. Anyone arriving before Friday morning or staying beyond Monday afternoon will be expected to help with set-up and tear-down (both of which are mostly manual labour). Fewer facilities (eg, no food outlets) will be available on site prior to Friday.

Can I turn up early to help with Build Up?

No you may not. We already have a full allocation for build up. Due to insurance reasons, and not having enough basic facilities and food, unless you are part of the main Orga team, or have been authorised by a Team Lead, you will be not be let into the site until Thursday 4pm.

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.

Talks and workshops run daily through to the evening, although we expect villages will be doing things late into the night! The last talks will finish on Sunday evening by 9pm.

Can I camp in the campervan area?


People with campervans can pitch an awning or small tent beside their vehicle but to comply with fire and safety regulations we can't allow people to set up camp there.

If you have friends in the campervan area we suggest you camp in areas G or F which are adjacent.

What's the mobile phone coverage like?

Mobile phone (a.k.a. cellphone) coverage is almost non-existent. Of all the carriers, Vodafone seems to be the best, with some signal in some areas - but with 2,500 more people on site there are no guarantees it will work at all.

Basically, you should expect to have no reception across most of the site and most of the time.

For data, that's no problem thanks to the excellent WiFi across the site. If you need to be reachable by phone during the event, your best options are:

  • Use a SIP/VoIP app on your smartphone over the wifi.
  • Bring a DECT phone to connect to the DECT network. There will hopefully be a way to get yourself an external phone number to your DECT phone or for outside callers to dial an extension number to reach you.
  • Some networks, such as Three Mobile, support WiFi calling. This often requires activating in an area with mobile phone coverage, so it’s worth doing this before arriving.

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 will be open 11am-2am Friday-Saturday, 11am-1am Sunday. Closing times may be earlier subject to demand and volunteer availability.

Can I bring pets?

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

Can I smoke?

Smoking (including vaping) 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/tall/use a lot of power/be noisy or anything else you think we should know. We don't want to stop people bringing the latest cool laser helmet for shark 3D printer arduino-powered UAV thing, but we need to plan for it.

Things requiring special permission and may not be allowed: balloons, sky lanterns and the like.

Can I bring/fly my drone?

Yes - lots of attendees will be bringing drones and there will be a dedicated UAV flying field. It is against UK law to fly drones over the campsite unless you hold permission from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. EMF will be enforcing this rule, and for safety we will not allow UAVs to be flown over the site without prior arrangement.

What power connectors will be available?

Mostly 16A IEC309 ('Ceeform'/'Caravan') connectors although there will be some 13A UK sockets. See the power page for more information.

What if I don't like camping?

Whilst we'd strongly recommend camping (so much happens late into the evening and it's a lot more fun) we realise not everyone wants to. There are several hotels in Ledbury.

What food will be available?

There will be several food vendors on site, and volunteers will receive an excellent meal good by our caterers for each volunteer shift they complete.

Do I need to bring cash?

The bar will take cards, and offer cashback on purchases, but there will be no cashpoints on site. We don't know whether the food vendors will take cards, and some villages will also be running paid-for workshops where you shouldn't expect to be able to pay by card.

What are villages?

Villages are areas of the campsite self-organised by attendees. The idea is that like-minded people get together, set up in an area of the campsite and enjoy each other's company. Villages are often set up around a topic or existing group (e.g. lock-picking or a hackspace). Some of them will run their own events parallel to the main schedule (for example last year one village hosted a weekend-long LAN party whilst another ran workshops on ring-making).

If you want to find out more, or see which villages are already proposed see the villages page

You don't need to join a village to attend.

At the Event

How do I connect to the wifi?

Unless you know of a reason not to, you should connect to the emfcamp network if your device can see it, or emfcamp-legacy18 if not. You'll be prompted for a username and password - you can provide any value you like, but the following have special behaviour if you use them as both the username and password:

emf - Assigns a public IP address to your device. This will make it accessible to any user on the internet, so please take extra care to ensure your firewall is active, and operating system is up to date.

outboundonly - Allows only outbound traffic, similar to having your device on a typical coffee shop network. This will provide a bit of extra security, and potentially save battery life.

internetofstuff - Allows inbound traffic, but only from the camp network. This is specifically intended for devices you'd like to share access to with attendees, but don't want exposed to the internet at large.

If you're unable to connect to either emfcamp or emfcamp-leagcy18, or have other interesting requirements, see [this page] for further details.

Can I attach a hammock, slackline, or other things, to the trees?

Nope. The site owners are very protective about them and have specified that we don't attach anything to them.

Can I light a fire or BBQ?

Yes as long as its contained and raised off of the ground so that the grass/ground arent burnt/scorched etc.