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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Please see the new sound policy: http://playadelfuego.org/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1888


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:52 am 
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Dear BOD members.

We're all just here to solve problems, and although my tone may sound like I'm itching for a fight, I'm not. I really want to keep the vets and their neighbors happy, just like you do, as this is our only venue. I appreciate the BOD's efforts to improve what the Buzzkillas were doing.

I do have a problem with the presentation of a policy with no mention made to open the floor for discussion with the community. So some questions that arose as I perused your nine page policy.

Who wrote this policy? Are you planning to attend the next planning meeting to entertain questions and listen to concerns?

The policy mentions a sound permit that can be flagged with one violation - why is one violation allowed to occur? This is very problematic. One violation, three camps = three violations, three times the vets get pissed, and three times the neighbors get angry. That is three times too many. There is a very real probability the person is going to get evicted by the vets.

How about NO violation, regardless of how good intentioned the person is? How about turn off upon the first violation, or get shut down in any way that the Board have to do it. Any DJ worth his salt can sweet talk and brown nose some one into believing he didn't mean any harm.

Who is going to be the Sound Marshal from the BOD? Blue? Will each BOD member take turns?

Who is the person who is going to make sure Sound Sponsors or their designated Sound Checks are actually in the camp when the music is playing?

Sound Committee: who is going to decide who the people are on the sound committee?

Are the Buzzkillas disbanded now?

Thank you for the answers I'm sure you will be providing. Looking forward to a great burn!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Q: Who wrote this policy?
A: The problem of sound got to the point where the BOD felt had to intervene. They noted publicly that sound would have a TURN-OFF of 12 midnight, unless a suitable alternative policy was agreed upon by the BOD. The call was put out to the community in early February asking for presentations of any alternative sound policy to the 12 midnight turn off, which if viable, could be approved by the BOD.The current policy was created from a number of the members of the community, most notably the sound art community -- but others as well -- and presented to the BOD in early March. The BOD had many inputs, most of which were incorporated into the policy. Many parts of the Florida Afterburn Sound Policy were emulated and incorporated. If you're looking for prime movers, I would say I was one of them, being a member of the sound art community, as well as a BOD member.

Q: Are you planning to attend the next planning meeting to entertain questions and listen to concerns?
A: Personally, I was planning on participating in the next PC meeting, if my schedule allows for it. Seeing as the last PC meeting went for 4 hours or so, perhaps a special meeting on this sound policy is in order. If there is an interest in this from the community, I would put it to the people who provided the input for the policy to see if this would be feasible.

Q: The policy mentions a sound permit that can be flagged with one violation - why is one violation allowed to occur? This is very problematic. One violation, three camps = three violations, three times the vets get pissed, and three times the neighbors get angry. That is three times too many. There is a very real probability the person is going to get evicted by the vets. How about NO violation, regardless of how good intentioned the person is? How about turn off upon the first violation, or get shut down in any way that the Board have to do it. Any DJ worth his salt can sweet talk and brown nose some one into believing he didn't mean any harm.
A: One violation is a shutdown. The Sound Committee -- the people who put together this policy -- are agreed on this point. The discretion to allow for a good faith mistake was codified in the policy though. Please keep in mind that any violation is occurring at much lower levels than before; the whole volume level of the event -- should things work as planned -- will have dropped significantly. This IS a experiment. It's possible this could all fail. But based on the work invested by so many people to keep sound at PDF, I think there's a strong interest in making sure people abide by the policy. I think your concern is that the "mistake clause" will be abused because no one will want to step up to lay down the law. However, the whole premise of the idea of sound art community policing themselves is based in the idea that those with amplified sound want to avoid turn off at midnight not just this event, but also in the future; and predicated on the idea that previous sound situation was untenable and something must change. This is a demonstration of what can be done. If it fails, that's it, no more sound. It's a huge incentive. So the first line of defense are the camps themselves. They have Sound Checks monitoring and they have their own Sound Sponsor enforcing. If this fails, there are members of the Sound Committee and the Sound Marshal enforcing as well. As you have aptly pointed out to the BOD, "Although it is a giant hot button at this moment, it is our very weakest threat, as the worse thing that will happen is some people will get mad; some will be evicted, and ALL sound will get shut off for the remainder of the event when a violation occurs."

Q: Who is going to be the Sound Marshal from the BOD? Blue?
A: If someone believes they are well-suited to be the Sound Marshal, they should apply here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/vie ... c6MQ#gid=0
This is the same form used to apply to become a member of the Sound Committee. I will present ALL Sound Marshal applicants to the BOD for review. Although I am currently the default Sound Marshal for Spring 2012, approved vote of the BOD, I would prefer someone else take this role. That person would have to be approved by the BOD, and all members of the Sound Committee are to be approved by the BOD as well.


Q: Will each BOD member take turns?
A: I don't think this is exclusively a BOD role -- if there is someone trustworthy and suited for it. I have no problem with another Board member taking this position though, if they are the right person. Currently, I serve on this position at the pleasure of the BOD and would give it up if a worthy applicant is identified and selected.

Q: Who is the person who is going to make sure Sound Sponsors or their designated Sound Checks are actually in the camp when the music is playing?
A: That is on the Camp Leader, the person organizing the camp. Ultimately the Camp Leader needs to be the one ensuring compliance with the sound policy within their camp. In addition, if the Sound Sponsor or alternate aren't in camp and there is a question or problem, sound gets shut down.

Q: Sound Committee: who is going to decide who the people are on the sound committee?
A: The BOD has final say-so regarding who will be on the Sound Committee. The intent is that the Sound Committee is comprised of the folks who put the policy together, plus other interested parties. If someone wants to be on the Sound Committee, the should apply here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/vie ... c6MQ#gid=0


Q: Are the Buzzkillas disbanded now?
A: No, it's not advisable to disband Buzzkillas. We're going to have a different experience with sound enforcement this burn, compared to what it has been at previous burns. Buzzkillas will need to the lead on some enforcement aspects, while the Sound Committee needs to take the lead on other aspects. To put this in perspective, we have never before told every single camp and every single person that if they have any amplification (that can be heard outside of their campsite), they will require pre-approval. It's a change in the way participants have always done things, and we're going to have to get the word out with abundant clearity that "no pre register = no play". And that's one of the things that will need to be enforced in addition to levels: basic "ok to play" permission. Although some people will try to create a loophole, "I had no idea, why can't I just play", that's not going to cut it.

In my opinion, there are two types of sound artists: 1) those trying to get away with all they can and consider PDF just a party (the minority, but we hear them because they are loudest) and 2) sound artists who care about the continued survival of the event. It is my thought working with the people who helped create the policy, that we have on our side the sound artists who understand the need to tone things down a notch for the good of the community -- and they have the ability to make sure that happens by both "pre filtering" acceptances and shutting down violations. Unfortunately, the bad DJ is the one that gets all the attention.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Thanks Blue for answering so many questions! :)

_________________
Emily D / Sugar High
PC Coordinator


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:07 pm 
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Okay, so, here's a list of all the questions, concerns, and complaints about the new sound policy that I was able to find on Facebook.
I wrangled with a few different ways to make this list...
Should I paraphrase things? Should I make statements made that implied questions into questions?
Should I simplify questions? Should I count multiple posts that all express the same sentiment?
In the end, I decided to re-post people's statements, with pertinent context, without the original name attached.
I decided to go with verbatim because I wanted to minimize how much my opinion influenced this list, and anonymous for a variety of reasons, all of which concerned privacy.
So, without further ado:

From a thread dated 4/3:

• Oh yeah, and these camps are HAND PICKED by ONE person, with NO oversight.

• I see something that tells certain people that their contributions are more valued than others, and giving them special privileges. I see a policy that did not ask a SINGLE person that WASNT a DJ or any NON-Sound camps what they would like to see, because Sound Policy affects them as much as anyone else.

• I see a policy made unilaterally with NO oversight or Transparency to anyone who WASNT involved in the drafting. No community input period was taken, NOTHING.

• The speed at which this was done is also a concern of mine. This was SHOVED through, without following the TRADITIONAL meeting process. Trust me. I know more than you think.

• You cant plan something PROPERLY in 1 month, this should have been held off and actually thought out and maybe TRAIN people this burn as to what to do NEXT burn.

• I didnt say TEST i said TRAIN. You dont realize how much SHIT you guys are actually going to have to get organized. It was a pain in the DICK when the rules were simple. This plan just makes more middle management of "uhh is that too loud"

• "Your camp is better, you can play past midnight" *take 20 steps to another camp* "Your camp isnt as good, your not allowed to play past midnight"

Yeah thats inclusive.

• Why should I have faith in the people that are supposedly stepping up to do this job, were the same people that put us in this mess?

• I'd say the lack of community input is more critical than the limited number of sound camps. Don't we at least get to vote who picks, PC style?

• I dont like when people assign that one burner is better than another, or one camp contributes more than another, etc etc. Which that is EXACTLY what this is.

• Yeah but what message does that give to Camp B if Camp A can play all night and they cant? We value them, but not you.

• How do WE know it will be different camps [next burn]?

• Thats the thing, it is 1 person choosing which camps, with NO oversight by ANYONE.

• It wouldnt be such a big deal if it was actually someone who was impartial to sound camps, and not someone so closely tied to the whole deal.

• I may be missing your point, but your not even hearing mine. Who has the right to say one group of burners is better than another, and hence can play all night?

• Not ALL camps can play after midnight. Thats what I am saying, we are giving the message that "Camp A is better then Camp B, so they can play all night"

• At least with turn off at midnight EVERYONE is off. EVERYONE is equal. When some people can and others cant, contempt is bred. And more people wont follow the rules, endangering our event yet again.

I dont think people realize how BAD the situation is with our Neighbors. They have already petitioned to the local government for us to move. Trust me, they HATE us, and are looking for ANY excuse to call the cops on us some more. WHY are we giving them a reason?

From a thread dated 4/10

• Seems like if you are going to change something, you let people know what the change is. If I am reading correctly, this is Policy now. Not proposed. The last anything was discussed here was a proposed change on March 22 (that I can find, Facebook not being friendly), Nothing official on the PONY except a link to a link to the website just like we get here. Just strange to me.

• Every speaker system in excess of 100W will need pre-approval by the sound committee before it comes on playa. In order to get pre-approved, you must be registered as a sound camp…
Wait, even if you're not playing at night?

• Will the additional paperwork be part of the online theme camp form or will it be separate?

• Ugh, what a mess. I like the intent of the policy, but it's worded in a needlessly convoluted way with extremely broad definitions of what it covers.

• I love the logic tho, an objective 3rd party dealing with sound didnt work, so lets put it in the hands of the people who want to play as loud as possible all day/night.

• so the lessen I take from this is: if you don't like something, all you have to do is over complicate it to the point that very few will read past the 2nd page and even fewer will actually understand so that when somebody is out of compliance, by the time you are done arguing about it, the event will be over and it will be a moot point. Effective end result: NO sound policy

• Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for legalese and C.Y.A.
What I take issue with is the fact that, like you said, the policy is currently worded to include everyone who has anything near that level of sound equipment. How does the B.O.D. plan on enforcing this? Are they going to check every car as it drives in for big speakers? Are people who have something similar to what you linked going to have to register to be theme camps? What impact will that have on theme camp placement? What about systems that are less than 100 watts that continue to play past midnight? OMG SO MANY QUESTIONS. Where's the FAQ?

• I am not sure how taking the power away from a VOLUNTEER run group, which are people that actually CARE about the sound levels at pdf, and giving it to the people doing the offending to begin with, is going to help the situation.

I dont think the author understands how much work he is actually undertaking... Being a Buzzkilla tires you out. You have to stay awake, clear headed, and deal with big ego dj's. Not always glamorous, but it needs done.

I would like to see the 3 camps be rotated each night at the very least if possible... We unfortunately are stuck with this policy for this burn, I hope it works, I hope it doesnt more, so we can fix it for next burn. However I hope we arent jeopardizing our event we love so much in the process.

• My favorite part of the policy is the sheer size.

The old sound policy was 426 characters
The new sound policy is 3,582 characters about 8.5 times as long

The entire GÜD with no sound policy is 8,292 characters
The entire GÜD with the new sound policy is 11,874 characters, which means the sound policy is just about 1/3 of our entire policy doc

• My favorite part is the overwhelming use of "legalese" in a volunteer run, not for profit, twice annual *AHEM* ARTS EVENT that is apparently now 1/3 sound.

PUH-LEASE.

Sounds like a conspiracy to me. "Let's just confuse the crap out of the participants of this event so they just give up and go away and WE can have our SOUND event twice a year a the VVMC! WEEE!!"

• So, in laymans terms... sound under 100W does not require pre-approval. Correct? Does that mean sound under 100W can be played after midnight?

• Is it technically legal to have fifty 100W speakers at one's camp, or is the 100W a camp total? Just curious, haven't read the policy in full…

• "Keep it Under 85" couldnt be followed. What does 8 more pages of "Were gonna have 8 people telling you to keep it under 85, so now your going to be confused when one person says your ok, and then the next says your too loud, and then you should just gonna ignore them because they obviously dont know what they are talking about" is going to do better?

• And at least EVERYONE over 100W turns off at Midnight isnt radically exclusive.

• Whos going to do the explaining to the Sound camps that didnt get chosen that they arent Burny enough to play past midnight, but the camp right beside them is?

I am sorry, not EVERY sound camp has access (read $$) to be able to take sound reduction measures. How is this fair?

This is more than just the issue of Sound. This policy TRAMPLES on Radical Inclusion.

• 100W peak (over-optimistically-labeled medium-sized boombox), 100W RMS (medium-sized PA speaker), or 100W draw at the power outlets?

• And if it fails? We are Done. Thats what I dont think you realize. We dont have a chance to enable something hastily that involves MONTHS of planning and recruitment. MONTHS of back and forth with potential sound camp leaders to make sure THEY have all their ducks in a row.

• I see this policy as an attempt to appease a few at the expense of risking our event as a whole, which is never good policy.

• I am also concerned with how this policy went through. Sure it was asked for public input while writing the policy, however there was NO public comment period on a draft of the proposal to fix any concerns that people had. I would have voiced my concerns sooner, but unfortunately I was not in a position to do so, as the policy was not "public".

• There should ALWAYS be a public comment period on some sort of draft of a proposal, especially one as immense as this.


Holy crap, that's longer than I thought it would be. I could probably have condensed it more by eliminating redundant statements and paraphrasing things, but I thought this would be the most transparent representation of what was on Facebook as possible.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:27 am 
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What I am going to do is divide the questions/concerns into two realms:

1) the process of getting the sound policy; and
2) the logistics of the policy itself.

The participant with the amplified electric organ grinder may just want to figure out what they need to have their invention play at the event, while there are others who are more interested in the process: is it fair, is it inclusive, etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Blue asked me to transfer some of the data that he's linked on the Facebook page over here since he's busy with work, so here goes!

First and foremost, here is the survey that Blue posted last week in an attempt to get some community feedback regarding the new Sound Policy:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/vie ... E6MQ#gid=0

As of this morning, the following graphs below were posted to represent the 15 data points he had accumulated. Unfortunately embedding them results in a cropping effect, so I had to attach the images to this post and place them inline.

Attachment:
Camp Vetting.jpg
Camp Vetting.jpg [ 12.68 KiB | Viewed 6504 times ]

Attachment:
Camp Selection.jpg
Camp Selection.jpg [ 61.01 KiB | Viewed 6503 times ]


After he reposted the link to the survey in his thread with the images, he said he had recieved "another 50%+ responses to the survey, since your comment and my response. This is really getting interesting now. For example, the current #1 choice of regarding selection of entities to play after midnight is that preference should be given to applicants who allow other sound artists to play as well."


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Additionally, on my other thread, Blue posted a list of questions that he derived from the list of Facebook questions and comments that I posted on here, so I'm going to relay those here too:

Questions regarding the process:
Are there ways to mitigate sound that don’t cost so much money?
Can we rotate three camps for each night?
Did it follow the traditional meeting process?
Did this policy get contributions from non-DJs or those that weren't in sound camps -- (because Sound Policy affects them as much as anyone else)?
Does this sound policy add tiers of extraneous management?
Does the policy give certain entities special privileges, valuing the contribution of sound art over other art?
Does this policy say certain camps are valued, and others are not?
Does this policy say that one burner is better than another, or one camp contribute more than another?
Does the Sound Committee have the time to plan this properly before the event?
Does the Sound Committee know how much work you are taking on?
Does the Sound Committee think holding off on this until the next burn, Fall burn would allow more time to train people on what they need to do to monitor and enforce this policy?
How are camps picked that play after midnight?
How bad is the situation with the neighbors?
How do we know there will be a fair assigning of camps next burn?
How can the sound community do a better job of dealing with sound then the previously objective 3rd parties?
Is there any way to make the policy more readable to the general public?
How can being preferential to three camps who play after midnight radically inclusive?
How are the three sound camps to play after midnight be chosen?
How much risk in terms of PDF short and long-term survival is this policy creating?
How did this policy go through without a public comment period?
How does a person request a change in this policy now that it is finalized?
How can being preferential to three camps who play after midnight radically inclusive?
Is the sound committee properly estimating what needs to be done to get implementation of sound policy organized?
Is it true the neighbors hate us and are looking for any excuse to call the cops?
Is it true that the neighbors have petitioned the local government for us to move?
Is there only one person choosing the amplified sound camps?
Is the process of choosing a camp being done by people who are impartial?
Isn’t the policy too long?
Is there any way to make the policy less confusing?
Is there any way to streamline the policy so that it is easier to read?
Is the “100W” mentioned in the policy 100W peak (over-optimistically-labeled medium-sized boombox), 100W RMS (medium-sized PA speaker), or 100W draw at the power outlets?
Will there be contempt between camps at PDF because some camps can’t play past midnight while others are allowed to play past midnight?
Will the new policy cause people not to follow the rules and endanger the entire event?
Will this mean the end of PDF if those with amplified sound are unable to police themselves?
Will the criteria for picking sound camps be subjective or objective?
Who will be telling sound camps that didn’t get selected that they are not allowed to have amplified sound after midnight?
What is different about this policy that gives it a better chance at success than the one that was previously written?
Why is the policy so oriented toward sound, when this is a sound event, it’s an arts event?
Will taking the authority away from the volunteer run group and putting it in the hands of those that run the sound systems actually help the situation?
Where's the FAQ?
Will this policy jeopardize the event?
What makes you think this new policy, which seems more complex than the previous one (which was difficult to enforce), will be effective?
Was this policy pushed through too speedily?
What do you have to say about the lack of community input?
What is the oversight regarding picking the camps that get to play after midnight?
What is oversight being done regarding the process of choosing the amplified sound camps?
Why don't we get at least a vote who picks the sound camps, PC style?
Will you be saying "Your camp is better, you can play past midnight" then go 20 steps to another camp and say "Your camp isnt as good, you're not allowed to play past midnight" -- and if so, is that inclusive?
Why wasn't there a community input period?
Why should I have faith in the people that are supposedly stepping up to do this job, were the same people that put us in this mess?
Who has the right to give the sound committee the authority to pick who plays and who does not play after midnight?
Why was there not a period of review by the public before the policy was approved?
Since all camps can’t play after midnight, is the community saying that one camp is better than another camp?

Questions regarding the logistics of getting sound to PDF:
If you’re not playing all night, will you need to have your over 100W speaker system pre-approved?
Will the additional paperwork be part of the online theme camp form or will it be separate?Are they going to check every car as it drives in for big speakers?
Are people who have something similar to what you linked going to have to register to be theme camps?
How does the B.O.D. plan on enforcing this?
What impact will that have on theme camp placement?
What about systems that are less than 100 watts that continue to play past midnight?
Keeping in mind that even car stereos could be out of compliance, how will the new sound policy be enforced?
Will everyone with any type of sound system be required to register as a theme camp?
How will this impact camp placement?
Will sound systems that are less than 100 watts that continue to play past midnight?
So, in laymans terms, sound under 100W does not require pre-approval. Correct? Does that mean sound under 100W can be played after midnight?
Is it technically legal to have fifty 100W speakers at one's camp, or is the 100W a camp total?


He has said that he's going to be consolidating these questions and answering them to the best of his ability in the future, but here is the "Master List," so to speak.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:17 am 
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Good Heavens. My jaw just dropped. I feel the need to remind everyone putting these massive lists together of comments and questions that the folks addressing those comments and questions are volunteers. BOD members are volunteers. Planning committee attendees are volunteers. We are all volunteers. That means we do this stuff in our off time. Please, please condense!

I understand this is important to a lot of people, but just addressing the issue of sound could become a full time job.


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:47 am 
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Jill: For what it's worth, I specifically asked Blue prior to posting anything here if he was interested in seeing something along the lines of what I created. He said that it would be very helpful for him. I totally understand it's a volunteer role and people are doing this in their spare time. I don't expect anything from anyone, I was just putting everything in one place that was easy to access and find at a later date, which I think is ultimately helpful and saves time for those involved.

I did not condense anything for the reasons I posted. I do not want my own personal bias to influence the way that I condensed things. I still stand by that decision, honestly. Hell, I routinely misunderstand and misinterpret things that my wife and parents say, let alone people I've never met. To interpret complete strangers' words in an effort to extract their core meaning and condense it would be disingenuous, given that my primary purpose in this was to create a representation of those thoughts.

That being said, I never want to create unwarranted or undesired work for the volunteers running our shindig. I'm a creature of efficiency at heart, so this was an attempt to make life easier on Blue. If he had been opposed to a consolidation of thoughts for whatever reason, I would have respected his wishes and let him handle it himself.


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