Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

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Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby jillnado » Wed May 31, 2017 2:43 pm

PONY WRANGLER REPORT:

Despite the mud, crud and blood, our Pony Builder, Glenn Richardson, teamed up with Burning Arts coordinator Rev Dave and got that thing lit. It wasn't as showy as Glenn had planned because mud, but it looked pretty damn good.

Glenn had been planning on coming in early Wednesday, but weather conditions prevented that.

In the future, I would like to guarantee that the Pony builder and crew can always get in on Wednesday afternoons, so they have more time to build and actually enjoy the burn.

I would also like to see the Pony builder and crew get four reserved tickets in the future. I'll be putting that up for consideration before the Planning Committee in the coming weeks.
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports-Wood

Postby jillnado » Wed May 31, 2017 2:54 pm

The wood deliveries were tough this time around because mud.The wood vendor arrived on time both Thursday and Saturday.

However, the wood delivered on Thursday was especially wet. I called the vendor and complained, and complained. He said there was nothing he could do and said we should be able to start fires with it. I complained some more, but got nowhere. Several participants said they had a very difficult time getting their fires started.

The Saturday delivery was a little better, but we couldn't get the trucks over to the main wood pile by the Pony because mud. We left it off the roadway nearby and I made a point of telling as many people as possible that that was the community pile.

We had two theme camps order wood this go around - Camp Fuck A Duck and Camp Cant Concentrate. We got the wood to Concentrate, but couldn't get it out to the Ducks because mud. They had to pick theirs up from the Participation Station pile.

I estimate that we left behind about 3 and half cords of wood behind, worth about $700. I picked up some stray piles and moved it to the new community pile, but there was no way I was going to ask anyone to help move the pile from Participation Station, because mud. If the Vets are unhappy about that, please tell them to call me at 301-233-4544, and I will remind them that's about SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS WORTH OF WOOD. Nice gift. (Apologies if that sounds obnoxious, but because mud.)
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports-Straw

Postby jillnado » Wed May 31, 2017 3:08 pm

Straw:

Our straw vendor has got to be one of the greatest guys in the state of Delaware. I couldn't get a straight answer from anyone at DPW before the event if we wanted straw. So I asked Bruce of B&B Farms if he could wait until 2 p.m. Thursday for a decision. He said yes. I finally got the okay from Dugard and Jim Barker to order 75 bales. Bruce was there in less than two hours with 75 bales. We used up every one.

Then the call went out Friday or Saturday (I can't remember which) from Jim, asking for another 75 bales. Again, Bruce to the rescue, with another 75 bales. Again, we used every one.

Jim Barker got the receipts from Bruce, and I'm hoping we can get him paid as soon as possible, if it hasn't already been done.

There's got to be a better way to handle straw deliveries. Any ideas on how we can eliminate the last minute demands in the future?
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby reverend_dave » Wed May 31, 2017 7:38 pm

Burning Art:
The Good: We had some really neat art. Most of it went up pretty much exactly as the artist expected (in a few cases, with a little coaxing). Shout-out to pony-builder Glenn, whose pony went up pretty much exactly as he said it would despite adverse weather.
The Bad: Rain (duh). Troubles getting two of the Sunday night art pieces to burn, scheduling challenges getting everything on a pad (both number of pads and size of pads). Really important lessons were (re)learned about having appropriate kindling available.
The "First Time For Everything": For the first time in the decade-plus I've been burning stuff at PDF, we had east-to-west winds during the burns. (We usually get west-to-east, blowing embers toward the pavilion, or no wind at all. As a result, a lot of folks had tents pretty close to the west side of the burn field. Sorry, guys...)
The Ugly: Apologies to everyone stuck while trying to leave because the gate was closed for a long, long time on Sunday night. There was a well-intentioned policy behind that, and we kind of lost sight of the impact of tweaking other policies would have on it. Going forward, we'll be working with someone (probably the rangers if the vets at the gate aren't on radio) to get word to the gates so that they only get closed (to wrist-banded participants) when we have concerns about road traffic during the actual burn. (If there's a big, hot fire, people do tend to back out onto the road while watching the fire, often while not looking for cross traffic. That's the reason we try to discourage people driving during the burn. But if there's nobody on the road, there's no reason not to let people leave.)

Gold Star to Jill for pushing for more straw. Gold Star to Wren for working with the tower folks on getting their poofer up to the standard PDF expects of fire art. Gold Star to Lizard for improvising with the tools available to get the temple burning on Sunday. Gold Star to the vets for looking at a "we're supposed to move it but we can't actually move it" art piece and deciding to let us burn in place. Gold Stars to each and every person on Perimeter who stuck it out on Sunday night.

I'll also drop a skeleton report for Fire Safety; if Lizard feels like updating it, drop mine and use his.
Fire Safety:
The Good: We had enough firefighters. No reports of major fire-related injuries. We started staging "just in case" fire extinguishers. All firefighters (and a couple fire extinguishers) managed to converge on a reported red dot incident in fairly short order (although the folks at the camp took care of it before we got there).
The Bad: Yeah, about the wait on that temple burn... (Sorry, everyone.)
The Ugly: Nothing really rose to the level of "ugly".
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby mimisabah » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:52 am

As a reminder (courtesy of copy/paste from Rev Dave):

Anyone can submit an afterburn report, and we welcome input from everyone, including folks who attended but were otherwise uninvolved.

If your department has a budget or reserved tickets (or, in other words, you got something tangible from the PDF organization), please make sure at least one afterburn report gets posted for your department, because the PC coordinator will stalk you relentlessly if you don't and it's just easier for everyone this way. If you don't have a budget or reserved tickets, putting in a report is still awesome.

If this is your first time doing a report, one common template (that you do not have to use) is to separate it into three paragraphs, "The Good" (stuff that went as expected, lucky coincidences, shout-outs to people that went above and beyond, and so on), "The Bad" (stuff that did not go as expected, unlucky breaks, comments about what could have gone better), and "The Ugly" (stuff that went badly for reasons beyond anyone's control, like mud or flooding. General comments that don't identify specific individuals about observed bad behavior can go here, but please do not specifically call out individuals.) You can also include notes (that aren't under Good, Bad, or Ugly) about ideas on things the event (your department or others) could do better.
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby missfidget » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:20 am

DPW - Flags
Per Yeti's suggestion on FB I am posting here.

Due to sharing a car/2 schedules I was unable to arrive Wed. as planned to help w/ other DPW stuff. Got in Thurs. after noon.

Before 4 pm, 10 flags were erected, using 10 pieces of short rebar and 10 skinny pvc poles from the shed. Yrs back wrote miss fidget on many of the poles but since they are stored communally and are a shared resource. I use as many as I can grab no matter what is written on them. For the past few years the number of flags I erect is based on rebar available and how muddy/windy it is.

Within next year I plan on applying for an art grant and making more flags to replace some of the old ones (almost 10 yrs old!) buying more rebar and/or poles. Applique ages better than painted details. Tall skinny shape is highly visible. Banner cloth ages beautifully but flaps poorly if it has too many seams. I am currently researching novel ripstop fabrics, eg fluorescent, reflective, uv coated, fire resistant.
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby diana-smiles » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:31 pm

PARTICIPATION STATION - submitted by Diana-Smiles

THE GOOD (so much good!):
*New radios were great. Thanks to Lizard for programming them!
*The new footers for the structure worked great, the replacement parts fit, and there were no issues despite the heavy winds and rain.
*The new water-proofing items for the electric worked as there were no issues there.
*Overall, volunteer coverage was great, and there were very few calls to replace no shows.
*Thanks to all the amazing volunteers - each and every shift helps make this event happen!
*There was tons of interest in the Volunteer Reserved Ticket Program (VRTP) and lots of traffic and education happening at the PS all weekend long.
*Shiddy and Heather and Wren were all amazing, and I couldn't have made it thru this burn without them! Wren's flaming bar had the PS hopping all Thursday night with tons of people!
*Lots and lots of straw was very very good as there was standing water under the PS.

THE BAD (2 points):
1. I didn't communicate clearly w some coordinators about the VRTP and there was confusion about the program.
2. While there was a lot of interest in the program, the number of volunteers that actually registered was low.

Make it better next time:
1. Improve my communication with coordinators about this and make sure each department has volunteer cards in hand!
2. Continue education and awareness of the program, as I believe the program participation rate will grow over time

THE UGLY (2 points, working together to make ONE BIG UGLY):
1. Closing the gate at 6pm on Sunday when the road out of the back parking lot was also closed. This upset alot of people on Sunday because they couldn't drive thru the event to get out after being told to evacuate due to a flash flood warning (ugly point #2).
2. Someone ran around and gave misinformation about a flash flood warning on Sunday.
I'm sure there WAS a flash flood warning, but since the event is nowhere near a creek that flash floods, it panicked people unnecessarily and crazy rumors were going around that had to be squelched at every turn. Then with the gate closing early, the vets did what they always do, which is stop traffic from going THRU the event. Previously, people could always go out the back entrance, but since that was under water, people who were trying to leave between 6 and 8 pm and were parked in the back lot were forced to stay against their will by the vets when they were ready to go.
*As far as I know, there was no issue with closing the gate at 6pm on Saturday.

Make it better next time:
1. Assuming VVMC in the fall, change the gate hours to 7pm and allow people to leave via the back gate; however, this is likely a non issue at other potential sites.
2. Have a point person for communication of this sort. That person can then use the radio to communicate with coords / leads and have them disseminate the information via megaphone, ensuring that the message is consistent and correct across the event.
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby smartie martie » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:15 am

The Good…
~Overall pretty smooth burn at ticketing and check in process at Spring PDF 2017.
~Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out this burn. All the volunteers were fantastic this burn. DPW crew was great for a speedy set up and delivery of front gate items. Set up went well, even with a set back, we were checking in volunteers by 1:30 PM on Thursday. We did have some fabulous volunteers who stayed a little later to help with the guests of Mike Ryan on Sunday afternoon. We even had an extra volunteer stay on Sunday evening to help with exodus. One ticketing volunteer donated at metal firewood holder, for front gate/ticketing. (The metal firewood holder has been spray painted with bright yellow spray paint at the bottom by the feet.)
~ Participants seemed to love the new snap-lock feature wristbands.The new wristband vendor was very accommodating to our event’s production timeline. Hopefully we will be able to order from the new vendor and this style of wristband for future PDF’s.
~The wristband contest went better this burn, we had 8 submissions from our community. The participant who won the wristband contest was Sarah Shaak.
~Pre-event ordering went very well, received the majority of items for gate in a timely manner to complete diy projects in time for spring PDF.
~The gate ordered several bulky items, the items were shipped to Yeti (DPW Coord), and delivered on site on Wednesday afternoon.Super helpful of Yeti to assist in this task.
~The updated participant wristband registry seemed speed up the check in process at ticketing this burn. We still have a quicker retrieval time for a participant's waiver, for the one ambulance call.
~The theme camp application questions were updated to reflect the change of a theme camp requesting a wristband chart. We still had theme camps that did not pick up the wristband chart at ticketing. Please theme camp leaders, if you request a wristband chart, pick it up when you get your wristband, at Ticketing/Front Gate.
~The waiver pick up from Staples went went well, no issue with pick up.
~All the waivers from this burn and previous burns were picked up by BOD member Monster.
~The volunteers loved the horse decals, pony pendants and shot glasses this burn.
~The volunteer reserved ticket program numbers were lower than we anticipated. I did give out and sign, quite a few of those cards. So I am wondering if participants forgot to register on Sat or Sun, or lost the cards.
~Opening at 5:00 PM went well, we had a full volunteer team, they were great at handling the high volume of participants checking in during that time. Closing the gates at Midnight seemed to go well, we did have a few stragglers show up after Midnight and we checked them in.
~ Butterbean’s suggestion about using gifts for technical errors seem to work out great this burn. Hopefully the technical issues with the computer will be fix by the Fall burn.
~Created 587 volunteer reserved cards for volunteers to fill out for the volunteer reserved ticket program. Did we have enough or do we need more cards?
~The posters about the volunteer reserved ticket program and consent was great to see placed around the event.
~The welcome home pony sign turned out good, the project was completed by Butterbean, Strongbow, Yeti, Smartie Martie, and burners in CT.
~We had some awesome twinkle lights along the wooden fence this burn, thank you Butterbean
~We had a lot of gift tickets donated to the burner community this Spring burn :D
~Breakdown went well with the help of Butterbean, Nick, DPW Team, Juicy, Wren, Jim and Karnak and Mike.
~Thank you Ninja, Tina, Nick, Butterbean, DPW Dudes, and John for all your help with tasks for Ticketing set up.
~Thank you to the many volunteers who signed up for multiple volunteer shifts for your help with volunteering at Front Gate and Back Gate:D


The Bad....
~The gate structure during set up on Wednesday needed to be disassembled and reassembled with the correct parts. The Front Gate structure parts were mixed up with MASH’s structure parts. The Front Gate/Ticketing structure parts/poles were labeled and we have the manual in ticketing FAQ. Unfortunately, on Monday during breakdown DPW Coordinator Karnak decided to trash the Front Gate/Ticketing structure. I have been shopping around researching options available for Front Gate/Ticketing needs.
~The onsite ticketing computer had a weird error message come up several times, during the event with scanned tickets. To quickly resolve this computer technical glitch, the gate ticketing volunteers used the donated gift tickets. During the event it was hard trying to locate Ben or Hatter to make them aware of computer glitch. They are going to look into this technical glitch and hopefully resolve the glitch so it does not happen again.
~Flooding under the tent. Talked to Franco about it and how it drains under the tent instead towards the ditch.
~DON'T USE MOLDY HAY IN TENT, it made volunteers sick.
~Front Parking other entrance was NOT blocked but Parking Crew failed to lay out pattern that would keep it open past the first row.
~Mash called the State Police after the missing parent was found for a child found wandering around the burn.
~The Vets watching the gates left on Monday at 6:00 AM, my understanding was they were to be on until 9:00 AM on Monday morning……?
~A participant on Sunday going around the playa inciting panic with misinformation about the weather forecast.Having some one going through camp Sunday Morning telling burners to pack up because its going to rain was NUTS. Another person was going through camp announcing Flash Flood warning. Again Scaring people. Which caused panic in participants and issues at the gate about leaving after 6:00 PM on Sunday, waiting until after the Art burn.

The Ulgy…
~MUD, MUD and More MUD…..Carry In, Carry Out….Rain and More Rain
~Front Parking Lot was to max capacity on Thursday evening when the Gates closed at Midnight.
~Front and Back Parking Lots, it was so bad on Friday morning we were checking in participants at 9:00 AM, but asking them to return later in the day, to give mother nature some time, to work her magic on the Parking Lots..
~Sunday early gate closer time at 6:00 PM and participants were leaving due to Exodus already started Sunday afternoon. A participant on early Sunday afternoon going around the playa inciting panic with misinformation about the weather forecast, caused panic in participants and issues at the gate about leaving after 6:00 PM on Sunday. Also due to the horrible weather conditions at this event, caused the back lot entrance impassable for vehicles, this has never been an issue before at previous PDF’s. All the vehicles had to drive through the event to leave. At Front Gate, we stayed later until 7:45 PM for participants to leave. We as a rule do not allow vehicles to drive on site during the Pony burn or Art burn, for safety. For future burns I will propose to move the gate closure time to 6:00 PM on burn night Saturday and 7:00 PM on Sunday. We did not have any issues with Saturday closing at 6:00 PM. I don’t think closing earlier at a different site will affect participants ability to leave the event. (Please someone else sign up for this time slot, besides myself, Butterbean, Devon- Greeters Coord).

General Topics
~Ticketing had 5 bags of trash, one bag for each day of the event.

Improvements for Next Burn
~Onsite ticketing computer updated
~Change the gate time on Sunday, if we are at a different site, I do not for see this to be a problem.
~New structure for Front and Back Gate.
~Need cheap tow straps for front and back, maybe 4 sets.
~Need cone stretchers to block out more parking lot when we have issues.
~Need to buy a Car jumper box and combo bike chain to secure it. Too many people tried to borrow a participant's which was not PDF which was used to powering the cart lights on the golf cart.
~Jumper Cables for participants to use.
~Have a sticker contest, and give a sticker to each participant at ticketing during the check in process. They kinda do this at TTITD, except they give out about 12 different types of stickers to participants.
~New Front and Back Gate structure
~Better communication with department Coordinators and Leads about onsite weather announcements, burn times and how it will effect Exodus/Gate hours.

☆Some department volunteers are compiling their afterburn report for gate and will add additional comments as I receive the emails.

****Report has been updated****
Last edited by smartie martie on Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
~Ticketing/Gate Coordinator~
~Burning since 2006~
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pdfdpw after-burn reports'

Postby yeti » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:46 pm

Caitlin O'Dwyer
The Good: We got everything up on Wednesday and it's a good damn thing because there was no way anyone was going to be thrilled about putting stuff up thursday morning. Everyone was a trooper about it. Go team!

The Bad: Some of it went up after dark, which was tricky. I think if we had started at noon with the people we had then it would have all gotten done before dark.
Also it seems like the trickiest thing to sort is the actual poles. Ticketing is easy because all of the poles have writing on them. I heard that the legs all got spraypainted, which is rad. Could we maybe spraypaint the structure parts or tag them in the color of the station? (Red = RAnger, Pink=Participation, Yellow = ticketing, Green = Greeters, ???=MASH) I think this might be especially helpful if we end up replacing the plastic structures with metal ones.

David Dugard
The Good :

we had plenty of hands - DPW volunteers are the BEST

all structures were set up by wednesday

new hand carts kicked ass

our "no dumpster" plan worked GREAT - the backup dumpster plan was not needed

all of the ranger and part station tent legs are tagged with red spray paint

most structures were DOWN by 2pm Saturday

the bad

the dpw van was a mistake - it got stuck and only used for ticketing - in the future I will only rent 4wd trucks if at all

golf carts are a mistake - they should be abandoned except on the road and never in the back or on the grass

Rangers tent seems to be missing a corner elbow - someone made due with a white one - this needs to be replaced just in case it's gone

one of the yellow carts went home with R-3 (Daniel Shawn Hall) to get reparied - the tire is worn off the wheel

we had constant complaints about the lack of hot water in the front showers

the paid EMTs left a fully filled burn barrel at MASH

the Ugly

Ticketing and Greeters tents are done - they had to be hammered together and hammered apart - *I* threw them out - we need to replace them with the same model as the rest of the tents

we had a few "trash bombers" who decided the leave trash on vet equipment or in Sancuary - Jim cleaned off the vet equipment before it became an issue

we HAVE TO DO a work weekend

the shed doors are dangerous - they are sharp and rusty - they cannnot be used again - they are a liability

the shed inside the doors is unacceptable - it needs to be emptied and expanded - or eliminated - it's either take everything out - or put everything in
1/3 of the shed is "we might need that someday" shit - the shelving will not fit a yellow topped bin - this needs to be fixed and all bins that are not
STANDARD YELLOW BINs should be replaced


additional notes and ideas to consider from the rest of us

codifying and recording whatever is possible and reasonable of the process, past present and future

recording in some way the experience of individuals participating in and through dpw

fire extinguishers at each pdf structure and with every pdf golfcart or other vehicle

increasing the capacity of the water heaters that heat the shower water

identifying all of each of individual departments' gear and gear containers with visible labeling

using totes as containers for departments' gear to the extent possible considering shape of gear etc

until we have a storage solution that does not require specific locations for specific items and a specific order of loading in -
we need to mark where what goes as much as possible, and we need to have a "map" or "schematic" of where everything goes

we need a storage container that permits packing in of a departments gear as it is ready, with out having to wait to have enough gear to be able to "tetris" it

Yeti need to sleep, more than 3 nights out of 5 and for more than 4-5 hours at a time(but not during breakdown while everybody is busting ass, even if was only a little nap)

telling good stories well, our community is also built on stories

preserve sustain maintain develop grow

light something on fire

If you need to be held then let someone know ( even if that someone is to get another someone to do the holding )

PDF DPW LTW !
Andrzej Piotr Pawel Bejnar Sasquatch Shitboxer Yeti Swamp-Monkey
DPW- Coordinator
Rangers- Dirt Ranger
Burner-At-Large
and
blah,blah,blah
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Planning Committee After Burn Report

Postby mimisabah » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:07 am

Planning Committee After Burn Report for Spring 2017, submitted by Jamilah

The Good
We planned. And then there was a successful event, so I'm concluding the planning was good. Owsla began training me as her replacement and transitioning in January 2017. Everyone has been very patient as I've been learning the ropes.

The Bad
None to really speak of. One call during the transition where I had some technical difficulties with the call-in number and recording, but everyone was very understanding. Also, the need for an emergency May meeting, but it was short and sweet so I don't consider that bad.

The Ugly
As mentioned previously, mud. However, that had no impact on the PC. :lol:

Jamilah, PC Coordinator
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Re: Mud, Mud and Mudly After Burn Reports

Postby Toaster » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:19 pm

Parking - Spring PDF 2017

Good

•Participants were thankful for the regular updates posted to the Facebook group about the current site conditions and what to expect when they arrived.
•Despite similar conditions, exodus was smoother than 2016 fall. This was a result of good communication between the front and back lots, and having volunteers stationed by the back parking lot/backfield porta potties. When traffic would begin to build on the main road in-between the back gate and the front gate, a call would go out to hold traffic. This would allow the congestion to clear, without clogging up the roads with additional traffic.
•There were a number of amazing volunteers who got together on throughout the weekend to assist in getting fellow participants vehicles unstuck and map out good routes through the mud for those driving out. Many of them never signed up to volunteer officially, or hung out to help way longer than their scheduled shift. This took pressure off the vets and allowed them to focus on the vehicles that were extremely stuck.
•Delaying entry on Friday until Noon when the grounds dried up, worked well to help save the grounds in the beginning.


Bad

•Some theme camps reserved whole blocks of time to volunteer with parking and then no-showed and gave the weather as their excuse.
•One participant tied a rope around another participant's vehicle bumper in an attempt to help get them unstuck. This resulted in effectively separating the bumper from the vehicle, while still leaving vehicle stuck in the mud.
•There were a total of 4 vehicles towing heavy items that had issues with the muddy conditions. Though the vehicles were shown to have 4x4 capabilities. After investigation, it was found that the vehicles 4x4 capabilities were non-operational.
•Temple construction materials repeatedly migrated into the pathway leading from the main road to RV row. There were multiple instances where the material needed to be removed to get an RV to RV row for placement. This wasted time and caused multiple traffic jams.
•One of our golf carts broke down Monday.
•Many participants did not follow the “carry in/carry out” decree, and instead of staying somewhere on the road where their care would be safe, ventured into the event somewhere to get stuck.


Ugly

•AAA bailed out multiple times (at least four) when called to get a participant's vehicle unstuck. AAA drove all the way to the back field and then announced that they would go no further and turned around by the porta potties. One participant was extremely distraught by the ordeal.
•The difficult exodus left most core members of the exodus team onsite until after 8pm.
•There were groups that choose to linger after packing up well past the 12pm event end on Monday. This effectively slowed down the other participant’s exodus by taking available parking and space when both parking and space were scarce.
•The Vet’s stopped extracting stuck vehicles with the tractor while there were vehicles that still remained stuck.
•The parking team identified a need to create a central registry for participants who need to get their vehicle extracted from the mud. There was confusion around who the participants should talk to so they can get in line to get their vehicles out.
•Sunday night someone went around with a megaphone telling participants to pack up and leave due to rain and/or a flood watch, this effectively caused a mass panic and lead to many participants rushing to get out. It also happened a few hours before gates closed for the burn, leaving many participants with their things packed in their car and no time to leave event before the burn. Inciting panic is NEVER a good idea unless it is an actual emergency.
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