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Re: [Middlebridge] FROM THE AUTOCRATS-PENNSIC 24 SUNDAY CLOSING INFO
Greetings from Tibor.
I've been holding, and thinking about the results of the last Pennsic Staff
meeting for over a week now. I'm afraid that I've come to the conclusion
the results are terribly disappointing.
It seems the problem at hand, that is causing the early closing of Pennsic,
was not clearly communicated to folks like me. If the problem as currently
cited in this latest note is accurate, the solution is not really
The solution, while it is an attempt to be flexible, instead Balkanizes the
participants of Pennsic into "those who get the good information" and those
who do not. Those of us who know to contact Dave Cooper in advance, just as
those of us who know to get an exception for smaller fire pits, have a
But many folks are members of the SCA, yet do not get Kingdom Newsletters.
Many others do not read the Rialto. They may well show up to Pennsic,
expecting the same treatment they have always gotten, to find out they are
out of luck. Worse yet, when they discover that some folks have been
granted exceptions, and they cannot.
They will cry "unfair". They will be right.
If the problem is with people who will not leave, the Coopers have a simple
solution, and one I am sure they have used with other camping groups before.
They must contact the authorities, and have trespassers removed. For anyone
who stays on the property when the campground is closed, is a trespasser.
If we support them in this, there is no barrier at all.
If we chose that simple solution, that of penalizing the guilty parties with
serious consequences to their foolish actions, we can cease this reduction
of Pennsic to a five-day, midweek event.
Make no mistake, under the current rules, Pennsic will end at dawn on
Saturday. The largest encampments will have to leave the site to fetch
their rental trucks and trailers, and the balance of the weekend will be
spent watching the event be taken apart, while the participants dodge
vehicle traffic and listen to power tools.
This is especially incongruous when you examine the pricing structure, which
charges a large bulk fee for a weekend that will be essentially worthless.
It's disingenuous to cite changes such as the Land Lottery, to justify
shortening Pennsic in such a fashion, and it's plainly inappropriate to keep
changing the rules on attendance and duration.
The autocrats of any event have the right to control it. Perhaps less so
with Pennsic, since it's an even whose control floats from Kingdom to
Kingdom, and which has a life of it's own. I consider the autocrat's of
Pennsic to be the custodians of Pennsic: not it's owners.
A good change, even a difficult change, for a good reason, will always be
subject to sniping. But I cannot find it in me to grant that converting
Pennsic to a five day, mid-week event (without changing the pricing
structure or communicating the changes as well as possible) is either
necessary, or a good idea. It does not help matters that the reasons for
this change were inconsistently presented before the last Pennsic Staff
I really do consider the current plan to be inadequate. A simple return to
the old rules and timing, with a willingness to punish only those who
deserve punishment, is a far better plan. I urge you to consider it.
I also urge you to consider the changes you are making, in total context.
While each individual change may have it's adherents and reasons, the end
result is a series of changes that do not show the Pennsic Staff in good
light. I include in this the changes in war point organization, the removal
of the woods battle as a war point, the cancellation of a rapier
demonstration point, the introduction of subjective war points, the time
sensitive land lottery, the paperwork intensity of the land lottery, the
miscount of the pre-Pennsic pamphlets, the mismatched and missing rules in
the booklet, the confusion over the Merchant autocratting. Let's not forget
the exclusion of the Pennsic Advisory Council, the reduction in chirurgical
services, and so forth.
While each of these can be explained, the total picture is not one to
inspire happiness. I again urge you to roll back this one, ill-perceived
change, and instead punish only the guilty instead of the entire event.
PS I gather this is being roundly chewed over on the Rialto. I have not had
time to read the Rialto in the last two weeks, my apologies if I am
pouring salt into an open wound. I hope you will consider this letter
without the preconceptions that the Rialto may have given you.