Design The Perfect Theme Camp
Big Dub is an immersive festival where the community creates much of the experience through theme camps and hosted activities. This post will help you to understand what a theme camp is, the expectations we have of theme camps, and how to make the best of creating one.
What is a theme camp?
Theme camps and villages are the interactive core of Big Dub. An ideal theme camp creates a visually stimulating presence and provide a communal space or other opportunity for interaction. Those who contribute to the creation of this communal space often camp around this site and contribute to maintaining the site during the festival as well as working to provide activities to other festival attendees.
Funding a theme camp
The most successful theme camps have “camp dues” which are used to finance the decorations & activities of the theme camp. The most successful camps have planning meetings where they forecast materials costs and create a budget, then seek funding to meet that budget which helps with building the props or acquiring decorations. Some theme camps are put together purely on donations from camp members or people from external sources. You can also request an art grant for major art installations HERE
The most common expenses in creating a theme camp include but are not limited to: supplies & materials, storage, transportation, and labor. Labor generally comes into play when you need to seek sources outside of the community in order to complete a design project.
Theme camps should be interactive. If you have a theme camp you are welcoming ANYONE who attends the festival into your camp to hang out and to experience what you have put together. In fact, all registered theme camps must have a public area that is open to other guests of Big Dub who wish to chill or explore. Creating activities increases the interactive element. Some activity examples from both Big Dub and Burning Man include:
Wubba Lubba Big Dub: Rick & Morty Trivia
Candyland: Play the actual Candyland game but in real life! Their entire theme camp is a Candyland board that you can walk on.
Little Philly: Philadelphia Craft Beer Social
Love & Psychedelia: Crystal Workshop Discussion for Holistic Healing
Domeunity: Movie Night in the Dome
Halloween Town: Scary Stories N Chill
Big Dub Sexy Mountain: Bondage & Play Workshop which includes being able to watch a live bondage scene, learn how to be kinky, or fully engage in play when appropriate
Camp Pickleback at Burning Man: Stop by their bar to take a shot of Jameson then go over to their lifesize cut-out of a dancing pickle cartoon while they serve you a pickle through a cut-out in his crotch
White Trash Superstars at Burning Man: 24hour bar with adjacent carnival games like ring toss and bean bag toss
Apply to be a registered theme camp
Registered theme camps are given a designated space in the festival. Please note that all theme camp members are still required to purchase a ticket into the festival. Being accepted as a theme camp reserves your space provided that you are on track with showing proof that the camp will be interactive & decorated. CLICK HERE to apply for a theme camp.
Setup & Teardown
It is crucial that theme camps plan & begin builds prior to July. This is a deadline that you should personally be setting for yourself to avoid issues leading up to the festival. Theme camps with major installations will be granted an early arrival, which must be confirmed in advance with camp GM Nicole Tossas, to allow for un-interrupted setup. Factor that teardown will not easily happen within one full day if you are a larger camp. You are responsible for the teardown & storage of your site as well as trash clean-up the entire way around your installations and camp site.
Successful theme camps who excel in providing quality content and good setup & teardown receive benefits in the future which often includes larger art grants and other special treatment as we help you to develop your dream theme camp to share with our community.
Theme camps can be placed in any of the three camping sites: Hilltop, Main Camp, or New Camp. Hilltop and New Camp have the most room for theme camps. Main Camp will be limited to a very select couple of theme camps due to the size & space requirements and our efforts to keep Main Camp comfortable for everyone. You will need to purchase tickets for the camping area that corresponds to your camp which will be communicated during your theme camp confirmation process with Nicole.