Very important information about WGF 2015.

Greetings, Creepypeople.

It’s almost time to open applications for this year’s World Goth Fair.  But before we do that, there are some very important changes that everyone needs to know about and understand.

Applications will open at some point on April 1 as usual.  But.

1. This year’s WGF will be one sim.(Cursed.)  That means we have a limited amount of space.  It means we will be forced to curate more strongly, and we expect the event to sell out VERY fast.

We are only using one sim because in essence we only have one we can use effectively. While we have appreciated Ely Hynes donating her sim for use in the past, she no longer frequents Second Life and has decided to give up her land (Sium). As of last Friday, Sium has been removed from the grid.

We aren’t using Port Seraphine. Not because we can’t, but because it’s problematic.  Using PS presents some inherent difficulties. Primarily, in that we cannot close it in the week before opening, because not everyone who has a mainstore on the sim (and there are many) are on the org team, and it is entirely unfair to suggest that we should block traffic to someone’s store for a week.  Without the ability to do this, we cannot control access, and we have learned the hard way that we really NEED to.  Since we do not have the ability to parcel land in three dimensions, there is no way to create a parcel 1000M up and simply restrict access to that, without having an impact on what’s going on at ground level.

Secondly, we have also learned that using non-adjacent sims cuts traffic to the one that isn’t Cursed(WGF prime). Although Port Seraphine is close (mapwise) there is no way to connect it to Cursed and still have it connect to WaterWorks as well without needing to rotate every last item at ground level on Cursed (the Lab will only MOVE sims, they will not rotate them.) Having done that once already I can promise you my willingness to do it a second time is zero, and the Lab charges you 150USD to move the sim in the first place.

So this year, it’s a one sim show. Seeing as how well ACS does with that very same setup, this will be fine.

2.  This will no longer be a charity event. I’ll explain.

While we have always been happy to support charity causes at Cursed Events, we’re going to have to stop, due to our continually being caught in the middle between Linden Lab and the charity.

Two years ago, Linden Lab changed their rules about cashouts. It used to be that you could send cashed out money to any paypal account you chose, and in fact that’s what we did. We sent money directly from the charity alt to SOPHIE. The only thing we asked of them was a confirmation (in the form of a screencap or an email or SOMETHING) that they had recieved it (even though we knew, because we’d get notified by the Lab) to prove that the money was received as intended. Due to the high level of charity fraud in SL over the years, creating this level of transparency was very important for us.

We have always had trouble getting the charity to understand this. Always.

Over the years we have had to essentially crawl up their proverbial ass to get so much as a screencap to show they got the money.  We have explained the necessity for this information over and over, and Lee (Cruel Britannia, who deals with them directly, as he is English and far more polite than myself) has had to contact them multiple times a day, every day for the better part of a week, just to get a screencap that quite literally takes less than five seconds to create.

However, once the rules changed, we could no longer do this. What now must happen is that the charity themselves has to have an inworld representative that can cash out the money to their account.  We had a *very, very* difficult time getting them to understand this last year, and in the end, though they did assign a very nice young man to do this, it was clear that there were problems. In fact, we didn’t even know they were going to do it at all until perhaps 48 hours before applications opened. It went that far down to the wire, while we attempted to scramble to find a plan B.

But at the end of last year, when the money was turned over, I stressed repeatedly and strongly to their representative that we NEEDED confirmation when that cash hit their paypal account. I could prove we *gave* them the money, but could not prove anything past that without their help. The fact that they chose not to name their inworld account after the charity was decidedly not helpful in this regard.

We never got that confirmation. At this point, no one at Org has any way to know, at all, if they ever really cashed all that money out or if it’s still sitting in Linden dollars in their charity account. We don’t know, and there is no way for us to check. All we know is we gave it to them. And that’s just not enough.

Given the amount of work this event (really all our events, but this one and ACS in particular) takes, and the toll in time, stress, and opportunity cost on everyone involved, I see precisely no reason why we should continue to collect money for charity when we cannot even get the simplest of confirmations that the money has gone to its intended purpose.

3.  Why not pick another charity?

Because the problems are essentially exactly the same. No matter what charity we choose, the Lab’s rules do not change. We would need to convince that charity to create an inworld account, and be willing to communicate effectively with us to prove the money got to its destination.  We might be able to do the former, but the latter has proven to be something we’re not willing to risk again.

4. What about RFL (as they already have this system in place)?

While we individually all support RFL events throughout the year, due to how RFL is organized and structured, we will not be turning any (any) Cursed Event into an RFL fundraiser. Also, they have plenty already.  I mean, seriously.

What does this mean?

Well, it means we won’t have charity vendors to deal with anymore.
It also means (and this is a double edged sword) that we won’t have to chase bands around anymore either (We’re not going to ask bands to give us rights when the proceeds aren’t going to charity.)

If anyone has any questions about this they’re welcome to ask and I will answer them as completely as I can. I can tell everyone that the vote on this at Org was unanimous, after the events of last year.

-AK

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