Once again, the darkness has either fallen or risen, depending on whichever metaphor you like best. The creatures of the night have come out to celebrate, and the gates of Cursed are open.
Welcome to World Goth Fair 2015.
This opening has been both strangely organized and incredibly frantic. It’s been a weird one. But the stragglers are few, the booths are MANY, and we have once again come together to get our goth on for another year. Okay I realize I always have my goth on but still.
And we even have a map on time.
We have very few people who aren’t in. I am assured that Electica will be ready to go on the 17th, and that Aftershok will be in tonight Many merchants (self included ) have staggered releases, so there’s stuff out now, and MORE stuff coming for World Goth Day (May 22.)
The landmark is here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cursed/128/129/1000
Our music (when it’s not live from Gothika) is provided by Nightbreed Radio. Because where else would we go?
The cemetery gates are open, and we have released the bats. Come on up.
Logos have been turned over to Lokii and she should be ready for merchants to begin loading in tomorrow night. Please expect decor and other random things to continue to be loaded in as we get closer to opening, but everyone should be able to begin to load in beginning tomorrow night AFTER I have given the all clear and locked down the sim.
Blogger review copy boxes will also go out tomorrow night, LATE. I lost *all* of last week due to being super sick and so Im trying to get three stores ready for the event on top of the admin load. I can’t start working on those until tomorrow night. I’ll work on the map after I finish the blogger box. Expect the box to go out in a group notice. It’s the same box for all merchants, so no need to send them out one by one.
BUILDING questions- please ask Lokii Violet. I just work here, man. Loks is the one building all the things, with the help of Sohma Dix. No one wants me to build anything, I promise. I turned half of Cursed blue last year within 30 minutes of WGF opening.(I really did.)
BLOGGER questions – please ask Sonya Marmurek. I don’t handle blogger stuff (other than making the box) at all. Like, seriously, at all. All blogger stuff has to go to her. I can deliver her a message, but I probably can’t answer whatever question it is you were about to ask me.
Anything else, yes- ask me. That’s why Im here. Either IM me, email me, poke into chat and say something. Whatever. Just don’t send me notecards. They’re a pain in the ass.
5 days and counting.
The first iteration of this year’s merchant list is up. It is not final.
As a reminder, booth fees are due by midnight April 30. We have a VERY deep waiting list this year, so if you blow this deadline there is an excellent chance your booth will be gone by morning. As of this writing there are 2 sponsors and 8 merchants not yet paid up. I can assure you- we have the wait list to fill ALL of those slots, so if you want to keep yours, make sure you pay your booth fee to WorldGothDayOfficial Resident ONLY (not. me.) by April 30.
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.
…writing the wrapup post always feels like the ending to Saturday Night Live, where the guest host is in a rush to thank everyone and winds up forgetting half the people anyway as the credits are rolling.
On Saturday Night, Jairus Khan laughed that all goth clubs everywhere are the same- everyone always shows up late. It’s true. Everyone basically sauntered in 15 minutes after he started, but things picked up a lot when he finally remembered he had a microphone and said hi. It seemed like that was the moment the club got packed, and Jairus stayed on the decks for three hours. (!!) He seemed to have a good time, and I know people *definitely* enjoyed his being there and want him to come back, so maybe we can make it a WGF tradition (he’s welcome back at any other time, too, of course.) He also managed to get an Antigen Shift hoodie over his Ad.Ver.Sary t-shirt. He’s one of those rare people that picks up how SL works intuitively, (there’s like four of them, ever.) so getting around was no problem at all for him*.
(*This is the moment that Lee reads this and begins muttering about how two years later he winds up standing around without pants and a box on his hand.)
Sunday, the last full day of the event was pretty quiet, as last days usually are, but we actually started to have a strange, unexpected rush as the night wore on.
Last night there was a mad, last minute rush at the hoodie gachas. People were sending their alts down to make sure they got the hoodies before they disappeared. In truth, the hoodies disappeared from Cursed last, even though that was the machine that kept inexplicably giving out fatpacks in greater numbers. I still don’t know how many we sold yet, but definitely well over 1000 (we were at 1000 not long after the machines dropped.)
I locked the sims down at midnight, although merchants and bloggers flew through after that and grabbed stuff they missed while the crowds had been there during the run. Every time I thought I had a final total, I would refresh and see it had gone up yet again. After about six times I figured I’d just leave it alone until morning.
The charity rep contacted me mid-morning (his time) and I talked him through the cashout process. The total for WGF 2014 was 753516, or $2932USD or, if you like, 1750GBP.
I turned the money over to SOPHIE this morning:
I realize everyone just went “MexicolaWHAT?”. Sorry about that- not my doing. It’s the name they chose for themselves. But if you actually look them up in search, you’ll find this:
Just to set aside any concerns there. I have been assured that as soon as all the money hits their paypal account, they will send us a written confirmation I can post here to let everyone know that the charity itself got all the money.
And then I went to bed.
So, basically done and dusted for another year. Org is already talking about what needs to change for next year- what can be added, and what should be pulled. We’re already planning for next year, albeit exhaustedly.
Now, as the credits roll I want to thank all our merchants, who busted ass to bring all they could to the event, and for creating the wacky and supportive atmosphere in event chat that we all get to enjoy. Our bloggers for absolutely tirelessly putting out post after post, and being so fantastically creative with all they do for us. The bands (omg the bands) who continue to support us in all kinds of ways. We are always amazed and grateful. Thank you. All the shoppers who came down and got their goth on for two weeks, tossing money into vendors and tip jars. To Jessica Lyon and the Firestorm Team for their constant support. Finally to all my fellow org team members. Gang. when I tell you we work 20 hour days for 6 weeks, I mean it. We all do. And then we get up and do it again.
Our next *regularly* scheduled event is A Clockwork Spiral, in mid September. Applications for that will open August 1. HOWEVER, there may be an event before that- just a one shot. We’re working on it and will announce as soon as we know.
Keep it spooky, gang. We’ll be back soon.
We’re now in to our last weekend of World Goth Fair for this year. You don’t have much time to go shopping so if you haven’t done it yet, make a run for it! I truly think this year’s selection of stuff is even better than last year.
We can never really thank everyone enough but we do keep trying- so thank you to everyone who keeps supporting us, and the charity.
Tonight, as a reminder we have a VERY special event.
Jairus has just done his tech check, and even has a working mic so he can say hi to everyone. This is his very first time DJing in SL, but after seeing WGF last year he was very excited to try it out this year. We’re so happy to have him with us and really encourage EVERYONE to cram themselves into the mobile unit at 8.
If you want to listen remotely, you can! the stream is http://aqua.neostreams.info:8036/listen.pls
All tips tonight go to SOPHIE, so please remember to tip those smiley jars.
Our current total, by the way(as of noon SLT) is 730488L, or $2842USD.
See you all tonight!