Organized event behavior...

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Organized event behavior...

Postby VACaver » Sep 25, 2005 6:00 pm

I just got home from the Fall VAR and am disgusted. 5 hours of sleep over the entire weekend tends to make you cranky.

Loud music until 12:30 am on Saturday and 5:30 on Sunday, provided by a grotto member DJ with the attitude of "Screw the campers!". Oh, and throw in the carbide bombs going off around 3:30 or so on Saturday morning.

The dozen or so party animals ruined the weekend for the majority that attended. In fact, the aforementioned DJ was in hiding this morning...people were ready to lynch him.

OK...enough ranting. Get to the point...

While I understand that we go to caving events to have a good time, some personal accountability and consideration is in order.

Yep, party and have a good time. But, PLEASE, have some consideration for those trying to sleep in preparation for their upcoming trip. I gave up a good vertical trip today because I was so friggin' tired from lack of sleep.
Last edited by VACaver on Sep 26, 2005 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby JackW » Sep 25, 2005 8:29 pm

First time at a caver's gathering?
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Postby CKB69 » Sep 25, 2005 9:36 pm

I have never been to a VAR function,but I have been to many TAG,SERA,and SPELEOFESTS.
Things going BANG,BOOM,or,bump in the night,are generally considered a given. :wink:

The major purpose of these events is a social gathering,and,PARTY.
Yes,I am now at the age where I can do without the omnipresent fireworks(usually..),but I still appreciate the bone jaring carbide bombs,H.E. ,etc,at least up untill about 2 am. :D

I do not go to these events to cave non-stop,then retire early.
I can stay home and do that.
I go to meet new people,and,buy gear from the vendors that needs to be fitted,or,tried on first.
Sometimes I go to a cave or 3,but usually nothing heavy.

Every one has different expectations and attitudes about how these events should take place,and what behaviour should occur.
Most events have a defined "quiet area",for the attendees that prefer peace and quiet,but I find this a bit of a farce.
Cramming 1,000 or so hard partying cavers,in the space of a few acres,practically gaurantees a sleepless night.

I do not personally like huge crowds,and a lot of noisy campers.
It is,however,a tradeoff I am willing to make for the sake of getting to know others that share a common interest. 8)

Led trips on these events are a mixed bag. Experienced leaders keep the #'s low.
Many of these trips are led by young,or ,inexperienced VOLUNTEERS.
The core of the experienced cavers are busy running the event,partying,or,doing hardcore trips of thier own.

If you really are in to "early to bed,early to rise",you could always get a hotel,or,campground close by,and purchase a "day pass" for the event.
Most events do have a daypass option for those who are unable,or,unwilling to stay for the entire shindig.

:wink: HTH
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Postby Cherul Jones » Sep 25, 2005 11:52 pm

I too was at VAR, have been to many caver events, and like to stay up and party and socialize. I've heard and danced to loud music. But I agree with CKB69 that the volume level on the music this weekend was absurd, and must be an all time record. Thanks for speaking up. Where was the chairman of the event or the VAR Chariman to pull the plug?

The music blasted so loud that the social area around the fire and dance floor cleared out soon after it got cranked up because people couldn't talk, so they left. It was louder than I've ever heard at OTR. So much for socializing or the DJ really trying to get a party going. Even though I was camped a long ways a way and behind the speakers, and wore my caving event ear plugs, it was nearly impossible to escape the music and go to sleep when I went to bed after midnight. Then I was blasted awake around 4am! I wonder if the country neighbors heard it and if RASS, the hosts, will get some flack from them.

Now this would be one thing if many of the cavers were up dancing and having a good time, like at OTR. However at midnight there were only about 8-10 out of over 235 attendees dancing or in the vacinity of the music. Why should the majority suffer so that a handfull of people can have their eardrums blasted out all night long? Why not turn the music down? Or off?

Evidently someone tried to get the music turned down in the early morning hours, for a voice said over the microphone something like "f**K the campground, we want to party." So much for majority rule and reasonable behavior.

The site was great, the Brunswick stew good and plentiful, the speakers and slide shows interesting, however I heard a lot of complaints about the music, and first timers saying they wouldn't be back if this was what VAR was like. Playing excessively loud music will not encourage people to party, and sure won't encourage them to attend future VARs.

Cavers who were at VAR and upset by the music volume need to write the VAR chairman and voice their objections. Or find a better e-mail address in the NSS Members Manual.

Last edited by Cherul Jones on Oct 10, 2005 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby VACaver » Sep 26, 2005 7:16 am

Nope, wasn't my first VAR, but it could damn well sure be my last.

Want to party and have a wild time? Great. But place a limit on it in consideration of others, especially when the vast majority of attendees are those trying to sleep.

Last I heard, the DJ from the VAR was still in hiding, knowing that there are hundreds of people (including his own grotto) pissed at him.

Good Luck, can't hide forever ;)
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Postby Sean Ryan » Sep 26, 2005 8:19 am

My first time leading a trip was at an NRO, and it sounded similar to what the poor guy had at the VAR. I thought I would have seven or eight people, but fifteen showed up. Granted, I intentionally picked caves that were so easy you'd have to get creative to get lost or hurt, and a had a lot of help on the leading end, so a few extra people wouldn't endanger anyone. I was very worrying about head counting, although every time I counted, we had MORE than I had before. (The caves were close to the campground, so people were driving over at 2:00 P.M. and jumping on the second cave trip of the day without telling me.)

If I hadn't led the trip, then a lot of those people wouldn't have gone caving. Some cavers grab the guidebook and go off by themselves at these events, and others like to be shown around by someone who won't lose an hour trying to find the parking spot and another hour trying to find the entrance. Virtually all of the led trips at these events are locals who have decided to sacrifice their day to show a bunch of strangers the local caves they already know. It can be amateur when you've got a guy like me at the helm, but the only other realistic option is to have no led trips at all.
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Re: Organized event behavior...

Postby Plethodon » Sep 26, 2005 11:56 am

Thanks VACaver.

There are 24 hours in a day. If people wanna get stark nutso drunk, naked and out of control at a caver conflab for 18 of those hours, more power to 'em. But the hours between 12:30 and 6:30 a.m. should be sacred, and a moderate hum should suffice. Ditto. If some part of camp is signed quiet, any out of control behavior should result in either making yahoos break camp and move to the noisies, or in worst cases be ejected by so called security.

Makes no sense to me that cavers go to all this trouble to seem respectable, then act like chimps on a meth/LSD cocktail at the regionals, and people are 'afraid' to do anything about it.

They ain't gettin no more a my money till someone makes the grownups act like grownups, or kicks the troublemakers (usually less than 20 n in a crowd of 500) so far we donna see them no more.
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Sep 26, 2005 12:08 pm

Yeah -- what was with the extreme decibel bombardment the whole night long? Including the 4am really bad Karaoke serenading? I too heard the DJ (or someone) dis the folks who wanted to sleep. And I heard all this clearly through my ear plugs! :shocked: The volume level was excessive and inconsiderate. It probably even emptied the forest of wildlife for miles around and curdled the milk in the farmers' cows. :wink:

The extreme decibels killed the party around the campfire, and obviously didn't draw everyone onto the dance floor. It was not respectful of the vast majority who wanted to sleep during reasonable sleeping hours. RASS, what were you thinking? :doh:

VACaver, as you know, the all-night music blast was not characteristic of a VAR. Generally the sound level is reasonable and there's a lot of socializing and talking about caves and caving in the vicinity of the music. Then the music is usually turned off by midnight or 1am. Please come again.

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VARs - don't make it your last

Postby FoxMan » Sep 26, 2005 1:36 pm

It has been said in past VAR Sunday morning meetings that VAR is NOT OTR. Unlike OTR, VARs are hosted by grottos that put the event on. The VAR officers don't run the host function. Therefore, late night activities are the responsibilities of the host grotto - included shutting the power off of PA systems or telling the "cavers" to tone it down.

It's unfornate folks leave with a bad experience about VAR. It is a great social and caving event held twice a year. For the first timers to VAR, come back. Your experience may be different. Don't judge everything on one event.
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Postby Walt » Sep 26, 2005 1:55 pm

On the loud music, all it would have taken is to shut down the pounding base. Earplugs don't help with that. I was on my way to the pavilion about 2:30 to ask for that when I heard someone scream something like "F--- the campers. We want to party" So much for that. I climbed back into my van and drove as far away as I could manage, incidentally following a couple of others with apparently the same idea. After that I managed to get some sleep and let it go. Obviously quite a few folks feel even more strongly about it that I. I think Gordon owes an apology in the Region Record and VARLIST before he's allowed to DJ again. I also think it would be a good idea for the VAR Executive Committee to post a reassurance that it won't happen again, to let folks know it'll be more reasonable in the future. I'd hate to see this hurt future VARs. It has obviously left a lot of folks with a bad impression of an otherwise great weekend.

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Postby caverbob » Sep 26, 2005 2:18 pm

Had the same problem at MAR, very load music. Seems the more they drink the louder the music becomes and the less they think of others.
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Postby VACaver » Sep 26, 2005 2:51 pm

Walt wrote:I think Gordon owes an apology in the Region Record and VARLIST before he's allowed to DJ again.


I don't think being allowed to DJ again has anything to do with it. He should apologize simply based on the fact that his irresponsible behavior left a negative impression on quite a few people.
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Postby wendy » Sep 26, 2005 5:13 pm

did someone have a small hatchet to just 'unplug' the speakers with :D
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Postby VACaver » Sep 26, 2005 7:48 pm

At one point, when the Karaoke was going on (with terrible singing, I might add), I though about walking up, signing up to sing, then, when it was my turn, grabbing the mike and running like hell!
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Postby CKB69 » Sep 26, 2005 7:59 pm

" But I agree with CKB69 that the volume level on the music this weekend was absurd, and must be an all time record. Thanks for speaking up. "

Uh,actually,I said I was not at VAR,but my view boils down to this;
I expect and enjoy a lot of loud goings on,but they should be curtailed after midnight or so,out of respect for your fellow campers. 8)

If space/distance permits these activities to take place without disturbing people who desire peace and quiet,it's all good.
If you are crammed into a tiny campground,a 24 hour mosh pit and 180DB music is not a good idea. :evil:

I take a machete,hatchet,axe,shovel,and ,many other implements of destruction whenever I camp.
Speaker cabinets make pretty good kindling... :twisted:
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