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The Down to Earth Co-op Society has been organising ConFest (Conference/ Festival) for the last 26 years. We are a completely volunteer organisation. The first ConFest was held at Cotter River, ACT in 1976 with the aim of `transforming society. ConFest was started as an 'alternative living' festival in the 1970's by Jim Cairns (then Deputy Prime Minister) and his assistant Junie Morosi and others.
ConFest regularly attracts thousands of people from all cultures and backgrounds. Children are part of the ConFest community. The early ConFests were organised by an informal network. Down To Earth was incorperated in Victoria in 1979, and continues to organise ConFest. DTE is not connected with any religion or political organisation.
One of the ways to enrich your ConFest experience is to help in preparing the site. Seek information on arrival. Many volunteers are also needed during and in the first couple of days after ConFest.
Two hours minimum work is included as part of your ticket price. Task rosters will be set up in the Volunteer tent. Fill out a time in the activity of your choice after you've set up your camp.

You are needed for ConFest to run smoothly.


WHAT HAPPENS AT CONFEST

For first timers ConFest can be challenging. Set up a camping spot, relax, join in and make friends.

Workshops, play shops, singing, dancing, discussions, tai chi, yoga, jamming, alternative technology, vegetarian market, fire twirling, circus skills, meditations, walking, swimming and more. You may have some skill or thoughts you'd like to share with others. Create your own workshop. Advertise it on the workshop boards. ConFest is as much you as it is any other person. Be free to just do your own thing. Create or join with a village that is your flavour.

WHAT TO BRING

ConFest is a camp-out. Bring simple camping gear, some food, a hat, a water bottle, sun block or protective clothing, personal medications, insect repellent, torch, musical instruments, light footwear. Bring some warm clothes as the nights may be cold. Earplugs can be good for blocking out noise when you want to sleep. Remember to bring earphones for your radio, CD or MP3 player,
It is good to bring a cup, a plate and cutlery for use at any of the community cooking spaces. As you wander about ConFest carry a cup and have a cuppa at the community spaces.
Consider bringing drums, trumpets, guitars, singing voices, art and painting gear, anything unusual. Most essential of all, bring yourself and your spirit of ConFest.

ARRIVE WELL BEFORE SUNSET

Arriving in daylight allows for ease in setting up your camp. For safety reasons cars are restricted from moving arround the ConFest site at night. If you arrive at sunset of later, you will be need to remain outside the front gate. During the evening on the first days of the ConFest, groups of cars waiting outside the Road Gate are escorted to the Ticket gate and then moved to an overnight area within easy walking distance to the ConFest site. Cars are not driven on the site at night. Please pack your sleeping gear so that it's easily accessible. You will be able to walk into the ConFest site. The Ticket Gate is set well into the ConFest Site from the Road entrance gate.


For safety, the road entrance gate is locked after dark and reopened in the morning.
If you want to leave the ConFest after dark, take your car outside the road gate before dark, and walk out to your car when you are ready to leave,

Remember to get a passout if you are returning to ConFest.

There are provisions in place for emergency vehicles, Ambulance, Fire, Police.

CARS ON SITE


There are usually three alternatives if you come to ConFest by car.

CARFREE

This is fixed carparking for ConFesters who will not be moving their cars until the end of ConFest . It is situated closer to the carfree camping area to make it easier to get gear to the camp site. Hand trolleys and barrows are there to help move your gear.

GYPSY

You may have your car, caravan, camper, truck, etc at your camp. Your vehicle must remain stationary while you are ConFest. Once camped you can travel to town with others if need be. Your vehicle cannot be moved from this area till the end of ConFest.

ACCESS

This area is for people who wish to camp with their car but come and go during ConFest:

People who are camping in CARFREE may also leave their cars in ACCESS,


PASSOUTS

When you enter the ConFest site, the tab is removed from your ticket.

YOUR TICKET IS THEN YOUR PERSONAL PASS-OUT so you need have it with you when you wish to leave and return to the ConFest site. Your ticket is validated with a stamped as you leave the site,and when you return the stamp is cancelled.You must have a validated passout in order to re-enter ConFest.Your vehicle will also get a passout which is handed back when you your vehicle re-enters the ConFest site.
There are several personal passout spaces on your ticket. We encourage the minimisation of traffic by car pooling and better still, by being organised so that you don't need to go into town during the ConFest.
Make sure that you check gate hours, before you leave the ConFest site, if you intend to return.


Cooking will be done in approved fire circles in regulation fire drums. NO small fires are allowed

BE CONSCIOUS and considerate.
FIRE BAN days must be adhered to, so also bring "no cooking needed" tucker.
SMOKERS Please remember to dispose of your butts with care. ConFest is out in the bush and fire is a major worry, also many people are bare foot. Please bring a portable pocket ash tray for your ash and buts.


RUBBISH

Bring as little as possible and take your rubbish home. Organic matter can be thrown down a toilet. Avoid bringing glass as it is dangerous for bare feet.


Remember NO PETS.

NO PETS allowed at all. NOT in the car-park, NOT in the camp, NOT left outside the site.

Be kind to your pets and organise a friend early to mind them, or check out a local kennel or person to help.


THE ABUSE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL IS NOT WELCOME.

In specific villages- ie; Healing, Massage, Spiritual, etc - the use of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol is banned.


ConFest      A CONFERENCE-FESTIVAL

Explore wellbeing ways - drumming, dancing, storytelling and friendly chats at firecircles. Make links with others. Relax among new friends. Share healing ways in hundreds of workshops and mini-conferences. Have an outdoor massage (over 30 tables). Go into the steam lodge. Have a swim.
Slow down in a safe friendly environment. Dance the nights away with thousands under the Southern Stars.

ConFest (Conference/Festival) is a gathering of people wishing to share talents, skills, ideas, concerns and philosophies in a caring fun loving and tolerant atmosphere. The presentation of workshops, demonstrations, entertainments and the maintenance of site facilities are all performed by volunteers, monetary payment is neither accepted nor made.

At ConFest, people often set up villages with differing themes, some of the villages have been: Healing Village (a wide range of healing ways), Spiritual Village (spiritual ways and ceremonies), Arts Village (all forms of art,mud bath and hot tub), Families Village, Spiral Village (drumming/well-being), Yoga Village, etc. etc.. Little is pre-planned and events happen spontaneously. ConFest is a very unique event and all attending speak of the 'ConFest spirit' as something very special. In the Music Village, and at odd spaces around our site, performers include acoustic, folk, jazz, reggae, world and indigenous musical acts as well as some circus, theatre, comedy and poetry on an open air stage. As well spontaneous music, dance and art events and happenings that can emerge anywhere at any time. Once inside, all events are free. Join us for a fabulous communal experience.

CONFEST LIBRARY

There are times when some of us would like some time out/especially young mothers. Why not come in to the libary for some quiet time as a good book is as good as a friend. Reading gives us flights of joy and fancy as one takes magic carpet rides to visit other times and faraway places. The library system runs on borrow a book, exchange a book if you can.
If you have any good books you would pass on to a friend, why not donate then to confest library. The books can be for all ages [in reasonable condition please] It is run voluntarily for ConFesters. We have around four hundred books at the moment.

AMENITIES

Drinking water, cold showers, pit style toilets and regulation fire pits are provided.
Showers and toilets provided are basic and adequate. There is good swimming and lots of shade trees on site.
When selecting a camp site, look up and check the trees for dangerous branches.

If in doubt seek advise.

NON DISPOSABLES

Down To Earth has a non negotiable "No Disposables" rule for ConFest.

Please bring a Mug, Plate, Bowl and Cutlery for use at the Market
and our Community Cooking Spaces.

Please be aware of the amount of potential garbage you bring on site, and please take all non compostable garbage away with you when you leave.


WANT TO PUT ON WORKSHOP~CONFERENCE ?

Everything is spontaneous. Just write topic/theme and time/place on workshop/conference notice boards. There will be a number of shaded areas for events to take place.


"CLOTHING OPTIONAL"

This means ConFesters can wear, or not wear anything they chose. Everywere at ConFest is clothes optional. Don't be surprised to have a naked ticket collector when you arrive at the ConFest gate. Clothing can range from nothing, to body paint, a coat of mud, a sheet, a fairy costume, even a ball gown or dinner suit. At ConFest, clothing is not gender specific. There is just one simple rule, respect other ConFester's choices.


Maps are placed near the front gate, at information and at the noticeboards.

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

People with disabilities, that require special assistance with access to their cars on site, will be helped where-ever possible, please ask. If you require a helper/carer they will get in for free. We try, please let us know how we can help


Fire at ConFest



There are strict conditions imposed on the use of fire.
We cannot use any device that has a flame, outside a prepared, approved and signed, fire circles.
Definitely not in any tent. This includes candles, kero lamps, pressure lamps, gas lamps, gas stoves, metho or kero stoves.

Anything with a flame!

'Obie' a ConFest First aid Co-ordinator said:
"I am so happy that fire is limited at ConFest. I saw the look on peoples faces when their tent and all their gear was burnt to nothing by a candle. I still remember the screaming of each of the little children that I treated in First Aid for burnt feet, hands or legs from campfires that were'nt extinguished properly, that is "blacked out". If you had heard the screaming of the toddler who fell face first into a campfire you would not question the need to strictly limit the use of fire at ConFest."


If you been to ConFest you will have experienced the fire spaces. Each space is scraped and sanded to reduce dust. There are half drums for the fires.and three burner gas stoves with gas provided. There are a number of trolley mounted four burner BBQ's for community use at the fire circles.
The only flame allowed at ConFest is a cooking fire in these circles. If you don't like walking, camp near a fire circle.


      If you have to have your own personal camp fire,

      If, with all the lighting alternatives avaliable, you must use a flame for lighting.

      If you won't cook with other people at a community fire space,

It could be ConFest isn't the right place for you       

ConFest works with the energy and participation of the people who attend. Everybody shares the responability. When you enter ConFest you leave the mainstream world of "service delivery" behind. You become a participant in the wellbeing of the ConFest community.

Please be open to joining with others and prepare some meals together. Often people who are at ConFest for the first time, are alone. Seek them out and encourage them to join with you in a meal.

If you have some pots, pans, saucepans, plates, knives forks and spoons, due for retirement, bring them to ConFest for the fire circle communities.


      ConFest is a community. 

We all share the responsibility.       

 

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