Frequently Asked Questions

You MUST read this before purchasing tickets!

  • How do I get there?
    The Masonic Family Park is just about an hour north of Seattle at 24310 Mountain Loop Hwy, Granite Falls, WA 98252
  • When will tickets go on sale?
    Tickets and passes (parking and vehicle camping) go on sale March 17th at 8pm. You can read more about ticket sales here.
  • Is there water available at Critical or do I need to bring my own?
    Yes. Fresh, potable water is available free of charge at several locations around the event site and will be marked on the map provided for you. You can ONLY fill your water containers, there is to be no cleaning at these locations! They create mud pits and attract animals to any food leftovers.
  • What do I do with my gray water?
    Gray water disposal is to be done on roads (“sprinkled” to help with dust, not dumped in a puddle) or in bushes ONLY if biodegradable soaps used AND FREE OF FOOD DEBRIS. No cleaners/harsh chemicals, which includes shower supplies that aren’t biodegradable! If your gray water does not meet these requirements, you must evaporate it and/or pack it back home.
  • Where can I park my RV/Trailer?
    It’s important to remember that Critical is a regional in heavily wooded Washington, and thus we don’t have endless space like a desert. If you want to camp in any wheeled vehicle AND you are not part of a theme camp, you are required to purchase a car camping pass for $25. Forty (40) passes will be available for purchase once tickets go on sale.
    Vehicles/RVs part of and inside of the boundaries of a theme camp DO NOT NEED a vehicle camping pass.
  • How does parking work?
    Because of the space limits of our new site for camping, we require all cars not being used for camping (which requires a pass) to be parked in designated lots. 2016 saw over a 60% decline in carpooling from 2015! We can no longer park vehicles without lanes, which means we have a hard limit on vehicle numbers. Because of this, we will be issuing parking passes at $10 each. 300 will be available, with a possibility for more after work parties to clear the lots.
  • I spin fire, where can I do that?
    You can ONLY spin fire within the performance area, and only if you have registered with the fire team first! Registration is a requirement of our special use permit.
  • What about making a fire in my camp? 
    Ember fires can only be made within permanent, venue installed fire rings or brick fireplaces. Absolutely no ember fires on/dug into the ground or pits brought from home. With the exception of propane cooking stoves and propane fire pits, all other propane devices must be approved by the fire team before ignition.
  • What about power? Can I charge my iPod and run my twinkle lights?
    There is no power distro for general camping in order to ensure theme camps, artist, and infrastructure are able to receive the power they need. There will however be a handful of charging stations around the venue.
  • Since general campers can’t have power, can I bring a generator?
    Yep! Please be courteous to your neighbors and use a baffle box for your generator, set it as far away (minimum of 15 feet) from other campers as possible, and turn it off during quiet hours from 12am-9am.
  • Do I need to bring my own food?
    Yes, there is NO VENDING at Critical. This is an extension of radical self-reliance. Please bring your own food and whatever you need to prepare it along with plates, cups, bowls, utensils, etc.
  • Are kids allowed?
    YES!!!!! Children are more than welcome and will be present at the event. We do ask that parents be responsible and supervise their children at all times. There are no child care facilities on site, and we encourage parents to make arrangements with other families. Children 12 and under are free; anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • How many people can come?
    650 General admission tickets will be available for purchase at $110
    250 Theme Camp tickets will be available for purchase to registered and approved theme camps at $110
    100 Scholarship & Artist/Performer tickets will be available for purchase at $50
    100 Contributor Tickets, which include theme swag and special pendant, will be available for $175
  • What are the gate hours?
    The Critical gate is open from 10:00am to 10:00pm beginning on Monday, July 3rd – Friday July 7th. Gate hours on Saturday July 8th run at a reduced 10:00am – 1:00pm. If you arrive outside of gate hours you will NOT be granted entry until the gate re-opens!
    After 1:00pm on Saturday July 8th, the entry gate is CLOSED for the remainder of the event.
  • May I come early?
    DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY! Your ticket is only good for admission to Critical Northwest from Monday, July 3rd 2017 at 10:00 a.m. until Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 12:00 p.m (with the exception of artists and theme camps). If you arrive before the gate opens at 10:00 a.m. on Monday you will have to wait outside the event until the gate opens.
    Special entry may be granted to certain camps/artist in need of extra time to set-up. Those requests will be considered on a case by case basis and approved closer to the event.
  • Is there a guest list?
    No, this is a private event, and all attendees are required to pay admission. This is a non-profit event, and ticket sales fund the art which is brought here. There is no will call at the gate, all attendees MUST have a physical ticket in hand to enter!
  • What are the rules?
    The rules for Critical are to respect the experience and autonomy of those around you. We have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs, and you must be over 21 to consume alcohol. We do not provide or sell alcohol on site. Click here for the complete list of rules.
  • Is vending allowed?
    This is a no vending event (with the exception of ice). To quote our statement of principles: “In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorship’s, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.”
  • Can I buy food / supplies / etc. on site?
    The only thing available for sale will be ice. Coffee / Tea and Hot Cocoa are available to you for free. Other than that, you’ll need to bring all of your own supplies.
  • Are there trash cans?
    There are NO TRASH CANS. Why? We believe in a “leave no trace” philosophy. The event is pack-in, pack-out. If it came with you, it needs to leave with you.
  • Is nudity allowed?
    Yes, with some stipulations. You must be covered while walking on or within sight of the roads. Nudity within camps, the red light district, and at the clothing free beach is allowed!
  • Are there washrooms onsite?
    Yes, there will be porta-potties once again this year. If you require a shower you will need to bring your own camp shower, water for which is available free of charge on site.
  • What about showers?
    There are no public showers at our new venue, please bring your own.
  • Are pets allowed?
    DO NOT BRING YOUR PET! Our insurance doesn’t cover acts-of-animal so for legal reasons we cannot have them on site. If you arrive at the gate with a pet you will be asked to take it home.
  • Can I leave and come back?
    Please arrive prepared to survive for one week on the provisions you brought with you. That said, if you need an IN/OUT pass you can obtain one April 14th – June 28th for $25.
  • Are there camera restrictions?
    Commercial photography is not allowed. Anyone with a camera must agree to and sign a camera waiver at the gate. Yes, that includes drones!
    Always ask permission before you capture photographs or video of any participants!
  • Can I bring my sound system?
    YES! Sound is permitted on site from 9am-12am for most theme camps and general campers, with 1-2 theme camps who go later.
    *We are currently exploring the possibility of a ‘move to battery operated-low decibel’ stipulation for general/theme camps.*
    General campers are asked to respect their neighbors, and to not exceed 90 decibels (C rating) read at 20 feet from the source. REGISTERED theme camps may not exceed a 105 decibel (c rating) measured at 20 feet from the source.
    If you fail to abide by these guidelines, we WILL revoke your sound privileges and power.
  • Will there be places to camp that aren’t near loud sound systems?
    Yes! We’re going to do our best to place camps appropriately to create different zones of activity. While the nature of our event is rather lively to begin with, there will definitely be areas for participants who prefer quieter camping conditions.
  • Can I get in free / cheap if I volunteer or perform?
    We love participants who want to give back to this amazing event, typically volunteers and performers buy their own tickets to Critical.
    That said, artist’s that apply for installation grants and placement are awarded comp tickets.
    We also have the Hours Earned program, read more about that on our volunteer page!
  • I bought a ticket but I’ve decided not to attend. Can I get a refund?
    All sales are final; we do not refund tickets. If you find yourself no longer able to attend Critical, we encourage you to resell your ticket(s) to another participant. We’ve seen good success reselling tickets on the event page on facebook in the past.
  • Can I buy a ticket at the gate?
    Nope. There are no gate sales for Critical Northwest. Participants need to purchase tickets before arriving at the gate, but as long as they don’t sell out they are available up until Friday during the event.
  • Help! My ticket is lost or stolen.
    Ignition Northwest / Critical Northwest are not responsible for lost or stolen tickets. No refunds will be issued as a result of lost or stolen tickets.
  • Times are tough for me financially, can I get a discount or free ticket?
    We set aside a few tickets to aid folks in financial need, whom we know will give their all to the event. If you are truly in need of a subsidized ticket please visit the ticket page on February 24th. Deadline for applications is May 7, 2017.
  • Where does the money go? Why does parking and vehicle camping cost money now?
    Percentages vary on the year, but roughly 40-60% of your ticket cost goes directly to production costs for that year (venue rental, insurance, infrastructure, rentals, field guides, etc) and the remainder of your ticket purchase goes back to INW to fund art grants and other projects on the horizon.
    Car Camping, Parking Pass, and In/Out funds go, 100%, to the following years artists to help offset transportation costs. They have a small charge ($10 for parking, $25 for car camping) to give them a monetary value, which makes it far less likely someone will just discard it if they don’t need it. Instead, the value gives incentive to resale, which allows another participant who needs it access.