Critical Northwest 2014 | July 14-20
Presented by Ignition Northwest

Frequently Asked Questions

Posted By on May 13, 2014 in Info |

Please read this. Like, all of it.

  • Do I have to bring my own food?
  • Yes. 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.

  • 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.

  • What about power? Can I charge my iPod and run my twinkle lights?
  • We are fortunate enough to have a great power distribution system at the event site. Power will be within 100′ of each theme camp and the major tent camping areas. Plan on bringing whatever extension cords you may need to get from the power panel to your camping area. Please note if you plan on bringing a sound system it must be registered with our sound crew.

  • Do I have to bring camping equipment?
  • Yes. The only thing provided is a plot of land to camp on.

  • 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?
  • As many as 1,150 tickets can be sold. As always we encourage you to carpool with other participants.

  • What hours are the gate open?
  • The Critical gate is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. beginning on Monday, July 15, 2013. The gate will have reduced hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, 2013 after which entry to the event is closed. If you arrive outside of gate you will not be granted entry until the gate re-opens.

  • May I come early?
  • DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY! Your ticket is only good for admission to Critical Northwest from Monday, July 15, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. until Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. 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 provisions may be granted to those theme camps who are awarded use of one of the on-site buildings at the discretion of the production staff.

  • 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.

  • What are the rules?
  • The rules for Critical are to respect the experience 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 sponsorships, 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! This year we are back at LARC! Which means nudity is permissible on the the grounds.

  • What about showers?
  • Be it store bought, your own creativity or one of the many camp shower designs available on the internet, it is possible and usually inexpensive to setup a shower zone that offers privacy.
    When showering please use camp-friendly soap. You’ll want to either setup your shower station off the beaten path (away from where people will be trying to place tents and other structures) or collect your shower water and spread it in the tall grass and / or wooded areas.

    When showering please use camp-friendly soap. You’ll want to either setup your shower station off the beaten path (away from where people will be trying to place tents and other structures) or collect your shower water and spread it in the tall grass and / or wooded areas.

    There will be open public showers at LARC like in previous years.

  • 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.

  • 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. In / Out privileges are not allowed unless expressly approved by the production staff and will only be granted in the case of emergencies. If you choose to leave before the event has ended you will not be granted re-entry.

  • Are there camera restrictions?
  • Commercial photography is not allowed. Anyone with a camera must agree to and sign a camera waiver at the gate. Always ask permission before you capture photographs or video of any participants.

  • Can I bring my sound system?
  • YES! This year we are back at LARC which has some sound restrictions. No amplified music after 10pm. This year the production crew is working hard to build a 24 hour dance and amplified music tent. We are currently working out the logistics of the system by which participants and sound camps can “book” time to have their late night parties there without the disturbing of the neighbors and disruption of law enforcement. We do ask that you let us know what you are planning with regards to sound. If you are a theme camp that would like to bring a sound system you can indicate that as part of your camp registration. If you would like to bring a sound system for some other purpose, please contact the Event Production Team. All attendees are expected to respect the event site, their neighbors, and our own guests.

  • 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. Your services are your gift to the event and for that we thank you. With that said, this year we have opened up a number of performer/artist reduced priced tickets as a show of appreciation for your continued dedication. They are on a first come first serve basis and will go quickly.

  • I bought a ticket but I’ve decided not to go 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 BCWA list in the past.

  • Can I buy a ticket at the gate?
  • No. There will be no gate sales for Critical Northwest. Participants need to purchase tickets before arriving at the gate. There will be no management in place to handle gate sales so purchase them ahead of time.

  • 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 send email to Along with your request please let us know why you can’t afford a regularly priced ticket, what amount (if any) you can afford to pay, and how you plan to participate in the event.

  • Where does the money go?
  • About 50% of your ticket goes to production costs (rental, insurance, etc). Approximately 30-40% goes to art grants. The remaining income is banked by Ignition Northwest to help fund the development of other programs.