FAQS

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When did tickets go on sale?

Ticket sales opened on Monday April 15th at 6 PM Pacific.

Do I need to be an INW member to buy a ticket to Critical this year?

Yes, you do need to be an INW member in good standing to purchase a ticket and attend Critical.  Join here!

Does my guest need to be an INW member to attend if I buy their ticket?

All adult (18+) ticket holders must be INW members, regardless of who purchased their tickets.  You will be required to provide the INW associated email address for all adults when you purchase your tickets.  Your order will be cancelled and refunded if this information is not accurate.

Make sure your friends join here!  They will NOT be allowed into the event otherwise!

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
Please be aware that cell phone service (and thus your cell phone’s GPS) often does not work within a couple of miles of the campground.

Can I get a ticket at the gate?

No- all tickets are sold in advance.  We have zero sales at gate of any tickets or passes. The event will typically be sold out well before gate opens.  Plan in advance!

What are the gate hours?

The Critical gate is open from 10:00am to 10:00pm beginning on Monday – Friday. Gate hours on Saturday 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!

Note that if you arrive after 8 PM you will either need to carry your gear from the parking lot, or set up in the morning, as there is no driving beyond gate road that late.
After 1:00pm on Saturday, the entry gate is CLOSED for the remainder of the event.  This includes in/out pass holders.

May I come early?

DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY! Your ticket is only good for admission to Critical Northwest from Monday at 10:00 a.m. until Sunday at 12:00 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.
Early entry for theme camps and artists is all pre-arranged and should have been included with your submission to The One Form.

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 in advance for $25.

What if I'm no longer able to go?

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.  Tickets usually sell out, so odds are someone out there will be glad to take it off your hands.
You can transfer your ticket to another INW member via ArtsPeople, our ticket vendor.  Since we have no internet on site this must be done before the event begins.

What about kids?

Children are more than welcome and will be present at the event. We do ask parents to 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 to share care for nights off. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Children 12 and under are free.  13 and over will require standard admission tickets.  INW membership is only required of adults (18+)

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 apply for a scholarship ticket.

How do I find a ticket after they sell out?

We don’t manage the secondhand market.  If a community member is able to sell you a spare ticket, it would be between you and the original ticket holder to work out the details and transfer the ticket via ArtsPeople to another INW member.

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.

Can I camp in an RV, trailer, or my car?

It’s important to remember that Critical is held in heavily wooded Washington state, 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 vehicle camping pass.
The limitations are due to the geographical constraints of the space.  Much of the campground is inaccessible by car, much less large RV.  Walk-in camping areas are on narrow paths, not roads.  The sites accessible by a motor vehicle of any kind, much less campable, are limited.  Please be accurate in reporting your RV size – the sites vary in dimensions and should you arrive with a larger than expected camper, you may not fit into the area assigned to you by our spacement team.
*Note that Vehicles/RVs part of and inside of the boundaries of a theme camp DO NOT NEED a vehicle camping pass.  However, your camping vehicle DOES need to be registered as part of your theme camp so it’s on the list at gate. Should a theme camp member arrive and find campmates have not allocated space for them, the camp will need to rearrange.  Spacement will not grant additional real estate to camps mid-event, nor will we have unallocated RV parking available.

    • Bought a pass secondhand? Contact space@criticalnw.org and make sure they know your dimensions.  Sites are assigned based on reported RV size.  If the original purchaser had a teardrop trailer, you might get on site and find your 30′ motor home won’t fit in the assigned campsite.  Make sure this doesn’t happen- contact them IN ADVANCE.  Remember, we don’t have extra sites to give you if your dimensions don’t match what was provided.

How does parking work?

We require all cars not being used for camping (which requires a pass) to be parked in designated lots. Every year we see a decline in carpooling!
Due to fire codes 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.  You will not be able to leave your car on site without one!

Is there cell service or internet on site?

The Critical Northwest site has no internet service whatsoever, and is about a mile outside cellular coverage zones.  If you have a need to communicate with the outside world during the week please plan in advance to purchase an in/out pass.  You will be able to get cell service and wifi in the town of Granite Falls.

Is there power on site? Can I bring a generator?

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.
Participants are welcome to bring their own generators.  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.

Can I bring my sound system?

YES! Sound is permitted on site from 8am-12am Monday-Thursday, and 8am-2am Friday and Saturday, with 1 sound camp that rocks it all night long.
General campers and theme camps that did not register as a sound camp are asked to respect their neighbors and not exceed 65 decibels (C rating) read at 20 feet from the source.
REGISTERED SOUND CAMPS may not exceed a 95 decibel (c rating) measured at 20 feet from the source.
Theme Camps and General Campers are allowed one battery operated speaker with no subwoofer during quiet hours, so long as it can not be heard past camp bounds.
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.

What about making a fire in my camp?

Wood burning 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.  All camps using a propane cook stove or fire pit are required to have a fire extinguisher nearby.

Do I need to bring my own water?

No*. 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, attract animals to any food leftovers, and mosquitoes to the standing water.  We do ask that attendees help conserve water on site by bringing their containers in already full.

*This is heavily dependent on how the weather looks in the weeks and months leading up to the event.  Another exceptionally dry summer may mean we have to ask people to bring water with them.  Should this happen, it will be communicated to everyone extensively and at length.

Can I buy food / supplies / etc. on site?

We believe in radical self reliance.  You will need to bring all food and drinks needed for the week with you at your arrival, along with whatever equipment you require to prepare them.  The only thing available for sale will be ice. Coffee / Tea,  Hot Cocoa, and water are available to you for free. Other than that, you’ll need to bring all of your own supplies.

Is vending allowed?

In keeping with the principle of Decommodification, there is no vending or advertising allowed on site other than ice sales at the HUB. 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.”

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 IT IS 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.

Are there washrooms onsite?

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.

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.

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 and county fire codes.

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- this includes support animals.  We are only able to allow service animals on site, and they must be registered with production in advance.

Are there camera restrictions?

Commercial for-profit 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, and respect those wearing “no photo” wristbands!
This year we will have badged volunteer photographers working on behalf of production to take pics of grant recipient theme camps and art to help us in our future communications efforts as well.

Is nudity allowed?

Yes, with some stipulations. You must be covered “below the belt” while walking on or within sight of the roads. Nudity within camps, the red light district, and at the clothing-free beach is allowed!

Is there a guest list? Can I get in free / cheap if I volunteer or perform?

There is no guest list for Critical.  This is a non-profit event, and ticket sales fund the art which is brought here.

However, we love participants who want to give back to this amazing event! We have a performance / scholarship ticket option available here which are half price. You can also join our team as a production department lead (opportunities still available as of the time of writing!).
We also have the Hours Earned program for volunteers, which could get you a free ticket next year.

Where does the money go?

Percentages vary on the year, but roughly 40-60% of your cost goes directly to production costs for that year (venue rental, insurance, infrastructure, rentals, field guides, etc) and the remainder goes back to INW to fund art grants and other projects on the horizon.

Where can I volunteer during the event?

During the event, we have an Expedition Board at the HUB covered in tons of volunteer opportunities for the day.  We will also be accepting sign-ups in advance- check back soon!