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It's Got to be that Time Again
by Mathew Gilbuena

Published on March 29, 2021

Popping in “The Magic Whip” by Blur, I watched that unblinking smiling face go round and round the center spindle. It’s a familiar feeling, when building dreams, to experience the forces of reality tumble us through the rivers of the Universe, rounding out rough edges and shaping us for the journey ahead.

I’ve been playing records lately. They force me to get up from the computer, and they have really cool artwork into which one can get lost. Today, I’ve already gone through some Goldfrapp and Tame Impala. And, in fact, it’s time to flip the record again…

Much of the Everywhen team met on those off-season playa adventures. 100% of the Everywhen leadership met at something other than that large playa event. We are very proud of this fact. Some of those who message us do not know this fact, so I’m repeating it here.

The Everywhen Team has been taking the emotional rollercoaster saga with stride, greatly appreciating the words of encouragement and love, while feeling despair and sorrow from those who send rancid hate. Perhaps some perspective is being lost: we’re a team of playa campers, and not from that big event in the desert. Many of us do attend that event, but there is no intention to duplicate what’s found there.

When we’re out on that playa, there is usually only us, or perhaps a few thousand, depending on the month or season. In that endless dark expanse, save for the starry heavens above, a shining, in the darkness, beacons others to come visit. When your camp has seating, bathrooms, the warmth of a fire and art for others to enjoy, a loose community inevitably follows and forms during the stay. Experiencing that over and over throughout the years, we grew to a point where we needed a permit to go bigger. And to fund art? We needed to go much bigger to give artists the grants they need. It’s not cheap, building cool things.

A question we often get is how are we different from that other thing on the playa? That’s a good question, and one that hasn’t been defined. We’re a group of playa campers who are securing a permit to allow more campers within an organized camping city. What that will become over the long run is largely dependent on you, the visitors and creators of the Everywhen. Our foundation has been curating a kind community, sharing with others, supporting the less fortunate, and creating art. Whatever else the Everywhen becomes is not yet known. Folks are joining on this adventure to help shape and form what that will be. We’re only securing the permit, making sure you have a place to use the bathroom, funding the arts, and forming a camping layout so that everyone has a great view.

Aside from this year’s traditional playa camping trip, the Everywhen inaugural event will be occurring off-playa for 2021. There are some extremely promising land sites in negotiation, and I hope that I can share these new desert vistas with you soon. In order to give artists and campers enough time, we have not committed to staying with the July date. The final negotiations with the land owners will determine what those dates will be. We’re aiming for an 8 day camping expedition.

Black Rock Desert is not out of the picture. We’re in continued conversation with the permitting authorities, this time with much more time for those discussions to finalize details for 2022. Hopefully, we’ll get an approval this time. *sigh*

On lessons learned: our ticketing vendor specializes in grants, but they do not have a payment processor that can conduct refunds. This was very perplexing to our team, and it is a significant hiccup in issuing refunds. It turns out that we’ve had to send the funds into our bank, and now that they’ve finally arrived, our refunds are going out through PayPal and Venmo. Our technology will be getting better for the next round, and certainly for the next wave of ticket sales, we’ll be choosing a vendor that issues refunds, or building something homegrown. Are you an expert at doing that? Please help us!

Expect an announcement from us in the coming weeks, detailing the location for the Electric Universe event in 2021. We’re very excited about these options, and while they’re not the playa, they check all the right boxes. Whew.

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