Everyone coming to the festival this year must have a ticket. However, this is a non-profit venture. Tickets are carefully priced to cover the expenses of the event with a small buffer to handle unexpected expenses.
This is the 10th year of GGBY and the first year the festival is being officially organized due to the severe environmental impact of a growing gathering in a sensitive desert ecosystem.
Minimizing human impact on the environment while maintaining the highlining activities and spirit of GGBY is our guiding principle this year. Slackline U.S. and local GGBY facilitators are working with local land managers and officials to keep GGBY going while being great stewards to the Fruit Bowl Highline Area.
GGBY 2017 is being organized by a team of volunteers. If there is an excess after the event, that money will stay with Slackline U.S. in a special fund dedicated to taking care of GGBY and the Fruit Bowl. No one is making a profit on this event.
There is currently an unofficial parking lot that holds 15 cars. Last year at GGBY, we counted 220 cars parked on the sensitive desert soil. That’s not to say that anyone did anything wrong. We didn’t have a better option. This year, we do. We’re organizing shuttles to parking about 1 mile from the Fruit Bowl parking lot. And possibly shuttles from town.
There are no permanent toilets at the Fruit Bowl Highline area currently. Last year, we supplied 5 bucket toilets and hauled out 35 gallons of human waste. With around 400 people on site at the peak, we know that was only a portion of the total waste. It was a start. This year, we’ll have more and better toilet systems.
Local juniper wood grows slowly and is very slow to replenish. Buying and hauling in firewood can get expensive and takes up valuable room in a vehicle. To avoid either situation, we’re providing firewood for the community to use at will. It will be available in the Fruit Bowl parking lot.
Any gathering of people that involves significant parking on public land requires a permit. For years, GGBY has avoided being permitted in part because permits require insurance and insuring highline events hasn’t been realistic. However, as the publicity surrounding GGBY grows, and as the event grows, the environmental impact is increasing to a point where the land managers involved have to require permits this year. Permits give them a budget to help us manage our impact.
The permits require insurance. Additionally, for any organization to host such a large event without insurance would put the organization at risk. For these reasons, GGBY has liability insurance this year to protect Slackline U.S., the other organizers, and the land managers in case of any issues.
We’re organizing a team of experienced riggers with a solid collection of equipment to rig all of the lines well and inspect the rigging daily. We’ll also have rescue kits on site and slackliner medics on call all day during the festival in case of any incidents or injuries. After GGBY, all rigging equipment and hardware acquired for the gathering will be made available to other organized festivals during the rest of the year through Slackline U.S.
See you at GGBY!