The campsite accommodates up to 250 people. This is a primitive camp without electricity or potable water located at an elevation of ~7,400 ft. There are no RV hookups.
The following paragraphs describe the physical facility.
Accessibility and Lighting
The camp has level as well as hilly terrain. Some paved and some unpaved paths lead to the main areas where most activities occur. There are some steps in the camp, though paved slopes can also be used to access the same areas. Handicapped accessible portable bathrooms are provided. Those with limited mobility may find getting around a challenge.
Roads and paths are not lighted; having a headlamp or flashlight at night is highly recommended.
The campground has non-flushing vault-type toilets. Additional portable toilets will be on site. Handwashing stations and sanitary wipes will be provided, but we recommend that you also bring personal hand sanitizer. A flashlight will be helpful in the dark, as the facilities have no electric lights.
Bears and Critters
Bears and other critters may be interested in loose food and coolers. At night, coolers and food in your car for everyone’s safety. Do not leave garbage bags out; rather, put refuse in an area designated by the Forest Service.
The campsites are primitive, without electricity or potable water. Camping is welcome on open meadows as well as in treed areas; however, camping on the ritual ground is not permitted. Quite a few campsites are located either up or downhill. Although parking may be nearby to some camping spots, expect to have to transport your gear to your camp. A portable wheeled cart is a plus. There is ample space for camping.
The festival is “clothing optional.” However, since the campsite is visible to a public road (dirt) on one side (you’ll get a map in your confirmation packet) and we are on public land, clothing is required in areas visible from the road.
Fires and Smoking
Fires are NOT PERMITTED in any individual camps. There are two community fire circles approved by the Forest Service. These will be attended by a fire-keeper at all times when lit. We will abide by all bans imposed by the Forest Service at the time of the event, including not using these pits if a ban is in place. No glass is permitted at a fire pit.
We encourage you to bring propane stoves for cooking. Propane fire rings are also permitted; if you’re enjoying the heated coziness of one of these rings at your camp, absolutely do not leave it unattended. We recommend you turn off the propane tank and disconnect it when not in use.
Smoking is only permitted on paved surfaces. Fire danger remains high in New Mexico. Be extremely careful with lit smokables; completely extinguish butts and do not throw them on the ground. Collect butts in a non-flammable container filled with sand or dirt.
All ticket-holders must check in at the gate on arrival. You must present a picture ID and will receive a wristband to identify you as an attendee.
The gate will be locked during the Main Ritual and each night at 10 PM. If you are staying offsite and driving in, please remember to place your car outside the gate if you intend to leave after 10 PM.
You may come and go as you wish, but each time you return to the site, please check in at the gate.
Please remember that we consider the entire camp to be sacred space for the duration of the festival. Drumming, fire circles, rituals, and workshops are all spiritual acts. Participants are not only those at the specific activity, but everyone on site. We all will be experiencing the energy of the festival. We expect that you will respect the rights of all of those with whom you are sharing sacred space. Activities that are considered inappropriate in sacred space include unwelcome sexual advances towards others, endangerment of minors, or intoxication that results in inappropriate or uncontrolled behavior. If you violate community standards to the extent that you are asked to leave the event, your registration fee will not be refunded.
All attendees sign a waiver when registering that affirms their understanding of and agreement to our conduct policies. See also Waivers.
Generators are permitted but cannot be run after 9 PM or before 9 AM.
Happy Cauldron & Orientation
The Happy Cauldron is a drop-in spot for the whole camp (sponsored by Ardantane). Don’t know anyone? You will after you stop in at the Happy Cauldron! This camp also hosts an informative workshop for those new to Paganism early in the festival schedule. You are welcome anytime. And if you are a regular at MMSW, introduce yourself to someone you don’t know and get to know them. Build connections and community through the weekend.
Leave No Trace!
Make every effort to leave your campsite and area cleaner than you found it. Collect and carry out your recyclables. Pick up trash you see, even if it’s not yours. Be a good steward. Love your Mother Earth!
Silver Moon Care will be onsite to assist if you have basic medical or first-aid needs. If you take advantage of their services, please consider making a contribution to help support them. Please also make sure to bring your normal supply of necessary medications and supplies.
Being exposed to direct sun at altitude, even for short periods, can result in sunburn. Even for those who “don’t burn,” we suggest you use sunscreen. If you notice someone who is disoriented, flushed or red in the face, or very pale and clammy, get them to sit down in the shade and get help from Silver Moon Care or the gate immediately. Heat/sun stroke and/or dehydration can strike suddenly and are potentially life threatening.
The camp has a “quiet” area, but all camps will be able to hear drumming to some extent. Drumming, gathering at campsites, and general frivolity are acceptable, but be mindful of your neighbors if they request you keep it down a bit late at night. During rituals and if you are near workshop areas, we ask that you keep conversations and noise low if you are not attending in respect for others.
Park in designated areas only. Make sure you display your name and phone number on the inside of your vehicle clearly visible on the dash. Please park with your vehicle backed into your space (where possible) to allow rapid evacuation if necessary. RVs spots are in specific areas approved by the Forest Service; if you arrive in an RV, wait at the gate for one of our staff to escort you to an available space.
Pets and Service Animals
Our group event insurance does not cover pets onsite. The only animals allowed are qualified service animals who meet the criteria of New Mexico Law as described here, Service Animal Overview, Governor’s Commission on Disability.
Service animals must be leashed at all times and under control by their owners. Disregard for these requirements will result in removal of the animal from the festival. You must sign a waiver agreeing to our policy prior to the festival as part of registration or at check in.
When you register, you will be asked to indicate if you will be arriving in an RV (if you don’t indicate RV, we assume you will either be camping or staying off site). If you plan to bring an RV, we recommend that you register early as RV spaces are limited ($15 per space) and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
We require that you notify our registrar by email that you have reserved an RV space; please indicate in the email the length of the RV and your expected day and time of arrival so we can hold it. This year, we expect to have about 13 RV spots available. RV campers are welcome to arrive earlier than tent campers so you can maneuver more easily. If you arrive without having confirmed that your RV spot is reserved, we may not be able to accommodate you. There are no RV hookups.
Recycling service is not provided by the Forest Service. We ask that you carry out your recyclables.
Workshops take place in covered pavilions with cement picnic tables for seating or in portable pop-ups without chairs. The bardic and fire circles are out in the open. Folding chairs that you can carry around camp are highly recommended.
Safety & Security
The festival provides its own security and safety oversight; in addition, the Forest Service is available in an emergency. If you feel unsafe or notice someone engaging in unsafe or inappropriate behavior that violates the sacredness of this event, report it to the gate or security. Security volunteers roam the camp regularly, checking in on guests. Although we don’t expect any negative security or safety issues, it’s very important that we all keep a watch out for each other. Volunteers are available to escort anyone to their camp if they feel unsafe. Security will take immediate action if notified of any problems. In the event of a dispute or disturbance that cannot be quickly resolved, we will notify the Forest Service for assistance.
All attendees must sign a liability waiver as part of registration check-in. If you are bringing minors or a qualified service animal, you must also sign waivers for those.
This bears repeating: The campsite has no potable water.
Bring plenty of drinking water (we recommend two gallons per person per day), plus water for washing and cooking. Stay hydrated! There are no food trucks on site, so bring camp-friendly food and snacks. Propane may be used on camp stoves. There are no RV hookups.
Temperatures may range from low 30s to high 80s in mid-September at this elevation (~7400 ft.). Be prepared for shifts in temperature, wind, and the occasional rainstorm.