Fractalfest Survival Guide
Greetings Fractilians, old and new. If you’ve survived the Fractal Forest in the years past, we hope this will be a reminder. If you’re new—we welcome you warmly! In this guide, you’ll learn about getting to the grounds, what to expect onsite, and your exodus back to the real world. Read it once, read it twice, and be ready for another astronomic weekend in a parallel universe. We’ll quiz you.
Kidding. But seriously, read this carefully!
--> DOWNLOAD THIS GUIDE <--
Fractilian Code of Conduct
Leave No Trace
Survival in the Fractal Forest
Know your Rights
Travel and Transportation
“Fractaltribe is a community of artists, musicians & organizers dedicated to creating meaningful experiences & immersive atmospheres; celebrations which foster creative expression in a healthy and supportive environment through the vessel of music and culture.”
-Fractaltribe Mission Statement
Fractalfest is organized and built by Fractaltribe. We strive to create an atmosphere that brings people together, and gives them the opportunity to explore new experiences. Fractalfest is our shared platform where we are all free to be our hidden magical selves. We hope to foster a Community which looks after one another at our events, and we encourage you to express yourself in any way that strikes your fancy! Be weird, be wonderful, be equal, be inclusive, or be different. Above all please be respectful.
Fractilian Code of Conduct
It all starts and ends with respect:
Consent is mandatory. Make your intentions crystal clear when you meet someone new. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. A lack of respect for others’ space and boundaries can pave the road to your exit from the property. We are here to communicate with love and respect, and to make sure we don’t cross each other’s personal boundaries.
Know your limits, over-intoxication is immature. There is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for all illegal substances. We encourage you to be energized by exploring the offerings of the festival itself, and we provide invigorating workshops to support your mental stimulation and many relaxing spaces to help you stay calm.
Fractalfest is family friendly (say that 10 times fast). Please be mindful of the children! If you’re bringing your kid(s) to the festival, there is a family camping area marked out on the map, and organized this year by Patrick Myers (you can find him on Facebook) or ask a staff member to ask for help.
Every year we have a hard working Green Team and volunteers monitoring the cleanliness and resource use/availability throughout and after the festival. These marvellous Nature Warriors aren’t here to pick up after your trash so please read the following carefully:
Fractalfest is a LEAVE NO TRACE event. That means, we make every effort to leave the land as we found it. Obviously we don’t expect us all to be ninjas, but we will expect every Fractilian to do their part in leaving this forest pristine and trash-free. Here are some SUPER important points to remember:
- WE WILL NOT COLLECT YOUR TRASH. Yes, you literally have to carry it home in your car. You are NOT allowed to throw your trash in the dumpsters by the gate on the way out.
- NO CIGARETTE BUTTS ON THE GROUND, they don’t complement the natural beauty. And they are so SO so terrible for the environment. Carry a portable ashtray with you!
NO PERSONAL CAMPFIRES. Fires in the campsite can easily catch and spread, so for your safety we have official Fractal Bonfires only! You may use propane stoves for cooking, but make sure you keep some water nearby.
The stream and pond are OFF LIMITS. That water is for the farm animals. Would you want your drinking water to be human-skin flavored? Walking into, bathing or brushing your teeth into, or washing your dishes in the water will pollute this beautiful stream. Please don’t!
These heroic Fractilians, wearing neon-yellow armbands, monitor sexual misconduct, over intoxication, illegal activity, and aggressive behavior.
If you are made to feel uncomfortable by another person and need to tell someone, or are unable to conduct yourself with grace, Vibes Patrol are there to help. Find a Vibes Patrol team member (wearing a neon yellow band), or visit the medical tent, or the Inner Space Pirates Tea Lounge, or visit the info booth to ask for a Vibes Patrol member. Be aware that there are safe spaces and we are here for you, don’t be afraid to seek us out! Any Fractaltribe crew member can guide you to a safe space, or to a Vibes Patrol team member.
What Vibes Patrol Looks Out For
These are some stupid things you shouldn’t do, to help us maintain a peaceful and safe Fractalfest (think of the children!!). Most of these things may lead you to being escorted off the grounds. Your ticket will not be refunded!
Distributing/trafficking illegal substances
Actively searching for illicit substances
Violations of consent, unwanted sexual advances
Engaging in discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religion, gender, age, or sexual orientation , or any other forms of harassment
Violence or aggressive behavior
Swimming, bathing, or any other activity in the pond or in the river
Survival in the Fractal Forest
(For a more detailed Festival Packing list, please visit Adrian Feliciano’s Blog)
Some Suggested Items to Bring:
Shelter - A tent, an improvised set up in your vehicle, a hammock (we recommend having raincover), or whatever you’re comfortable sleeping on in the woods.
Clothing - Weather conditions can change suddenly. Warm weather, wet weather, and cool weather clothing are crucial.
Comfortable shoes - We work hard to provide a barefoot friendly dancefloor and festival environment; but we advise you to use caution while barefoot.
Food and Water - We have seen some amazing setups with complete kitchens, and enjoyed some darned good meals prepared by friends.
Hygiene products - Tampons, pads, baby-wipes, moist towelettes, etc.
First Aid Kit - Benadryl / epipen / medical ID tags / In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact List, condoms - You never know
Effective insect repellent - Check for ticks, frequently!
Light - Headlamps, LED lanterns, Chem-Lights/Glow Sticks.
Trash bags - Leave No Trace. If it came with you, it leaves with you. If it did not come from the land, it does not remain on the land.
Ear Plugs - Often forgotten, but incredibly valuable to people who need to protect their ears or sleep when there’s festival noise about.
Venue Map - Besides knowing where to park and camp, and where to find art galleries, unique festival features and the stages, it's crucial to know where medical services, porta-potties, security desk, and water stations are.
Performer Time Slots - Who is playing or performing, where, and when.
Know Your Rights
Read this article by The Festival Lawyer, it’s an easy-to-read explanation of how to deal with law enforcement when you’re on your way to or leaving the festival.
Disclaimer: This Survival Guide provides information about laws applicable to activities in the State of New York & Rensselaer County and at Fractalfest. But, legal information is not legal advice, and although we strive to ensure accuracy and usefulness of the information here, you should consult with a lawyer if you want legal advice about a particular situation.
What to expect inside the event:
While police are unable to actively patrol the music festival because it is held on private property, undercover officers are to be expected as with any modern day outdoor music event. If anyone approaches you asking to purchase any illicit substances, simply tell them “no, that is against the Fractaltribe policies,” and warn them that they could be expelled from the event for their conduct.
Public Agencies patrolling the area outside the event:
The roads leading into and out of the event are patrolled mostly by the New York State Troopers.
IF YOU HAVE A POLICE ENCOUNTER, YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF.
**The following information was obtained off of the NYCLU Website: https://www.nyclu.org/en/know-your-rights/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police-2011
What you say to the police is always important. Everything you say can be used against you.
You have the right not to speak. To exercise this right, you should tell the police, “I would like to remain silent.”
You never have to consent to a search of yourself, your belongings, your car or your house. If you do consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it. If they don’t, say “I do not consent to this search.” Police cannot arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search. This may not stop the search from happening, but it will protect your rights if you have to go to court.
Do not interfere with or obstruct the police—you can be arrested for it.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR:
Upon request, show the police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant. To protect yourself later, you should always state that you do not consent to a search.
If you’re suspected of drunk driving (DWI), you will be asked to take a breath-alcohol and coordination test. If you fail the tests, or if you refuse to take them, you will be arrested, your driver’s license may be suspended and your car may be taken away.
If you are arrested, your car will be subject to a search.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED, QUESTIONED AND/OR FRISKED:
Police may stop and briefly detain you only if there is reasonable suspicion that you committed, are committing or are about to commit a crime.
You should ask if you are being detained, under arrest, or free to leave.
In New York, you are not required to carry ID, and you don’t have to show ID to a police officer. If you are issued a summons or arrested, however, and you refuse to produce ID or tell officers who you are, the police may detain you until you can be positively identified.
Don’t bad-mouth a police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.
Please note: NY is a one-party consent state, you may have a passenger record the encounter on film for your safety as long as the person recording doesn’t inadvertently interfere with the police officer in the performance of his or her duties. This information was obtained from these two NY Legal blogs which goes into more detail on how to handle these situations:
Your safety while traveling to Fractalfest is important to us, as such we have put together some tips and best practices to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to and from the festival.
Follow all local, state, and federal laws. This is the easiest way to avoid getting pulled over, Be aware, and if you are unfamiliar with these laws look them up!
We suggest open communication with all passengers that whatever items are present in the car on the way to fractalfest are within the law of the State of New York. If one passenger is carrying something illegal, every passenger can be arrested.
We have included some relevant links in this document. Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont residents should note that NY has more restrictive marijuana laws than their home states, DO NOT ASSUME that legalization or decriminalization laws in your home state are the same in NY. They are likely not.
The possession or use of over 25g of marijuana is a punishable infraction in the state of New York, where Fractalfest takes place. Possession of Hash and Concentrates under ¼ oz may result in up to 1 year in prison. Having a medical marijuana card is NOT a defense.
Know your destination. Police will often target cars en route to the festival which pass by the festival entrance, and then pull Illegal u-turns to return to the festival grounds. If you miss the entrance, continue forward and turn around in a legal location such as a parking lot.
Ensure that your car is in legal and working order. Double check before you leave to make sure your headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and license plate light are in working order. Make sure your car has been recently inspected as required by law. State police will often target cars in violation of these laws. Be mindful of the fact that you’re traveling to a festival, and the consequences of being pulled over and violating such laws.
New York state law requires all passenger vehicles to have two working headlights, two working tail lights, two working brake lights, and a license plate light, as well as side and rear view mirrors. Motor vehicles must display an unobstructed rear license plate (note that bicycles blocking view of your plate could be deemed an obstruction and you could get pulled over as a result).
All vehicles must have a current registration sticker and be insured. All drivers must have their driver’s license, registration and insurance card on them when operating any vehicle.
Once you get off the Mass Pike look for the “Loves Truck Stop,” where we suggest you check your vehicle lights etc. before proceeding forward for the last 16 minutes to Gardner’s farm. The truck stop should carry all the necessary lights to switch out. Lights are fairly easy to switch, there are plenty of youtube tutorials to help.
Always follow local speed limits This can be a tough one, as many of you may not be familiar with the area around and leading up to the Fractal Forest. Exceeding posted speed limits on Route 22 may result in a traffic stop and could escalate to a vehicle search (depending on the circumstances), and a moving violation.
We suggest using Waze GPS at all times. This GPS has a useful speedometer in the bottom left which both tells you the speed of your car, and informs you if you are going over the speed limit. Buy a phone mount so you can use it without violating cell phone/texting laws, while still keeping your eyes on the road. Some speed limit signs are hard to see, so again, use Waze. You will likely be pulled over, ticketed, and may be subjected to search if you speed. It’s not safe, and paying speeding tickets isn’t fun. Don’t do it.
DO NOT drive under the influence. It’s unsafe, disrespectful to other drivers on the roads and to the town of Stephentown at large. Let’s respect our neighbors who invite us to have Fractalfest in their town. Don’t ruin an otherwise amazing weekend with a DUI/DWI, we promise it’s never worth it.
Follow road signs and other traffic laws. Sounds simple, Right? It is, yet after a long drive, even the best of us can get a bit tired and sloppy with our driving. Stop fully at stop signs, don’t run red lights, and follow local speed limits. Police will be on the lookout for people disobeying traffic laws and you might be subject to tickets and fines for breaking such laws. If you’re doing a long drive, switch drivers, so there can always be someone giving the road their best attention.
Carpool! Sharing rides with friends is a great way to cut transportation costs to the festival, as well as to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions required to get you to Fractalfest! We have an active rideshare group on Facebook, so check the link below to link up with people and plan your trip!