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Forums > Social Discussion > What makes a fire meet a good meet

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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:Good Morningeveningafternoon smile

Well... I have been on this board for almost 4 years, traveled around the world to many different meets ranging from 2 people to a few hundred... I have amazing memories of Paris, Clapham, Houston, Koh chang, Bangkok, Guatemala and other places which still dance in my heart, but i also had my share of bad experiences, smoetimes even in the same places wink

What got me thinking is that , after not having touched a poi in months and months and months, llast sunday i went to the sunday meet in Melbourne. The people were really friendly not just to me who knew a few people, but also to some random people passing by. How absolutely lovely it was...

Do nice gatherings tend to lost their soul after a while and if so why ? how? If not or even if so... what can one do to prolongue the friendliness and magic?

Things I found participate to a nice atmosphere in a gathering :
- someone "in charge" coming up to newcomers/passers by to welcome them, explain the possible rules, do a few introductions
- Food shared
- Themed gatherings (Moon Pixie, YOU ROCK) ubblove
- Safety applied, responsibilty shared, issues gently but firmly explained to newbies or stubborn people
- Sharing of skills with unlit toys (day time or even night time, but just sharing of skills)
-music, drums...
-bonfires
-blankets to sit on and share
-nutella wink

Things I found were inducing poorer atmosphere:
- NOONE welcoming new people
- clickey groups who ignore others (and mind you I DO realize that sometimes we are just having a blast with friends we only see rarely and it may be intimidating to others, and that is ok, it is just about remembering what it was like to be new and keeping it in mind and sometimes looking around to see if maybe we can share a smile with a stranger who seems a bit lost or shy...)
- alcohol in general
- substance abuse combined with use of fire
- no respect of others toys, safety, space
- competitive attitudes
- vegemite wink

Thi is really not me being an old fart singing the song of "those were the times", this is truely a quest for the receipy/receipies for a warm gathering... perhaps it will give people ideas, or even make some people realize that their gathering could get some warmth and love input to renew the dynamics.

How intimidating are those gatherings... how amazing and inspiring they can be too... so why not discuss it and then possibly try to apply it

idea? feedback? anyone?

Shine on
Cass

hug


"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth, Australia

Total posts: 5814
Posted:The "someone "in charge" coming up to newcomers/passers by to welcome them, explain the possible rules, do a few introductions" I think is really important. Find out what they might be around for and have loaner equipment to share around.
Fires are a bonding thing as it brings people to a central focus. Cliques are horrid and disheartening.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 5125
Posted:occasional doses of shared icecream with a magnitude of random toppings (and custards thanks flynt)



of course, nutella, im barely halfway thru sundays jar ubbloco but will finish it tomorow at skool.



friendships new and old, advice, care and smiles



cheers, pete biggrin


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I like the official greeter idea, why didn't we think of that?

I think encouraging people to show up an hour before dark is a great idea, not only does it give time to share knowledge and skills while it's still light out, it also allows one to see what people actually look like, rather than being shapes and voices in the dark.

If a bonfire isn't practical, ( like at our meets ) I'm thinking tiki torches might provide a good source of ambient lighting, again to avoid that total darkness thing.

Encourage people to spin glowsticks too, I'm finding a few experienced spinners who are intimidated by fire. I'm a little nervous about loaning out my fire toys though.

Cliques managed to bring down our local scene two years ago, and the wounds still haven't healed. We can't afford to have what amounts to a tiny community being fragmented over issues such as egos and styles. Welcome all


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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:

To be honest, I haven't yet been on a HoP meet and am nervous about a few things. There are the usual things: Will they talk to me? Do I start talking to them? What if I don't 'fit in' etc. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to meet half the people on here, and will as soon as time permits and I enjoy the thrill of meeting new people but some people aren't that way inclined.

As for alcohol, I'd have to disagree (purely because I liven up after a tipple or two) but as I only partake in the soft toys (i.e. not fire) then I don't see it should be an issue. It's when there's a safety issue that alcohol should be really moderated.



Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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gita
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

gita

.:*distracted by shiny things*:.
Location: brizvegas, Australia

Total posts: 3776
Posted:lovely topic! smile & i agrea cassandra - the themes rock!!! biggrin

another idea - if you can't have tiki torches - is a lovely one that elke always has at moonfest! it's a big circle (plenty of room so people can dance inside!) of tealight candles! ya chuck some sand in a paper bag, light a tealight, drop it in & voila! dancing circle that lights up!! ubblol

nuggit...i know how you feel! my first moonfest? i felt like a total git! (just ask puk & moonpixie! ubblol ) & i don't think i even twirled too much!! ubblol just smile & say hello to as many people as you can! it doesn't even matter if they're from hop...but it is a nice surprise to put a face to the names!! biggrin


do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good to eat!

if at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

smile! grin it confuses people!

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:

I agree Gita, and your Moonfest idea sounds cool.



Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:And some dodgy name tags could be a novelty idea wink

Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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gita
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

gita

.:*distracted by shiny things*:.
Location: brizvegas, Australia

Total posts: 3776
Posted:ubblol i like dodgy name tags!! ubblol at one moonfest, someone came up to moonpixie & said "are you THE elke?" ubblol i was seriously thinking i should make a shirt that says "gita"...just cos there are so many people at moonfests now it's a bit hard to remember who's who! (or is that just me & my dodgy memory!?? ubblol )

i had a kewl idea? i don't remember that! i probably pinched it... tongue


do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good to eat!

if at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

smile! grin it confuses people!

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:T-shirts are cool, but I'm thinking they should be individual (not all the same colour) otherwise people might start worrying that we're starting a new army and going to attempt to take over the world ubbloco

Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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fluffy napalm fairy


fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

Total posts: 3638
Posted:Mucho blanket/torch/deco type planning is sometimes a little harder here I find simply cos it might rain at any minute (please don't laugh - it's a valid point!) Though moonfest is dreamy ubblove and everyone appreciates the effort.

I like the idea of a person designated to welcome others. A lot of us take it upon ourselves but cannot always be there/do it. If it was a recognized responsibility it would be lovely.

Personally I also think these help:

-gatherings that start before it gets dark
(these are often less cliquey cos everyone can see everyone and there is no pressure to 'perform' which I often found at some Australian 'fire' meets)
-name badges (silly but sticky labels really break the ice!)
-food and refreshments being pooled, not just offered to your 'friends' (as Cass already said)
-someone to look to in the event of 'trouble' or 'troublemakers' (lots of people all trying to sort something out usually results in more confusion)
-Marmite wink

I agree about alcohol - some people get a lot less respectful when it is present and I am never comfortable with any mixing of alcohol and firespinning.

ubbrollsmile


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Nice thread Miss Cass.

I think another thing that helps is finding a SAFE place. Depending on the legality and sketchyness of the site, it can be a bit scary looking over your shoulder for cops, or bad guys. I've been to locations with both extremes.

The number one factor is the level of social graces that the group has. Actually, Cass and Jeff were at a New York Gathering and Cassandra made a comment about someone's 'energy'. I'd never really thought of how you do feel people's energy until that point. It's interesting how you can feel the energy of a person the SECOND you interact with someone. And those collective energies make the vibe of the group.

If people are warm, welcoming and respectful, it makes for a more positive environment.

I agree with the drugs and alcohol impact as well. I do suspect that some of the lure of firespinning is just an excuse to get together and do drugs. One particular firespinning meet-up I remember, people brought out their poi, did drugs, and went home. Nobody actually lit or spun anything. frown

[Not judging drug use, I promise, just don't invite me to spin fire if you ain't gonna spin fire. biggrin ]


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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fluffy napalm fairy


fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

Total posts: 3638
Posted:that sounds horrid NYC - and doesn't help us trying to keep the name of this art clean shrug

Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:
See, I can't see the problem with alcohol (I'm not saying that I am right) but it's like driving - you wouldn't drink and drive so why drink and spin fire?

To be honest, I probably would drink (probably before) on the day of a meet - purely because I'm generally quite shy and know I can offer much more in the way of entertainment after a few tipples. But there is drinking socially (with moderation) and there's just sitting around doing sod all in the way of spinning/socialising which shouldn't be tarred with the same brush.



Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:Oh, and I don't do drugs smile

Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I think a lot of things depend on where the meet is being held and who is invited to it.

I agree that a person to greet the new people is a good thing. In fact, when we had regular monthly meets here, I was that person mainly because I was the one organizing it and the one that sent out the e-mail reminders about it. Thus, the newbies at least recognized my name. If I saw someone walking around with toys looking lost, I'd go introduce myself. I definitely found that helpful.

However, since those meets were held at a bar and public place, it was impossible for there to be any sort of bonfire. The same holds true when we have fire gatherings on the beach here. Open fires on the beach are illegal and tiki torches often go out very quickly due to the mass amounts of wind. When we spin at someone's property and it is still cool, we do indeed have a nice toasty fire going in a fire barrel usually.

One point I will disagree with you on though is the presence of alcohol. I don't see any harm in having one or two beers before spinning. More than that, yes, I'm not in favor of and personally won't do. Also, I make sure that every new spinner is completely sober the first several days that they light up. I think it is very important to know how to deal with and react to the fire when you are sober and become comfortable while spinning.


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Fine_Rabid_Dog


Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...

Total posts: 10530
Posted:The first clapham meet i went to, i got a great welcome.... it made me feel good, and i enjoyed myself from then on

Alchohol and spinning should be frowned on, but one little drink couldnt hurt... right?


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:good meets
hugs, all the good meets you get hugs at smile
light even when people are spinning fire ive found removes ppl sitting huddled in isolated groups
mailing lists that let people organise to meet each other for non spinning stuff to make a community that lets u know when stuff is going on rather than having to seek it out
community family feel

bad meets
no music
ego galore
loud abnoxious crowds (different from friendly in joke style commentry)
people interupting your spin to talk at you


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:My own pet peeve, which I acknowledge is my own pet peeve and horrible and evil and close minded is...

Bad Drumming.

I'm not a drummer. I shouldn't talk. But I've been spinning fire for drummers (who've even asked me to spin with them) and had them stop. Actually, that one happens often. Or yell at each other about what the beat should be. Or two of them speed up while the other 4 slow down. Or have 2 or 3 different tempos of banging. Or have one of the louder drums start a conversation with a cute girl and forget to drum near the beat.

Don't get me wrong, my favorite spin ever was a party two years ago where a live rehersed samba band rocked the crowd. And, when I worked at college I'd specifically ask for shifts near the UCLA marching band drumline practice. And when I taught in LA, I asked the High School drumline to practice outside my room after school because they were so good (always more fun to grade papers to a beat.)

Maybe that's why I've become a drum snob. wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I agree with many of the points made here and would like to add a couple of thoughts.

Verbalized judgement makes stuff sucky. I have been to meets where while a poor newbie is spinning their heart out someone more "advanced" (I use the term loosely) is being loud and verbally critical. It's disheartening and sad.
Actually, I had that happen to me once come to think of it, years ago at the first rooftop party I went to with NYC. Someone asked me to teach them trailing, and I was. Instead of asking me what I was doing or being nice, they were being snide and catty off to the side. It was only *after* I was introduced to them that they apologized.

I agree with daylight as well. I think things are more fun that way and personally, I think it allows alot more connection than ones which starts at dark.

I think, depending on the size of the meet, more than one greeter. I have heard of some large meets, and one person attempting to recognize all newbies would be difficult at best.

Pressure. Often at meets I get there not wanting to spin. I do it for a living, so on my off days I want to see others spin, because I do not get to much. The more I am pushed and pressured to spin, the less apt I am to do so and the more I will want to leave early. I HATE pressure.

Personability. I want to be able to sit on a blanket, watch people spin with looks of bliss on their face, laugh, and enjoy the day with people and actually get to *talk* to them about more than how to do this or that move. If I want to get up and dance, without tools, I want to be able to and quite possibly drag someone along with me.

I've been to meets where it was regimented..this is time to spin, this is time to talk and it was completely forced and inorganic. It sucked.

And NYC, you are sooooooooo right about appropriate place and not looking over your shoulder for the law and such. Paranoia and spinning do not mix well! lol


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I hear what you're saying about the drummers. The same thing happens to me too, they just stop,,,or trail off into some sort of horrible drum soup,,or try to speed me up. I'm not a drummer either, but I feel that a good drum circle needs a leader, one who knows how to drum for dancers.

Or, maybe they just think I suck

As to alcohol, I don't mind a few beers while spinning, but the problem we have is legal. Here, it's against the law to drink in a public place, and our meets are in the city's "showcase" park, which is ringed with houses and apartments. We've been lucky so far with not getting very many noise complaints, but the police do show up occasionally and having alcohol around might just give them the motivation to try to shut us down. We usually recommend exercising extreme discretion.


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Pink...?
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There, United Kingdom

Total posts: 6140
Posted:I agree with what Pele said about size of a meet.

My first meet i went to was massive, and i was shy and didn't speak to many people at all. I think that has helped make me try and talk to new people when i see them at any meets i attend regulary.

Name tags do work really well i have noticed too, as does food!!

I know this souns wierd, but also if someone is new i think going alone, or only with one other person is better. I have noticed new people who come in a large group, keep to themselves, and other people feel a little shy about going up to them and speaking, as they are a group. Whereas if you were alone, you can easily "slip" into a conversation or such? (did i make sense then?)


Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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fluffy napalm fairy


fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

Total posts: 3638
Posted:yes it does pink smile And I agree too - if you 'appear' to be in a 'group' or 'clique' then you are less approachable.

Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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munkypunks
GOLD Member since Jan 2005

munkypunks

enthusiast, but not enthusiastic
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Total posts: 367
Posted:Written by: NYC

My own pet peeve, which I acknowledge is my own pet peeve and horrible and evil and close minded is...

Bad Drumming.

I'm not a drummer. I shouldn't talk. But I've been spinning fire for drummers (who've even asked me to spin with them) and had them stop. Actually, that one happens often. Or yell at each other about what the beat should be. Or two of them speed up while the other 4 slow down. Or have 2 or 3 different tempos of banging. Or have one of the louder drums start a conversation with a cute girl and forget to drum near the beat.



Sounds like you've been to the Venice Beach drum circle. ubblol Not that it isn't fun, and the times that I've been, they've had a good energy, but sometimes the attitude of inclusion (which is a good thing) results in 25 drummers doing 9 different things.


You can't fall off the floor, but sometimes you need a chair to reach the cookie jar.

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: ben-ja-men

bad meets
people interupting your spin to talk at you


Hell yeah!

I also feel really intimidated if I'm going to a new group. Sometimes I really want to go along a few times and just talk to people, get to know them before I light up.

The only groups I've ever been to, everyone who spins spins brilliantly. I really couldn't spin as well as these people. And that's fine - I find it inspirational, get ideas, and occasionally pluck up the courage to ask someone to explain something.

It's just difficult to get into this whole community spinning concept if you're shy and a relative newb in terms of your skills. I guess a greeter type would make this easier, I've encountered this once before and it was really nice.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: munkypunks

Sounds like you've been to the Venice Beach drum circle. ubblol Not that it isn't fun, and the times that I've been, they've had a good energy, but sometimes the attitude of inclusion (which is a good thing) results in 25 drummers doing 9 different things.



I loved the energy at the VBDC but did not spin. I did dance a bit, off to the side, as it is easier to adapt dancing mid move rather than spinning. What I found the most fun, and annoying at the same time, was the introduction of home made instruments that seemed incapable of keeping a rhythm. But it was fun to watch.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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fluffy napalm fairy


fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

Total posts: 3638
Posted:being interrupted mid-spin?

.................. This raises lots of points with me..

If you are just playing with lots of others (usually in daytime) then there can't really be any interruption - it's all sharing, learning, teaching and throwing ideas about and people are probably just curious about something you are doing.

If you are specifically trying something/practicing something/showing something then it is very annoying and disrespectful when people ruin your flow and energy. In these circumstances it's customary to wait until the spinner has finished.

However, I ALSO object just as strongly to people all standing round and gawping when you just want to have a spin. I'm not a performer and I'm not performing - I'm playing! (many performers get very frustrated with this too I know).

So it's a fine line....... shrug


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Dunno... back in the day, no matter what you were doing, we used to politely clap for anyone when their wicks went out and they were done. Now we're so used to it we just spin.

Not sure which I liked better. biggrin


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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JayKitty
GOLD Member since Nov 2004

JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey, USA

Total posts: 534
Posted:I'm still somewhat new, I've been in and out of the forums but am usually scared to post just becasue it's like everyone knows each other and what not, it looks like a clique, but I'm starting to see that everyone here is absolutley wonderful and welcomes everyone. I love it! Being new can be scary, it's worse in person.
So the drug thing died down a while ago, but I just want to add one more thing. I've known my best friend since I was 8 but I started spinning a year(ish) ago and mentioned wanting to spin at a rave or something like it. He thought a rave was just everyone doing drugs and having sex everywhere. Still haven't gone and I'm hoping he's wrong, but it's drug and alcohol use give the art a bad name. Sure it's glow sticks which is different from spinning fire or poi, but I'm hoping to go to everything and find the same friendly spirit of people who just want to play and have a good time.
I was on the color gaurd for a while(the only boy ^_^) and got to work with the band. I always loved the drum line. I remember they had this one awesome cadence.....(goes on to ramble about that for a bit)


Don't mind me, just passing through.

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JayKitty
GOLD Member since Nov 2004

JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey, USA

Total posts: 534
Posted:oo, right forgot something, the pressure thing. I agree with Pele that being pressured into doing something you don't want to do is bad. But I know that sometimes I'm to nervous to step up and do it myself so I need a little push from someone so I can go up and do my thing. But maybe that's more forceful encouragment than pressure ubblol

Don't mind me, just passing through.

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Bubbles_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

Bubbles_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: mancunian, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3383
Posted:what ive experienced so far in meets is great, everyone being so friendly, sharing cake biggrin and helping to learn new things. but what worries me is that as meets 'evolve' if that makes sense, there will end up being more segregated groups, and criticisms(sp?).
the people i now know who spin, whatever they do, are all freindly and do have a sense of community, enjoyment and safety. but im worried in case of anyone who doesnt have these.....senses....? (now i know it doesnt make sense).
basically i dont want it going down a bad path where no-one cares anymore.


Disclaimer:im not responsible for what i say or do whether it be before,during and after drinking alcoholic substances (owned by BMVC).
Creater of Jenisms(TM)
Virginity like bubble,one prick all gone.

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