Proxemics and a not so big weekend

When my cat got off my lap, I wandered up again to see what the “crowds” were like at Lupin for the Earthdance festival.

It was about 10 pm when I went up. An act had just finished, and I saw a few cars driving out. But once again, the clubhouse lawn was virtually empty. I saw the outgoing operations manager (her resignation is effective on October 1) with her husband. She was enthusiastic, saying there were “a hundred people” on the lawn for the preceding act, and that there had been a steady stream of people coming in all day.

First, Lupin’s procedures for admitting people are so inefficient that the office cannot handle a truly large crowd without skipping steps like the sex offender check. Second, even if there were “a hundred people” for the preceding act, that amounts to a pittance next to the likely cost of the bands. It is possible that some bands worked for reduced cost for a non-profit organization; in terms of corporate structure, it wasn’t Lupin Lodge that put this event on, but a non-profit organization: Lupin Cultural Center. (All the money is in one set of hands.)

As I write this, another band is playing–mostly Beatles covers–that sounds good. But while there are still plenty of cars in the parking lot and plenty of tents set up, apparently very few stayed even for this performance. This is an older crowd–about my age, actually–that I’m guessing more highly values its space. I think they don’t crowd in to vehicles like younger people do, so instead of getting maybe often four people per car, you see a lot more couples and even a few single people up here alone. Thus a lot of space gets occupied without a lot of people.

If my analysis is correct, the proxemics of an older, wealthier group that largely shunned the carnivorous fare of the restaurant tonight do not help Lupin on what should be a big weekend. And they won’t help at a planned repeat for the Spring Equinox in 2009–if it actually happens.

I whispered to the operations manager’s husband, as they departed to check out the scene at the upper lawn, that I think Lupin will fold by the end of the year.

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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