This email was sent on Monday 29/3/2004

Over the years ConFest has evolved three "zones" for vehicles.

Access, Gypsy, and Carfree.

At the last Summer's ConFest Carfree worked well. There were no cars in Carfree.

        But between:-

         ( vehicles remain at their campsite untill they leave the festival)


        ( vehicles can come and go from the ConFest site several times during daylight)

                         The difference was lost.

There was no traffic monitoring outside Carfree, and cars seemed to be driving all over the place all the time. Some people even drove their cars from their campsite to the ConFest market and back.

Now for the question. What do you think?

         No.         I don't think there is a need for traffic controls.

         Yes.         Let's have traffic monitoring.

              Should we give up on Carfree and have cars everywere.

Would you indicate your opinion in the subject or title line of your email.

reply to


Thanks for all the replys

Most of the replys were:-         "Yes.  Let's have traffic monitoring."

Probably 98% feel that there should be some form of traffic monitoring.

All the emails with comments are reproduced below. Names have been removed.

Dear Folks at DTE,
I did not indicate in the subject title - because I don't think it's as clear as "yes' or "no" to car "monitoring.
I have a van and love camping at Gypsy as I a sleep in my vehicle. I am happy not to move during the festival - so I srongly support a gypsy camping area. I also think access is important - and believe that people ought to be able to get out of the site if the need to - if their car is parked in the access area.

So in principle I support the three "zones".

I have concerns about how car movement might be "monitored" though - as I have had contact with volunteers at Confest in the past where their version of "security" or "monitoring" etc is more like a military or police response and is often aggressive and counter-productive. If this is to be the approach taken I would prefer not to do it at all. If on the other hand there can be an approach taken where people are treated with respect, dignity, and a sense of courtesy I would be all for it.

I suggest that there is an approach taken where the people involved in a car being driven may have a compelling "reasonable" reason as to why they wish to drive for eg out of Gyspy - eg a sick person, child, etc - and that common sense can prevail in such cases. Also to calmly explain the policy and the decision to others in a non-confrontational way as to why cars are being discouraged from being moved. If this co-operative approach were taken I would feel easier about the idea of "monitoring".

If however as I have personally experienced previously there is an attitude taken where it seems that "punters" at Confest are "trying to make the organisers and other peoples lives difficult - and are deliberately behaving in an aggravating manner" - I think more conflict can erupt than dealing with a few cars driving around (although this is definately NOT my ideal!).

I am througrougly sick and tired of trying to avoid "organisers", "bad attitudes" towards "confesters" in general. If this is what will occur I say no to it.
YES! Lets have traffic monitoring!  See ya at fest site!
i think that there should definately be carfree but maybe you could combine both gypsy and access into one big access area?  i think that having an area without cars is so precious! would that make traffic control easier?  as long as the two seperate areas were well sign posted it should work ok...? 
I am fully aware that this is yet another job for the volunteers and organisers at confest but being a Mother of small children I found the cars travelling around Gypsy quite a)intimidating and b) infuriating not to mention making everything dusty and dirty.

I was quite happy leaving my car in Access and parking in Gypsy and respect the right of others not to have cars travelling about all day.

thank you for the question
Yes.  Let's have traffic monitoring.
Make the Statement, No Cars, then don't stress out if some cannot comply, be flexible & compassionate.
Never give up carfree.Yes have some traffic con
Many people get lost when it gets dark , due to there being no lights. I directed numerous people to their cars and to the tracks to get out of the confest after dark. There needs to be street signs on the tracks with maybe some kind of lighting system ? Then we could implement some kind of traffic control system ???
I think it is excellent to have a car-free space for camping.  Internal movement of cars should be discouraged, unless there is a valid reason (e.g. transporting someone who can't walk etc.).  One of the joys of Confest is the leisurely pace at which people move around, and constant streams of pedestrians provide a nice basis for spontaneous social interaction ;-)

Confest, not Carfest, is what I say!

Carfree MUST remain totally carfee!
Gypsy is cool buy needs some control...I usually camp here if I come with my kids.and Access is a necessary evil but must be provided for day trippers,families with toddlers etc etc and just needs to be controled.If I can make it this Easter I'd be happy to volunteer for traffic control.
keep carfree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RE: ConFest and cars! That is the question?  Let's have traffic monitoring including car free / gypsie & access
Or option 4, Have bright ribbon tied to create a boundary with a gap big    enough for people only, and we can have wooden structures put into place to prevent cars from driving to the Village by forcing the cars to pass the car park check point...

If we say "No.    I don't think there is a need for traffic controls." the situation will only get worse and an increased chance for accidents to occur.

If we say "Yes.  Let's have traffic monitoring." you will have people having to run around policing the traffic, this will cause anger and hostilities to occur.

If we say "Should we give up on Carfree and have cars everywhere." in my opinion this course of action will drive away people in large numbers as it will turn Confest into a normal camping place and an increased chance for accidents to occur.
no need for traffic controls.
I like the three zones, carfree,gypsy and access. I did notice last Easter though that there was lots more car traffic in gypsy because people were arriving for many days and then for many it was time to leave so there was only a day or so where people were not driving there car. At Christmas I did not notice car traffic and I was in Gypsy so perhaps I was in an area where it wasn't such a drive through.
I want to arrive on thursday morning dump my trailer in gypsy and then park car in access because I need to pick up son and friends on Saturday from Echuca at about 3.30 (otherwise they have to wait and get latter bus and wait to be picked up by Confest bus around midnight which leaves them little time until they leave again)
No.  I don't think there is a need for traffic controls (please readbody of email)

traffic controls in the confest village wouldn't work, and they also suggest traffic is sometimes ok.

They wouldn't work because you will need to appoint a traffic warden, who will need to know what is allowed and what is not.  There will be disputes. Some Vehilces will be allowed through, some will be turned back, potentially creating dangerous situations. Seeing traffic suggests to all other campers that using your car is ok, when this should not be the
case.  If no one see's a car moving, then no one will think to make use of there own car.

The rules should be simple:
Gypsy: once you're in, you're locked in.  If you want to move, you need written permission from a confest authority.

Carfree: The only cars allowed in here are the fire truck, and perhaps a confest utility vehicle for setting up stuff.  The util vehilce should not be over used, let common sence prevail.  No campers can bring a vehilce here under no circumstances, no expections. 

Market place: no vehilces to be moved once setup,like gypsy.

Access:  The access carpark is on the outskirts of the confest village.  Cars moving here are only moving between access and the gate.  There is no traffic between access and any other part of the camping site (with exception of fire truck, confest utility vehicles (Ute, ice, etc.).  Since traffic here is only to and from the gate, traffic is allowed. 

Front Gate:  The gate needs to be monitored as it has been in the past.

Why no exceptions?  Because if people see cars moving they will assume that it's ok for them to use there cars.  This is Confest, not CarFest.  A car is for getting to confest, and getting home.  A few people may go into town during the day if they really need to, and they are parked in access.
That's it. 
Maintian and monitor the status quo 
I would like to see the current arrangement maintained and monitored.
Definitely have a car free area at the very least!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think there is still a need for cars in the gypsy village even though id like to say no there isn't but yes i think there probably needs to be monitored more closely if there are going to be cars going in and out of confest. There still needs to be car free areas as otherwise it ruins the
feel/ atmosphere if cars are allowed everywhere.
CARFREE definitely otherwise Gypsy only. If some want to come and go then park at entrance.

But is traffic monitoring really necessary? Someone telling the movers off wouldn't be such a nice job... Or be in the spirit of the fest...
Perhaps clearer instructions beforehand - on web, at gate and on actual site (eg. Arrows for areas?)...  Even I was confused as to the physical and movement boundaries (although I didn't move my car).  My thoughts, thanks :o)
I was very disappointed at the last Confest by the car situation. In particular having to negotiate your way through both parked and moving cars to get to the market and the fact that many cars had parked directly in the path between carfree and market making it a difficult and not very pleasant journey between. Cant we just make sure that there is no car parking or roads at all between carfree and markets? I think we need traffic monitoring AND planning.
yes - carfree is a sacred space to me, and access carpark should be well away
I think a trial of a relaxed attitude towards movement of vehicles would be good, with punters being offered a choice as before, between gypsy and access, and told that only one movement per day is accectable , during daylight hours , with the greatest of care and a walking pace restriction within gypsy, while unlimited movements are possible from access.see you soon
Definitely keep Carfree! Not sure about monitoring but less cars driving is better so maybe if it would be effective.
Yes, I think we should monitor traffic. One of the great things about Confest is being able to get away from cars and fumes!

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to comment.

My response would be...........Yes.  Let's have traffic monitoring.

Years ago when Confest was held on private properties, use of existing fencing was utilised to create the 'Zones'.Sometimes the gates were staffed, and at other times they weren't.

  Clearly defined area's are generally respected by the majority of    Confest attendees.  There will always be people who believe they are exempt from adhering to  the guidelines.  There will be occasions where people can demonstrate a reasonable need  to leave the 'Gypsy village' ahead of time.

Perhaps the incorporation of a suitable temporary fence (star pickets and coloured tape), taking advantage of topography and existing vegetation,could be used to implement  the two areas?  Orange bailing twine would be a suitable alternative, cheap, visible etc.

What I'm suggesting is nothing new, it's been used at Confest before.
Having been a Gypsy site dweller for the past 4 years I am a great believer in having appropriate vehicle useage.

The Carfree Area should be maintained as just that, so there would be a need for some form of vehicle prevention in that area.  Also there should be measures taken to prevent vehicles driving around Gypsy once cars are there.

Just letting you know that I will be at Confest on Wednesday so can help with the volunteer stuff on the evening and all day Thursday.

Roll on Confest!!!!
At the Rainbow Gatherings world wide,
There r no cars at al u walk 2kms to  the gathering site with ur gear.
Lets have a confest with no cars.
Not a cruisefest with cars.
Volunteer on a one way gate used to work.  Bring it back?
nform people at the gate what they can/cannot do and make the distinction between Gypsy and Access a lot clearer.  I realise it may be difficult to zone (using flags, etc) however if there is no boundary people might not know if they are in Gypsy or Access.  Therefore, traffic monitoring may be necessary.
Yes, let's have monitoring. At the last (summer) confest there were even people in Gypsy moving cars and the dust was bad as a result.
No.    I don't think there is a need for traffic controls
We are constant carfree campers and wouldn't have it any other way -especially with small kids now.

Having cars driving at will seems unnecessary and dangerous. Confest is meant to be a safe environment for everyone and traffic control is a part of that.

I think that you're original intentions for each of the car parks should be upheld.
Yes.  Let's have traffic monitoring.

In my view, it is preferable that cars in Gypsy are only used for emergencies.
I believe that most confesters accept the three distinct classifications.
Problem at Summer was lack of delineating signage, meaning many inadvertently in incorrect area.
Those who thought they were in Gypsy were inconvenienced by traffic movement and dust from those who thought they were in access.
I didn't go much into Gypsy or Access areas once I got to 'car-free' so I can't comment on the problems that might have occurred, BUT 'carfree' is a priority for me and being able to enjoy Confest
In my opinion the exisitng system needs to be maintained with some monitoring of vehicles. How the Gypsy site is monitored, and how the stay put conditions are enforced needs to be discussed. I would suggest our group of volunteers could assist regarding this matter.
With only 4 years of confesting I cannot make any sencible comments, What changed to make such a difference at christmas.There is allways a few driving around,  the previous christmas/easter the welcome gate crew made sure the Gypsy-stayput stiker was attached to the car.  Possibly that may help a bit!      Difficult question isin't  it
yes , I feel that if we have the volunteers req'd to man traffic patrols, then , yes, it would be favourable to control traffic around the confest site.
Yes, I believe there is a real need for boundaries with cars.
Thanks for the question.

I would hate to see carfree disappear.  I have always camped in that area and find that it has a different energy to access and gypsy.  Each to their own of course, but I see no reason to get rid of car free whilstever there are people who prefer that option. Does DTE know why carfree was smaller?
Is it that Confest are getting newer people who are unaware of the difference between the areas, or just more people who prefer to camp with their cars, or some other reason such as the layout of the areas and their ease of access to someone driving in for the first time?

In regards to the difference between access and gypsy, I have to admit I was confused myself when driving in and out from the car free carpark.  I don't really know why.  What made New Year 2004 different from previous years when there seemed to be more of a delineation between gypsy and access.  Was it better sign posted, or was it controlled by volunteers in previous years?  I would assume good sign posting, good instructions at the front gate, and a posse of volunteers to keep it under control would work.  Of course, it takes volunteers and education for this to work, but I think its worth a try.

If I get there for Easter, I'll be happy to help where I can (as a volunteer) to help make it work.
Try traffic monitoring on a trial basis.
No I don't feel we need traffic control. I my self had to drive my car twice to market space. Both times being mindful. The water rose and friends where in a emergency situation. Thank goodness I could help.
sorry..I don't understand fully the question so I hope my answer helps - I think there should be car monitoring in the car free zone - ie: keep cars out of there.

I think it would be hard to monitor in gypsie seeing that you have limited volunteers. And it is not as important in Gypsie as people know that there might be cars moving around there.
no to car monitori,  yes to keeping carfree as it worked well
Yes car control Car free is ESSENTIAL
getting away from radio, TV and constant cars is a main reason why many go to confest. the CARFREE camping area is ESSENTIAL!!!!!
Yes.Let's have traffic monitoring - we need to establish CLEARLY MARKED  zones.
Nb. This summer it was very difficult to establish where car free, gypsy and access began and ended.  In particular access... I couldn't even find where it was and everyone I asked didn't know either.
WE  think that a CARfree space is vital at Confest otherwise what's the point being in nature! People should take responsability and respect that space & Confest & themselves!
I feel that car control is essential. I would like the car free zone to continue. If people have been driving on the confest site at the last confest then we may need tighter controls this year, or else come up with some way to prevent people from driving on the Confest site.
i noticed extra traffic in gypsy, too...

Yes.  Let's have traffic monitoring.

(we are all monitors, in a perfect world)
There does need to be an effective means for controlling the use of vehicles within the ConFest grounds. I believe two things need to be done for the coming ConFest.
1. Have adequate signage showing where Gypsy and Access actually are. This was too vague at Summer.
2. Re-establish the Welcome Gate or similar.
preferable to have carfree areas
I'm not sure if we need traffic controls though.

If the parking areas are obvious and easily accessable - that should be sufficient..
Have access on the fringe of the Parking Areas
Gypsy with and the rest blocked off for car free.

Without car free there will be no sancuary
I think that it is important to have car control. Some people want to go to Confest and not see, hear or smell cars and that is their right. Also we have to think about  saftey issues, especially with all the kids running around. Surely Confest should be the one place you don't have to worry about your kid getting run over.
carfree  and boot out the offenders if they are unable to manage to follow very simple rules  daytime - OK to drive
Re: ConFest and cars! ...  YES (I think no cars should be allowed outside of the car parking area)
Yes, some boundaries are needed
I don't really mind.  The three zones sounds fine to me.
You are joking, right?  Carfree is inviolate

Several things could be drawn from the above.

Carfree is definitely wanted

If we want Gypsy and Access to "work"  they must be clearly defined.

There is a need for lots more signage.

Do you thing Carfree was smaller last ConFest?

The Carfree carpark was close to Carfree. This put it at the end of the road.
         Is there a need to change this?

There is a site photomap on the Villages page.

Regards David Cruise