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I am planning on holding a 20-50 person LARP near my home in England. I would like to know other than notifying the Emergency services (police/ambulance) that I'm holding the event and where it is, what facilities should I ensure are on site? I've had quite a bit of interest so I'm thinking forward and I'm just planning what I may need to have on site when I start holding regular events (instead of just playtests).

Would it be a good idea to get someone in for catering? Drinks(non alcoholic) and food? Have players pay an in character fee for their food/drink? Or should that be included in the price of the ticket?

How many portaloos/portable showers will I need for a weekend event? What else do I need?

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2 Answers 2

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Definitely get a first aid kit that can cover most environmental hazards in your area (spider bites, poison oak, etc) as well as the basic cuts/scrapes/twisted ankles/etc. Don't forget to include sunscreen and hydration tablets, since most of your player base is likely not used to spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure you know how to recognize and treat heat sickness, dehydration and over-exertion. Getting first aid training yourself, if you don't already have it, is also not a bad idea.

It's not necessary to have your event catered. Find out what your cooking facilities will be like and if open flames or camp stoves are allowed (some places in high fire risk areas will only allow small propane camping stoves; other campsites permit open fires or charcoal grills). Let your players know that they should bring and prepare their own food on site. If you'll have access to a kitchen, see if there are any players who are willing to cook for the whole group. Then just have everyone pitch in $10-15 as part of a group meal plan.

As far as drinks - water water water water water. One gallon per person per day. Drinks like VitaminWater, fruit juice or Gatorade are also a good idea, but water is the most important.

If you're planning a weekend event, you'll probably want running water and showers. For a day event, you can get by with just toilets. One toilet, plus one more for every 10 or so attendees is a fairly good ratio (at least two, because if one breaks, you want the other one as backup).

Look into campsites in your area - national and state parks, any sites your county or city might maintain. One of my larps regularly plays at a Boy Scout camp, and the Girl Scouts also have their own campsites. If we play on a weekend where the Scouts aren't going to be there, we're able to rent the site for a not-too-shabby price.

Lastly, you will need insurance. If you're running the event, and something happens to either a player or the site itself, you could be liable for any damages or medical bills. So get insurance. You can generally find a pretty good policy for around ten dollars a head, less if you sign waivers to disallow minors or alcohol. And that cost gets rolled into the ticket price for your players.

There is more information about logistics on a site I run.

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+1 for water. I've been involved as a first-aider in South African LARPs for about four years. Hydration is always the biggest issue. Put big jugs with taps everywhere, and encourage people to take at least one drink every 30 minutes. An important note: Many sports and isotonic drinks are loaded with sugar, and not suitable for rehydration, especially with diabetics around. The rule is to stick to pure water, or something that you know doesn't have sugar, or specially formulated rehydration mixes that you can get at pharmacies. –  Gustav Bertram May 13 '14 at 6:57
By the way, the "how to larp" link is broken. –  Gustav Bertram May 13 '14 at 6:59
10$/head looks egregiously high to me, I would be interested to know the rates from elsewhere, in case anyone knows them. –  Lohoris May 13 '14 at 10:47

What you should not forget is to inform local authorities, especially if you're not on a directly/fenced private property but rather in public areas (woods e.g.).

That of course depends on the size of your LARP. The moment you plan on using a public area of any kind I'd inform the local police and answer possible questions by them in advance. Also tell them about the area the play will appropriately take place and what they'd have to expect from that. Give them also a possibility to contact you or your GM team (if any) directly, in case there are further questions or a local resident is calling the police because "there get people murdered in the woods".

If you reach a certain size it might also be desirable to have a talk with the local ambulance services (Red Cross, Johanniter or what ever you have). If you have several hundreds or thousands of players it might be interesting to ask them if they can get their own unit over for the play.

Of course also talk with the owner of the area. If you are planning on using the area more often or regularly, it might be desirable to give local residents a short tour during the LARP, so that they know what is going on there and that it is not a bunch of Satanists sacrificing virgins.

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