The crowded calendar

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Looked at the event-planning calendar recently? There’s a larp or larp-related event every weekend from now until September - and sometimes more than one. Anecdotally, event organisers are finding it difficult to find calendar space, and some events have apparently been delayed by this. Others have had to shift dates when the calendar space they thought they had has suddenly been filled. In Auckland, the intersection of venue availability and weekends without another local event is getting tight so that we’re seeing weekend events run in successive weekends (and the later / last to book one apparently suffering as a result).

“Too much larp” is a great problem to have. It means we have choice and variety. But we’re at the level where clashes are basicly inevitable (either directly, or events being run too close together for people to easily do both), and event organisers are going to need to manage it carefully to avoid fratricide. They seem to be doing this by booking their venues a year in advance, which gives some certainty. Less well-organised events and those with shorter planning horizons can then fill in the gaps. But with this level of activity, its still going to mean events uncomfortably close together, and we will just have to accept that it is the new normal and adapt to suit.

Edit to add: I’m somewhat fatalistic about this, but if anyone has any suggestions for how we can manage it as a community, please speak up.

Yeah this is definitely becoming an issue - Hydra for next year has already (for good reasons I’m sure) been booked for the exact weekend that Cerberus was more than likely going to be held on.

I’m more than a little annoyed by this, to be honest. NZLARPS South Island were never asked/consulted/told about this, and it especially grates because Hydra is the one NZLARPS convention that shares the most participants with Cerberus.

I’m sure the Hydra date for 2019 was chosen because that’s when the venue/organiser dates available intersected, but some kind of warning or discussion with the wider NZLARPS community should have taken place before that decision was made. If we’re going to avoid feed bad moments, the regions need to be talking to each other about this stuff.

On that note, more than likely Cerberus will have to run at the end of March in 2019, which sort-of clashes with the last Musketeers game, although the crossover between Cerberus attendees and Musketeers attendees is very close to zero so I don’t imagine that will actually impact anyone.

Let’s get talking to each other, people.


I’m an Auckland GM, and I think honestly the calendar here is starting to hit capacity if it hasn’t already.

A couple of events that I know of recently have run with empty player spots or a skeleton crew, so the likelihood of games not running due to lack of numbers or running but being very small (“Danger Days”, earlier this year, was apparently miniscule) is starting to happen and I think that’s going to start hitting events now. It’s definitely a worry for The Dying World, which I run, and we’re pretty certain that we’re not going to be running at our full capacity.

It’s unfortunate, but some events are going to become nonviable simply because Auckland doesn’t have the numbers to sustain everyone who wants to run a larp at any given time, let alone dates in a calendar year.

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It is quite hard to keep tabs on all the stuff that’s going on to be honest, even if just looking in Auckland. Its one of the reasons we decided to run a winter game for Saga so that it wouldn’t clash in the more popular months. I think Zari is right, events running at less than capacity is a reality. The biggest issue with this is that venues are expensive and you often need enough numbers to break even. Venue restrictions I would say is the biggest issue I see facing organisers.

However I think their is a significant upside - there is such a variety of Larp that it gives organisers the freedom to create the game they really want to, and not strive to be everything to everyone (which inevitably falls short). We are seeing a surge of creativity in the community which is wonderful in my opinion.


It certainly isn’t a bad thing that our Calendar is getting full to the point of clashing, but it will cause people to have to pick and choose games based on their likes, dislikes, and size of the game. This will mean that some games may not have the chance to get off the ground, but that is the reality of the situation, and there will certainly be time for them in the future.

GMs, in my opinion, should not be forced to work around other events to plan games. But of course they have to be aware that clashes will cause lower player and crew numbers, and perhaps plan longer term and more smartly. I don’t think a small game is bad, as Zari mentioned Danger Days was tiny, but I played in it and it was a very fantastic time despite the small size. In fact the small size actually worked to the benefit of the game as the players could more personally engage the plot.

I’m glad to see so many people coming up with new game ideas and concepts and I look forward to playing or crewing in many of them, even if I can’t be involved in them all.

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As a Gm of two Hamilton games, we are running into the same issue - both with the main calender a d our own. We have one monthly on the last Friday of each month, and I wanted to run Succession Chronicles on the last Sunday of each month, but we’ve also had a werewolf game start up running on the first weekend (I forget the day) of each month… Add to that we then have to look at the Auckland calendar because for games like succession chronicles and Fallout, we draw heavily from other regions… For a long time we’ve been told that we need to stop relying on other regions to fill our games and run solely on Hamilton larpers, but we just don’t have enough people in Hamilton who are able to or committed enough to turn up to a game (we have several people who say they are keen, but then never show, even when transport etc is provided).

I think that at least for now we need to cap the games run until some of the campaigns finish, and then look at how we can make the games that are still running more accessible to people from other regions (transport etc).

A note on Hydra: I do believe Hydra was booked from the run this year as Scott was talking about the layout and run for next year and catering plans at this year’s hydra.

This is a great upside, as is having lots of people who want to run games. The danger is that if events fail / don’t get off the ground, then then those people will be burned out, and the creativity and variety will be lost. So its a question of doing what we can to prevent that, I guess.

Auckland GMs talk and so largely avoid direct clashes. But if as @Zari suggests there is a problem with some games not having enough players, recruitment would seem to be an obvious solution. Its not as if people can go to everything anyway. But because other games are full, there’s perhaps a lack of incentive for that.

Even if I thought it was a good idea, I don’t think there is any practical way to “cap” the number of games. While NZLARPS has to manage its projects to a level it can support, more than half the events aren’t run by us, and it would be contrary to our purpose to try and discourage larps. Those planning events should look very carefully at the calendar and the market and judge whether there’s space for them yet, or whether it is better to wait - but fundamentally that is a decision for each individual event.

For transport, clearly people need a few more carpooling / roadtrip threads :slight_smile: