FAQ AND DETAILS

Got questions? Let’s see if we have answers.

Air conditioning in the dorms. (As in, is there any?)

Alcohol at Django in June

Amps

Athletic Facilities @ Smith

Audio and Video Taping of Classes

Can I come and “just jam?”

Can I study with any teacher I want to at Django Camp?

Checking in at Smith

Checking out on Sunday

Class Levels

Coffee at Django Camp

Concert Tickets: are they included in tuition?

Concert Tickets: are they general admission or reserved seating?

$150 deposit for keys and swipe cards at Smith

DiJ on Facebook and other Social Media

Find Dorm Rooms and Meeting Spaces

Guitars for Sale and Show

How far is the Northampton bus station from the dorms?

Is there some way I can get help choosing my levels for classes?

Late Night Arrivals

Newcomers and Slow-Jammers

Map of Smith College

Music Stands. (As in, should I bring one?)

Orientation – Tuesday at 7:30

Parking

Partial Attendance. (Like, can I come for a day or two?)

Ride Boards & Transportation From Bradley

Security (i.e. Will my instrument be safe?)

Should I buy a Gypsy jazz guitar before coming?

Special Diets

T shirts—Got ’em?

This Year’s Dorms and Meeting Spaces

What airport should I fly into?

What does Smith provide in the rooms?

Wifi

Wine Tasting hosted by Patrus

 

Is there air conditioning in the dorms?

No, there is not. Smith does provide us with fans, however. Let us bow our heads in earnest prayer for friendly weather.

Alcohol at Django in June

According to the letter of the law at Smith College, we are not allowed to drink on campus at Smith (except under circumstances that do not apply.) Smith has, so far, graciously allowed us to skirt that policy and the only—very rare—times it has been an issue were when people drank irresponsibly. So please don’t or you will be asked to leave.

Amps

No, you don’t need an amp. We encourage people to bring acoustic guitars. Way simpler.

Athletic Facilities @ Smith

As a matter of policy, we summer campers do not have access to Smith’s indoor athletic facilities. (Though no one will stop you from going for a run on the track or playing a game of tennis.) As a matter of fact, however, we do usually get a small number of gym passes we can make available for $20 for the entire time you are at Django Camp. Most campers really have no time to get to the gym, but if it’s important to you feel free to inquire and we’ll do our best to get you access.

Audio and Video of Classes

Please just check in with teachers before you record their classes. Some may have had bad experiences with people posting things online without permission, so please offer them this minimal courtesy. For our part, we ask that you keep clips of classes fairly brief (under, say, 5 minutes) unless you have our express permission to post something longer. We also ask that you make it clear that it happened at Django in June. In general, we appreciate the help getting the word (and images) out!

Can I come and “just jam?”

Sure, but you still have to pay Camp tuition. Django in June’s great jam scene would not exist without the many musicians on our staff or the Smith College facilities, all of which costs a lot of money. So everyone who wants to get in on the fun needs to help us cover those expenses. Having done so you can use your time here any way you’d like: jam, study, sleep…as you wish!

We do welcome visiting jammers — or folks who simply want to wander through the campus and enjoy some music under the stars — after the concerts on Friday and Saturday night. In fact, on Saturday evening folks are welcome to arrive as early as 5:30, when our last class period is ending. But during the day, access to both our formal and informal activities is restricted to registered participants. Thanks for your cooperation in that regard.

Can I study with any teacher I want to at Django Camp?

Yes, but. Most teachers are assigned to the same level of classes for all of Django Camp, so you can freely choose among those teaching classes at a level appropriate for you. If you want to audit (ie. observe, but not actively participate in) a class at a more advanced level you are welcome to do so if the physical space allows. As we get closer to the event, we’ll have more details available regarding the daily schedule, including who’s teaching at each level, etc.

Checking in at Smith

 

Checking out on Sunday

There are no scheduled activities on the last Sunday of Django Camp. Breakfast is served (for those who opted for the meal plan) but no other meals. You should be out of your dorm room by 11 AM, but you don’t need to be off campus by then. So if you want to hang around for some leisurely jamming or you need to wait on your airport shuttle you are welcome to do so in the common areas.We do not have access to the dorms on Sunday night.

When you leave your room, please:

Class Levels

Non-guitar classes are organized as the teachers see fit and we’ll leave it to them to describe how they will organize their classes. Since there are so many guitarists on hand, however, we provide more structure for that instructional program. One way we do that is by organizing both the rhythm and lead guitar classes into 4 different levels. Have a look at this Level Guide to see how we describe them: Downloadable Level Guide

Coffee at Django Camp

Old timers will attest to the fact that we have tried a variety of ways to keep you javafied at Django Camp. They are all trickier than you might imagine, given certain givens. (Like, for example, that in 2016 Smith College cancelled its contract with the company that we used to depend on to provide us with 5 gallon jugs of water near the coffee makers.)

So as of 2016, your coffee options will be as follows:

 

Concert Tickets: Are they included in tuition?

As of 2016, concert tickets are NOT included in the cost of tuition. (And tuition has been reduced accordingly.) The main reason for this change is so that the Academy can offer you reserved seating through their ticketing service.

Concert tickets: Are they general admission or reserved seating?

Starting in 2016, seating for Django in June’s concerts at The Academy of Music will be reserved. (See above for more on that.) So go enjoy a meal before the show; no need to wait in line to get a good seat.

$150 deposit for keys and swipe cards at Smith

 

DiJ on Facebook and other Social Media

 

Find Dorm Rooms and Meeting Spaces

The Smith College website makes available not only a campus map but also detailed floor plans of most of the buildings we’ll be using. We’ll have printed copies of these maps and floor plans available on site, but if you are online you can access the maps and pdf floor plans from anywhere. Just search for Smith College and name the specific building you want. You’ll find the link to floor plans of the building you’ve searched for at the bottom of the page devoted to that building. Isn’t the internet lovely?

Guitars for Sale and Show

Django in June offers a great opportunity for us to see, hear and play a wide variety of Selmac guitars, some of which will be for sale at the event.  If you want to sell one, bring it. If you are looking to buy, come see what others have to sell. Django in June takes no cut of such transactions.

How far is the Northampton bus station from the dorms?

About a 10 minute walk. The address is 1 Roundhouse Plaza, Northampton, MA 01060.

Is there some way I can get help choosing my levels for classes?

Yes, and it’s a good idea to do so. One way is to ask one of our more experienced Django Camp guitar teachers—Jack Soref, Denis Chang, Jeff Radaich, Adrian Holovaty, Christine Tassan or Sami Arefin—for their opinion. There are also plenty of campers who’ve been here many times and they would be happy to help you out. Everyone has a vested interest in getting the class level right. I always recommend erring on the low side. It’s so much more fun to promote oneself than to self-demote! Here’s the Level Guide if you haven’t seen it yet:  Level Guide

Late Night Arrivals

If you are arriving after 10 PM on either Monday or Tuesday, we’ll need to find a way to get you your keys. (We can deal with the rest of registration the next morning.) The best arrangement is to have someone already on site get your keys for you earlier in the day. So if you already know someone else coming to Camp and you know they are arriving before you, have them pick up your keys and then you deal directly with them to get the keys.  If you see no other option, let us know you’ll be arriving late and I can leave keys outside for you somehow, somewhere. In that case,

  1. Please pay your $150 deposit in advance either by check (which we won’t cash) or by Paypal (which we’ll refund.)
  2. Make sure we have a cell number for you.

Newcomers and Slow-Jammers

Upon arrival at Django in June, chances are pretty good that you will soon stumble upon a jam by players so far beyond your level that you may wonder if you belong here. Trust me: you do! Mere mortals of modest-to-average abilities are in the majority at Django in June. But such folks aren’t always calling a lot of attention to themselves, so they may need a little help finding one another. That process begins on the Get Ready page of the website. There you’ll find a variety of materials for players at all levels of ability. Choose what works for you—from both this and past years’ Core Repertoire—and do some serious practicing before you get here. That will make it so much easier to get in on a jam that suits you just right.

Once you are here the most natural place to meet other players more or less at your level is in the classes you attend. Invite someone to sit a play a few tunes! In the evenings the first floor of Chase House is the designated Slow Jam space.  You’ll find your peeps there and they’ll be happy to widen the circle for you. (See that link for a Smith College map just below? You can find Chase House on that.)

Map of Smith College.

Right here: http://www.smith.edu/about-smith/visiting-smith/campus-maps

Music Stands. (As in, should I bring one?)

Smith does not provide these for us, but very few people bring them. You do what seems best to you.

Orientation – Tuesday at 7:30

Although I suggest you arrive much earlier, the first thing you really need  to be here for is the orientation on Tuesday evening, at 7:30 pm. The purpose of the orientation is to help you get, uh, oriented: to campus, to the daily schedule, to the class levels, to the teachers, etc. It will be held in Davis Hall. (Campus Map) Even if you’ve been to Django Camp before, please try to be there. Stuff changes.

Parking

Especially if you are staying in the dorms you do not need a car while at Django in June. So my suggestion would be to park your car for free at the Smith parking garage for the whole event. Even if you are eating downtown, it’s a short walk and will take less time than trying to find parking. The free (to us) parking garage is on West St, right across from Arnold St.

This is not a very convenient location if you want to be in and out of your car several times a day, though, so if you want to try to maintain access to your vehicle you have two options:

  1. We will have a few (maybe 10) parking passes for people with special needs. Theoretically these allow you to use student parking slots on campus. Parking near dorms and other much-used Smith buildings is in high demand, however, so a pass of this sort only guarantees you a spot in the competition for convenient parking; it does not guarantee that an empty spot will be easily available nearby.
  2. Everyone will also have access to Northampton parking spots, some of which are close to the dorms. This is mostly metered parking. Even if it is not, parking may be limited to only certain times of day so pay attention to the street signs, as this quaint town supports itself in the manner to which it has become accustomed by nailing visitors with traffic tickets.

Partial Attendance. (Like, can I come for a day or two?)

In the past we have always been able to accommodate some people who wanted to attend at least half—either the first or final few days—of Django Camp. (At roughly half the cost.) Ultimately, this depends on how many full-time registrants we have.  Because we give full-timers priority, we generally don’t start accepting partial registrations until some time in April. If we’ve already reached that point this year and we are now accepting registrations for partial attendance you’ll find info about that option under the Registration tab. If we haven’t started taking half-camp registrations yet and you’d like to be alerted when we do, just send Carolyn an email to that effect and we’ll do just that. (Email address is at the bottom of the page.)

Ride Boards & Transportation From Bradley

For the most basic of info on flying in for Django in June, just follow this link: DIRECTIONS

As you can see there, one option for getting to the Smith campus from the airport is  Valley Transporter. Most folks opt for this, but Uber and any number of other services are available.

If you want to try sharing rides from the airport instead of using the shuttle, follow these links to the ride boards we’ve prepared, and good luck!

Ride board for arrivals: https://tinyurl.com/keqjsnt

Ride board for departures: https://tinyurl.com/kfh6zjx

Security (i.e. Will my instrument be safe?)

We have never had an instrument stolen at this event and we’d all love to keep it that way. The dorms have substantial doors and good locks, so if you use them (the door provides the most security in the “closed” position) that is the least of your potential areas of concern. The reality is, however, that there’s no “gate” for this event. We are on a college campus with all sorts of unfamiliar people walking by and checking out what we’re up to. It is entirely possible that someone could be in our midst at any point just looking for an easy opportunity for theft. Please don’t provide them with one. Keep your instrument nearby, in your room, or know who has it.

Should I buy a Gypsy jazz guitar before coming?

If you can get your hands on something fairly cheap and playable, it wouldn’t hurt. But one of the benefits of attending Django in June is the opportunity to check out lots of instruments at various price points. If you are new to this style, wait until after DiJ before you drop a lot of cash on a GJ guitar. You’ll be a lot more familiar with them then.

Special diets

The Smith meal plan can accommodate most diets—Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, common allergies—so long as you get that this is not a foodie retreat center. If you are super particular about your diet, downtown Northampton offers you lots of options and maximal control. If you want to give it a go in the dining hall and have special dietary needs, let us know so we can give Smith a heads up.

T-Shirts—Got ’em?

Thanks for asking! As it happens, in 2017, we do. You can see it and order yours on this page (up until May 20th, 2017.)

This Year’s Dorms and Meeting Spaces

We will be back in the same general vicinity on the Smith campus as the past few years. On the Smith College map, look for the horse shoe in the upper right hand corner bounded by Bedford Terrace, Rte 9 (Elm St) and Prospect St. The buildings we’ve been assigned for housing are all right there: Northrop, Gillet, Chase, Talbot, Lamont, and Albright. We’ll also use Chapen and Unity for classes. The dining hall is in Cutter-Ziskind (across Prospect Street from Northrop.)

What airport should I fly into?

For all but trans-Atlantic (or Pacific) flights, Bradley International is best. (For info on getting to Smith from the Bradley, see this.) If flying into Bradley is not an option, know that Boston is a lot closer than New York, but not necessarily cheaper or easier to travel from.

What does Smith provide in the rooms?

Linens, pillow, blanket, towels (which are not changed daily) a fan (not air conditioning), soap, a cup, a phone (use a calling card or credit card).  So, all you should need are basic toiletries. Please understand that this is a dorm, not a hotel, so bathrooms are shared. Unless otherwise requested, you can assume you have your own room.

Wifi

Yes, we will all have access to wifi.

Wine Tasting hosted by Patrus

On Wednesday evening, Patrus (of Patrus53.com) has in recent years hosted a wine tasting…probably in the living room and parlor of Gillett House. All the wine is contributed by the participants at Django in June, which is to say, by YOU. You can contribute one of two ways: