Got questions? Let’s see if we have answers. If you see an asterix (*) at the beginning of a topic, that indicates that things have changed for this year. Experienced djuners should take special note!
No, there is not. Smith does provide us with fans, however. Let us bow our heads in earnest prayer for friendly weather.
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 until recently it has not been an issue. In 2014, however, we apparently had some incidents in which people didn’t do a great job of moderating their alcohol intake and behaved like jerks. Sigh. This not only adversely impacts the vibe of the event (which is bad enough) but puts our very presence at Smith at risk. For that reason, I (Andrew) will be re-emphasizing the importance of policing ourselves and each other in this regard. Failing in that, I will bar anyone who has demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to moderate their alcohol consumption.
No, you don’t need an amp. We encourage people to bring acoustic guitars. Way simpler.
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.
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!
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. But during the day, access to all our formal and informal activities are restricted to registered participants. Thanks for your cooperation in that regard.
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.
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:
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:
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. It also allows us to offer another perk for early registration: register (or pre-register) for Django Camp before March 15 and you not only get a lower tuition rate, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase your concert tickets before they go on sale to the general pubic, guaranteeing you early-birds the best seats in the house. Beats a worm.
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.
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?
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.
About a 10 minute walk. The address is 1 Roundhouse Plaza, Northampton, MA 01060.
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
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,
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 (especially the 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.
On site, our Ambassador to Newcomers and Slow-Jammers, Sami Arefin, will be working with a small team of fine players on quasi-staff who have agreed to help get Level 1 and 2 players connected and playing together on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The designated Slow Jam space is the first floor of Chase House. (See that link for a Smith College map just below?) You’ll hear more about all that at orientation on Tuesday evening.
Smith does not provide these for us, but very few people bring them. So that one is your call.
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.
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:
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.)
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.
If you want to try your luck with 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://drive.google.com/open?id=1ViDi0OD1qN-4KTifEe8HKQMCQS41FAt3Fb_e3EUvbjU
Ride board for departures: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MNDvII9MsK1tCn1OrNvAC_irilgpY_JVkkf_hb0zdxo
Non-guitar classes are organized as the teachers see fit. 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
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 looking for an easy opportunity for theft could be in our midst at any point. Please don’t provide them with one. Keep your instrument nearby, or know who has it.
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.
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.
We will be back in the same general vicinity on the Smith campus as the past two 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.)
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.
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.
History suggests that, yes, we will all have access to wifi. (And that, yes, it may be a little more of a pain than should be the case. Sigh.)
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: