Got questions? Let’s see if we have answers.
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 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.
No, you don’t need an amp. We encourage people to bring acoustic guitars. Way simpler. That said, folks do occasionally show up with electric instruments and small amps and it’s no problem.
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 probably be able to get you access.
In general, especially for your own use, this is a good idea. That said, please check in with teachers before you record their classes. Some may have had bad experiences with people posting things online without permission, so as a matter of courtesy, offer them the opportunity to set the terms. For our part, we have no problem with you recording classes. We only ask that you if you make any of that material public that you credit Django in June as the venue.
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 after 5:00 on Saturday night. Come jam before and after our closing concert that night. The rest of the time, access to both our formal and informal activities is restricted to registered participants. Thanks for your cooperation in that regard.
That depends on exactly what you mean by “study.” Most teachers are assigned to a single level of classes for all of Django Camp, and you can choose to participate actively in any class at a level appropriate for you. If you want access to a teacher offering classes at a level that is not appropriate for you, you are welcome to attend as an observer if the physical space allows. To observe a class please do not bring your instrument (or at least, leave it in its case.) That leaves more room for others and cuts down on the inevitable, and distracting, noodling. 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. Smith asks that you be out of your dorm room by 10 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 or outside.We do not have access to the dorms on Sunday night.
When you leave your room, please:
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
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. So please note the following:
No concert tickets are NOT included in the cost of tuition. We do it this way so that the Academy of Music can offer you reserved seating through their ticketing service, which we could not.
Seating for Django in June’s concerts at The Academy of Music is 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 rooms are not set up for cooking of anything more complicated than an electric hot water pot (your own.) Although most dorms do have an accessible kitchen somewhere, most people seem to find it easier to go downtown for a sandwich than to deal with cooking during Django Camp.
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. The best way would be to attend our Tuesday offering, “Meet Greet and Play All Day.” That will give you an opportunity to find your level and your peeps before classes get under way.
If that’s not an option, or not enough, ask one of our more experienced Django Camp guitar teachers—Jack Soref, Denis Chang, Adrian Holovaty, Christine Tassan, Brad Brose, Luca Pino, Sami Arefin, Gage Hulsey—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. 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 we’ll make other arrangements one way or another. 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—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.
A great next step would be to attend our Meet, Greet and Play All Day workshops on Tuesday. You’ll have some tunes under your fingers and some fast friends to play slowly with—before Django Camp really gets busy.
Once Camp gets under way 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.)
Smith does not provide these for us, but very few people bring them. You do what seems best to you.
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 basic of info on flying in for Django in June and links to ride boards, just follow this link: DIRECTIONS
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.
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.
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! We’ll let registered Campers know when we’ve started taking pre-orders. Or, you can look right here to see if that process is already under way: Merch!
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, Duckett, Talbot, Lamont, Chapin and Unity for classes. Albright is offline this year, but we’ll have access to Baldwin next-door. 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.
Yes, we will all have access to wifi.
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: