NESI

 

 

NESI ATTENDEE GUIDE - 2022

You’re registered and ready to go . . .
Here’s some information to maximize your fun and minimize horrible surprises.

Arrival
      Arrival check-in opens at 3 pm. Please don’t come sooner. Look for signs that will direct you to the registration room. You’ll get a name button and an information packet that includes your room assignment, detailed floor plans of the Main Building and Farmhouse, the processional tune, a workshop planning form, a general schedule for the weekend, and a copy of the attendee email list. Your type of room will have been confirmed already, but specific housing assignments are made just before the event in case we need to make some adjustments. Please wear your name button throughout the weekend; we don’t all know each other, and we always have first-timers.
      Ideally, everyone will be signed in by 5:00 pm. There will be an orientation meeting in the auditorium at 5:30. Please plan to arrive in time to attend. It’s important. We’ll be announcing any changes or additions to the information you were given, making introductions, welcoming first-timers, and taking questions. Dinner will be served at 6:00.

The Weekend Schedule
      A schedule will be including in your arrival envelope. It’s an overview of how the time is blocked out throughout the weekend. It tells you when meals are, when the workshops take place every day, and other things that are linked to a specific time. It does not tell you what the workshops and focused jams are, as they are not scheduled in advance.
      Nothing is required of you, but there are lots of choices. You might jam in a crowd, play with a few others, or seek some quiet time in the inviting outdoor setting. You might join sessions, attend and/or lead workshops, and enjoy the Saturday night concert as audience or performer. You can lift your feet in the contra dance that usually follows the concert and lift your voice in the pub sing until the wee hours.
      Workshops are as varied as our participants, and most are unannounced until the weekend starts. Some are created on the spot in response to requests. You might get involved in a tango workshop, learn Klezmer or Breton or Irish or Balkan tunes and techniques, or find out how to fix your concertina or accordion from people that make and repair them.
      You can browse and "test-drive" all kinds of instruments. They're as different as the people that play them. Learn some new features of your box and find out, finally, how to play that tricky passage that's had you stumped.
      It's all here in a free-wheeling, free-spirited weekend that we make up as we go along, so it’s different every year.

Accommodations
      All of the rooms are heated and well-ventilated. If you signed up for a 2-person or 3-person shared room and did not specify a roommate, one or two will have been assigned. Please don’t make any room changes without speaking with Lynn Hughes, the person who probably signed you in. Pillows, bed linens, washcloths, and towels are provided by Wisdom House. There are just a couple of important requirements relating to housing. One is that there is absolutely no smoking of any kind (including vaping) in any indoor space. If you set off a smoke alarm, we will be charged $200. The other is that you need to turn off lights and any fans, close windows, and put your towels and washcloth into the laundry chute at the end of the hall on your floor when you leave. If you don’t do this, we are charged $20 for every transgression.

Food and Drink
      Wisdom House puts a lot of care into their meals. They have an organic garden and are committed to serving sustainable food. That means they do not serve shellfish, beef, or pork. They are happy to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets. You should have noted any dietary issues on your registration form. There are 2 kitchenettes with refrigerators and microwaves where guests with serious dietary issues that can't be accommodated can prepare their own food. Responsible use of alcohol by those over 21 is permitted. Please make sure you clean up after yourself and use good judgment. You may want to bring awell-insulated cooler and a starter supply of ice, if you want ice in your drink. (There is no commercial ice machine at Wisdom House. There are a couple of refrigerators in the main building that we can use to keep things cool, and we'll try to keep a supply of ice in their freezers.)

Workshops, Jams, and the Big Board
      As in previous years, we will have the “Big Board” set up in the registration room on which people can post offers of workshops and focused jams as well as requests. Remember that this is a DIY event – it’s only as good as we all make it, and it evolves throughout the weekend. Consider offering a workshop if there’s something you’d like to teach. (Please bring your own handouts, if any. You can also use Si-Talk to share your handouts in advance.) You could also convene a focused jam on such topics as Scandinavian tunes, old-time waltzes, or television theme songs. It’s a good idea to check the Big Board frequently so you don’t miss something that would have interested you.
      Here is a Jamming Etiquette guide that will help all of us be welcomed into the endless assortment of jams.

Saturday Night
      This is the centerpiece of the weekend. It includes the processional, the concert, and – COVID protocols permitting – the contra dance. If there is no dance,  we will try to arrange for some kind of lively and satisfying group music session where all are invited to play.
      After dinner, we will have a processional march to our evening concert, with massed squeezers playing a tune together. The route will be announced at the meeting before dinner on Friday night. The processional tune/march is a Scandinavian walking tune, the Äppelbo Gånglåt. Gånglåts were traditionally played in Scandinavia for people walking a distance to a barn dance.
Äppelbo Gånglåt:   In PDF format    In ABC format    MP3 sound file, to learn by ear

      On Saturday morning, near the Big Board, there will be a sign-up sheet to participate in the concert. We encourage folks of all skill levels to sign up. You don’t need to be an expert or a professional. You just need to be willing to share what you do with the friendliest and most supportive audience you’re likely ever to find. Because of the large number of people who usually participate, performers are limited to one appearance onstage, doing ONE song or one SHORT set of tunes. And you don’t need to play a free-reed instrument to perform – we’ve had fiddles, clogging, a hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, and unaccompanied singers, among others. We make a video recording of it that later gets posted for posterity on our website.
      You are invited to submit limericks and/or haiku for our annual poetry contest. Winning submissions will be read during the concert, and prizes of questionable value will be awarded. For more about how to enter, visit the Poetry Page.

What to Bring

Private Sales and the Shop
      We will set up one or more tables for private sales; the location will be included in the floor plans in your arrival packet. You are welcome to sell a few instruments as well as music books, CDs, accessories, and the like. Most people set up an honor-system payment box for small things. If you’re selling an instrument, be sure to post your name, contact information, etc. so that interested people can find you. Professional dealers and instrument makers should bring only samples (not for sale) and business cards.
      Arrangements for a shop and/or on-site repair services are not yet definite. We will update this page when that’s resolved.     
                                                                                               
Departure
      People need to be packed and out of their rooms by 1pm on Sunday. Please close any open windows, turn off lights and any fans, and put towels and washcloths in the laundry chute on your floor. Remember that we are charged if you don’t do this. Lunch is served at 12:00. And yes, you can hang around for a while afterward, just not in your room.

Ride Sharing
      Looking for a ride? Do you have room for a passenger who could share the cost of gas? Please use Si-Talk to let other attendees know. If you are not already a member, you can find information about that here. By the way, even if you don’t need Si-Talk for this reason, consider joining anyway. The more members we have, the better it works for all kinds of squeeze-related purposes.

Dealing with Problems and Questions
      Members of the Squeeze-In board will be wearing yellow buttons that say VOLUNTEER (which sounds nicer than “conscript” or “idiot”). If they can’t address your issue, they’ll find someone who can.

COVID Protocols
      By the time registration closes on August 10, 2022, all participants must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination as defined by the CDC. We strongly recommend home testing no more than 1 day before September 16, 2022. If the test yields a positive result, the participant's registration must be cancelled and a full refund will be issued on request. Our COVID-19 policy is in compliance with the recommendations of the CDC and the State of Connecticut. Our policy is subject to change if those recommendations are revised. If a change in our requirements makes you ineligible to participate in the event, we will issue a full refund if it is requested no more than 5 days after we publish those changes.