StP Fest III - Slab City, CA; Oct 8th-11th 2009

Are you going to come rock out with us in the desert?


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Matt Derrick

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#1
It's official, Squat the Planet is having it's 3rd bi-annual gathering!

StP Fest III - October 8th - 11th, 2009

StP Fest is an informal gathering of migrant punks, squatters, and wayward wanderers, although anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. We gather twice a year to celebrate the beginning and end of the traveler season with games, events, story telling, and a fair amount of drunken debauchery. This fall we will be meeting up in the southern California desert to share beers, workshops and bands in the famous Slab City, one of america's last symbols of free living and travel.

StP Fest is a four day event and begins on Thursday the 8th, and ends on Sunday the 11th. There's a lot to see and explore in Slab City, and the Salton Sea in general. Salvation Mountain, hot springs, underground bunkers, the pits (aka battle arena), old vehicles abandoned to the desert... not to mention all the workshops and events!

Schedule / Events:

Here's the current schedule. There's not a lot here at the moment, so expect lots of updates as things come along!

Thursday the 8th:

  • Arrival & Setup
Friday the 9th:

  • Explore the slabs
  • Wild Tales Competition; Swap your best travel stories around the fire. Prizes awarded for best/craziest stories!
  • Battle in the pit at midnight; Whack the shit outta your friends with foam weapons in THIS battle arena! Say it with me... "two people enter, one person leaves..."
Saturday the 10th:

  • Bands (TBA shortly) & open mic @ The Range!
Sunday the 11th:

  • Photo Safari! A driving tour of the abandoned Salton Sea hotels (and possibly other places) via school bus! Load up your friends and beer while we take you around some of the more interesting areas of the Salton Sea. Many of the places are slated to be knocked down later this year, so it might be your last opportunity to see them!
Monday the 12th:

  • Clean up & Exodus
Call for workshops / bands!

We're looking for people that are interested in doing workshops during the event, and bands that are willing to play at Slab City's outdoor stage, "The Range". We have a generator, so bring your equipment and rock out!

What we have / What to bring:

Please keep in mind that even in mid October the Salton Sea region will still be very hot (anywhere from 90-100 degrees)! We're attempting to bring as much clean water out as we can, but you might want to pick up a gallon on your way in, or bring some water purification tablets.

We're also working on bringing out food, but details are somewhat sketchy at this point. Check back here for updates, but in the meantime, plan on bringing enough food for a few days.

Shitters. Yes, we are planning on having shitters. Something mildly comfortable to sit on, and so we don't make a turdtastic mess all over the desert (poop does not break down well in the desert).

You should plan on bringing at least some food with you, at least a gallon of water, and as much booze as you can carry. There will be a *few* vehicles available if you need to resupply.

What we need from you

DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS! We need money for supplies, and people to help us organize the event! Donations can be made via the donation system here on StP, or mailed to the following address:

Matt Pist
1500 Twin Lakes Rd.
Cle Elum, WA 98922

Would-be volunteers can join the organizing discussion in the StP Fest social group!

RSVP Mutha fucka!

As in past StP events, we're asking everyone to RSVP with how ever many guests you'd like to bring. This is NOT mandatory for attending the event, but it will help us logistically to know how many people to expect. If you change your mind and decide not to come, please let us know!

About Slab City:

Salton [email protected]@[email protected]@offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fmexicaliblues%2Fsets%2F72157600325466822%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fmexicaliblues%2Fsets%2F72157600325466822%2F&set_id=72157600325466822&[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@%2Fphotos%2Fmexicaliblues%2Fsets%2F72157600325466822%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fmexicaliblues%2Fsets%2F72157600325466822%2F&set_id=72157600325466822&jump_to=

Slab City is located in the Salton Sea region of southern California. It's host to a range of diverse areas to explore, from abandoned bunkers and hotels to Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain.

Several hundred people spontaneously built a city on desert land that was owned by the government, and continued to occupy it for decades despite the absence of any services that are taken for granted in civilization, such as water, power, gas, sewage, garbage, phone, postal or governmental authority. Since the marine base outside of Niland California closed up shop just after WWII & left behind only the concrete slabs it was built on, Slab City has continued on in a smaller version of Burning Man’s Black Rock City. Despite the absence of any fixed structures at all, there is a library, a makeshift shower, and there’s a stage for live weekly rock & roll shows. The seats in front of the stage are a Frankensteinian mixture of lazy boys, airline chairs, school workdesks, park benches & anything else with back support, all stolen from the local trash dump about four miles down the road.

More Info:
Search results for salton sea
Photo la Causa: Rouse at Salvation Mountain.
Squat the Planet Forums - plantsomeseeds's Album: Slab City scoutin' mission
Search Results // Current

Respect:

Please respect the residents of Slab City and the region in general. Please keep in mind that you are a guest here, and that we would like to come back in the future, so please treat the people and land accordingly. This includes not littering, (we have provided trash bags & shitters) and interacting with people with different religious views than your own. While not many of us in the gypsy punk community identify as christians, Squat the Planet and it's organizing members do hold a large amount of respect for Leonard Knight's creation of Salvation Mountain and it's message of love and peace. We encourage you to visit it, but please be polite even if you do not agree with christianity in general.

A note about the Photo Safari; the point of the photo safari is to take pictures and leave only footprints. It's not an opportunity to run around abandoned buildings punching holes in walls or otherwise destroying property. While some things like graffitti are somewhat acceptable (look at the area when you get there and you'll know what we mean), being a drunk idiot and throwing yourself through walls is not. We WILL leave you behind at the site, and believe me, it is a VERY long walk through the desert back to Slab City.

Directions to Slab City, CA:

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Coming from NORTH Hwy. 111:

From Interstate 10 You will want to take the Indio exit and proceed south on Highway 111 towards Salton Sea. Once you pass the Niland Boat Launch at Salton Sea, (on your left) you are getting close to Niland. The highway makes a slight bend as you enter Niland. Turn left on Main Street. (near the food mart in Niland) It's hard to spot the sign so keep your eyes peeled. Main Street eventually turns into Beal Road just before the railroad tracks. Continue east until you cross the railroad tracks. Keep going about a mile or two and you should see an old grey guardhouse on the right, near a canal. Keep going about another mile and you will be at Salvation Mountain. Another quarter mile or so from there and you'll see another guardhouse, this is Slab City.

Coming from SOUTH Hwy. 111

From Interstate 8 you will exit near El Centro at the Highway 111 exit and proceed north through Brawley and Calipatria until you reach Niland. As you are entering Niland, take the road that splits off to the right. This is Niland Ave. It will take you directly to Beal road, which is several blocks down. You will notice a trailer park at the intersection of Niland Ave & Beal Rd. Turn right and go over the railroad tracks. Keep going about a mile or two and you should see an old guardhouse on the right, near a canal. Keep going about another mile and you will be at Salvation Mountain. Another quarter mile or so from there and you'll see another guardhouse, this is Slab City.

Via Train:

can someone give us train hopping directions to go here?

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Niland, ca:

The town nearest to Slab City is called Niland. It is located about three miles west of Slab City on California State Highway 111 near the eastern shores of the Salton Sea, south of Bombay Beach, and north of Calipatria. Niland serves as the gateway into Slab City, and is the closest place to obtain gasoline, food, drinking water, and other valuable resources for an extended stay at The Slabs.

The SOCO Gas Station in Niland on HWY 111 is open daily from 5am to 11pm. It has a propane station and a free water station.

Groceries are available at the United Food Center located at 8110 HWY 111, and the Imperial Food Market located at 8092 HWY 111. The Imperial Food Market also has an ATM machine available.

Other services are available in nearby Calipatria and Brawley.
 
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Matt Derrick

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#2
spot reserved for future updates
 
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rideitlikeyoustoleit

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#3
I'll be there!
 

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#4
P.S. this is right on the sunset line, easy enough access.
And water is no problem, you can get it for free in niland.
Food is easy enough to come up with.
You could easily live for free in Slab City year round (if not for the heat)
Be careful though, desert rats are strange folk.
 
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NickCofphee

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#5
By train, Slab City is on the Sunset Route, as mentioned above. It's between the crew change stops of Yuma, AZ and West Colton, CA. You could get off at either of these yards and hitch.

OR, catch out of either of these places and get as close as you can and get off at a siding. Catching junk out of Colton (more sidings than IM) heading east, there's a very good chance you will side within about 30-50 miles of Slab City. Highway 111 parallels the tracks for a long distance. If you make sure to bring enough water with you, I'd suggest getting off here and hitching. But there's a chance you could overshoot it of course.

Use your own judgment on this one.
 

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#6
By train, Slab City is on the Sunset Route, as mentioned above. It's between the crew change stops of Yuma, AZ and West Colton, CA. You could get off at either of these yards and hitch.

OR, catch out of either of these places and get as close as you can and get off at a siding. Catching junk out of Colton (more sidings than IM) heading east, there's a very good chance you will side within about 30-50 miles of Slab City. Highway 111 parallels the tracks for a long distance. If you make sure to bring enough water with you, I'd suggest getting off here and hitching. But there's a chance you could overshoot it of course.

Use your own judgment on this one.
Or, if yer a citizen of the USA, wave at the border checkpoint to the Homeland security guys, they'll get you off of there, just a few miles out of niland.
 
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NickCofphee

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#7
Good point! Get off at the INS checkpoint!
 

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#8
Niland is a regular cc point too, don´t care if it´s in the .doc, because I know it with me own eyes and elbows and feet. Keep an eye out for the tanks and Salvation Mountain, and if you´re lucky the train will drop you 3 miles off.
 

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#9
I'll be there, and try to save up food stamps to bring lots of food for everybody. Because I get my food stamps on the 9th, that'll probably mean initially having $50 or so, making a supply run on the 9th, and bringing in $150. I'll see about getting a giant pot and keeping hobo stew going the entire time.
 
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#10
I'll be there, though I dont really know HOW I will be getting there. If the bus is up and running, I'll try to hunt it down, otherwise I'm going to be doing some riddiculous hitching/catching out, as I need to be in NYC on Sept 28th. I *MIGHT* have a vehicle, if so I can give folks rides.
 
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#11
fuck if i end up touring out to california in september, theres a good chance me and some northeastern nutjobs will make it as well.
 
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#12
Hell yeah I'll be there if I can figure out how I'm going to get there.
 

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#13
I'll certainly be there, and will almost certainly be driving down from the High Desert, which is about 20 miles north of Colton. So if anyone wants to get off a train in Colton, I could probably give a ride or two, or at least arrange a ride, as I think a few friends of mine are going to be driving down from the same direction.
 
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#14
if anyone thats going to this is passing through texas let me know i havent been traveling outside of greyhound and planes and dont want to try to hitch or hop by myself atleast not the first time
 
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#15
I might be there, though it depends on several things.
 
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#16
I think that the Cut Throat Freak Show will be there to have a blast, and if possible, play a show.

It seems like a great time to me, but I have another person/performer to consider, and she's asleep behind me. As soon as I get the go ahead, I'd say we're a sure thing to hitch in, have a good time and play a show.

Should I ask someone specific about booking? Or just show up and go for it?
 
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Matt Derrick

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#17
pm sent, we hope to see you out there!

for everyone else, i wanted everyone to know that its looking pretty unlikely that ill be able to bring the bus out... the gas costs would be at least 800 dollars.

the only way i can see it happening is if we can get 8+ people to caravan in the bus and split gas costs. which is not impossible, but it remains to be seen how many people come along, which i guess mostly depends on how many people show up in new orleans this fall.

of course ill still be coming out, although i might have to take a friends car or greyhound it, as Ive got 2 jobs here that i need to keep.

this doesnt mean that the photo safari wont happen though. we'll just have to work something out with vehicles and whatnot. everything else is on track, and its looking like this is going to be one heck of a gathering!
 
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#18
Hey hey! My boyfriend and I would love to volunteer! We would be coming from either Portland, OR or Santa Barbara,CA. Would it be cool if we did??
p.s. I have a car that'll fit two more people. '96 saturn sl-1 5 speed =]
 
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#19
Looks like the Cut Throat Freak Show will be there to perform!

Looks fun.

If anyone's going and coming through Phoenix, we'd appreciate a ride. Otherwise it's trains or thumbs.
 
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Matt Derrick

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#20
Hey hey! My boyfriend and I would love to volunteer! We would be coming from either Portland, OR or Santa Barbara,CA. Would it be cool if we did??
p.s. I have a car that'll fit two more people. '96 saturn sl-1 5 speed =]
of course! we can use all the help we can get! vehicles are especially helpful.
 
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