YOU MUST ARRIVE AND LEAVE WITH A PAL
One of the things you agreed when booking your ticket is to arrive and leave accompanied by at least one friend who knows you and vouches for your behaviour all weekend.
The person can be a friend, a relative or a partner. They do not have to be your lover, but they can be. It can also be more than one person; no more than three people can be in one PAL grouping. You may not ask on social media for a stranger to be your PAL, since it must be someone you know.
This system is called the PAL System. It was created by Kinky Salon in San Francisco and has been made available under Creative Commons for other events to use. The idea of PAL is to ensure that everyone has one or more people there who can provide them with support during the weekend, and to whom they are accountable.
HOW PAL WORKS IN PRACTICE AT THE SUMMER HOUSE
Don't arrive alone unless you are 100% sure you can get your PAL to meet you at the gate. If you can plan in advance to arrive together it will make life easier for everyone. There's almost no mobile coverage on the site - which makes spontaneous changes of plan difficult. There is mobile reception in the local village and at the local station, so you could arrange to have a drink and wait for them.
The first people to arrive need to arrive in a PAL group of 2 or more. Whatever size that group is, sets of 2-3 people from the group are asked to take responsibility for each other, and their names are written on each others' wristbands. So let's say Mickey is Donald's PAL, he'll have Donald on his wristband and Donald will have Mickey on his.
The ideal size for a PAL group is either 2 or 3 people. PALs are the people you turn to for support during the event, and they will be jointly responsible for your behaviour. This is NOT about whether you "happen to have met someone who told you about the event and is going to be there". You've both got to trust each other implicitly.
What if you're already on site and you want to PAL someone who is arriving? Here's how to do it.
Let's say Daisy is also a PAL with Mickey and Donald When Daisy arrives, she will be kept at the gate awaiting Mickey and/or Donald. (The tricky part on site in practice is actually finding Mickey and/or Donald - who might not be answering their phones- leaving Daisy waiting in the security gate tent.) Eventually one of Mickey and/or Donald comes and vouches for Daisy, the relevant names goes on the wristbands and in she goes.
The maximum for a PAL group is 3, and after three people you're meant to break into smaller groups. Beyond that it becomes harder to know that everyone really does know and trust each other. 2 or 3 is best.
You may of course attend any of the workshops and activities during the weekend separately from your PAL, but you need to be sure that your PAL is always somewhere on site. If all one of your PALs leaves the site (for example to stay at a local hotel), they are still responsible for your behaviour even if you're not there.
What happens if one of you leaves without your PAL? You're still responsible for each other even after that time. If all the friends in your PAL group leave, we recommend that you leave too, because now there is no-one left vouching for you. If any one person in a PAL group breaks the code of conduct, they and all their PAL(s) may be cautioned or asked to leave.
If at any time we ask you to find your PAL and you can't find them or contact them, you may be asked to leave.
Example of this in practice is: a regular to our events, Flounder, brings an old friend, Sebastian. During the weekend Flounder realises they no longer get on with Sebastian, and leaves. Later on Sebastian upsets a bunch of people and breaks various rules. One of our team asks Sebastian to find his PAL (Flounder), who has already left. We hold Flounder responsible and both people are given a yellow card.
Please remember that you must bring photo ID: tickets are attached to your name and may not be transferred or refunded.