Survival Guide

What are we doing this year?

  • Vaccinated-only party!
    The vaccine lets us party safely. To attend everyone eligible to receive a vaccine must have the full course and show proof to this effect.

  • More folks!
    Mendo Magic is expanding their capacity and so are we. From 150 in 2019 to 250 in 2021. It's still small enough that we're all friends and you can build relationships easily, but more people = more fun!

  • Theme camps!
    Join forces with other folks and make something cool to please and entertain your friends. You'll get the best camping spots and some bucks to help you pull it off.

COVID-19 Protocol


    • You must receive the full course of your chosen vaccine and be out of the post-vaccine waiting period before the start of the event. That means all doses (1 for J&J, 2 for the others) plus two weeks time.
      Details from the CDC.

    • No exceptions other than ineligibility due to age or documented medical condition.

    • We will revise the masking and indoor density protocols as CDC guidance evolves, but as of this writing (Aug 2021):

      • Masks not required outdoors, but please have one with you to wear inside the portapotties.

      • Indoor spaces (kitchen, dome, tents) will have population caps to prevent overcrowding.

    • You must submit your vaccination card via the Registration Form or show it to us in person when you arrive.

Social Media Policy

  • Get the consent of anyone identifiable in a photo or video before posting publicly (to a spot visible to people who did not attend the event).

  • Pretty easy

Culture and Contributing

  • Is this a festival or a group of friends? A rave or a sit-around-the-fire type thing? At ~250 people, it’s a group of friends, but we’re making it whatever we want it to be. The speakers are pretty good, but this isn’t a rave. Loud, but not too loud. There is also plenty of space to camp far away if you would like to sleep in peace! Think big houseparty. Bring the party you want to see. If someone wants to throw a full-on rave, let’s talk, there's plenty of space!

  • Something Else is a do-ocracy. Folks who choose roles for themselves are welcome to own that piece of the pie. If you want to make it happen, we welcome and encourage your participation and responsibility and want to support however we can. We have a DIY/maker mentality. If you want it, help us figure out how to make it happen!

  • We believe in maximum fun for minimum effort. Let’s have fun and do great things without spending inordinate amounts of money and time.

  • Something Else has no paid staff — we’re all volunteers, and our community is based on each of us making Something Else what it is. There are a ton of ways to be involved — DJing, marketing, setup/strike, working gate, keeping everyone COVID-safe, or whatever else you’re good at and feel excited to help out with! Your confirmation email will include a link to the Registration form, where you can let us know what you might be available to do so we can keep everything running smoothly for everyone.

Art and Music

    • If you’d like to propose an art/music/project/theme camp/mystery thing, please do so in the Registration form that will be sent with your confirmation email, even if your idea is still nebulous. We’d love to hear what you have in mind and how we can support!

    • Art doesn’t just mean the Mona Lisa or some crazy art car. Anyone is capable of making art! We welcome your creativity in any form, be it a costume, a poem, illuminating a tree or a path and making it beautiful, throwing a party-within-a-party, or anything else that strikes your fancy. No fire art is allowed. And power is available in some areas (bring your own cords) so a generator is probably not necessary!

    • Music is welcome and encouraged. We have space and power, so additional performers and/or equipment is welcome. If you know about, need, or want to contribute amplified sound, get in touch. If you’re considering bringing any kind of musical performance (guitar, etc.) you should definitely do it! Fill out the Registration form that will be sent with your confirmation email, and let us know what you have and what you need. There’s a number of places that can serve as open stages and power is available.

    • We will have a good-sized sound system for our size and play various nice things. Bring your device with a playlist downloaded to it! (Don’t count on internet) There are neighbors, so music will have to be lower after midnight, and off at 2am.

    • Art Grants are available. They could take the form of a discounted ticket or actual cashmoney. Talk to us!

Theme Camps and Installations

  • TTITD has theme camps. What about Something Else? Yes this happens. We are into themed camps where people have somewhat oriented/dedicated zones for which in they create an experience, or provide a unique interesting service, etc. If this sounds like fun to you, make it happen!

  • We have plenty of space to set up installations and theme camps, near and far, we can help with things like electricity, and offer support for building structures.

  • We want to support your creativity, so please get in touch via Facebook or if you have any questions or if you just want to give us a heads up about that awesome cheese shop you're bringing. We are small enough so we can handle people on a 1:1 basis and we're new enough so we don’t have a lot of procedures or rules.

  • If you want to help out with a larger art project or contribute to making someone else’s big idea happen, that’s great too! Fill out the Registration Form and let us know, or ask around on our Facebook event page and see what people are doing!

  • Art Grants are available. They could take the form of a discounted ticket or actual cashmoney. We can also help you recruit a crew. Talk to us!

  • Remember, you are the party and the party is you! Your participation is what makes the party. Bring an art! A bar! A yoga studio! A tailor shop! A library! A facepainteria! Your own crazy wonderful idea! We welcome it all! We fully support Maximum Fun For Minimal Effort, so don't be intimidated by words like "theme camp" and "art installation". Experiment! Go nuts! Just no fire, please.

We will be building large-scale art projects together in the afternoon and evening. We will also have extra materials if you want to take on your own project! Let’s make things to delight and amuse each other! For this is what art truly is.

Food and Kitchen

  • Bring cash to enjoy a different house specialty from Paco's Tacos on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday morning

  • The Amazing Wafflord will be throwing down waffly vibes for Saturday's breakfast potluck

  • There is a main shared indoor commercial kitchen reserved 100% for volunteer teams producing meals for you at brunch and dinner! All are welcome, but practice radical self-reliance: we can't guarantee food for everyone for every meal.

  • Help make our meals go further by bringing a pre-made dish to set out and share, potluck style!

  • There are four outdoor grills (like the kind you find built-in at campgrounds and city parks), a giant hog-roastin’ firepit, a few camp stoves, and lots of campground-style wooden picnic tables.

  • Bring your own equipment, anything that uses fire can only be used in the designated cooking area (paved areas at the Lanai). You can bring and use personal camp stoves, but they will only be allowed in the central cooking area.

  • No fire outside designated cooking areas. It’s peak fire hazard season and we’re taking no chances. Some campsites have fire rings but we will not be using them at this time of year. Like most of Northern California, this idyllic forest is ready to burst into flames so please avoid that at all costs.

  • You are encouraged to bring your own water. There is potable water on the property – it comes from the reservoir. It's safe to drink but tastes "like a lake", so we recommend bringing Gatorade or Tang to improve the flavor.

  • There is a town (Laytonville, CA) a 10-minute drive from Mendocino Magic with a full-size grocery store, hardware store/lumber yard, gas station, pharmacy, etc. if you need anything before or during the event. You’ll drive through it on the way up.

Camping | Logistics | What To Bring

What to bring?

  • Headlamp or flashlight

  • Sleeping bag/blankets

  • Shade structures if you have them (most campsites are partially shaded by trees, but you'll have more options with your own shade)

  • Sunblock (Mineral-only! Regular sunblock is bad for the fish.)

  • Insect repellent

  • Towel

  • Layers of clothes (Warm days, cool nights, and everything in between)

  • Appropriate footwear (Flip flops are okay. Sneakers are good. Some areas are more overgrown so if you want to hike or go explore, hiking gear / boots are nice. Shoes you can wear in the water are good.)

  • Masks / face coverings

  • Water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Your favorite water float

  • Dino swag for costuming, decor, and gifting

  • Food/drink for yourself, as well as cooking implements. Be fire safe.

  • Cup, plate, bowl, spoon, utensils, etc: while there are some group meals, you are responsible for how you eat them

  • Whatever arts, experiences, or music you'd like to bring for maximum fun!

  • Bonus: The more lighting we have the more festive we get. Bring string lights, stage lights, and anything else fun and/or practical. Power is available. Please BYO extension cords and label everything so you don't lose your stuff.

Safety and Self-care

  • Be safe! Poison oak, ticks, snakes (rarely rattlers), and lifeguard-free swimming are all realities. The logs in the lake are pokey and can hurt you when they roll. Take care of yourselves and others and prepare accordingly!

  • Take care of yourself and others. Hydrate! Be mindful of what you put in your body and how it may affect you.

  • Weather could easily reach high-90s in the day and mid-40s at night (temps in °F). Pack appropriately. Rain and high winds extremely unlikely. Bring electrolytes and remember to hydrate.

  • It's California. It's fire season. Bring those N95s as defense against the smoke.

Rules | Notices | Consider Yourself Warned

  • All attendees must fill out the Registration Form. Do it from home or you'll be filling it out at the gate on your phone in a poor-signal area.

  • This is a Leave No Trace event. BYO trash bags. Pack out EVERYTHING you bring in. We also ask that you pick up any MOOP you may find.

  • No fire anywhere. It's fire season and the whole property is a tinderbox. Keep cooking/smoking to the Lanai/central kitchen area.

  • Is smoking allowed? Smoking is allowed on paved surfaces and the on the water only. Fire hazard. BYO ash tray.

  • Sadly, the venue won’t let us have dogs. They’ve had problems in the past. Service animal? That’s different. Talk to us.

  • Children welcome! With legal guardian and appropriate waiver signing. Please be aware that this is still largely an adult event, with clothing optional swimming, late music, and some unsober people. Use your judgement. Tickets for children under 12 are free.

  • No glitter or moopy clothing.

  • No clothing with hate speech or symbols.

  • Nature is a thing:

    • Expect mosquitoes in the evening plus ticks and chiggers in the brush. Avoid the brush and spray your bod with repellent and you should be just fine.

    • Overall the property is quite alive, but thankfully has few nasty disgusting awful bugs and mostly just blissful little fish and soaring graceful hawks. Plus dinosaurs.

    • There are bears in the area, though they visit quite rarely. For this reason, put your food, deodorant, and anything else with an odor somewhere harder to smell or find at all times.

    • There is poison oak. Its leaves can be any color – red or green, and are often shiny and always come in threes. It often grows at ankle height around the lesser-used trails, but it's a climber and can be anywhere.

  • You will be asked to sign a waiver to this effect before you may enter the event.

  • No firearms, air guns, swords, machetes, crossbows, polearms, or weapons of any kind. Water guns okay.

  • Obey all posted signs and all staff requests.

  • Don't be an asshole.

  • We reserve the right to eject you from the property with no refund if you are deemed to be in violation of the rules.

Poison Oak

Getting There

Google maps will get you to Mendocino Magic, 3000 Branscomb Rd, Laytonville, CA 95454.

You will drive through the town of Laytonville about ten minutes prior to arriving at Mendocino Magic. The town has gas, a grocery store, a hardware store/lumber yard, a few restaurants, and a pharmacy, so if you’re arriving at a reasonable hour you can pick up last minute stuff there.

Come on Friday or Saturday. Or talk to us about coming early Thursday to help setup and chill!

Gate open:

  • Friday September 3 • 2pm – 1am

  • Saturday September 4 • 12pm – 4pm

If you arrive outside these hours:

  • If it’s 1am – 9am : check into a motel or find somewhere else to camp! Then join us.

  • Otherwise: Come to the front gate and use the radio at the Gate to holla up someone to let you in


There is plenty of free parking — don’t worry your pretty heads. Do not expect to park near your camp site however, unload at camp and then park in the lot you passed as you came in. Most camp sites are next to a road, but some are a short walk away.

Car Camping & RV Passes

A limited number of car camping and RV passes are available. These are meant for folks sleeping in their vehicles. No vehicle camping at Great Oak or Camper's Orchard.

You can leave and come back. The gate does lock, so if you're leaving/coming back outside of Gate hours, use the radio hanging on the gate to contact someone.

Driving on the Property

Do not park on or block any road at any time for any reason. Pull off from the road somewhere reasonable. It's usually easy.

5mph or it gets dusty.

No driving on the property unless you're coming or going.

No driving to the lake. We will have a vehicle or two to transport heavy cargo and folks who can't make the walk. Otherwise no vehicles are allowed past the gate.

About the Property

Mendocino Magic is 600 acres (that's almost a square mile!) of beautiful land 3 hours north of San Francisco in Laytonville, California, nestled an hour inland from the Mendocino Coast, with rolling hills, lily pad ponds, forests, and an awesome reservoir for swimming! It doubles as a wedding venue and as private camping land, and we have it to ourselves Labor Day weekend!

The Camping Sitch

There are a lot of plenty of flat, clear campsites. Most are shady, but some are not, so bring shade structures if you have them.

Some areas will be reserved for folks bringing Theme Camps. These will be the nicer areas, so if you want to camp there, better start or join a Theme Camp!

Together! Or apart.

There is a main designated camping area with fairly good shade coverage. You’re welcome to join up and camp near others. There is also space for you to get a private spot not so far away.


There are a number of porto-potties around and they are in good shape and serviced regularly. This is a forest, so feel free to make liquid deposits, but please take your solid waste to the potties.


There is power at select locations around the property. Bring your own cords – 50' or even 100' recommended..

Internet and Phone

There is wifi available at the Gate House, although it's slow. Don't expect Netflix or video calls to work reliably. Phone reception is spotty. Immediacy!

The Lake

Glorious natural freshwater lake! The lake is actually a reservoir supported by a dam, and has canoes and kayaks and nice swimming with a couple floating docks.

Please do not abandon or break the canoes or kayaks!

The venue wants to nurture the reservoir, so we are all asked to help it be a nice place for fish and creatures. Toward that end, please use mineral sunscreens instead of chemical.

Leave a Positive Trace

Something particularly special about the Mendocino Magic venue is that we have the opportunity to leave a positive trace — to leave the place nicer than we found it.

Of course this does not mean we can just scribble all over the place. But it does mean that we can do permanent projects, rather than temporary ones, and think in terms of many years and many events, rather than just a few fleeting days.

Year after year, what this means is a nicer park for us and others to enjoy.

Contact us if you'd like to participate. It's fun! BYO power tools.

Dino Flavor

Why dinosaurs? Dinosaurs come in all shapes and sizes. Some even just eat smaller dinosaurs. Others eat eggs or fluff.

Dinosaurs live in the woods and lakes and air. Many had feathers with bright colors on them. They probably danced and sang, because birds do and birds descend from dinosaurs.

They also ruled the earth for hundreds of times longer than humans have, so that’s probably a good sign.

Ok, but why is dinosaurs the theme?

Because they live on the property and will eat us if we don’t make them the theme.

Questions? Get get in touch via