And that’s a wrap.

Have You Ever Danced With The Devil In The Pale Moonlight, by GiaNikai

Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to the future. 2014 is upon us, and the gaslights are now out.  Gothmas by Gaslight is closed for 2013.

When there’s no charity to report on, I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what to say in blog posts (I’m a terrible blogger anyway- why this job is left to me, I have no idea.) other than thank you over and over again.  Just like we do every year, we learned a lot from this round of GxG, and have some idea of what to change (and what to keep) next year.  As I’d said in previous posts, this event is unrecognizable from where it began (it actually began as a hunt in 2009.)  and every year it gets a little better.   Whatever rough patches are taken to another round of sandpapering for the next year. And so it goes.

The Ghost of Jacob Marley, by Devin Vaughn

I try to be transparent about stuff. I mean, this isn’t national security, it’s just an event. This year we learned that we need to add someone to the team to deal with store checkout before we roll.  The few problems we had this year (and they were very few- I could count them on one hand and have fingers left over) were due to our not having a dedicated person for that purpose.   The reason the existing team doesn’t do it is we have our hands full between the event itself and making merchandise for our stores (in total, we’ve got five stores to account for at this event, plus Gothika.) So, we’re going to have someone do that next year(I’m looking at you, Sian and Ely…).  Ounce of prevention, pound of cure… you know how it goes.

One of the things that went fantastically well this year though was our blogging team, led by the head Blogging Bunny Sonya Marmurek, kicked 27 shades of ass.  They really and truly went above and beyond, blogging tirelessly throughout the event, even in the last days.  Considering that the bloggers are real people too, with the same pressures and concerns as we all have during this busy time of year, the effort they put forth to get posts and photos out both on their own blogs and in our flickr pool is nothing short of tremendous.  The org team maintains a constant Skype chat(the plain truth is we do as little of the organizational process inworld as humanly possible), and we spent a lot of time throwing links around saying things like “OMG LOOK AT THIS!!”  We’re incredibly honored to have such dedicated and talented people who come back over and over again to blog our events. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I can only imagine what amazing things we’re going to see for WGF.

Another thing  people consistently came to me about to tell me they loved was the build. All credit for that goes to Lokii.  Though normally I have some idea of how the build should look, conceptually(though I’m just a concept designer- I don’t build inworld – that’s Lokii too.  Believe me no one wants me to build anything inworld. RL, yes, SL, no.), for our events, this time around I genuinely had nothing at all to do with it.  Lokii did this one entirely on her own, as I was buried in work myself.  She built this one in record time (seriously, it might have taken four days total to do both sims, if that.) and over and over again people came to me to tell me how much they appreciated it. She’s the one to thank, folks. I didn’t do it. Also, <3 Pottamus.  It’s been almost five years and I’ve never fired her once. One of my better moves, that.

Solstice Symphony, by Duchess Flux

In the post before this one, there was a comment that amongst other things suggested we open the Cursed Events group and make it public. We’re really sorry- we can’t, and here’s the reasons why:  The group is used for several things, but the two that make it so we can’t open it as that it’s used for rez rights on Sium, and it’s where our merchants drop review copies for our blogging team.  It’s a working group, not a shoppers group – it’s just where we disseminate info to our merchants and bloggers.

That said, we do understand there’s a desire to have an open group for shoppers and gacha traders.  We’d love to do that this year, but it’s largely dependent on Linden Lab’s rollout of new group management tools.  Our org team are almost completely made up of very introverted people(please believe me when I say the hardest part of all our events for us is the social part.  It’s genuinely difficult.), who are buried under work as it is. We don’t have a dedicated set of people to moderate an inworld group right now, which is what’s really needed while the event is going on. The tools the Lab gives us all to moderate groups are mediocre at best, and we don’t expect a new group to be self-policing (they eventually *become* self-policing, but they don’t start that way.)  We truly hope that the Lab makes good on new group management tools in 2014, and if so, we’ll be happy to have an open group for shoppers and gacha traders for all our events as soon as they do. We’re aware this is something people want, and we’ll do our best to make it happen, hopefully by World Goth Fair 2014 in May.

Dolly Treats II by Alisa Perne

But before we get to WGF, we have something to do first.  We’ve added an event to the Cursed Events roster for 2014.  It’s a brand new event called Futurewave, and it will take place in mid-February.  Applications are already open for it (but please, please, please read the rules carefully- that event is NOT like this one.) and you can find it here.

Gothmas by Gaslight will return, opening December 15 2014, as we do. Thank you all again for the support from merchants, bloggers and shoppers alike. Let’s head into the Future. The digital revolution is now.

I leave GxG this year with this beautiful image from Cindy Gedenspire.  Thanks, Cindy.  <3

GxG2 Scene, by Cindy Gedenspire

-AK

…and on to New Year.

BitsyB – GXG – Jasmine’s Oasis Dress – Mahogany, by Tigist Sapphire

 

I had meant to post on Gothmas itself but it just didn’t happen that way.  Not that I was doing anything special, I just needed some sleep.  I now have a ton of emails and IMs to answer, and I find it kind of amusing- I am pretty sure I’m the only one on the Cursed Events team that doesn’t actually celebrate a holiday on the 25th IRL.  But I do hope that everyone that does celebrate had a wonderful time in whatever way is meaningful for them.

The week before Gothmas in SL is a strange time. The grid goes basically silent as people are so busy running around IRL that they have no time to do anything else. The pressure is palpable, and so the grid becomes akin to a ghost town. Which, on the upside makes it fantastic to take photos in, since no one is really around.  I do know that our blogging team didn’t take much, if any of a vacation themselves, as the posts and photos continue to pour into the flickr pool.

The Gothmas Reindeer, by Autumn Amaranth

I’m always so amazed and tickled by the photos the bloggers give us, and the posts they work so hard to create. I know that I personally hate blogging (really, I mean this.) and so I can deeply appreciate people who willingly and cheerfully do that which I can only muster grudging strength to accomplish.

As I’ve wandered around the event (and believe it or not I’ve only really seen 3/4 of one sim fully) I’ve been pleased with the demonstrations of creativity, and so far done a fair bit of shopping myself!  Now that Gothmas itself is over, and we’re headed toward the new year, the grid has started to re-awaken, as people slowly filter back in, stuffed on more food and overwhelmed with the whole “too many people” thing, looking for a quiet wander.

However, for those who are big fans of such data, I can say for sure that in the first week of this year’s event, we’ve outdone last year’s whole event.  Thank you so very much to everyone who helped make that feat possible.  We’ve had a huge, huge year at Cursed Events. Every event we did this year exceeded our expectations by leaps and bounds – this one included so far and really, we keep our expectations pretty mild for this event due to its timing.  The support everyone has given us this year has been tremendous and we cannot find enough ways to say thank you. All of us are continually amazed and humbled by the support our team has gotten from everyone, and we will continue to do… well whatever it is we did to cause this again next year (really, we have no idea what we did, we just mostly put our heads down and do our jobs.)

Gothmas, by Duchess Flux

 

But before we even get to 2014 (and remember, we will start the ball rolling toward Futurewave on New Year’s Day), we have one more week in 2013 – so come on up!  Look around, grab some gothy winter gear, because next year you’ll think “well I wish I’d bought that….” (I know I will, if I don’t grab it all NOW NOW NOW), and take some beautiful pictures.  It’s definitely more fun than fighting your way through a crowd of tourists in midtown.  Trust me on that one.

 

-AK

 

Whyfor Gothmas?

Sweet Lolita, by Alisa Perne

Alisa is one of our official bloggers for GxG and I couldn’t be more proud of her. This is lovely.  <3

Yesterday, I finally got a chance to scrape together enough time to read some of the blog posts people have written about GxG.  I was directed to this one and really loved it, much to the surprise of its’ author. Really, go read it- it’s good.

I wanted to use that post to springboard into this one, and talk about how and why this event is different from the other Cursed events – something that Sal seems to understand even without discussing it with me.

In 2014 we will be doing four big events(so, not including Oopskate since that’s only one night a year)  but until now we’ve only done three a year- GxG, World Goth Fair, and A Clockwork Spiral.  All of them have changed over the years in ways big and small.  We learn from every event we do.  They are all different.  Futurewave, which we’re adding in 2014 will be different still.  But GxG is its own case.  It’s morphed a lot over the years.  It’s almost unrecognizable from where it began, and that’s a good thing. As SL evolved it evolved too.  But really, it’s designed to be an easy event for both merchants and shoppers for the end of the year.  It’s meant to be low-pressure, as this time of year everyone is under enormous pressure in RL.  Because there’s no booth fee, there’s no way for merchants to lose money.  If it’s slow, no biggie- it didn’t cost anything.   If it’s busy? Bonus! There’s no rules about exclusives, or new stuff (though a lot of people choose to put out both), but there’s no pressure on merchants to jump through a lot of hoops to be involved. This event is intended to be as inclusive as possible- the only really firm rules are about vendors and IP/infringing content. It’s pretty open ended.

Because there’s such a low barrier to entry, we get a broad mix of applicants. For many, each year, it’s their very first foray into being in events at all.  When it’s your first time doing a big event it can be scary and you feel like you’re in over your head. You don’t know about how important things like display and exhibit design are.  You don’t necessarily know what the trends are in advertising design.  Creators are often in their own bubbles regarding these things.  We largely work by ourselves and don’t get out much. We don’t often see what else is out there, because we’re so busy churning out the next release.   But events in general, but this one in particular, allows creators to come together in a low-stress environment and check stuff out.  Look at people around them. See what others are doing.  Gain inspiration and learn new stuff.

Sal is right- our group is very nice to one another. Very helpful and cross-supportive.  We try as hard as we can as the org team to do the heavy lifting on this event.  This allows both seasoned and new creators to breathe a little easier. Our experience tells us that the experiences that folks have with GxG, whether they make money or just gain experience are good- they come back to us for World Goth Fair, which is easily the toughest event we do all year.  And when they do, after their experience at GxG they up their game.   They take what they’ve learned and they apply it. They do better products, better ads, better booth designs.  They ask for more critique, more help, and they get better at what they do.

A rising tide raises all ships.

In many of the smaller, niche markets change is slow to come, and SL has undergone a lot of technical changes in the past 18 months.  But when creators see what’s possible, and how they can adapt those things not only in mainstream markets but in niche markets as well (which is all we do at Cursed events- mainstream isn’t our thing.) they find ways to adopt those new methodologies into their products and branding.  The big names do their thing, and the small names get bigger and better from the experience.

That’s what GxG is about.  It’s not intended to be a rough event. We have all our other events for that.  It’s about taking a breather at the end of the year, and everyone coming together in mutual support of a small scene.

We’re pretty happy with that goal.

 

This photo wasn’t from one of our official bloggers but it’s just so nice I’m posting it anyway (don’t kill me, Sonya.) It’s from our event Flickr Pool (which you can post to also!)

LA PETITE MORTE – J&A EXPO – GLAM AFFAIR ,by Punkiss Resident

 

Creators, Bloggers and the Great Circle of SLife

Through the Glass

Through the Glass by GiaNikai

Gothmas by Gaslight has been open for a few days now and we can all breathe again. (At least those who do such things as breathing.) Except the bloggers. It is the great Circle of SLife that when the creators have finished their work in an event and set up, the bloggers begin their work for real.

I have been a part of the Cursed Events team for three events now, dealing with blogger-related matters and I could not be more proud of them. Our events tend to appeal to the strange and the wonderful: goth, steampunk, cyberpunk, dieselgoth, dark Victoriana… they are not easy styles for bloggers to tackle unless they are already drawn to them. It seems that many of the bloggers who fit in these genres have found us and decided to stick with us. We never aimed to create any sort of permanent blogger-base, but it seems the bloggers decided otherwise!

We are not going to wrap them in a pretty packet and call it our precious: lives are busy and a lot can happen in the few months there tends to be between our events. Every event has its own application process, so no one needs to worry about obligations far in the unseen future. I am simply saying it is heartwarming to see the familiar faces and names returning.

I admit a strong bias toward imagination and creative thinking in photography and I have a huge soft spot for excellent writing skills. Fortunately our bloggers are stars in all those fields.

Cursed Events has always had very relaxed blogging rules: be respectful toward everyone involved, blog what inspires you and enjoy the event. Looking at the results, that is exactly what our bloggers do. Event after event.

Thank you.

Gothmas Glamour

Gothmas Glamour by Alisa Perne

And we are OPEN.

Gothmas Build Preview, by Salome Strangelove

Sal got this photo while we were setting up.  I think it’s great. Thanks, Sal!

We are OPEN:

On Cursed:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cursed/132/69/1004

On Sium: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sium/128/80/1002

I want to thank everyone who has gotten us to this point- the merchants who have busted ass (especially the waiting listers who jumped in last minute to fill in with no complaints at all), the kick-ass blogger team, Sonya for being the head blogging bunny (cause I am terrible at that stuff, hence this post sounding like this…) Ely Hynes, aka Pinderella, for pinning everything on her Pinterest the sponsors who all chipped in with help with everything from webstuff to scripting help and especially Lokii (pottamus.) Violet for building ALL THE THINGS, Nephi Protaganist for being my partner in crime, and Cruel Britannia for being my partner in everything ever (and he’s never once even yelled at me.)

We’re here for 20 days of dark, wintery goodness.  I’ll be featuring STUFF AND THINGS on a daily basis.

No eating Orvan in ways he doesn’t like.

Come on up, the dark has arrived.

2 days to go.

Gothmas by Gaslight 2, by Sonya Marmurek

 

2 days to go.

Everyone is predictably tired, and we’re at the stage where any real problems come in all at once and last minute.

We have final notices in to the last few stragglers and will have definitive answers for waiting list merchants by noon tomorrow, SLT. We know you’re waiting and as soon as we know, you’ll know.

If you’re having trouble finding your booth, make sure you’re on the right sim- check the merchant list for details. If you use Area Search with your store name, it will pop up- Lokii has the signs tagged.

Once again- vendors and gachas are in group notices. If you need a different script in order to add partners, etc. to the split just let us know – we can help you with that.  Again, just as it says on the FAQ, no networked/multivendors are allowed at our events. We will return any we find.

Several people will be screaming in at the last minute (likely self included, as I have one store I’m still building for) and I appreciate their giving me the heads up.  :)

Almost time :)

 

 

Load-in.

Load in has begun. We’re t minus three days.

Sims are done, and the bloggers have started filling up the flickr pool with awesome photos just like this one by Acha. (actually this was taken before I finished up the details, but I love this photo anyway and I make the photo choices around here, damn it.)

Gothmas by Gaslight 5, by Achariya Maktoum.

A note to merchants – if you can phantom things, please do.  It helps a lot when the sim gets busy, especially if you have displays in the middle of your booth.    Also, Lokii sent an alternate gacha if you want to use it – it’s 3LI and you can find it in group notices.

Load em up, gang. We open at NOON on December 15.