Our Community

Our community is very precious to us – find out about us and how you can join in, make friends, and become part of the community.

Our Community

The Vinegar Hill community is diverse and varied, all genders, ages, sizes, ethnicities, and backgrounds, from all around Aotearoa and beyond. We value the differences between us, as well as our shared histories and experiences. Vinegar Hill draws people from near and far, from grandparents to mokopuna. Some have been coming for decades, and every year there are new faces and new returns.

Come along to the community events and get involved.

Note: Transphobia, misogyny, racism, and other discriminatory nonsense is not welcome at camp. We love and cherish all our Rainbow whānau.

Community Life

Kai at Ryan’s Camp Kitchen

You will find the Camp Kitchen near the bathroom block at the southern end of the campground. There are free cups of tea, and plenty of friendly people to make you feel at home.

Ryan sometimes cooks for the community – you are welcome to offer your help cooking or washing up, and donations of food or cash for supplies are always welcome.

Commercial sales are banned at Vinegar Hill, so for those who forget to bring supplies, the camp kitchen will see you through!

Community Events

Every year there are a series of events from Christmas to New Years Eve. This can include Fashion of the Fields competition and runway, Pick a Purse, the annual ‘girls vs boys’ softball game (trans folks welcome, non-binary people choose which team to join).

Some years have seen film screenings, lube wrestling, cooking competitions, and parties with various themes hosted by different campsites. Most events are family friendly, some are adult themed (generally after 8pm).

New Year’s Eve Party

Entertainment usually kicks off around 8pm with the lighting of a huge bonfire and a series of competitions on stage, such as best buns and best boobs. This is followed by performances, from poetry to drag shows to folk bands to metal and hip hop, to queer burlesque striptease, both fresh new amateur acts and seasoned professionals among the community.

Around 11pm entertainment switches to DJ Aaron, then shortly before the new year count down prizes are given for the Best Campsite, Best Costume, and other awards, followed by the coronation of the new Queen, and a dance party till 2am.

Get Involved

Host a Community Event

If you would like to host a community event or party at your campsite or in the communal area, please talk with the Queen in advance so it can be put on the community notice board program. You can contact the Queen in the Facebook group during the year, or in person at The Palace (at camp).

Perform on New Years Eve

You don’t have to be a professional to perform on New Years Eve! If you would like to offer your poetry, singing, drag show, a competition, MC skills, stage management, or any other help with the entertainment, please talk with the Queen in advance.

Medics

If you have first aid or medic training and could assist in an emergency, please contact the Queen.

Adults Maze

Some years people have set up a discreet adults only maze with safer sex supplies (provided by New Zealand AIDS Foundation and NZPC Sex Workers’ Collective), for those who prefer to take new friends somewhere other than their tent at night. If you’d like to help with this, talk with the Queen.

Camp Etiquette

Do be respectful and considerate of other campers
Do keep dogs in a pen or on a leash, and clean up after them
Do turn generators off at 8pm
Do turn music off at 11pm (2am on new years eve)
Do lock valuables in a vehicle on new years eve if your campsite will be unattended
Do supervise kids near the river and fires
Do use the toilets provided (not the bushes or riverbank)
Do join in community events
Do respect Papatūānuku – take only photos and leave only footprints
Do leave your fireworks at home

Problems at Camp

Anyone experiencing problems can go to The Palace (signposted) and talk with the Queen, who is our liaison with the council and the community, and can help sort out any issues.

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