At the end of July the Avatar larp will take place in Belgium.
I've been playing in this fest larp for 4 years. Last year I couldn't participate due to Dragonbane and this year I won't out of principle.
I've always been part of the "Vlammende Adelaars" (Flaming Eagles) faction. And while I had some good moments I always remember the bad parts. The way the rules sometimes change during the game makes me angry about it. But also the way the organisers throw away money on stupid stuff is just crazy. The Avatar organisation publishes their bookaccounts every year, so we can see where all the money goes to. E.g. I strongly have my doubts about the need to spend around 500 euro/year on internet hosting.
I once read a report where they expected to get about 80'000 euro IN (reasonable amount of money) and then calculate that they'll spend 75'000 euro (most on stupid stuff), reality then showed them the numbers were changed: 75'000 euro IN and 80'000 euro out!
And then they increased the participation fee to cover the costs (at least 60 euro's for just a laminated card, some pocker chips money, stinking toilets and a patch of grass to put my own tent on).
Having done a lot of larps in- and outside Belgium made me realise that Avatar is actually no longer a larp (at least 2 years ago it wasn't), it's just an expensive camping site where people have a BBQ and wear Larp clothes. So no more Avatar for me, unless someone can prove to me that they changed.
This is an example of what I never want to happen to Banapsis. All the money gained from it should be invested back into it to improve the experience of the participants. Also Banapsis should be self-sustainable, this means that we'll never spend more money than we get from the participants fee.
So since I won't be doing Avatar this summer I'll be going to Conquest of Mythodea. Instead of the outrageous fee of AvatarI just paid 24 euro's. Conquest is run by a company and it's clearly visible, lot's of high quality larp props, good terrain, ... All the things I hoped Avatar had. Of course Conquest is your typical boffer larp, meaning it's mostly fighting (as Avatar is). I don't mind that since they advertise it as a boffer larp. At Conquest I can play the warrior I always liked to play, shield charging is allowed (never got a complaint about it :-) ), while in Belgium it would earn me a warning. Of course in Germany most warriors wear steel armour, so that might be the reason why hitting hard and shield charges are allowed. I.e. in such armour you don't feel it when someone hits hard. Only negative comment on Conquest is that the ref's direct the NPC's to much and are in OOC clothes.