ENTERING LAKES OF FIRE 2023
- Gate Procedure (how to get in)
- Gate Rules (what to bring and what to leave at home)
- Volunteer (join the first contact team!)
Large Vehicle Entry Closes at Sunset
If you are entering Lakes of Fire with a vehicle larger than a Sprinter van, you MUST BE THROUGH THE GATE before sunset (9:35 PM Eastern Standard Time). Our Gate volunteers need to be able to look at and into your vehicle exhaustively before you are allowed to enter, and the Placement team will not place you at your campsite in the dark. And, because you may think of it: YOU CAN’T STAY OVERNIGHT OUTSIDE THE GATE. Absolutely no overnight parking on our property without getting through Gate first.
If you risk arriving later than 8:45 PM, we strongly recommend you make a contingency plan. Search online, find a nearby place with overnight parking (like a campsite) and be prepared to stay there overnight. Many highway rest stops in Michigan are open 24 hours. In those situations, it is legal to park your vehicle there overnight. Follow posted signs and respect the local ordinances; it’s your responsibility to know them.
Gate Hours 2023
Below are the times you may follow the gate procedure to enter Lakes of Fire. Attempting to enter or leave outside these times ain’t right nor proper, which is to say, don’t try.
Lakes of Fire is a “No Re-Entry” event; once you’re in, there is no back-and-forthing through the gate. See Gate Rules for emergency exceptions.
10:00 AM EST – 10:00 PM EST – EARLY ENTRY TICKETS ONLY. Your ticket will show the earliest date you can enter the event.
10:00 AM EST – 11:59 PM EST. GATE CLOSES at midnight.
10:00 AM EST – 11:59 PM EST. GATE CLOSES at midnight.
10:00 AM EST – 10:00 PM EST. GATE CLOSES at 10:00 PM Eastern.
8:00 A.M. – 4:00 PM – GATE CLOSES at 4:00 PM Eastern.
Participants only! No spectators, please. Arrive by 4:00 PM to participate in Lakes of Fire.
8:00 A.M. – 3:00 PM – (Exodus only)
All participants except for organizers, DPW, and LNT must be off the property by 3:00 P.M.
Stop 1: Traffic Control
As you pull onto Gate Road, turn on your hazard lights and slow to 5 MPH. Be ready to stop and put your vehicle in Park, approximately 100 feet off the road. Welcome – you are now at Traffic Control. Our Traffic Controller (TC) volunteers will ask you if you have everything you need. Once you have reached Traffic Control, there is no reentry.
You’ll be assigned to one of three lanes based on your vehicle and the presence or absence of a trailer. Remain in your assigned lane at all times unless directed/escorted into D-Lot.
Once you are in a lane, a TC volunteer will direct you to your next stop. Do not go faster than 5 MPH.
Stop 2: Document Runners
Approximately 100 yards down the road you will reach our Document Runners (DR) at your 2nd stop. Place your vehicle in park and let your foot off the brake. Our volunteers will not approach your vehicle until your vehicle is in park. In the event you have a manual transmission, turn your engine off and place it in gear as per usual.
A DR volunteer will bring a pouch with a card to your vehicle. They will need to see your Valid IDs and your tickets for the card in their Document Pouch. Hold onto this card, you’ll be trading it for your IDs and Wristbands at your 4th stop. If for any reason you are not comfortable talking to your Traffic Controller, you should remember that this person is a volunteer and doing their best. If you have a question regarding the use of your unexpired, government-issued photo ID and your privacy, you can talk to the on-shift Gate Administrator.
If you applied for a vehicle permit from DPW and have an approval email, tell your DR volunteer.
Once the DR volunteer has your documents, they will step away from your vehicle and clear you to proceed to our Nosey Neighbors at Stop 3.
Stop 3: Nosey Neighbors
Just like at stop 2, approach stop 3 and then place your vehicle in park. Our Nosey Neighbor volunteers are going to ask you some questions about what you’re bringing into Lakes of Fire. They will inspect your vehicle inside and out, as well as inside your trailer if you have one. You may refuse to allow our Nosey Neighbors to search your vehicle(s). They will park you in D-Lot until a Gate Lead can speak with you.
Our Nosey Neighbors are going to reach into places, check your trunk, side boxes, closets, under your bed, your middle console and anywhere else you might hide a person or a prohibited item. You’re going to probably have to move some stuff around for them depending on how you’ve packed.
If they find someone hiding, you’ll be escorted to D-lot to wait for a Gate Lead to come have a conversation with you. Gate Lead will pick up your Document Pouch from Ticket Processors and process ticket revocation for all persons in your vehicle. Gate Lead will then trade the document pouch card for your IDs before asking you to leave the property. To reiterate: Gate does not turn away people; Gate turns away vehicles.
Assuming you pass our Nosey Neighbors, they’re going to send you down to your last Gate stop, stop 4.
Stop 4: Wristbands
At Stop 4, you’ll trade that card you were given at Stop 2 for your ID, wristband and swag. Our volunteers will place your wristband on your right wrist, unless you don’t have one. They’ll then send you down to the lovely folks at Parking, who will give you some lovely snark and a timestamp on your vehicle.
If there are any hiccups or special circumstances along the way, our volunteers will direct you into D-Lot and our special teams volunteers will assist you from there. Once your issue is resolved, you’ll be directed by TC into a lane, to resume the process.
We super appreciate your patience and working with us to make checking in at Gate a safe smooth operation!
- You must have ID. This is your valid, non-expired, government-issued photo ID must match your name and birthdate.
- There will be absolutely no ticket sales at the Gate … as in zero.
- Participants under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
- All parents and guardians were required to register each minor when they accepted a ticket on Volunteeripate. This means you are required to complete this online, in advance.
- Participants at Lakes of Fire who are 21 years and up will receive a wristband identifying them as such. You may not gift alcohol to those under 21!
- Please remain in your vehicle to help us get you in safely and quickly.
- All vehicles are subject to search.
- Firewood (except sold by the landowner) is not allowed.
- Fireworks, weapons, glass, illegal substances, handheld lasers, and trampolines are not allowed.
- No pets are permitted into Lakes Of Fire.
- No emotional support animals are permitted into Lakes Of Fire. Great Lakes Experimental Arts follows the service animal definition set forth by the ADA; please see our ADA Liaison page for more.
- Your ADA service animal is welcome. Please see our Service Animal policy under our ADA Liaison page.
- At Gate you must report the sound equipment you have with you, even boom–boxes.
- Exit and re-entry, i.e., “ins and outs”, are only allowed in cases of emergency. If you must leave the event early, your wristband will be removed at the Gate and you will not be allowed re-entry.
- In case of emergency, re-entry will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and you will be allowed to keep your wristband on and to re-enter the event.
Once you are past the Gate, stretch your legs, get out, and hug a Greeter. They know everything!
Be a GATE KEEPER! First contact to participants entering the event. Collect and process tickets, verify I.D.s, check on COVID vaxx cards/test results, attach wristbands and be warmly inquisitive. Be a part of the ‘Last Bastion’ to help safeguard our citizens.