Sign Up FAQ

Here’s the skinny:

Since 2013, YDW uses a lottery system for registration. Our belief is that by using a lottery when necessary, we can reduce stress and anxiety by avoiding the rush to sign up as fast as possible. We realize that lotteries have their own drawbacks but we’ve included measures to alleviate the worst of them (e.g. allowing people to register as groups). If you have any questions, you can contact us at As always, we are committed to open and lively dialogue about the weekend.

Looking for the sign up form? It’s right here!

When does registration open? When does it close?

Sign up will open at 7:00 am on Wednesday, June 10th, 2015. It will close at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015. You may send in your form at any time between those two dates.

If we reach capacity on or before July 1st we will hold a lottery to determine who is coming to YDW.

What’s this lottery business? Why switch from First Come, First Serve?

While FCFS has worked for many of us in the past (nearly 50% of survey respondents felt positively towards FCFS), it has become increasingly clear that our current system limits registration to an unacceptably short period of time and restricts access for certain groups of people. Since registration takes place primarily online, anyone without easily available internet is at a disadvantage under FCFS. Likewise, anyone caught unaware of the the registration date and time is shut out by the onset of the FCFS rush.

Due to to these disadvantages, along with more survey data showing equally strong support for a lottery, we as a Committee concluded that removing FCFS from our registration process and incorporating a lottery made sense.

The main advantage to switching to a lottery is that we can accommodate a variety of personal schedules and it gives everyone more time to submit registration info. Think of it as daylight savings time on steroids; instead of an extra hour, we get three extra weeks! (Okay, that metaphor doesn’t really work, but you get the idea.)

So, registration will now open June 10th and close July 1st. Registrations will be accepted at any point during the three week window. At the close of registration, we will hold a lottery and return results no later than July 3rd.

But what if I get into the weekend and my friend, carpool buddy, sweetie, spouse, second-cousin-once removed doesn’t?

Lotteries, of course, have their own drawbacks, primarily that the outcome is uncertain prior to the drawing. It’s risky to enter a lottery as individuals when you and person X, Y, or Z are committed to attending the event together. This led to our decision to allow you to register either by yourself as a party of one or with another person as a party of two.

Each member of a party will still fill out a separate registration form, but now there’s the option to indicate another person with whom your registration should be paired. Paired registrations will be treated as one party.

Okay, how exactly does the lottery work then?

You can sign up any time between 7:00 am May 14 and June 7th at midnight, anywhere on Earth. Sign up either as a party of one by yourself or with friends as a party of up to four people. If we reach a capacity of ~130 (160 minus committee, performers, and crew) on or before the close of the sign up window, we will hold a lottery and return results by June 12.

During the lottery, each party will be assigned random numbers such that each member of the party receives the same number. We will then assign slots at the weekend, starting with the lowest lottery number and giving consecutive slots to individuals with the same lottery number, until we reach capacity.

Individuals who get into YDW during the lottery will have until midnight, anywhere on Earth, July 20 to pay their selected registration fee. Those who fail to do so will forfeit their slot and be transferred to the end of the waitlist.

Any parties not admitted during the lottery will be transferred to the waitlist ranked by lottery numbers.

Once the lottery is complete the waitlist will be opened for first come, first serve additions.

I’ve never been to YDW before; what are my chances of getting in during the lottery?

Based on unequivocal results from our 2012 registration survey (90% of respondents said it was important that newcomers be able to attend YDW) we decided that parties which include at least one newcomer should receive preference during the lottery. We’re still working out the system details, but our goal is to come up with a method that will result in a roughly 40%-60% split between newcomers and veterans.

What happens if my party doesn’t get in during the lottery? Will I still be charged a registration fee?

Anyone who does not get into the weekend during the lottery will be transferred to the waitlist (ranked in order by lottery numbers). The waitlist will then be opened for others to join the end of the line in a FCFS system.

People on the waitlist will NOT be required to pay any fees until they accept an offered slot. If/when you get in, you will have 7 days to pay your selected fee. If the full balance is not received before the deadline, you will forfeit your slot to the next person on the waitlist.

EXCEPTION: if you are offered a slot on or after Sept. 16th you will only have 2 days to pay. This is so we can rapidly move the waitlist as we approach the event. No waitlist spots will be offered after Sept. 26th.

If I don’t get in during the lottery, will I be given preference in future years?

If you sign up during the registration period (June 1st-20th), don’t get in during the lottery, and end up not attending YDW even if offered a spot from the waitlist; then you will get preference during the next year’s lottery. If this happens to you twice in a row, the 3rd year you will get in automatically.

Again, we don’t yet know exactly what form this preference will take but it will probably be weighted similarly to being a newcomer.


What if I end up not being able to come? Will I get my registration fee back?

We understand that cancellations are often the result of extenuating circumstances so please contact us if you feel you deserve an exception to the following guidelines. We are humans. We’ll work with ya.

If you cancel on or before August 15th, you will receive a full refund minus $10.

If you cancel between August 16th and September 5th, you will receive a refund minus $70 (half of the at-cost price).

If you cancel on or after September 6th, you will only receive a refund of any money above the at-cost amount of $145. In other words, if you paid $105 to attend, we will keep your entire registration fee, but if you paid $300, we will only keep $145. This is to account for the generosity of those individuals willing to pay more as sponsors.

Please note that your registration is not transferable; if you cancel we will assign your slot to the next person on the waitlist. If you know you will not be able to attend, please cancel your registration early. This allows us to let people off the waitlist sooner and more people who need time to plan their travel will be able to attend!

How much does YDW cost?

Our fee structure is “pay-what-you-can”, meaning you choose how much you can afford to pay to attend YDW starting at a minimum of $95. No payment is required at initial registration. If we reach capacity on or before June 7th, we will hold a lottery to see who will attend YDW. If you are admitted during the lottery (or if we don’t have a lottery), you will then be required to select a registration fee amount and send in your payment.