This is a tough conversation. When I first started playing in 2002, I went to lilies every year, religiously. After I graduated grad school in 2012 my life changed, and I have missed several. This past year, I had to choose, and I went with 50 year. The equestrian activities were amazing, and are something Lilies can't have. There are lots of reasons people do or do not, make lilies.
It is hard to discuss changes without knowing the actual numbers (port-a-potties, day trippers, week long users, cost of tents, cost of set up/clean up days, ice truck, etc etc etc) it is difficult to make decisions. It does seem as though a huge cost is in the tent rentals. I feel that the "court" tent is an absolute must. The weather is too iffy for there to be no large tent. But what about the rest of them? Could they be replaced with a "private" tent? What are the logistics of that? (making, transporting, storage, maintenance, etc). One thing with rentals, all the "incidental" costs of owning and storing large tents is taken up by the company. I know some of the classes can't happen without a good tent (glass classes need walls to cut wind for instance) and no one wants to sit out in the sun all day teaching. I now of several groups/individuals who own larger sized tents (Wayne of the Heights has his "barracks" tents, the Bards have one). While these tents are already in use at Lilies perhaps their owners could weigh in on some of the expenses? (tent itself, the wood for uprights, storage, transportation needs, etc).
How many A and S tents or shade flies do we use at Lilies? Would it be feasible for different groups to provide one tent or shade fly each? Making it group property would head off any issues of "that's my tent and I won't let X use it/be done there. Would this be saving Lilies money overall or just shifting (higher) costs to different Calontir groups? What happens if a tent/shade fly doesn't make it? I think it would be interesting to see what it would take for say, the large baronies to each sponsor one Tent or Shade fly (make or buy, transport to and from lilies, preform needed maintenance). This would also give a "standing" set of extra large tents and shade flies that could be loaned out for smaller events during the year. Thoughts?