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> But then I may be unusual in that I spend a lot of my time at big SCA events in classes.
I'm not entirely joking when I ask: what else would one do during the day?
But seriously, Lilies is the only war I'd suggest considering trying to replace one or two of the A&S tents. It's been two years since I've been to a foreign war, but it's been my impression that classes there tend to be a bit cramped, time-wise. A class is one hour (or occasionally two) but you'd better be out right away because the next class can't start until you clear out. A focus on quantity.
This year at Lilies, I spent more than an hour at the hands-on fire safety class (die flames, die! Fear my sodium bicarbonate!), two or three hours dropping in and out of a paper marbling workshop, and several hours most days on the same woodworking project.
Not wanting to intrude on campsites is definitely a legitimate concern, as is difficulty finding camp locations (I once spent an hour tromping through boot-sucking Estrella mud looking for the Crystal Flute competition.) If the idea of reducing A&S tents were to be workable at all, it would require some serious work implementing logistics such as scheduling, camp/location-signs, and publicity. (And notifying the A&S Info-table of class cancellations would need to be made a priority rather than the current hit-or-miss.)
I really don't know whether it would save enough money to be worth it, since I don't know how much difference one or two tents would make in rental costs. But if there is indeed a large cost difference, it's worth considering.