As a participant of GISH, you agree to abide by the “Rules and Regulations” and the “Consent, Release, Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.” In addition to these agreements, you must strictly adhere to following these Commandments. If you violate the Rules and Regulations or break a Commandment, you and your team are eligible for immediate disqualification. If a commandment is unclear, you are not permitted to contact support. We suggest you send a smoke signal or ambidextrous carrier pigeon with your question to 34°6’21.838 N, 118° 17’ 13.721 W.
How to Participate in the GISH Fest Hunt: On May 22, we will post a list (The Item List) on our site. It is filled with things for you to do, make, or find. Each Items has Points assigned to it. You choose which Items to attempt, and then you have until the end of the Hunt Period to complete as many of them as you can. No team has ever been able to successfully complete them all. (We dare you to try.)
Once you complete an Item, take a picture or video of it (you’ll be told which in the item description) and upload it to our site. You get points for completed items.
The App. It’s free and you definitely want it. Find new friends. Chat with people from around the world. Build your teams. Win prizes. If you aren’t already living that GISH life, get the GISH app and make it happen.
1. Registration. You are only permitted to participate in GISH Fest if you are kind of weird and weirdly kind. No haters, bullies, or hostile personalities allowed! We mean it. Good vibes only!
2. Eligibility. To be eligible to participate in GISH, you must register and electronically sign all registration documentation. All participants must be at least 14 to compete and must read and agree to the GISH “Rules and Regulations”. Minors under the age of 14 may assist participants (“Gishers”), but may not register.
3. Rights. We intend to share your stunning Item Submissions with the world. Therefore, by competing, you agree to the Rights and License stipulations as detailed in the “Rules and Regulations”. In addition to agreeing to these terms, you also agree that we may use your Submissions as macrame, earmuffs, or during the silent disco as determined by the whims of our Grand Judge, who shall heretofore be identified only by his nom de plume. (You’ll be quizzed on this at exam time.) In short, what’s yours is ours. Capiche?
4. Updates. We will post updates through both our app and our website whenever we damn well please during the Scavenger Hunt (FKA “GISH”). Items may be added or removed from the List without notice. Rules may be changed mid-Hunt without advance notice, so stay on it and don’t complain if something changes and you’re asleep at the wheel. You may stalk the Updates, but not GISH personnel. Celery stalking is allowed with a valid permit, but stonks are against our policy.
5. Behavior. You are not permitted to physically, emotionally, or psychologically hurt, berate, bully, or otherwise attack yourself, another participant, or anyone inside or outside the Scavenger Hunt. Any abuse of other participants during the Hunt whatsoever or for any reason will not be tolerated. If you feel the need to attack someone – including yourself – don’t. We trust you to work out casual disputes amongst yourselves with respect and decency and will not mediate casual issues, but all behavior on the app or any other GISH platform, past or present, real or fictional must be kind. Violators could be penalized with loss of respect, loss of points, loss of access to the GISH Bunker’s chocolate fountain, or even GISH banishment. Be cool.
6. Conflict Resolution. All conflicts between teams or teammates must be resolved through a high-noon, live streamed roshambo duel, best 3 out of 5, winner takes all. Dominant appendages may not be used, but feet may be substituted as necessary.
7. Submissions. Submit Items by clicking on our “Item List” on our website (it will be posted when the Scavenger Hunt begins), and then on the item you want to submit. Then follow instructions. You must submit as instructed or you will not be awarded points for that item. This may sound scary, but it won’t be.
7a. Submissions. Photos must be submitted through our website using our Upload feature. Submit videos by entering your youtube.com links on our site’s Item submittal feature. Be sure to mark your videos “UNLISTED” on YouTube so that we can see them, but no one else can. Unless otherwise specified in the Item, video submissions must be NO LONGER than 15 seconds. We suggest putting “2021 GISH Fest” and the Item Number in the description or title of your video on You Tube. This makes our job easier, but not yours, which we prefer. After the Hunt concludes and we give you the all-clear on social media, please set your videos to Public so the whole world can see them! Until then, keep them “Unlisted.”
8. Altering Photos/Video. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Unless an item specifically asks for manipulation of photos or videos, you are NOT permitted to do so. We have graphic designers and NSA analysts on staff who can spot a digital counterfeit, so don’t screw with us on this point or you will be screwing yourself and your whole team. Only tools use screws. Don’t be a tool.
8a. Altering Photos/Videos. With the exceptions as stated above in Commandment 8, you may not alter your photos digitally — but you may adjust the exposure (i.e. making the image brighter) or color of an image, or do simple video edits if it does not impact the integrity of the Item. For example, you can edit together a video to create an ad for dragon throat lozenges, but if we ask for a 30 second video proving you can balance a spoon on your nose for 30 seconds, don’t edit it so we know it was really there for 30 seconds. Got it? Good.
9. Breaking the Law. Some of the items in the Scavenger Hunt may be illegal to perform in some corners of the world. It is your responsibility to assess the local legality of your actions during the Hunt. If you believe completing an Item will cause you to break a law, DO NOT DO THAT ITEM. We simply don’t have the time nor patience to assess the Civil Codes that govern all the world’s municipalities and townships, so we leave it to you to know your region’s laws. In other words, (a) you are not permitted to break any law in an attempt to scavenge an item and (b) GISH will not be responsible if you break any law, and we won’t visit you behind bars or post bail if you do.
10. Scavenging Safety. The first rule of scavenging: be safe! Second rule of scavenging: Be safe! This includes observing appropriate pandemic protocols in your region. Remember, your Submissions may be shared with the world, so try to set a good example.
10a. Scavenging Safely II. First Do No Harm. Be mindful of your impact on your surroundings, people, animals, and the environment. If you think you might hurt yourself or someone else trying to complete an Item, or cause actual damage (to property, the environment, or a specific site), do a different Item. We have many. How many? SO MANY. Plus two.
10c. Convention. Defy it.
11. Shame. We will not tolerate shame in our Hunt. If you have any shame tucked away, get rid of it now! Throw it in your compost bin and recycle it into something more useful, like a flower crown or moon shoes. If you must hang onto it, stick it someplace so clever, you’ll forget where you put it. We recommend storing it in the dark and mysterious place where lost socks go or with Misha Collins’ 489303238 pairs of lost AirPods (wherever they went).
12. Normalcy. Normalcy is banned during the GISH Fest. Leave it at the gate! Be weird. Odd. Different. Try on a whole new you so outrageous, no one will recognize you. This will pay off for you in the Hunt and in life. NOTE: Some of you may already be pushing the boundaries of weird and abnormal within society. Good work. Now kick it into overdrive.
13. Radical Inclusion. Everyone is welcome, and everyone will be respected, accepted, and appreciated just as they are. Include and celebrate others for the unique things they bring to the world and to the Hunt. Don’t leave anyone out. Being left out sucks.
13a. Radical Self-Acceptance. Commandment 13 applies to you, too.
13b. Radical Self-Reliance. Life finds a way, and so will you. If you don’t know how to do or find something, figure it out. You can do more than you realize, and you’re responsible for making sure you have what you need to have a good time in this world, so practice good self-care and tap into your reserves of grit, ingenuity, and tenacity. You have it. We promise.
13c. Radical Self-Expression. You’re the only one that thinks what you think and makes what you make in a way that is uniquely you, so don’t rob the world of the opportunity to experience your expression!
13d. Radical Kindness.. From the smallest ant to the mightiest whale to the planet itself, everybody deserves empathy and kindness. So don’t just sprinkle kindness — pour it all over the place like maple syrup on the hotcakes of life. Make the world sweet and a little sticky.
13e. Radical Radicalness. You’re rad.
14. Music Restrictions. For obvious reasons, a certain song (you know the one) will be banned throughout the duration of the GISH Fest, including in the silent disco — so don’t even try it. We’ll know.
14a. Music. Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.
15. Normalcy. We abhor it. During GISH Fest, you must reject all normalcy. Be weird. Odd. Different. Try on a whole new you so outrageous, no one will recognize you. This will pay off for you in the Hunt and in life. If you’re already doing this, good for you! Now take it to the next level.
16. Item Interpretation. In most GISH Hunts, we have a strict rule about Item Interpretation which simply reads: Don’t. But in GISH Fest, we’re being more lenient to let you have more opportunities for creativity than ever before. If the Item reads “A photo of you standing with Betty White with a glob of soft tofu on your nose,” ideally you provide a photo of you with the Golden Girl in the flesh, with a soft soybean curd schmear on your schnozz. But in GISH Fest and GISH Fest ONLY, you may be allowed more space to be creativity and maybe use sour cream or cream cheese and still have it count. We applaud and celebrate your creativity and cleverness, but wherever possible, please try to clearly represent the Item because if you give us a photo of a squirrel with cream cheese on their nose, it won’t be completing the item and then what’s the point? Teams that blatantly disregard the Item in its entirety are likely to receive 0 points or even be docked points for that Item if we’re judging it before we’ve had our morning extra-vegan green juice with granulated hemp rope fiber.
16a. Item Interpretation II. During GISH Fest, we’re allowing more leeway in creative interpretation — but it must be an inspired combination of creative genius and hard work to garner Points. But when possible, DO give us what we asked for — in a way we didn’t expect it. You’re not boring, so don’t pretend to be for our sake. Take it next-level. Surprise us.
17. Submissions Secret Tip #1. Quality counts! Make sure you take in-focus, high resolution pictures and videos. Nothing makes our judge’s hackles rise faster than a beautifully executed item shot so poorly that we can’t see or hear what you did. Keep our hackles down by making your submissions beautiful, artistic, and excellent.
18. Submissions Secret Tip #2. Have fun. If you’re having fun making or doing an item, odds are the result will be great — and no matter the result, you had fun which is the whole point, right? Right. So before tackling an item, figure out how to make the process fun. If you’re not having fun, change course immediately so that you ARE headed in the direction of good times. (Caveat: sometimes GISH is hot, sweaty, & miserable—and that’s part of the fun, too.)
19. Submissions Secret Tip #3. Composition counts. Pay attention to everything in your Submission— including the setting and backgrounds of your images and videos. Well composed images that look good in landscape OR portrait mode have a better chance of being showcased in the Hall of Fame, coffee table books, social media and on Misha’s refrigerator door.
20. Submissions Secret Tip #4. Make the judges laugh, chuckle, chortle or giggle until we lose control of major bodily functions. Make us cry or puke a little into our mouths. Our Judges love granting points to people with a good sense of humor, so entertain us and you’ll be rewarded with Points. Dance, monkeys!
21. Submission Secret Tip #5. Expression counts! You don’t have to be an “artist,” but be thoughtful in your creations. Tell a story in your image. Images that tell a story in a single image are generally more compelling than images where the subjects are just posing for the camera.
22. Submission Secret Tip #6. Give us your best shot! If we want a collage, or a grid, or a side-by-side or triptych, we’re not shy about asking for it. Otherwise, select your best single image as your Submission. Don’t give us 7 of your favorites or a handful showing your process or several shots of your item unless we ask for that. It can detract from the power of your image (and sometimes, our ability to see it clearly). Be selective and decisive.
23. Submission Secret Tip #7. WATERMARKS OR TEAM NAME SIGNS: Unless we specifically ask for it, we ask that you avoid adding a watermark or sign with your team’s name on it in or on the image. We know you want credit, and wherever possible we’ll give it to you. And we know you’re rebels that do what you like, so we’re not saying you can’t—but just know it can impact our ability to share your work in video compilations, the book, social media, etc due to constraints of size and visual layout. You can add your team name to the video description on YouTube, the comments, etc. But if you want your work seen, please be mindful of this important Tip.
24. Submission Secret Tip #8. NO OPEN CAPTIONS. We appreciate your help in adding closed captions to your videos wherever possible, but please for the love of Misha’s pet pony don’t open caption them (where the words are burned into the image). It can impact our ability to share clips of your work later, and that’s just sad.
25. Insta-lebrity Clause. Occasionally GISH attracts “personalities” with massive social media followings. We welcome them to join us in the mayhem, but to keep things equitable, here’s our policy: If a member of a GISH team has more than 500,000 social media followers or “likes” on any social media platform and/or the judges deem this individual a widely-recognized celebrity of any ilk, and if that celebrity team ever wins anything GISH, we will award THE PRIZE to TWO TEAMS. The highest scoring NON-CELEBRITY team will also be awarded the Prize. If this unlikely event should occur, we will be awarding the Prize to BOTH the Celebrity team AND the other team composed of the hoi polloi. (No celebrity team has ever won.)
26. Fringe. The GISH Fest is a fringe festival, so all participants are required to wear no less than 12″ of fringe at all times. Hair “fringe,” known in the US as “bangs”, is not an acceptable alternative.
27. Pets. Well-behaved pets are welcome on the GISH Fest virtual grounds, but please keep your pets on a leash unless they are working as roadies.
27a. Kombucha. The living organisms in the ‘booch constitute pets and therefore must also be kept on a leash when on virtual festival grounds. Thank you for your understanding.
28. Confusion. Confusion is a vital component of the Hunt. This is by design. Confusion brings us joy. If you are confused, you’re doing it right. DO NOT contact customer support or GISH on social media or try to sweet-talk the GISHBOT in the GISH Bunker for tips or hints or for any issues related to confusion on how to do an item. 1/2 of the Hunt is you figuring out what the hell we’re asking for. The other 1/2 of the Hunt is you doing it. The other 3/4 of the Hunt is you taking a picture or video of the item. The other 5/6 of the Hunt is you weaving a bracelet out of old wires, pretty beads, macaroni, and your old baby teeth that the Tooth Fairy rejected.
29. Body Paint. In the spirit of Earthling unity, GISH Fest participants must paint one pinky fingernail green and the other blue and wear them for the duration of the event.
30. Social Media. This is the event of the year, so of course you’re going to want to document your trip on Insta & TikTok. But to ensure that this underground festival avoids becoming too mainstream, all GISH Fest attendees must tag their posts with the secret codes #GISHFest & #festival to help keep it low-key.
31. Complaining. Complaining is forbidden! Also, you must not gripe, whine, whinge, at any of the GISH staff, judges, roadies, gnomes, or that guy at the shaved ice stand selling snow cones for $12 when it’s just ice with colored sugar water on it. Petitioning is also forbidden. GISH is a feudal monarchy, not a democracy! Our “Support” email must be used only as a last resort. Please visit our Holy FAQ section prior to asking questions. Read the dictionary. Explore encyclopedias. If you must vent, you may fabricate a doll of Misha, deem it your “Complaint Vessel”, and whine to it. But don’t complain to us or so help us we will turn this festival around right now.
32. Bribery. All lobbying, bribery, cajoling and coercion of the GISH gnomes, roadies, or judges is prohibited and no special favors, changes to Items, hints, clues, or lifestyle advice will be offered, no matter how many tacos or shiny rocks you offer to email@example.com. Really.
33. Facial hair. To help reduce wind drag and improve energy consumption, all Gishers with facial hair must either braid their beards or shave their left eyebrow during the event. Thank you for helping us heal our planet. It means so much.
33. Redundancy. If we told you once, we told you a thousand times: if it’s important, we may repeat it for emphasis. But we might not, too. Pay attention.
34. Outsourcing. Although we encourage you to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, students, teachers and your social media communities to assist you with the completion of the items, we expect YOU and YOUR TEAM to be the primary participants in completing your Items. You are not permitted to crowdsource or purchase multiple Items wholly from third parties. The majority of your items must be sourced, created, and performed by your team – meaning at least one team member must be in or have created the majority of the videos and images. What does this mean? This means if you tweet to a thousand of your followers for individuals to do lots of your items and deliver you the images or videos, all of these submissions would be ineligible. On the other hand, if we ask for an item to be completed in the heart of the Amazon jungle and you know a cousin who knows a captain of a canoe who knows an anthropologist living in a tent that is studying the lifespan of the male flagelunting bug, you may have that anthropologist take a picture and submit it if said anthropologist is currently sheltering in place in the space where that bug is also quarantined. But if we see multiple instances of this and it’s clear you’re just sitting at your computer and outsourcing like a boss, your team may be disqualified. You may also not reach out to volunteer proxies who offer their services to teams to complete Items. Use your head on this. DO NOT email our support to ask questions regarding this commandment. You be the judge… and then we will.
35. Peace, Love and Porta Potties. Handle all matters related to these with the utmost care and respect for the experience of others. (This STILL means you, Todd.)
35a. Outhouses & in-houses. In some areas, it is acceptable to go out in society because those countries have their sh**take together. In others, staying in is still the safest course of action. Please respect the safety guidelines appropriate to your region and act accordingly.
36. Plagiarism. You shall not submit any Items that were created by another team. Any team that is caught submitting another team’s Item shall be eligible for disqualification. You may not submit any Items that were taken before this year’s Scavenger Hunt. Any team that is found to be submitting items that were created before the Hunt is eligible for disqualification.
37. Sensitivity & sustainability. We expect you to do your part to help make this a kinder, if not gentler, Hunt with a smaller carbon footprint. With that in mind, this is a zero-waste Hunt and any and all food that is used for creative or artistic purposes must be consumed after the Hunt (unless you preserve it for posterity in some fashion and keep it forever, in which case good luck with your inevitable ants).
38. Cultural Immersion. The GISH Fest event is a fully immersive experience, so for safety’s sake all Gishers must have a snorkel on hand for moments when you get in over your head.
39. Spoons. You don’t need spoons to play, and in fact, we actively forbid their use throughout the event. But if you need them for reasons of accessibility, you may use one. (This is true for any accessibility requirement.)
40. Responsibility. We’re taking planetary stewardship seriously. This Hunt is negative-waste and sustainably sourced. If you made it out of food, make sure that food gets eaten. If you use something, recycle it into something so much better you probably should have bought the new thing to begin with.
41. Content Sharing. You may not “share” your images or videos until after the Scavenger Hunt, but you may not password-protect them either as we need to access them for judging. Violators will be subject to virtual incarceration and/or loss of Points or disqualification. We encourage you to share your images and videos after the Hunt ends, and will alert you when it is permitted — typically 8 minutes and 47.3 seconds after the Hunt is officially over. Watch our social media for the all-clear.
42. Collaboration. GISH is typically a cut-throat competition, and we expect each team has to execute each item on their own without collaboration unless the Item says you may. BUT GISH Fest is different! You MAY collaborate on these Items unless we say specifically in the Item that you may not. Go wild. Additionally, collaboration with any of the following is strongly encouraged: imaginary friends, teammates and their respective imaginary friends, familiars, unicorns, walruses (koo koo ka-choo), magical beings, and the beat (which goes on).
43. FOMO. Live in the moment, because once it’s over, it’s gone for good and you cant fear missing out on what you were there to experience.
44. Ponies. Pony rides are free from the hours of 4-5 PM PT on the day of the event. Please arrive promptly to pick up your pony and give it a ride.
44a. Horses. Any horses in the desert shall be kept out of the rain.
45. The End. The Scavenger Hunt shall end at 5 PM PT on Saturday, May 22, 2021 unless otherwise stated on our social media platforms and/or our Updates page.
46. Arbitrary Rules and Constraints. New rules, commandments and updates may be posted here, on social media, or on the Updates page during the course of the Scavenger Hunt. Life comes at you fast. Pay attention.
47. Campground Rules. Please respect the “quiet hours” in the yurt campgrounds from 8 PM – 9 AM, except during Screaming Time which occurs at the top of every hour.
48 3/4. Modifications. You may modify Commandments for reasons of personal safety, quarantine or accessibility due to a disability or injury as needed and within reason, though there’s no reasonable time to break some of them (such as Commandments about safety, legality, or outsourcing/cheating, or ponies). Use your judgment, and we will use ours.
49. Glow Sticks. Glow sticks are permitted and may be used as substitutes for chopsticks, but may NOT be used to redirect traffic in the airspace over the virtual festival grounds without valid permission from an FAA authorized pilot.
49a. Attention to Detail. Read all the Commandments and pay attention to the little things, or you might miss something good.
50. Life Lessons. Be kind. Be rebellious. Be festive. Be creative. Be courageous. Be shameless. Be GISH.