What is 'Land Grab'?
- The opening weekend of Pennsic is 'Land Grab weekend'. On Friday and on Saturday morning, the Land Agents of all the groups arrive, check in, and meet with other Agents from their block to work out the placement and boundaries of their camps. When all Block negotiations have been completed (usually by Noon Saturday), the Gate is opened for all to drive into camp.
Why do we have Land Grab?
Land Grab in its various forms dates back to Pennsic 17. Prior to that, Pennsic was a one week event, with all the battles taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. With only 3-4,000 attendees, people came and set up camp wherever they wished, although certain groups had their traditional spaces, such as 'Horde Hill'. As attendance grew, so did competition for campsites, and group representatives began showing up earlier and earlier to claim their group's campsite. People with enough free time could show up in July (or June!), pay the Cooper's Lake Campground fees and set up their tent where they wanted their group's campsite to be. This was deemed unfair, both for groups who weren't able to send someone out so early to claim a campsite, and for the Coopers, who needed to have the campground clear in order to get ready for Pennsic.
Pennsic 17 (1988) was the first year where attendees received a numbered site medallion based on the order they checked in at Troll. The people with the lowest numbers were allowed to choose their campsites first. For Pennsic 21, groups submitted an estimate of their camp size prior to Pennsic, and the Land staff assigned them a plot of land based on the number of campers (and some other factors). Pennsic 25 was the first year that the size of a group's land was based on the actual number of campers who preregistered in that group's name and prepaid their fees.