Awesome structures across the board! As usual, I did a crap job of trying to take pics of the shade structures this year. Fortunately one of my campmates grabbed a few pics worth sharing. What I built are all EMT conduit frame structures, which are made using galvanized steel fittings and (as the name implies) EMT conduit poles to build the framework.
Once that's together, you use ball bungees to connect the roof tarp. It's easiest to start on the windward side, then you walk the tarp across to the other end, bungee the opposing corners, then fill in all the grommet spaces with bungees. We use a heavy duty silver-on-silver tarp with UV protection, as it reflects the most energy away from the structure and blocks UV rays from getting through. Here's a shot of us getting ready to walk the roof tarp with the first 20x30 structure.
Once the roof's on, we put on angled side tarps. In years past that was done using guy lines at every intersection staked directly into the ground. While that held up even in the strongest dust storms, invariably the side tarps flapped a lot in the wind and a lot of grommets would get torn up over the course of the week. Last year I changed the design, using a run of conduit connected to hurricane stakes via bungees, then secured the angled side tarps to that. Significantly reduces the flapping, and no tarps/grommets get torn up even in the worst conditions.
From there, we rinsed and repeated for the other ground structures. This year we did four on the ground (two 20x30 structures for campers and some space to lounge around, one 20x20 for a kitchen & shower, and one 8x8 out front for the deli counter), and then I build another structure on top of our cargo van.
Several years ago, a friend and I designed and built a custom heavy-duty roof rack as part of an art car project. As part of that plan, we'd welded in a number of fittings that can accommodate EMT conduit poles - so I just built another one up top…
The arched roof gives it a nice quirky feel, and then we use the center poles to support the almighty drunkwaiter (a dumbwaiter for drinks). The elevated perch makes for a great view and awesome chill space (we called it the Lofty Thoughts Lounge, and had a bunch of white furry cloud-shaped pillows up there). Extension poles on the corners made for great flags.
In past years we had always left the frontage of the main structure open, and had tarps on the other three sides. This year we were going to be in a much more high profile spot (just off Esplanade), and were worried a bit about strangers and fuckos wandering into camp. So we made murals for the fronts of the two big shade structures, and then left the 'inner' side of each open (for airflow). That served as a great barrier between public and private space, and at the same time kept things colorful and fun out front.
Here's a shot of us on Sunday, just as the sun was going down and we had gotten everything out front finished up. The deli counter shade seems taller than the others because it is - where I went with 6'8" vertical everywhere else I went with 8' height on that structure, giving us a bit more room for the striped canvas awning of the deli, plus the lighting gear I was hanging from the frame.
And then one more shot, once things were all opened up. Yes, that's wood paneling behind the deli - it serves not only as a backdrop, but covers up our clunky old cargo van.
I was really happy with how everything worked out. Extremely sturdy (I didn't even end up needing to use all the stakes), and I felt we had a nice divide between public and private space. One campmate reported having something fancy stolen, but he left it sitting out in the open on a big burn night.