Mike (Young) has run LULLABY OF BROADWAY and LOB2:ALL THAT JAZZ more or less back to back (which is to say, very close together for full weekend, choose-your-own-character [from a large pool] LARPs), and intends to follow them up with LOB3:INTO THE WOODS next year. Have any other TSFL LARPs run in the last 2.5 years? How many are being worked on now by their respective creators, and what point have they reached in the creative process? Having the advantage of a predefined audience, Mike already has most of his players lined up for LOB3, and will be getting his writing groove on according to his schedule. Only one other TSFL LARP was known to be on the drawing board by people involved in our discussion, and the group responsible has not yet begun to beat the drum (i.e., has announced no date, no venue, and no theme).
(edit - the Research Dept. reminds me that THE ISLAND ran during the last two years...]
The economy, of course, is not conducive to expensive hobbies (and full weekend LARPs are expensive, both to their players and their producers); still, people make exceptions to indulge in hobbies which grab and hold their imaginations. Campaign LARPs have continued throughout the last decade in spite of economic considerations. It was suggested in conversation that campaign LARPing is necessarily destructive to TSFL LARPing, because people who are committed to a campaign are putting their energy and money into running and participating in those campaigns. A campaign LARP might have events 4 or more times in a year, and travel and lodging costs for each weekend are similar to the cost of attending as many standalone LARPs. There may be some synergistic savings on some costumes and props, which might be used multiple times for the same campaign, but still the overall expense is going to be similar to attending multiple TSFL LARPs. Campaign LARPers might understandably hesitate to produce or even play in standalone events, because pockets are not infinitely deep.
It has also been suggested that the "life happens" factor has caused some people who had been active in LARPing to step away. It is certainly true that priorities can change with the passage of time and the occurrence of any of a number of signature events (becoming parents, for instance). Whether or not those priorities will once again include LARPing cannot be known until they do.
Also mentioned was the Personality problem. Not everyone gets along well together. Feelings can run from mild dislike up to open hostility (the latter usually starting as dislike and proceeding to hostility because of some specific event). It was suggested that some people may had drifted a little away because of problems with this or that person. Given that the LARP community is a maze of interconnections, it is possible that some LARP people currently feel disconnected because a sizable number of their points of contact currently converge near someone that they personally are uncomfortable around.
Of course, there are new people coming to LARP every year, but one can't necessarily expect newer LARPers to step right up and start producing events. There are exceptions, of course, but sometimes people need a catalyst to get started. They may need the right partner or partners, friends who can provide complementary skills and talents, someone to brainstorm with, someone to share the work with, and someone to provide emotional and other support throughout the process of producing a TSFL LARP. They may need a spark - something that galvanizes them, fills them with a vision and purpose to achieve some specific end.
No conclusions were reached during this discussion - among other things, time ran out - but it was of interest, and I thought it might be to some of you, as well.