Leads Handbook 2017


The Flipside Organization

Burning Flipside has what we like to call a lowerarchy instead of a

If you picture a tree, Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC (AAR) is at
the base of the tree. This is the board of directors of the company, and
the legal entity that signs contracts.

One branch coming from that trunk, the Combustion Chamber (CC), holds
public meetings roughly every other Monday, and acts as an advisory body
to AAR, and as a communications channel between AAR and the community at

Another set of branches is the the Areas and Departments: Ten areas
handle broad aspects of event and year-round operations, and each Area
is further subdivided into Departments. Areas are led by Area
Facilitators (AFs), and Departments are led by Leads. A listing of all
the areas and departments with descriptions is online at
http://www.burningflipside.com/organization/operations. There will be
a brief outline of the areas and departments at the end of this

The point of this is that each layer supports the one above it: As a
lead, you support the volunteers in your department. Your AF supports
you and the other leads in your area. And AAR supports the AFs. If
someone at one layer is unable to fulfill their role (it happens), the
person supporting them can fill in until a replacement can be found.

Being a Lead

First of all, thank you for volunteering to be a lead. The event and the
year-round community don’t run without kickass volunteers.

What is a lead?

A lead is the person who is responsible for a department. A department
is a single operational aspect of Flipside, or a logically related set
of tasks. Every year, we add, move, and delete departments to balance
workloads better and make departmental tasks more coherent.

As a lead, it’s your responsibility to focus on your department and to
make it kick ass. It’s the responsibility of the AFs and AAR to look at
the bigger picture.

Many of us wear more than one hat at Flipside–as a departmental lead, a
theme-camp lead, and so on. Be clear about what hat you’re wearing as
the lead of a department.

We’re all in this together

The whole idea behind our lowerarchy (see: The Flipside Organization) is
that each layer supports the one above it. You support the volunteers in
your department. Your AF supports you. If you need help, ask for it.
There’s no shame in that. If you make a mistake, own up to it. In either
case, let your AF know sooner rather than later so the rest of the
organization can support you and can fill in any gaps that need filling.

Take care of yourself

On a related point, take care of yourself, both during the event and
year-round. Some volunteers have a tendency to overwork themselves–you
might be one! If you find yourself getting in over your head, getting
burnt out, hating Flipside, or hating yourself, you’re not doing anyone
any favors. Talk to your AF.

Be bold

Your department is what you make it. As long as you get done what you
need to get done and don’t step on the toes of other departments, you
have a lot of latitude in how you get it done.

And if you’ve got an idea for new ways your department can kick more
ass, run it by your AF. It is possible that their broader perspective
will give them (or AAR) a reason to say No, but in general, we try to
say Yes. Every year is an experiment. In short, don’t be afraid to try
new things in your department, but keep the rest of the organization

Many of Flipside’s departments have many volunteers. Some have only a
few, and some have traditionally been one-person departments. If you’re
the lead of a department that has previously just been one person, you
are welcome to recruit additional volunteers if you see fit.

If you’ve never been a lead before, this can be disorienting, but the
organization exists to support you as you develop leadership skills.
There are lots of people you can talk to for suggestions.


The vast majority of the problems we encounter as an organization boil
down to problems of communications. As a lead, you’re expected to be
responsive to e-mail. Keep in regular touch with your AF about what
you’re doing so that they’ve got good situational awareness of their
area (see: Using e-mail).

The organization has other tools you can use for communicating with the
rest of the community, or within a group (see: Resources for Leads).

Know your timeline

There’s a timeline of general planning milestones in the back of this
handbook. Some may not affect you, some will. And there are no doubt
some milestones that will be unique to your department. Work out in
advance when you need to do what, communicate that to volunteers, and
allow for delays.

Make us look good

As a lead, you are representing the organization–to your volunteers, to
the Flipside community, to any vendors you deal with, etc. Do the rest
of us proud.

  • Don’t troll Facebook in your capacity as lead, or spread false
    information about Flipside.
  • If someone asks you a question or you want to contribute a point, be
    sure you know what you’re talking about before you say it.
  • Be professional in your dealings with vendors.

Have fun

We’re all volunteers, and if we’re not having fun, there’s not much
point in doing this. If you’re stressing out over your volunteer
position, ask yourself “Am I having fun?”–that’s a good gut-check.

Leading by Example

Volunteer organizations are often prone to lots of turnover and
attrition. While very many Flipside volunteers return from year to year,
every department will see many brand new volunteers each year. Some may
be new to your department, some may be new to volunteering, and some may
be new to Flipside. As their department lead, you will be the first, and
most important point of contact that have about what your department
does, and what it is about.

With this in mind, it is absolutely critical, when dealing with your
volunteers, that you act in the way you need them to act. You should be
on time to appointments and training sessions. You should be responsive
to emails. Also, you should treat your volunteers with the same
openness, kindness and professionalism that you would expect them to
show toward the Flipizens/vendors/county officials that they will be
interfacing with in their volunteering tasks. When you fail to do these
things, you are, in essence, telling your volunteers that these values
are not held in high esteem by your department and should not be worried

Similarly, please avoid leveraging your position as a lead in order to
gain perks and privileges with others. In addition to being alienating
to the general community, one of the most valuable lessons you can teach
your volunteers is that volunteering is a gift to the community, freely
given. Volunteer positions are not baubles to be used to curry favor. If
you act with a sense of personal entitlement toward the event, you are
communicating that volunteer positions may be leveraged to seek status
and perks within the community, which is its own obvious problem.

In summary, the real thing to think about here is the first rule of
effective leadership: think of the way that you would like the people
you’re working with to behave, and then make sure that you are
reinforcing that behavior with your own attitudes, communication, and
actions. After all, they may very well be fresh into the event from the
street, and you’re the one teaching them what this Flipside stuff is
about. Help them do the community proud!

Recruiting Volunteers

So, you have your department all ready to go, but you need people to
make it work. Yes, you do need people to make it work. Even departments
that can be done with just a single lead should at least have a
lieutenant around to learn how to do that lead, and to pick up the task
if you can’t make the event. Most departments can at least use a small
team to distribute the load. Don’t try to do all of this alone. How to
go about finding these people?

  • One of the primary focuses of Spring Town Hall is
    volunteer recruitment. Show up—Or at least send a lieutenant if you
    absolutely can’t show for Town Hall–bring a sign up sheet (or better
    yet, an online tool to sign up people), and actively recruit. Sell
    your department. Get the word out about why it’s awesome to work
    there (and most departments have a pitch about why it’s great to
    work there. You’re the lead, you should be the most enthusiastic of
    all, after all), sign people up. And, importantly follow up with
    them after Town Hall is over. It’s useless to get all of these
    signups, only to then drop the ball on them by not following up, or
    waiting until three weeks to the event to remind them of this sheet
    they signed in March.
  • Similarly, keep an eye out for people at community gatherings. There
    are often potential new volunteers at church nights and at various
    other social functions. Even if you’re not actively recruiting
    people when you’re out, you can look around and identify people who
    you might want to contact later about that position that is just
    right for them.
  • Leverage people in various theme camps that you know. If one of your
    volunteers is in Pelican Camp, perhaps they know other Pelican
    Campers that want to work a shift with them, or who would be
    interested in your department. And then it’s their friend and not
    you pitching the department to them.
  • If they are available, the previous years’ lead can be a wonderful
    resource – they may have a list of rockstar volunteers that can help
    you out. They might be able to tell you the traits of people who did
    a great job in the past.
  • The volunteer coordinator will have access to lists of volunteers
    and will be conducting independent volunteer recruitment. If you
    tell them, “hey, I need people to do ____, and the ones who
    would be best at it tend to be like ____”, then they might be
    able to find people. Similarly, your AF might have some ideas about
    where to find certain people to fit certain roles. If you’re feeling
    trepidatious about recruitment, they can also be a resource
  • Lastly, there are the various social media fora out there. These are
    visible, and sometimes effective ways of reaching a broad audience.
    The problem is that calls for volunteers (and for anything, really)
    can often get ignored amidst the churn of content through
    the internet. It’s also true that there are some people who can only
    really be reached this way, though, so it is something that is
    worth trying.

More than anything, just be enthusiastic and positive. If you make your
department look and sound like the awesome place to work that it is (and
if you don’t feel this, why are you leading that department?), and then
volunteers will follow to get a chance to experience that fantasticness.

Dealing with Vendors & Spending Money

The income from Burning Flipside’s ticket money funds this year’s event,
and pays for the warehouse, our off-season events, rainy-day funds, and
a host of other expenses throughout the year.

Most departments have some budget to fund their operations for the year.
Leads should meet with their AFs prior to spending any money for their

When it’s time to make smaller purchases on behalf of a department,
Leads will usually pay for the purchase with their own money and then
get reimbursed by the LLC. The reimbursement process is easy: Leads make
the purchase, label the receipt with their name and department, and
submit the receipt to the LLC, who will then write a reimbursement check
to the Lead. If a Lead can’t foot the bill on their own, no problem: we
can also makes purchases using an AAR LLC debit card. If anyone other
than the lead is making the purchase, they should clear it with their AF
first. We prefer to give reimbursements directly to the Lead to ensure
that the Lead is aware of all purchases made in their department.

The point is: we don’t want anyone spending their personal money on
Flipside as long as the expense is within budget, or is necessary and
has been approved by the LLC.

Reimbursement and receipts

SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS! Original receipts are preferred for reimbursement.
However, these can get lost or degrade before they are submitted. If you
have a smartphone, it’s a good idea to take a clear picture of it as
soon as the receipt is generated.

To be reimbursed for Flipside purchases, all receipts should be turned
in to the LLC’s treasurer (for 2017, this is Izzi). Please accompany the
receipt with your name, position, AF, and the details of the
expenditure. All receipts should be turned in as soon as possible after
the purchase. There’s a printable PDF form on the website at
https://www.burningflipside.com/about/documents/tps-report that you
should fill out and send in with receipts you submit for reimbursement.

You can e-mail clear pictures of receipts to
receipts@burningflipside.com. The LLC attempts to track our expenses
quarterly. This is really hard to do if people don’t let us know what
we’re spending.

Budget needs

Figure out what your department will need to spend money on and how much
it will need to spend as soon as possible, and let your AF know. The
sooner the AFs and LLC have an accurate picture of their budget needs,
the more time we’ll have to make sure we can cover those needs. Reading
past Afterburns can help. See also “Inventorying infrastructure” below.

Don’t be reluctant to ask for something that will help your department
run better or that will make Flipside better in general. You might not
get the budget for it, but you definitely won’t get the budget if you
don’t ask.

Care and feeding of volunteers

If you’ve got a volunteer-heavy department during the event, budget for
volunteer fluffing. Water, food and snacks may be an important factor
for your department’s well-being in the hot summer sun. Defining what is
a reasonable level of support is an ongoing conversation. We want to
take care of our volunteers, but not at the expense of the tenet of
self-reliance. We also need to avoid creating a sense of entitlement
among some volunteers, or the perception of entitlement among others.
And we cannot have the majority of our budget going into food, water and

Capital expenses

Capital expenses (CapEx), defined as purchases of single items that cost
more than $250 and that are outside of the recurring budget (see above),
should be cleared with the LLC prior to purchase. For authorized CapEx
purchases, the LLC can either reimburse you through the normal process,
or the LLC can pay for the purchase directly using one of AAR’s debit

If you are handing off payment to an LLC member, make sure that member
knows exactly what you’ve been quoted, and what the quote is for. This
bit us on the ass when one person got an estimate from one location of a
big company, and then another person went down to write a check at a
different location, and was given a substantially higher figure to pay.
This took almost a year to resolve.

Shop around

Research prices on your budget items with different vendors. Many times
cheaper solutions can be found with a little legwork or Internet
research. Talk to your AF, who may have more experience or additional
information on where to shop.

Cheap is good, but cheapest isn’t necessarily best. We are happy to
spend the money we need to spend to get a good product or service that
we can depend on. Having reliable vendors is often more important.
Vendors that we’ve built up good relationships with over time and who
will cut us some slack are also important. Beware of hidden costs,
especially with cheap vendors.


If you can get something free or at an unusual discount, that is great,
but make sure to communicate that in your Afterburn so that the
organization can budget appropriately if/when the what-a-deal goes away.


We are always talking about saving money, but it’s not because we’re
broke—we’re not. We are happy to spend the money we need to spend to run
Flipside responsibly. We try to save money because we are stewards of
the community’s money: so it’s not that we’re trying to be cheap, we’re
trying to be prudent. Flipside is not a commercial festival like
Lightning in a Bottle or ACL Festival, where the attendee gives the
organizer money, and the organizer gives the attendee an experience.
When someone gives us money for a ticket, they’re entrusting us with it
to use it on their behalf, so that we all can make Flipside happen

We love it when our volunteers make things happen for little or no
money—partly because that involves the creativity that we’re about. That
doesn’t mean we won’t spend money on the things that we need.

Departmental fundraisers or donation drives

TL;DR: Don’t.

Participants pay no small change for their tickets. That ticket money is
there specifically to make the event go.

Fundraisers complicate our bookkeeping, since AAR needs to account for
and pay taxes on any funds raised. If your department needs more money,
talk to your AF (see Budget needs; Capital expenses above).

Seeking donations or loans of infrastructure within the community may
create the impression that the organization is not willing to spend
ticket money when needed. Donations of large items often create more
issues than they resolve, including accounting and storage. It’s OK for
a few people in your department to fill in gaps with infrastructure they
have anyhow, but open calls for donations send the wrong message about
Flipside’s priorities (see also Bargains above).

Vendor/service contracts

Non-liability vendor contracts can be signed for by the appropriate
Leads, AFs, or LLC members. Service contracts for EMS, security or the
like must be signed by an LLC member. Always get LLC approval before
signing a service contract with a new vendor.

Vehicle/equipment rentals

All vehicle and heavy equipment rentals must be approved beforehand by
AF or LLC members (typically by default through the budgeting/capital
expense process). Delivery of rental vehicles/heavy equipment must be
received by the appropriate Lead, their AF, or an LLC member. All rental
equipment should be inspected and any damages thoroughly documented on
official paperwork at the time of receipt. Insurance will be purchased
for all vehicle rental contracts.

Check-out process with rentals

Ask if there are any gotchas with the equipment. For example, some of
the trucks from Penske require you to refill the gas tanks in a certain
way to avoid getting dinged for partly filled tanks.

Walk around and inspect the equipment. Take pictures of the equipment to
document its condition in case of later dispute. If there’s an odometer
or usage meter, take a picture of that.

Check-in process with rentals

Take pictures of the equipment to document its condition in case of
later dispute. If there’s an odometer or usage meter, take a picture of

Delivery acceptance

Make sure the thing you receive is the thing you expect.

This bit us on the ass when our survival guides were printed with the
pages out of order, and we didn’t realize it until after we had picked
them up and brought them back to the Warehouse. Panic ensued while we
tried to figure out if we could get them reprinted quickly enough.

Business accounts

In the past, AAR has operated on a cash basis with its vendors. This is
fine for smaller transactions, but can be unwieldy with large

If a vendor is willing to open a business account with AAR and that
would smooth out the process, get in touch with an AAR member to discuss

Vendor contact info

Maintain a record of the vendors you worked with and the quality of the
service the provided, and put that information in your Afterburn
(likewise, if there is a reason to avoid a certain vendor). This helps
to establish rapport with good vendors, and to avoid reinventing the
wheel whenever a new Lead takes the role.

Keep vendor contact info handy at all times during the event, in case
you need to contact them due to a breakdown, etc.

Mailing address

If you need to give a mailing address, don’t give the Warehouse address.
Use our PO Box:

Austin Artistic Reconstruction / PO Box 9987 / Austin TX 78766

Using e-mail

E-mail is how the Burning Flipside organization handles most of its
internal communication. We don’t use Facebook, or Snapchat, or whatever
the kids are into this week.

The vast majority of the problems we encounter as an organization boil
down to problems of communications. So it’s important to use e-mail

When you are e-mailing another lead in your area about Flipside-related
business, be sure to CC your AF. This is so they’ll be aware of what’s
going on in their area, in case you get eaten by a squirrel and they
need to step in to cover for you.

When you are e-mailing another lead in a different area, CC your AF and
that person’s AF. Same idea.

If you need to find an e-mail address for a lead or AF, check out the
Leads Directory at


Read your e-mail regularly and respond to it promptly. If you’re
handling a lot of mail for your department, it’s a good idea to filter
that into its own box.

If you find that you are constantly exchanging e-mail with the same
group of people, it’s a good idea to set up a mailing list for that
group. We can do that for you (see “Communications tools for leads”).
Talk to your AF.

It’s annoying, but we have found that hotmail.com and yahoo.com e-mail
addresses do not play nice with our mailing lists. If you’re on a
mailing list hosted by burningflipside.com and you use either of those
services, it would be a good idea to get an account with a different
service. Gmail works fine.

Most leads are assigned “@burningflipside.com” e-mail addresses in the
format departmentYear@burningflipside.com. These usually are set up to
forward to an e-mail address you already have, but if you prefer to have
a separate mailbox for that address, we can set that up too.

Communications Tools for Leads

This is an overview of the online resources we use. As a lead, you
should be subscribed to the following mailing lists and have access to
other online tools.

Mailing lists

We host all our own mailing lists.

The Leads list

You should be signed up for this. This is mostly for sending out
announcements that all leads needs to hear.


You should have long been subscribed to the Announce list, but you can
also use it as a resource when you need to, you know, announce
something. Send a message to our Content lead, JenMarie, via the form at
http://www.burningflipside.com/contact/ff-submission. Our guideline is
to send one Announce message per month at the beginning of the month,
and to roll all the news into that. We will break that guideline with
one-off announcements when we need to, but we really prefer not to.

You can use the same form to submit messages for the Flipside Flame, and
our goal is to also send that once a month, in mid-month. The difference
in purpose between the two is that Announce is used for “company
business” and the Flame can be used for that or community announcements.
In practical terms, Announce is sent as an e-mail message to everyone on
the Announce list (which is everyone who has requested a Flipside ticket
in the past couple years, plus many more) and also posted on the
website, and propagated via social media, while the Flame is not sent
out as e-mail.

Other mailing lists

If your department needs a list, please check with your AF to have one
set up. One may already exist that has gone dormant.


We use Google Calendars. There’s not a good way to link to them.

Burning Flipside public calendar

This is a public calendar that everyone can access. We use this for
public events like Town Halls, CC meetings, Work Weekends, and of course
Flipside. If you want to get something put on the calendar, ask your AF.
The content from this calendar also feeds through to our website at

Burning Flipside website

The Flipside website is divided into several parts. This makes it easier
to maintain, and harder for a problem with one part to break the whole

Public-facing website

The public-facing website is at http://www.burningflipside.com

If you need to set up a simple public-facing web-to-mail form, it’s
pretty easy to put one on the site. Ask your AF.

Profiles site

This is at http://profiles.burningflipside.com

This is the part of the site where you manage your identity: it stores
your personal information. It’s also how you log into every part of the
website. It has another cool feature for leads:

Leads Directory

As a lead, when you are logged into the website, you’ll see a “Leads”
menu item at the top of the screen. Click on that and it will take you
to a directory of all leads, AFs, CC members, and AAR members. The
direct link for it is


This is mobile-friendly, and you can even trigger a phone call or text
message from the directory.

This pulls information from your profile on the site. Please keep your
profile up to date so that your fellow leads can find you.


The wiki is at http://wiki.burningflipside.com

This wiki is dedicated to serving the Flipside community. In addition to
being the community’s repository for institutional memory, it is also a
place where folks can learn more about our organization and
create/maintain their own planning pages.

It is not the most popular part of the website, but it has a lot of
useful info, and some leads depend on it as a signup form for department
shifts. It’s gotten significantly easier to use now that it has a
wizzywig editing mode. If you haven’t poked around the wiki before, give
it a look.


The secure site is at http://secure.burningflipside.com

This where secure forms live: these are things like ticket-request
registration, theme-camp registration, etc. Apart from managing your
identity on the site, this is the place for all the forms you need to be
logged in to use.

If your department needs something like this, talk to your AF. Our web
team can set something up. It takes some work to create these forms, and
they’re only accessible to logged-in users.

Social media

Burning Flipside has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, managed by our
Content lead, JenMarie.

For important information, we give priority to channels that we own—our
mailing lists and our website—and repost to social media. For small or
last-minute news updates, posting directly to social media is OK.

  • Our official Facebook page is at
    https://www.facebook.com/BurningFlipside and a number of people
    can post there.
  • Our Twitter account is, unsurprisingly, @BurningFlipside. It doesn’t
    seem to get as much action as our Facebook page.
  • It is important to note that the “Burning Flipside Flipizens” group
    is not an official organ of AAR, LLC. (Nor are any of the many other
    groups on Facebook that relate to Flipside.) If we want to put
    something there, we can post it to the official page, and then
    individuals can repost it to the Flipizens group, or individuals can
    post links to our website directly to the Flipizens group, but we
    don’t treat the Flipizens group as a primary source for
    official information.

Signing up your volunteers for shifts

We are working on a new volunteering system for Flipside this year. The
goal is to improve on our old system by eliminating several bottlenecks
that we had in the past, and to eliminate a lot of the work and
confusion for everyone involved in the volunteering intake system with a
single, unified system that will be able to print out shift schedules
and individual volunteer schedules.

In order to access the sign-in system, sign in to your account at
http://profiles.burningflipside.com. You will click on “access the
volunteering system”. Then, you will be able to click through to your
department. The system will know that you are the lead for the
department, and you will be able to click through to “create/edit
shifts”. This screen will give you options for dividing up your work
into shifts, create signup lists for non-shifted work, and to create
shifts that have prerequisites that you can assign to volunteers (i.e.,
you can mark that someone is trained to work for Fire, and therefore is
eligible to sign up for a shift).

If you have any questions about the volunteering system, please feel
free to contact the volunteer coordinator or the communications AF, and
we’ll work through your problem.

T-shirts & Patches

If you have a department with a bunch of volunteers, you can order them
T-shirts or patches. All orders go through the Volunteer Coordinator
(for 2017, this is Dahling). There will be an email sent out to the
leads list with relevant dates and timelines.

There is a special line-item in the budget for all departmental T-shirts
and patches, which is enough for you to get one or the other. If you
want to both, you’ll need to pay for one of the two out of your
department’s budget. Please note that there will be a minimum order on
either of these (varies from year to year, but generally in the 20-50
range). If you have fewer volunteers than this, past departments have
gotten by by making multi-year orders, or simply have foregone


You can offer patches to reward your volunteers, and to build
departmental identity and visibility.


Because T-shirts are (generally) more expensive than patches, we prefer
to reserve T-shirts for those departmental volunteers who need to be
identifiable as such during the event: think of them as uniforms. If you
are in the dark about the range of sizes required for your order, the VC
will have access to the previous years’ order, and can help you with
that as a baseline. We also greatly prefer one-color designs, since each
color requires a separate printing pass, which gets expensive. Please
avoid putting the current year in the design for your T-shirt, as this
complicates reuse of T-shirts.


Your AF should have access to artwork used previously by your department
if you want to recycle or update that. And Flipside does have a Graphic
Arts lead if you need new art for your department’s T-shirts/patches.
When you make your T-shirt/patch order, you will be asked either to name
your designer, or to request the services of the Flipside Graphic Arts
lead. This makes the wrangling of designs close to the deadline that
much easier for everyone. The VC will also be able to answer any
individual questions about requirements on design (dimensions, file
format, etc.).

Critical Volunteers, Early-Entry/Stay-Late Lists

Volunteering is a gift, and we avoid handing out perqs to volunteers
because that is just another way of commoditizing our relationship. That
said, some volunteers do receive special treatment because of the role
that they play in the event.

Critical volunteers

Critical volunteers (critvols) are those volunteers who are exempted
from any potential lottery. All Leads, Combustion Chamber members, AFs,
and LLC members are automatically considered critvols, along with their
significant others, if any.

As a lead, you can designate some other volunteers in your department as
critvols: these are people critical to running the event. You’ll submit
your list of critvols to your AF, who will reality-check it and pass it
on to AAR. If you are naming any critvols, keep your list short. Every
time we add a person to the critvol list, we get a little closer to
needing a lottery for everyone else.

As you probably know, the mail-in window tickets is in mid-January. The
ticket requests are opened and processed about a month later, to allow
plenty of time for the mail to arrive.

Anyone who is a critical volunteer A. really needs to have their ticket
request in by ticket-request opening, and B. really needs to be
designated as a critical volunteer by that date too. It creates a lot of
work for other people if they don’t.

There’s a complete guide to the ticketing process on the website at
https://www.burningflipside.com/event/tickets, and an even more
complete FAQ linked at the bottom of that document that should be able
to answer any questions you might have about ticketing.

Early-Entry & Stay-Late Lists

The early-entry and stay-late lists are how Flipside manages access to
the land immediately before and after the event proper.

Leads, AFs, CC members, and AAR members are automatically entitled to be
on these lists. Other volunteers can be added by leads as needed,
subject to reality-checking by they AFs.

As the event approaches, your AF will ask you for information needed to
put together the early-entry & stay-late lists. You’ll need to give info
on yourself, your SO (if you have one), and any volunteers in your
department who need to be there early/late. The stay-late crew is
ordinarily much smaller than the early-entry crew.

What is the early-entry list?

Burning Flipside uses early entry to ensure that we can produce the
event responsibly, and be ready for the general population when they
arrive. There are three flavors of early entry:

  1. Tuesday infrastructure setup (arrival Tuesday morning): This is when
    we get the bare framework for the event set up. This is a relatively
    small group of people.
  2. Wednesday early entry (arrival Wednesday morning): This is a larger
    group of people. All leads (and their SOs) are entitled to show up
    for Wednesday early entry. Some other volunteers, including those
    who have duties that need to be completed before the General
    Population (GenPop) arrives, and those who will be on shift first
    thing Thursday morning, will also be part of this.
  3. Wednesday early access for theme-camps and art projects (arrival
    Wednesday afternoon): This is for theme camps and art projects with
    big infrastructure, and is by invitation from the City Planning and
    Art areas.

It’s common to wind up on more than one list. If that happens, show up
for the earliest early-entry list you’re on.

What Is the stay-late List?

Much like the early-entry list, this is the list of people allowed to
stay at the event site after the event has ended (Monday at 5:00 PM).
Again, the expectation is that people who are on this list are there to
help with initial breakdown, or people who need to be on-shift past the
point where they could get out during normal Exodus.

Important stuff

Everyone who shows up for early entry needs to be on the early-entry
list at Gate. You will need to get your info in to your AF for yourself,
your SO (if applicable), and any volunteers your department needs to
have on-site early. If someone in your department shows up without being
on the list, you will be called to Gate to verify that they should be
let in. So when your AF asks for your early-entry information, send it
in and save yourself trouble later. Likewise for the stay-late list:
being on the list will save Exodus volunteers the trouble of hassling
you for being there late.

The two days before Flipside officially starts are not an opportunity to
start the party early: everyone who arrives during early entry is
expected to work. There is a lot of work that needs to get done for
pre-ops. If you or your volunteers find yourselves at loose ends during
this period, there will be plenty to do: Pre-ops will need help setting
up, City Signage will need help putting up signs. And so on.

You’ll receive more specific information about early entry close to the
event. If you don’t receive a “welcome to early entry” message, that
means you’re not on the list.

Departmental Equipment

Load-in day

Load-in day is the Saturday before Flipside officially starts. We meet
at the Warehouse, rent a bunch of Penske box trucks, fill them with
everything we need to make Flipside go, then drive out to the event site
and drop everything off in approximately the right place.

If your department has any infrastructure that needs to get to the
event, you should be a part of load-in, to make sure that your stuff
gets loaded and to help out in general. If you can’t be there, make sure
someone from your department who has an inventory list will be there.

Shade structures, tables, generators, and radios are not handled on a
per-department basis, so you don’t need to worry about having them in
your inventory, but you will be asked for your department’s needs for
these things.

Load-out day

Load-out day is typically the Saturday after Flipside ends, although it
may be delayed due to weather. This is also when we perform final LNT
line sweeps on the land.

It’s normal to be cracked out after Flipside, but that’s why it’s all
the more important to help with load-out: many hands make light work.
Load-out with 60 people goes pretty quickly. With 30, it’s really hard.


Clean and inventory the material and infrastructure your department uses
and stores during the off-season. It would be ideal to do this right
after load-out day. While you’re doing this, make a list of anything
that needs to be replaced due to wear, expiration dates, etc, so the
organization can budget for that.

Gear that is stored in the off-season should be cleared and placed by
the Warehouse Managers, if it is stored in the warehouse, or the
Pre-Post Lead, if it is stored in the container. The inventory lists
should be made available to the new Lead, the Equipment Librarian, the
appropriate AF(s), and the LLC so we all know what resources we have for
community use and what we’ll need to replace next year.

Radio Guide

Your radio

The only features you should be concerned with are the two knobs on top
and the display in the center of the radio.

Volume/Power Knob
You can turn this knob to turn the radio on or off and adjust the
The Channel Knob
This knob probably doesn’t have numbers on it. Twist the knob until the
channel you would like to be on is displayed on the screen.
The Display
The screen (if present) will tell you what channel you’re on. It will
also show you your battery status. It may also display the time of day.

Radio accessories

The Battery
To take the battery off, slide down the pair of buttons on the
back/sides of the radio at the same time, and pull the battery outwards.
To attach a new battery, place the bottom of the battery against the
bottom of the radio and push until it clicks into place.
Battery Chargers (also known as a ‘bank’ or ‘gang charger’)
Slide dead batteries into the charger correctly; the light may not turn
on for a couple of seconds. A steady green light indicates a fully
charged battery.
Shoulder Microphones (Speaker Mics)
Typically clip to your shirt or anywhere else to make speaking and
listening easier.
Headset Mics
For when you really want to be able to hear what’s being broadcast over
the radio (like in a sound camp), it might be more prudent to choose a
headset. Downside: you look like a teeny bopper pop star.
Heavy Equipment Headset
Really big noise-canceling headset. We only have one of these and it is
generally kept with the heavy equipment.

Using a radio: the basics

  1. Make sure you’re on the channel you want to speak on.
  2. Wait for the channel to be quiet; try not to interrupt a
    conversation unless it’s an emergency.
  3. Press the Push-To-Talk Button (either the big button on the side of
    the radio, the button on your shoulder mic, or the dangly button on
    your headset)
  4. Pause a half second (a breath), then call for the person you want to
    speak to twice and then state your name. For example: if Ghost was
    calling for Straylight, he’d say: “Straylight, Straylight, Ghost.”
    (Saying it twice makes sure that it gets through without
    getting clipped)
  5. Wait for them to respond: Straylight says: “Go for Straylight,
  6. Speak your message. Try to keep it short.
  7. When you’re done with your message, say:
    1. “Over”—if you’re expecting a response, eg “Where’s the bathroom,
      over?” or
    2. “Out”—if you don’t expect a response and want to end the
      conversation:“I’ve found the bathroom and going to do my
      business now. Out.”
  8. In case you go to another channel that isn’t your department’s
    standard channel, end by broadcasting that you’re returning to your
    normal channel. If Khaki finishes talking to Shaven Apes on 3, they
    would say something like: “Khaki out, going back to One,” and then
    they would switch back to channel one.

  9. Callsigns—A callsign is the name someone uses on a radio. It could
    be a position name, a nickname, a series of letters and numbers, or
    their real name. Position callsigns take precedence over
    personal callsigns. For example, if Patrick is currently on shift as
    Actual, call for “Actual” on the radio instead of his personal
    callsign of “Problem.” Here are some Flipside-specific callsigns and
    the channels you can find them on:
Callsign Channel Description
Flipside Actual or Actual Safety The person currently actively responsible for Flipside. Typically, the AAR member on call.
Khaki Safety The ranger shift lead and dispatch. If you don’t need a specific ranger call for Khaki.
Medic Safety The current PET on duty. If you don’t need a specific PET call for Medic.
Clovis Site Ops The personal handle of the Site Ops AF. If you have a need for Site Ops, but don’t know whom to contact, ask for Clovis.
Lurko Site Ops The name of the Pre/Post Lead. If you need something setup or torn down before/after the event, contact Lurko.
Gate Safety The current gate representative.
Landman Safety The land owner of the land Flipside is being held at. Do not directly contact the land owner unless otherwise instructed by an AAR member of contacted directly by the land owner.
Digital Perimeter The Guardian (Perimeter) shift lead. If you don’t need a specific guardian call for Digital.

Radio etiquette

  • Wait for other conversations to end before calling someone, unless
    it’s an emergency, then use ‘break break, emergency traffic…’ and
    then wait to make sure the channel is clear before transmitting
    your message.
  • If you’re going to have a long conversation, ask the other person to
    join you on one of the secondary channels.
  • Return your radio after your shift. There are other people who
    need it.
  • Don’t shout into the mic; it’ll just overload it and distort it.
  • Be patient. Sometimes people won’t hear you. Sometimes the signal
    is poor. Sometimes the aliens are flying overhead and scrambling
    your message.
  • If you’ve never used a radio at Flipside before, listen to the radio
    traffic for a while to learn how it works; you’ll learn a lot by
    just listening.
  • When someone is to communicating detailed information to you, repeat
    it back to them. This is called closed-loop communications. This
    way, they know you understood them, which can be a problem sometimes
    with fuzzy audio, loud environments, etc.
  • Don’t pick the radio up by the antenna; it will break, and you will
    have to pay lots of money for it.
  • Take your radio off before you go to the port-o-potty. Just
    trust me.
  • Primary channels are not your playground. Don’t create unnecessary
    traffic on 1 or 2.
  • Do not use profanity over the radio. The FCC will fine you and me
    and we won’t be able to have radios anymore.
  • Always remember that anybody could be listening on any channel. With
    the right equipment, your transmission can be heard from miles away.
  • Don’t ever let your radio out of your sight. If you lose your radio,
    you will have to pay lots of money for it.

Lingo to make you look like you know what you’re doing

On/Off Comm
Means “I’m now on radio and listening,” or “I’m turning off my
Break, Break
Everyone be quiet, important message coming.
AllCon or AllCom
Used to address everyone listening. “AllCom, Khaki; it’s shift
Means “I have finished what I’m saying and am ready for you to
Means “I have finished what I’m saying and consider the conversation
finished.” Note: You can be over, or you can be out, but you can’t
be “over and out.” Only The Bandit gets to be over and out, and you
aren’t Burt Reynolds.
Same as “out.”
Short for “I understand your message.” e.g.: “copy that, out.”
Stand by
“I’ll get back to you once I get that information,” or a nice way to
put someone on hold if they’ve interrupted a conversation. eg
“Ghost, Khaki, stand by until I’m done talking with Dirtwitch,
Location. “What’s your 20?” short for law enforcement code “10-20.”

Flipside-specific radio lingo

Flipside has developed some of its own radio lingo over the years. We
prefer that you don’t use this lingo as it hampers communication for
people unfamiliar with the event, especially when outside agencies are
involved. However, here is the lingo and its meaning when you do hear it

Synonymous with “copy” in typical radio usage. “Whiskey that” means
that you understood the last transmission. It is often used as an
affirmative answer to a yes or no question as well.
Synonymous with “over” as above. So instead of “Where’s the
bathroom, over?” you could ask “Where’s the bathroom, bacon?”
Chocolate Cake
Synonymous with “20” in CB radio usage. This is a request for
a location. Such as “Lurko, what is your chocolate cake, bacon?”
would ask Lurko what his current location is. You can also ask for a
location on an object such as “Anyone have a chocolate cake on that
ladder, bacon?”


We have fifteen channels at Flipside so we don’t all have to hear
everyone’s chatter. It’ll get chatty enough, trust me.

  • Channels 1–4 are on repeaters; the other channels are
    direct radio-to-radio.
  • What’s a repeater? It’s a machine that boosts the range of your
    transmission (so Rangers on one side of the property can talk to
    those on the other side).
  • Why do we only have four repeated channels? Because they’re
    expensive, and we only have so much room on our tower for antennas.
  • What about all the other channels? Easy answer: they’re shorter
    range, and should be good for anywhere on the property.
  • Note that sometimes the repeaters fail, and those channels become
    inoperable until the repeater is fixed/replaced. So we have backup
    non-repeater channels, and may need to switch things around during
    the event.
  • A channel guide showing how we use the various channels will be
    distributed closer to the event.


In the event of a catastrophic event, all the Safety Leads will need
Channel One to deal with the event; minimize all traffic on other
channels. Your department may assist if requested to do so by Flipside
Actual (AAR member on call), Khaki, or the Incident Commander (IC); this
will be handled by checking in with Khaki at HQ, not over the radio.

Medical calls

If you happen upon a medical emergency, call for PET on duty by saying
“Break, break, emergency traffic: Medic, Medic, {identify yourself}”
wait for them to acknowledge you, and then list the following:

  • Age and Sex of patient
  • The injury they’ve sustained
  • Trauma can be elaborated: “twisted ankle,” “fell off of the
    scaffolding,” “snakebite,” “laceration,” etc.
  • The Patient’s Chief Complaint—if the patient is having chest pain or
    abdominal pain or nausea or a headache, you can broadcast that.
  • Avoid giving medical diagnoses over the radio. “Possible heat
    exhaustion” is okay to say if you suspect that’s what is going on.
  • Do not give the patient’s name.
  • The location—list the camp, or if elsewhere, try to describe the
    area to the best of your ability

Please stay with the patient until Rangers or PETs arrive, as you’re now
the person who has been with them longest. Listen for any other radio
traffic for you in case they’re having trouble finding you or have any
specific questions regarding the incident.

Catastrophic events

If you are working a shift and happen to have a radio and a large-scale
incident happens please do not go to the incident site to ‘check it out’
unless requested—we will likely need people with radios to assist in
other ways across the site, and we will not want to make the scene any
more chaotic than it already is. Flipside Actual (AAR member on call) or
the Incident Commander (IC) will request your department’s assistance if
it is appropriate. As stated above, if this occurs, do not clog the
radio with traffic, simply report to Safety HQ or whatever location is

Using Carts

The carts are rentals from a local small business, and are paid for with
ticket money. Treat them with respect.

Don’t drive like an asshole.

Don’t overload the cart with a bunch of people.

If you have a cart, offer to give rides to folks who look like they need
them. Flipside paid for those carts, Flipside should get some benefit
out of them. Especially fellow volunteers.

Not everybody gets a cart. We’re at the limit of what the cart-rental
guy can transport in a truckload, so if we add one cart to our current
fleet, that’s going to be a really expensive cart.

Carts are checked in and out from Cartelle, on the effigy field by the
container. Consider cart check-in to be an LNT operation. Don’t leave
any of your stuff behind.

Carts are refueled by the Fuel lead, who will have a fixed schedule for
refueling. There will be more information on that closer to the event.

Post Flipside Expectations


Congratulations, you made it through Burning Flipside. The overwhelming
majority of leads are done with the “operational” side of their
positions. You did great and the whole community had another wonderful
year because of that.

However, in the immortal words of Ron Popeil, “But Wait, there’s more!”
Yes Burning Flipside as an event may be over but we, as a group, still
have to close our books on the year’s happenings. The topics in this
section cover some of the more common aspects and occurrences that
happen AFTER Burning Flipside is over.

Please note that every year will be different and it can change on the
fly at any time, so take these as guidelines and not gospel.

Just after Burn

With some exceptions, most leads don’t have a lot of operational duties
after the burn is over. However there still is a city that we built (on
Rock and Roll?) that has to be evacuated, dismantled and cleaned up to
support our Leave No Trace efforts. AAR-owned items have to come back to
the warehouse, rented items need to go back to vendors, and the general
footprint needs to be MOOPed. Assuming you are not part of the “after
event” leads, who have slightly different priorities, the next couple
paragraphs discuss your involvement in these efforts.

Cart and radio return

Carts and radios are not an entitlement. They are tools provided to the
leads and other volunteers to fulfill their responsibilities. Once those
responsibilities have been discharged, those tools need to be turned in
to the proper location. While it may be fun to cruise and listen in to
the chatter on Sunday night, Monday begins a very busy day and those
resources are needed! Please turn in your equipment as soon as you are
off-shift. With that being said though, if you need it you need it, just
be cognizant of need versus want!

Breakdown of personal campsite

Like everything else at Burning Flipside, first and foremost, take care
of yourself! Although in past years, leads have been authorized to stay
on property until Tuesday morning, don’t take it for granted in any
year. Weather (as many can recall) or other events could cause everyone
to need to leave early. As such, break down and pack your camp as much
as possible. We can replace AAR infrastructure, if need be; we can’t
replace your treasures! If you are planning on staying overnight Monday,
then treat it similarly to early entry. Only your tent and a minimal
amount of gear should be still set up by closing on Monday. Why, you
ask? Well, not only does this make Tuesday go much easier on you and
your tired, spent self; not breaking down is a hindrance to those
working the post event activities. They can’t work while still trying to
determine if your stuff is MOOP or will be cleaned up later.
Additionally, on Monday, it does send a visible false signal to other
participants that there is still an event going on and occasionally
results in slow pack up with the excuse “Look around, I thought it went
until Tuesday.”

Let’s please work together to make post-event go as well as the event

Breakdown of HQ areas

Once you have your personal gear under control, the next order of
business is to get your HQ broken down. Most leads have a home base on
site, or gear somewhere on property. This needs to be broken down,
organized and stashed for easy Post-Operations pick up. Although the
past few years, Post-Operations has taken place on the following
Saturday, this is not always the case. There is nothing stating that the
trucks can’t come for your gear on Tuesday (or earlier in the event of
unplanned Exodus). Be ready for them.

Secondly, many of the vendors who provide equipment (carts, generators,
heavy equipment, etc.) trailers or other infrastructure come during the
days/week following the event. You need to ensure your equipment is
ready for them to pick up by Monday closing.

Lastly, it should go without saying but, you need to police your areas
for any MOOP left behind by volunteers.

Monday night

Although any year can be different, let’s let the cat out of the bag.
Monday night is the leads equivalent of a cast wrap party. We all busted
our asses and now it is time to have a little pressure relief. During
Exodus on Monday, the team will be marking the tents of people who are
allowed to stay behind. This includes the year-round volunteers of
Burning Flipside (AAR, Area Leads, Leads, CC) as well as significant
volunteers and Tuesday-day volunteers. Please contact your AF if you
want to stay Monday night.

Typically, once the sun sets and Gate is closed we meet up near the ice
truck for a pot-luck dinner followed by Shenanigans. What those
shenanigans are depends completely on the year but they are awesome!
Although there is no requirement to participate in the Monday night
activities, it does make for a great opportunity to relax with the other
Leads that made the event so spectacular, please consider it, I promise
you will enjoy it! Take some time and relax before heading into the
default world, you earned it!

Tuesday post

Ok, Tuesday is the no-shit-we-have-to-be-off-property day. If you have
done what was discussed above, you should be able to pack up your camp
in short order, as all you have left is a tent and minimal camping
items. Please do this right away. Clean Up crews will be working the
lands and the longer your camp is standing, the more delayed they are in
doing their job. After you are packed up, we would love to have you help
with post operation activities but if you can’t, you can’t. Please
though, for the sake of the volunteers don’t just spend the day lounging
around. If you are not going to help then please make a hasty exit.

If you do have the strength, it is suggested to go back to your HQ and
ensure the clean-up and packing efforts you did on Monday are complete
and you did not miss anything. If you have remote or spread-out gear,
then ensure you gathered it all up. If you used any ice chests or water
coolers in your department, empty them and leave them open to dry out.
Super important.

Regardless, take a few minutes and look around and enjoy. Where did
Pyropolis go? Reflect and listen for the “echos on the wind.”


Typically, load-out is the Saturday after the event. All the
infrastructure is brought back to the warehouse. Like pre-event load-in,
leads or designated representatives are expected to be on site to ensure
their gear is loaded and makes it back properly. Circumstances usually
require gear to be just dumped in the warehouse at the conclusion of the
post-operation transport. You need to take ownership of your area’s gear
and make sure it is cleaned up and put away to its proper area post

Yea, this sucks but it will save you (if you return) or your successor
much heartache later. Additionally, and this should be stressed, other
summer burn events, both local and remote, will potentially want to use
the warehouse for construction efforts and if you stuff is in the way it
makes everyone’s life miserable.

Warehouse clean-up and storage

If you have been around for a while, you remember the old warehouse and
how cluttered the outside was. (If you don’t let’s just say it was
cluttered with a capital L.) With the new warehouse, nothing is being
kept outside so it becomes even more imperative that the inside be kept
in order. Please ensure your gear is put away promptly in its designated
area. If you cannot, or require more space, contact one of the Warehouse
Managers to work out a solution.

Additionally, before you put everything away, it would be wise to take
an inventory to ensure everything made its way back, replace items that
need it and/or to pass that information along to the next Lead.

Volunteer-appreciation party

As you know our volunteers, include you, are priceless! Burning Flipside
could not happen without the volunteers. As such, each year we love to
recognize this by celebrating with all our rockstar volunteers. Sometime
shortly after Burning Flipside, a Volunteer Appreciation party is held.
Of course you are invited – you are a rockstar! This is really an
awesome time where we can come back together and enjoy the hard work we
put in.

Another aspect of this is that we want to appreciate our non-lead
rockstar volunteers. As mentioned, as part of your afterburns, please
note those that went above and beyond. We want them at this party. Not
only is it doing right by our volunteers, it is also (full disclosure
here) an attempt at bringing them into the fold to be the next
generation of AAR, AFs, Leads, Lieutenants, Etc… When you no longer do
your role, these are the ones that keep the event viable. Even if they
have no interest in moving into a role, they should still enjoy the
fruits of their past labors!

Off-season events

The typical belief about leads is that you only sign up for ONE event,
the May Burning Flipside. However, you are the subject-matter experts in
areas that need to be solved in several off-season events. For example,
Town Hall has logistics issues with Parking, Porta Potties, Clean Up,
Audio Visual, Equipment, etc. Just because Burning Flipside is over,
does not mean you won’t be called upon to help out. Please do so. Until
you have a replacement, consider yourself the lead of that area.

Your replacement

As was just mentioned until you have a replacement, you are the lead of
that area. As such, until you shake the hand/hug the new lead, consider
yourself as the enabler. Once you do have that person, you should meet
with them and download your brain. Remember when you first took over and
how lost you may have felt? Please help them out and let them know what
you know. Of course you did an afterburn but nothing substitutes as much
as an in-person meeting to pass down your hard gained wisdom and answer
the question that you had not considered.

With that in mind though, don’t expect your replacement to be “mini-me”.
They should have their own ideas and as this is just one big experiment
hopefully they will implement then and see what works and what doesn’t.
Just because they don’t walk in your footprints does not mean you did
not have a good trek. You did great, now go…

and become part of the problem in the next year!


As an incoming lead, you may find it useful to read over the afterburns
written by your predecessors. You AF should have access to them.

An Afterburn is how you document what worked and what didn’t in your
corner of Flipside. Afterburns are an important part of the
organizations memory, so that future volunteers don’t need to reinvent
the wheel–and so you can remind yourself what you did.

Afterburns are critical to the future of the organization. Many
decisions are based on the information contained and if you skip yours,
your successor will be making decisions blind. Also, don’t overthink it.
While the information is important, you don’t need to spend weeks making
a PhD thesis. Getting it done is more important than length.

Leads should submit their Afterburns to their AFs unless they have a
reason not to, in which case they should submit it to the LLC. AFs
should submit their Afterburns to the LLC.

It’s a great idea to keep a journal of what you’re doing as a lead when
you do it, so that you aren’t left scratching your head after Flipside
is over when you’re trying to write your Afterburn. If you are routinely
e-mailing other people in the course of your departmental activities,
you can use these e-mails both to keep your fellow volunteers up to date
and as a journal for yourself, and digest those e-mails into an
Afterburn after the fact.


If you have any feedback from your volunteers, we’d love to hear it as
well! We call these addenda ‘Ember’ reports. Encourage your volunteers
to participate by writing an Ember.

Online form

There is an online form here:

If you prefer not to use that, you can write your own free-form.
Following is a suggested structure for your afterburn.


  • Part I: Intro/Position Description
    • Describe what your position was and how you defined it.
    • What were your major goals?
  • Part II: Summary – How did things go this year?
    • How many volunteers did you have? How many did you need?
    • What infrastructure pieces did your department use? (carports,
      budget, radios, golf carts, etc) Did you need more/less of these
    • What hours did your department operate? Do you think that should
      be more/less?
    • What vendors did you use, how did they work out, should we use
      them again?

    • Part III: Things That Worked Well
  • Part IV: Things That Didn’t Work So Well
    • Examples of issues that came up:

    • Part V: Possible Solutions
  • Part VI: MVPs/VIPs
    • List your rock stars and cite examples of their rockitude
    • Anyone you see as a potential future lead?
  • Part VII: The Future
    • Where do you see your position next year/how might it change?
    • Would you be interested in being the Lead again? (And why not,
      as the case may be)
    • Is there anyone in particular who you feel might be a good
      future lead for your position (or any other Lead-level
    • Do you see any need for more infrastructure investment due to
      growth, loss, or damaged equipment? (carports? Replacing
      disposable supplies? Buying new stuff?)
    • Suggested budget for next year
  • Part VIII: Embers Reports

    If you had volunteers who provided feedback, add that here.

  • Part IX: Private

    Anything you don’t want shared with the public goes here.

Areas & Departments

Area: 360/24/7

  • Church-Night Coordinator
  • Edjumication
  • Equipment Librarian
  • Off-Season Events
  • Regional Outreach
  • Scribe
  • Warehouse Manager

Area: Art

  • Art Hype
  • Art Liason
  • Art Logistics
  • DaFT (Design and Fabrication Team)
  • Disinfo Kiosk
  • DMV
  • Graphic Arts
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Sticket

Area: City Planning

  • Cartography
  • City Planning Admin
  • City and Street Signage
  • Flags/Camp Boundaries
  • Placement
  • Theme Camp Liaison

Area: Communications

  • Content
  • Email Lists
  • Media Liason
  • Survival Guide
  • Ticket Distribution
  • Website Admin

Area: Genesis

  • Greeters Lead
  • InterZone Coordinator
  • Parking
  • Towing

Area: Safety

  • Echelon (Safety logistics)
  • Fire
  • Guardians (Perimeter)
  • Meterology
  • PETs
  • Rangers
  • Sanctuary
  • Sound Marshals

Area: Site Prep

  • Land Search
  • Roads
  • Waiver Wrangler
  • Work Weekend Communications
  • Work Weekend Tools and Supplies

Area: Site Sign-Off

  • Clean-up
  • Earth Guardians
  • Exodus
  • Recycling
  • Post Ops

Area: Site-Ops

  • Cartelle (Site-Ops logistics)
  • EVL (Equipment Vendor Liaison)
  • Fuel
  • Ice
  • Power
  • Pre-Ops
  • Radio
  • Safety Fencing
  • Safety Lighting
  • Safety Signage
  • Sanitation (porto-potties)
  • Shaven Apes
  • Special Ops
  • Transpo

Area: Volunteer Coordinator

  • Volunteer Assistance Squad/BUM squad

Planning Milestones for Leads

Items in {braces} are not Flipside-related, but are useful to bear
in mind.


  • Winter Leads All Hands: 2nd Saturday.


  • Get in changes to theme-camp/art reg form
  • Ticket-request window opens: a week before MLK weekend
  • Land recon: Saturday before MLK weekend.
  • Ticket-request window closes: a week after MLK weekend
  • Get art requests in to Graphic Arts lead.
  • Ticket-request opening: 2nd or 3rd weekend
  • {Freezerburn: weekend before 3rd Monday}
  • Settle major changes to roads by end of January


  • Spring Town Hall: first Saturday in February
  • Open Theme-Camp Registration window: first Saturday in February
    (same day as Town Hall)
  • Open Art Registration window: first Saturday in February (same
    day as Town Hall)
  • Work Weekend I: last weekend
  • Get your Critical Volunteers list in: first weekend
  • Ticket-request opening: 2nd or 3rd weekend
  • Finish graphic-arts requests: end of month


  • T-Shirt orders due: early March (varies by year)
  • Dallas roadshow/Houston roadshow: typically 2-3 weeks after Town
  • Work Weekend II: last weekend
  • {SXSW: mid-March}
  • {Unbroken Spring (Houston event)}


  • Close Theme-Camp Registration window: April 1
  • {Burning Man Global Leadership conference: usually beginning of
  • Close Art Registration window: April 15
  • Radio Orders Due: 2nd weekend in April
  • {Almaburn (San Antonio event): second week in April}
  • Safetyside: typically mid-April
  • Patch Orders due: typically mid-April
  • Spring Leads All Hands: mid/late April
  • Work Weekend III: next to last weekend
  • {Eeyore’s Birthday: Last weekend – Saturday}


  • Get your early-entry/stay-late lists in to your AF: 4 weeks
    before Flipside
  • Work Weekend IV: first weekend
  • Load-In: Saturday before Flipside
  • Flipside: weekend before last Monday


  • Load-out/post-event cleanup: Saturday after event, usually
  • Volunteer Appreciation party: typically late June
  • Get those Afterburns in



  • {Burning Man run-up: late August}


  • {Burning Man: week before first Monday}
  • Fall Town Hall: fourth Saturday in September
  • Open leads nominations: at Town Hall
  • Open sticket submissions, set dates for judging: at Town Hall.


  • {ACL Fest: first two weekends of October}
  • {Myschievia: weekend before 2nd Monday}
  • Close leads nominationss: 3rd Friday
  • Allow AFs a weekend to check in with nominees to let them
    back out.
  • Open feedback on leads noms following Monday
  • City Planning/Art reviews theme-camp/art/DMV/disinfo
    registration form


  • DaFT proposal deadline