Flipside 2020 has been cancelled

It is with deep regret that Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC must announce the cancellation of Burning Flipside 2020: Sacred and Propane. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic impact nationally, AAR, LLC does not believe it is appropriate to hold the event.

Flipside has always had a “No Refunds” policy. We are making an exception to that policy given these extraordinary circumstances.

AAR, LLC has decided that it is best for the Community to return 2020 ticket money that is still available (defined as 2020 ticket funds collected, after money already spent or committed to) ticket money to the Community through two options.

Option 1: Do nothing. You do not request a refund. Your Burning Flipside 2020 ticket money will be used to support future AAR events and other 360 expenses like warehouse rent and funds already spent on Burning Flipside 2020.

Option 2: Request a refund for tickets purchased. Depending on the number of refund requests received and the available 2020 ticket funds, net of disbursements already made or committed to, a partial or full refund will be issued.

Ticketed participants will receive email instructions and deadlines for submitting refunds. If you need this relief, please take it. As of this moment all ticket transfers have been halted so that ticket holders can complete this process.

AAR, LLC has a fixed set of costs regardless of holding the event or not and another set of costs depending on how far out from the event we are. As such, more than 50% of the budget is already spent.

AAR will hold a virtual town hall on April 15, 2020, at 7pm to answer any questions you might have about the cancellation and refund.

A separate email will be sent to each ticket holder about the procedure for pursuing either option.

If you cannot attend the town hall, AAR with answer questions sent to


  • When can I expect my refund?
    AAR, will contract with a third party service to mail out checks as quickly as possible. We hope to have the information for the checks to the vendor by April 21st, allowing checks to be mailed out as soon as possible after that. As you can imagine, we are figuring this out on the fly. We want to do right by everyone requesting a refund, but we have never issued mass refunds before.
  • I bought two tickets. Can I request a refund for just one and let AAR keep the payment for the other?
  • I’ve got a ticket that I bought from someone else. Can I request a refund?
    Yes. Please note that if you did not register the ticket in your name when you received it, it is possible that both you and the previous holder could attempt to request a refund for it. We will need to deal with this kind of situation case by case if or when it arises.
  • Why can’t you refund everyone in full?
    AAR has operating costs independent of Burning Flipside—the rent on the Warehouse is the single biggest line item in our budget. Also, AAR has spent thousands of dollars on Flipside 2020 already. (Perhaps you received your Survival Guide in the mail. Wasn’t it great?) Although AAR does have savings, offering everyone a full refund would exceed those savings.
  • What if everyone asks for a refund?
    AAR has set aside a fixed reserve of money that can be refunded—this is basically the ticket income for 2020 minus our running costs and money already spent on Flipside 2020. If the number of refund requests multiplied by the ticket price is greater than that reserve, the reserve will be divided equally among the requests.
  • Why not simply honor our ticket for next year?
    AAR has operating costs independent of Burning Flipside—the rent on the Warehouse is the single biggest line item in our budget. Also, AAR has spent thousands of dollars on Flipside 2020 already that wouldn’t necessarily translate to Flipside 2021. (Perhaps you received your Survival Guide in the mail. Wasn’t it great?) Finally, the number of tickets each year is decided by the volunteer leadership that year. If the leadership doesn’t feel we can accommodate the same number of participants next year then we would be putting the event in an unsustainable position. 
  • What if you have money left over after all the refunds?
    If any reserve remains, AAR plans to make a donation to Ignition Philter with some of the money, and will bank the rest to delay an eventual increase in ticket prices.
  • What about my Ignition Philter donation?
    That will not be refunded.
  • Can’t you hold Flipside later in the year?
    Not really.


    • We can’t count on being able to book Apache Passtures for the event on another date.
    • We can’t count on this crisis being over by whatever date we chose.
    • Holding Flipside in May is hot enough; holding it in the summer would be brutal.
    • Holding it in autumn starts overlapping with Burning Man and then Myschievia.
    • We also need to think about Flipside 2021, and volunteer burnout if we tried to organize two events close to each other.
  • What’s going to happen to the Effigy?
    The DaFT team has decided they would prefer to save the effigy until the next burning Flipside event. AAR supports this decision and are excited to see what this team has in store for the community with an entire year to build on it.
  • Can I get my things from the warehouse? (Or put stuff back)
    For the time being, Austin is under lockdown and this would be non-essential travel, so the answer is no. When Austin loosens travel restrictions, we will try to arrange for limited access, within the bounds of safe practices.
  • How will we receive word about when we can come out of hiding and start building again?
    This is a public-health matter, not a Flipside matter, but AAR will update the community on how it is responding to changes in public-health actions through the burningflipside.com website, the Announce mailing list, and the usual social media.
  • Is there a way I can stay in touch (aside from Flipizens) to keep the “Community” part going?
    There are other places such as Austin-List and Austin-Chat email lists as well as our official Facebook page and twitter accounts.
  • Why did it take you so long to announce this?
    2 weeks ago we gave ourselves a deadline of 2 weeks to work out logistics, get communications written up, and make a final decision. At the time that seemed more than adequate. Mere weeks ago, canceling Flipside more than a month out from the event would have been unthinkable, but today it is seen as too late. We didn’t anticipate how quickly the world would change in those 2 weeks and apologize for any anxiety that has caused. Additionally, we did not want to overshadow the Safetyside training event with this announcement.
  • Can I credit option 1 as a donation?
    No, AAR, LLC is not a non-profit entity and thus this isn’t considered a donation.