Burning Flipside 2022

Hello Flipizens!

It feels like we’re finally digging out of the mess of the past year and a half, and Austin Artistic Reconstruction is optimistic that we’ll be able to have Burning Flipside in 2022. There are some things we do know and some things we don’t know at this point. This is to update the community on where we’re at.

  • Flipside will be held at the same time and place, Memorial Day weekend at Apache Passtures.
  • The theme will be what was intended for 2020: The Sacred and the Propane.
  • The effigy will also be the same: Stairway to Heaven.
  • The ticket window will be slightly later in the year, and will be shorter: probably one week in February.
  • Population cap is currently not decided. As always, volunteering levels will decide overall population.
  • There will be some Covid-19 precautions at Burning Flipside 2022. Their exact nature, and how they will be implemented in our ticket system and at Gate, is not yet decided.

We realize that Covid-19 could still throw us a curveball, so be prepared for this to change.

Flipside hasn’t been the first thing on anyone’s mind in a while, but it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll bring in terms of volunteering, art, and theme camps. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on the pecan playa.

The Cautious return of Church Night

Church Night Returns This Wednesday, November 24th
(and hopefully Wednesday, December 22nd!)

Santa is checking his list of names but we’re watching the numbers. Right now it appears that even with the increase in travel and holiday gatherings it’s possible to safely give everyone a little time to see their chosen family while providing an escape from their real one.

So let’s catch up before Thanksgiving and, assuming the COVID monster continues to mostly behave, do it again before Christmas (stay tuned for an announcement closer in). With any luck, next year we’ll be able to jump right back into our weekly regimen and everyone will be sick of each other again before you know it.

Covid Protocols will be in place:

  • Masks are to be worn when inside the warehouse
  • Social distancing encouraged
  • Get consent before crossing into anyone’s personal space

We can’t wait to see your faces!


Cancellation questionnaire sent

As mentioned in the cancellation message, AAR has sent a questionnaire to all current ticket-holders. Please check your e-mail, check your spam filter, etc.

If you did not receive the questionnaire, it may be that the ticket was not registered in your name or that we don’t have your correct e-mail address. Please log in at https://secure.burningflipside.com/tickets/ to check your ticket status, and if you are in fact ticketed but did not receive the questionnaire, send a message to Tickets via our contact form at https://www.burningflipside.com/contact.

Ticket update

Short version:

Everyone who submitted a valid ticket request will be getting a ticket.

Long version:

As soon as the ticket window closed, it was clear that this was going to be a big year. More ticket requests had been created in our ticket system than ever before. There’s always some percentage of requests that get created but never get mailed in. That percentage would need to be unusually high for this not to be a record year.

The requests were opened and processed on Saturday, February 22, by a hardworking team of about 50 volunteers. And in fact the percentage of requests that got mailed in was slightly higher this year than last. There is also always some percentage of requests that are not valid—generally these are either requests accompanied by personal checks, or requests mailed outside the request window. This is a small percentage—just 2–3% most years.

Milam County approved Flipside’s permit application on Monday, February 24. While we were expecting to receive it, the fact that we did not have the permit in hand at ticket opening meant that we held what we call a “soft lottery.” In a soft lottery, we draw down just below the number where the mass-gathering act kicks in, just in case we don’t get it. Then once we get our permit, we accept the requests we drew. This is a manual process where all the requests (except lottery-exempt ones) are assigned to one of eight bins at random. Then members of AAR LLC randomly draw requests from each of those bins in turn, and read out the names on those requests. Even though we had every reason to believe we would be getting our permit, this was still a difficult process. We drew the names of friends, campmates, former board members, and hardworking community members. Four of the people who were in the room to volunteer for request-opening had their names drawn.

The number of available tickets is not straightforward. First, there’s the mass-gathering limit of 2500: without a mass-gathering permit, we can’t exceed that number. Flipside has applied for and received this permit every year since 2014, but we don’t take it for granted. Second, there’s the maximum number of people that we’ll admit to Flipside, based on the land’s carrying capacity and volunteer capacity, even with our mass-gathering permit. For 2020, we set that number at 3100. Third, there is a “lottery exempt” number. These are people we can identify in advance who will (you guessed it) be exempt from a lottery if we need one—leads, AFs, etc, and their SOs. We try to keep this number as small as possible, because every person that gets added to this group pushes us that much closer to a lottery for everyone else, and lotteries suck. This year, that number was 199. Finally, there are “set asides.” These are slots for people we cannot identify in advance, but we know we’ll need to set aside tickets for to make available closer to the event. Again, we try to keep this number small. This year it was 160.

So, without a mass-gathering permit, we need to have a lottery to get down to 2499 minus set-asides, or 2339. With a permit, we need to get down to 2940 requested tickets.

In 2020, we received requests for 2937 tickets. That gave us a margin of 3 under our cap. That’s a first.

In past years, we haven’t been so close to our limit, and have been able to honor late-postmarked requests. This year, we can’t do that.

As of this writing, your request status will not show any change. We are still dealing with a very small number of “special handling” requests. Once those have been dealt with, we’ll flip the switch in the system and you should see your status as ticketed here.

Effigy proposals now being accepted


You should make up an Effigy for this year’s theme “The Sacred and Propane”.

You see, as of this moment everyone in the entire community is allowed to submit an idea for an Effigy. Typically, we get maybe 2 or 3 proposals, and those are rookie numbers. We need to bump those numbers up. Maybe you can help us; we’d like YOU to submit your half-baked, I-really-don’t-have-time, beautiful ideas. In the very least, all it takes is a few drawings and some stylistic hand-waving. In the most complete version, there’s a big ol’ form with lots of requirements, responsibilities, and other miscellanious unsexy-but-still-totally-essential data (linked below).

Don’t think about that though, instead think about this:

Just start ideating. Draw something, list a couple of ideas, whatever. However far you get, send that in. Don’t worry if it’s not done, or silly, or whatever. Butterfly effects rule the art world, so your ideas and energy will go somewhere.
For those who’ve ideated, drawn, and are starting to imagine the paths between their mind and reality, here’s some very realistic things you should also think about:

  1. Think of who your support network is going to be, and who their support network is going to be. Giving birth to 3 ton wooden baby meant for flames can be an ordeal. Be ready to need help.
  2. Reduce your “vibes” down to a few simple core themes. This will help a lot with getting people on board without having to really explain anything. It’ll also help with thematic cohesion.
  3. Music matters. The crew and you are going to be spending a lot of time listening to something, and to a large degree the music you listen to will define the vibe of the entire experience. You’ll be too busy to do this during build, so start early!

Check out the proposal guidelines here.

Combustion Chamber meeting minutes 11 Nov 2019

LLC update

  • We will be making a second site visit to our prospect land this weekend, but this is still very preliminary.
  • Warehouse lease expires in one year, we’re starting to discuss renewing the WH lease and have no current plans to move.
  • Will be having our budget meeting with the AFs tomorrow.

AF update

No AFs present

Regional update

  • Burning Man exhibit in Oakland was underwhelming.
  • BMORG is still working on plans for their GLC successor.

What happens if Flipside is cancelled

  • Any cancellation would be due to an apocalyptic scenario, and would probably be very close to the event.
  • We have a lot of fixed costs, regardless of whether we hold the event.
  • So full refunds would probably be out of the question. So would free tickets for the following year.
  • We have discussed working with people who need their refund, but make the case to the community that we also need that money.

Site selection criteria

Existing criteria:

  • Needs to hold about 3000 people. 100+ acres.
  • Water feature if possible.
  • Shade if possible.
  • Landowners that can be good advocates for us in the county government.
  • Political environment needs to be amenable
  • Maintainable perimeter
  • Access to emergency services

No objections to the existing criteria, or suggestions for new ones.

Next meeting

  • CC mixer
  • Interpersonal incident FAQ Q&A (Kat)

Come one, come all, to Fall Town Hall

Get ready for Fall Town Hall, Saturday September 28nd, 12:00pm–5:30pm. This is the kickoff for the 2020 Flipside season where we choose the theme for Flipside 2020.

12:00pm – Tailgating and Socialization

Come mingle with your fellow Flipizens pregame. Show off your burner finery. Reminisce about next year. Pitching or supporting a theme? This is a great opportunity to promote your theme suggestion(s) one-on-one or from your gussied-up pop-up shade.

2:34pm – Meeting, Theme Presentations and Theme Voting

We’ll give you a little info to kick off the Flipside 2019 season, and hear theme proposals from the Flipizens proposing them. The theme that gets the most votes during the break will grace Flipside 2019.

Meeting agenda:

  • Welcome, Pledge, and Leave No Trace Reminder
  • 2019-20 Update from Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC
  • About Area Facilitators, Leads and Volunteers
  • About the Sticket Contest
  • Submitting Effigy Proposals to the DaFT Selection Committee
  • Theme Presentations
  • Break and Voting
  • Warehouse Use and Opportunities
  • Combustion Chamber Update
  • Closing: Community Announcements, Winnerest Theme Announcement

All this happens at Lloyd the Warehouse, 3106 Industrial Terrace, Austin TX.