Effigy proposals now being accepted

IMAGINATION TIME

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.

Combustion Chamber seeks new members

Your Community Needs You!

Are you passionate about Flipside and its community? Does learning how Flipside happens sound interesting? Do you enjoy listening to/discussing/debating the finer points of Community with your friends/camp mates/fellow burners? Would you enjoy talking about crucial matters in this community throughout the year? Do you know someone else who fits this description?

The Combustion Chamber is seeking new members. Please take a few minutes to submit your application or nominate that person who would love this gig.

But wait…what is the Combustion Chamber? The Burning Flipside Combustion Chamber (CC) is the eyes and ears of the community. Do you have a concern? Touch base with us! Wonder why something happens the way it does? Ask us. If we don’t know, we’ll find out or at least point you to the person who can answer your question. We also act as a sounding board for the event organizers (aka AAR, LLC). The CC typically meets every 2–4 weeks on Monday evenings for approximately two hours, at Lloyd the warehouse.

To learn more about the Burning Flipside Combustion Chamber, see here

Does this sound like the right way for you to help your Flipizen community? Click the link.

Combustion Chamber membership is not limited specifically to those that live in the Austin area, but members do need to attend meetings regularly in person. If you’re in another city, but down for a road trip every 2–4 weeks, feel free to apply.

Interested in seeing the CC in action? We welcome the participation of all Flipizens. Our next meeting is Monday, Aug 5, 7:42pm, at Lloyd the Burning Flipside Warehouse, 3106 Industrial Terrace, Austin TX.

All the best,
Burning Flipside Combustion Chamber

Burning Flipside 2019: Sisyphean Celebration: Public Information Report

This year marked the 21st edition of Burning Flipside. Our theme this year, Sisyphean Celebration, challenged us to improve our spelling and our knowledge of Greek mythology, and symbolized our annual cycle of creation and destruction, in which we leave behind nothing of substance, but find fulfillment in the journey.

Every participant’s experience is different, and in any given year, some people will have wonderful experiences and some will have terrible ones. But the general impression is that this was an especially enjoyable, low-key event.

Tickets & Attendance

In 2019, 2750 tickets were sold and 2649 were used, for a no-show rate of about 4%. For comparison, in 2018, 2710 tickets were sold, and 2627 used, for a no-show rate of about 3%, and in 2017, 3017 tickets were sold and 2870 were used, for a no-show rate of about 5%.

As was the case last year, there was no public second-round ticket sale, apart from a small number of set-aside tickets for critical volunteers.

Incidents

Nature
The weather was relatively hot and humid (less so than last year), and dry apart from rain the Tuesday before the event started. Daytime highs were about 90°F with a heat index of about 105°F. Overnight lows were pleasant. About the best weather we could hope for. There were a couple of water-mocassin sightings and the usual assortment of scorpions and fire ants. A dead tree was felled on the property right before the event started. Laneport Dam upstream on the San Gabriel was releasing about 1850 cfm, resulting in a deep, fast flowing river. Although some participants waded in thigh-deep, everyone seemed to recognize that it was not safe for swimming.
Medical
There were three ambulance transports and one transport to hospital in a personally operated vehicle. Although some of the people presenting at the medical tent were suffering from the heat, in contrast to 2018, none of these transports were heat-related. There was no clear trend in medical problems serious enough to require transport this year.
Sound
There were no external sound complaints. The few internal sound complaints were handled quickly.
Interpersonal
There were no ejections this year. As always, if you experienced or witnessed a problematic interaction, check out the Interpersonal Incident FAQ to see how the organization can respond.
Fire
There were no unplanned fire incidents. There were three unattended fires that were resolved with warnings.
Perimeter
No gatecrashers were detected. Some drivers passing by did stop, but were kept moving by the off-duty deputies the event hires.

Art

In addition to this year’s effigy, there were three burnable-art pieces: “Big Top Mountain,” “Wee Burn,” and a memorial to a deceased ranger, Bobcat. There were 73 registered art pieces in total, making this a record year for art.

The effigy itself, “We’ll Meet Again,” represented a couple of firsts: it was the first time a Flipside effigy directly referenced the Man at Burning Man, and the first time it had an electromechanical kinetic feature–the Man’s legs. In keeping with this year’s theme, the effigy crew, known as the Design and Fabrication Team, toiled until the last minute to get the legs working. One must imagine DaFT as happy.

Ignition Philter

Although ticket money is not used to fund art projects at Burning Flipside, there have been a number of independent art-granting bodies associated with Flipside over the years, with the current one being Ignition Philter. Participants have the option of sending a contribution to Ignition Philter along with their ticket request. This year, Ignition Philter raised $3228 from these contributions.

Theme Camps & City Planning

There were 139 registered theme camps, plus an unknown number of informal camps in the Badlands. There were at least 200 RVs at this year’s event. Although the event population has been stable for some years, demand for space has been growing due to RVs.

Parking

In 2018, there was a problem with cars remaining inappropriately parked in camp. To discourage this, the organization was more aggressive about towing cars in 2019.

Safetyside

Safetyside, a weekend-long training workshop for Safety teams held about six weeks before the event, continues to play a key role in creating a cohesive safety organization, lowering walls between departments, teaching the principles of Incident Command System as well as department-specific training, and giving participants a chance to bond with each other. Attendance was roughly the same as for the past few years, and this year Safetyside welcomed a couple of representatives from the Burning Man organization. Blustery weather interfered with this year’s Safetyside to some extent, preventing a practice burn at which participants learn how to work a burn perimeter.

Work weekends & Site Prep

Work weekends faced weather challenges from the get-go. The February one was cold. The March one was cold AND wet. The April one was wet, cold, and windy (and coincided with Safetyside), and the May one was just wet–really wet.

That kept the turnout light, but thankfully, the land is in pretty good shape, and those who attended were dedicated. Work-weekend volunteers covered some low spots with roadbase, burned a lot of downed brush piles, and killed as many fire ants as possible.

There was some extra work during load-in due to late storms.

Load-in

Load-in, the Saturday before Flipside when we ship all the event’s infrastructure out to the event site, was well-supported this year. We experimented with renting two trucks the night before to get the bulk of the Effigy loaded beforehand, and this was found to work well.

Exodus

Exodus went extremely well this year with almost all participants off land by the 5pm deadline. There were two mechanical issues that required vehicles remain behind Monday night but were removed on Tuesday by participants who found other manners of transportation off property on Monday.

Restoration

Clean up efforts were primarily accomplished Saturday post event. Overall most camps took LNT seriously and removed their MOOP. A few line volunteers did line sweeps and what little MOOP was left was removed. A detailed report on the few infractions noted is still being drawn up. With DaFT and other volunteers braving the hot sun the burn scar was cleaned and all ash and metal was handled. One item of note is that the Pyro lead noted on Tuesday that the upper effigy field was cleaned sometime Monday to his great surprise and delight.

Post Operations

Saturday post event, approximately 40 hard-charging volunteers participated in loading four trucks with infrastructure to be returned to the warehouse where other volunteers helped unload. This was not a sufficient number of volunteers and seems to continue a downward trend in post event volunteerism that occurred since Floodside. None-the-less, while hot and tired, it did seem the volunteers were in good spirits and helped out excellently.

Load-out

You’ve made it home, you’ve started putting away your gear (maybe), and you’re starting to readjust to default reality. But Flipside isn’t done yet! We still need to return to the land, pack up infrastructure, and remove the last traces of our presence.

Be on land 10:00 AM this Saturday, June 1, or show up at the Warehouse a few hours later to help unload. Keep that post-burn afterglow glowing by getting sweaty in the hot sun with your fellow Flipizens. Many hands make light work.

Rain!

You may have noticed it’s been raining a lot. And if you’ve been a part of the Flipside community since, oh, 2015, you might have less-than-fond memories of the effects that rain can have on your experience at Flipside.

But we’ve learned a lot about dealing with rain, as individuals and as an organization.

Here are some steps the Flipside organization has already taken to be better prepared:

  • Laid reinforced pullouts at Gate and Greeters to improve traffic flow
  • Reinforced roads all around
  • Identified low spots where people shouldn’t camp
  • Identified good spots for RVs
  • Streamlined traffic flow
  • Organized a volunteer vehicle-recovery team

If it looks like we’ll be facing constant, heavy rain that will cause serious problems, here are some additional steps the organization will take:

  • Install and monitor water-level gauges at the river
  • Monitor traffic at Gate and post regular updates about wait times
  • Lay in extra road base to reinforce low spots on the roads
  • Take additional ad-hoc measures to facilitate traffic flow.
  • Make a go/no-go call for the event the Saturday before.

There are things you can do too, if it looks like rain will cause serious problem:

  • Bring rain boots
  • Bring tire chains or other traction aids
  • Double-check that your camping gear is watertight
  • Greeters may have special instructions when you arrive. Follow those instructions.
  • If we need to do anything special for Exodus, we’ll get word out on site. Follow those instructions too.
  • Avoid peak gate hours. There’s a graph of average gate traffic below.
  • Try not to arrive right when gate is closing, especially if there’s a long wait.
  • Bring a good sense of humor.

We can’t say that weather won’t ruin your Flipside. We can say that people have had amazing Flipside experiences even in the worst weather, so don’t let the rain stop you.

Gate Traffic