Burnable art

Burnable art

UPDATED (4/15/2024) The deadline for registering for theme camps and art projects has been pushed from April 15th to April 18th.

Fire is fabulous and the community loves a beautiful burn. If you are thinking about sharing your burnable art at Burning Flipside, make sure you are fully familiar with the guidelines, that you speak with the art logistics lead directly, and that you understand the responsibilities that come with burning a piece on site, including what you need to do before, during, and after the burn. We do have rules and we must work with the landowner and local authorities, so get in touch with any questions. We encourage burnable art; safety and clean up are also a part of the process.

  • Register your piece.
  • Make sure your art is safe to burn.
  • You need to form an ignition plan.
    Plan to clean-up your art after it is burned. It’s hard to leave no trace when fire is involved, but you must make every effort- be – prepared.
    It is your responsibility to have your own crew for perimeter. Fire will tell you what the perimeter should be which will give you an – estimate on how many people you’ll need on your team.
  • Check the unsafe materials list, and ensure nothing toxic is burned.
  • Make sure you have a backup plan to take all of your art home, in case you are not allowed to burn it.
    Fire Watch- once the piece has succumbed to the flames and perimeter is dropped by Safety, it is your responsibility as the artist to stay – with the fire until the fire crew tells you it is no longer an issue. On average this takes 12 hours.
    Prepare for the on site quiz- failure to show that you are prepared to burn your piece will result in you having to implement your non– burn plan.

Do let us know if you have a preference for day/time you would like to burn and we will do our best to accommodate, provided that we have the safety volunteers necessary to run a burn. Depending on a variety of factors, you may not get the day/time you would like, the placement you were hoping for, and you may have to burn your piece along with other burnable pieces. Bunker gear is quite hot and Texas evenings can be brutal- supporting our safety teams as they support the burn is a priority.

Contact our Art Logistics lead


Any fire larger than a burn barrel requires a permit and fire safety measures. We have a fire safety crew on hand for any large burns. There is no guarantee we will be able to burn anything, including the effigy. Our fire safety team will determine the feasibility of burning the effigy and art installations the day of the scheduled burn during a meeting on site where the artist(s) must be present and contribute. The Art Logistics Lead will act as the artist’s liaison with the fire team and will keep artists up to date on meetings, burn times, burn conditions and if we burn at all.

Once you’ve registered your piece, the Art Logistics Lead will help you get into contact with Safety and Site Sign Off to make sure you understand your responsibilities, including organizing a team to run the perimeter, Fire Watch, and clean up. These volunteers will give you some great information- be sure to pay attention, as there will be a quiz on site! Failure to provide adequate answers to this quiz may result with you having to implement your non-burn plan.

If anyone of authority tells you not to burn something, do not burn it. This is for everyone’s safety. If you want to burn small to medium sized art in the flames of the effigy, you may do so right after the effigy is burned in the main fire pit on Sunday night, while the fire crew is still present- with permission. Nothing will be allowed into the fire later than 30 minutes after the effigy burn so that it can safely burn out and cool down by the next morning. The fire safety crew will enforce this policy. If you throw anything into the fire, you are responsible for helping to clean up the effigy area! If you would like to burn something at a location other than the effigy burn pit, you must make arrangements for this prior to the event.


You will be responsible for cleaning up your burn scar. This includes but is not limited to nails, bolts, screws, wire, staples, bone, etc. It will be too hot to clean up right after you burn your project, so you must plan to return later and remove the burn scar. A shovel and 5-gallon buckets or metal barrels with lids work well. Bring a magnetic rake to clean up your metal remnants. If you burn art in the effigy pit, it is your responsibility to assist the clean up crew on Monday.

Please respect the team and your community by cleaning up a proportionate amount of ashes and materials. Please contact our Site Sign-Off Area Facilitator to review your clean up plan prior to the event. In the event of a burn ban, you may destroy your art in another method that does not include fire after discussing this with the art and safety teams. Remember to clean up your art! If you do not burn your art you must have a plan to transport it home.

Safe Materials for Burning

Burning Flipside is a Leave No Trace event. It is important that burnable art be constructed of materials which do not produce toxic fumes or excess pollution. It is recommended that anyone bringing materials to be burned first refer to this excellent information at the burningman.com website.

Safe Materials

Basically most organic material is OK. These include:

  • Wood (untreated)
  • Natural-fiber cloth
  • Paper
  • Small amounts of paint, glue, etc.
  • Please minimize nails, screws and other metals

Avoid using large swaths of paper or textiles that would be prone to fly away.

Unsafe Materials

Simply put, synthetic materials are not allowed, nor are mattresses or furniture. Burning Flipside encourages you to avoid the following materials:

  • PVC
  • tires
  • glues
  • treated lumber
  • plastics
  • railway ties
  • drywall
  • rubber
  • asphalt
  • lead based and oil based paints (use water based paints whenever possible)
  • fuel and petroleum lubricants
  • styrofoam
  • tar paper