Survival Guide

Following is the text of the 2017 Survival Guide. You can also view a PDF version of the print edition.

Survival Guide
Burning Flipside 2017
Unicorns vs. Rainbows: THE RECKONING

Unicorns vs. Rainbows: THE RECKONING

It’s silly, but that was the point! We wanted a theme that would be a whimsical nod to the elementary school field days of yore. A theme where folks are given the opportunity to compete for no good reason, where camps and individuals bring their creativity to bear on the question of “What type of game, or challenge, or sport would I love to bring to Flipside?”

What is Flipside?

A Philosophical And Practical Dissertation

Burning Flipside is an experiment in collaborative community featuring art and music created by those who attend. Attendees are known as participants (there are no spectators at Flipside; everyone collaborates in some way to create the event). Inspired by the Burning Man festival, it is a place for radical self-expression and an experiment in community building. It is a place of acceptance, inclusivity and respect. It is organized entirely by volunteers. The art and entertainment is created solely by participants. There are no concession stands. No cash transactions (except ice sales) are permitted at Flipside—even bartering is discouraged. This is a sincere experiment in creating a gift economy. If you need something, ask for it. If you have it, gift it. There are no garbage cans: everyone is responsible for packing out their garbage.

You voluntarily assume any risk of serious injury or death by attending.

Burning Flipside Principles


Our events foster an environment of creative self-expression, where participants feel supported to honestly express their inner selves, through artistic creation, performance, and in their social interactions.


Our events foster an environment of personal accountability, where we hold ourselves responsible for our own actions, and take personal responsibility for meeting our own needs, for the event itself, and for the event’s impact on the world at large.


Our events foster an environment of cooperation, where participants work together to resolve potential conflicts respectfully, to help mediate conflicts between others, and to create art, performance, and social space on a larger scale than one person could alone. Additionally, participants seek to keep events sustainable by volunteering, cleaning up after themselves, and assuming personal responsibility for conducting themselves in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

A Guide to Terms

Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC (limited liability company) are volunteers who organize and host the event. Also, real nice people.
Area Facilitators (AFs)
Volunteers that manage teams of leads and are responsible for broad areas of the event. Proven level of awesome.
Combustion Chamber (CC)
A diverse group of volunteers who serve as advocates to and for the community and advise AAR, LLC. Could be you.
Design and Fabrication Team. These people turn a big bonfire into epic beauty.
Leads are volunteers that manage specific functions for the event. Many leads also manage teams of other volunteers.
Matter Out Of Place. This is the common term for crap on the ground that doesn’t belong there. We don’t have garbage cans or maids. Pick it up!
Mutant Vehicles
Commonly known as “art cars.” The DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles) handles registration of mutant vehicles for the event.
Pyropolis Emergency Team. This is the on-site medical emergency team, which is awesome to have handy when needed.
What we call our city.
Khaki-clad volunteer conflict mediators and mobile info booths! Always ready to help.
A place as well as an idea—if you’re having a hard time coping with something, these people can lend an ear. For information, ask a Ranger.

Leave No Trace

Bring The Kitchen Sink, And Then Take It Home

  • If you bring it in, you are responsible for taking it out. You must haul out your own trash.
  • There is a recycling station. Have separate containers for recycling and bring drinks in crushable aluminum cans instead of heavy/breakable glass.
  • Trash is not accepted at recycling. You must separate materials prior to arriving at the recycling area.
  • Think ahead about how you will deal with wet and dry trash.
  • Start with less trash: buy in bulk and remove excess packaging before you go.
  • If you are in a theme camp, get together with the others in your camp and make a camp-wide plan for cleaning up.
  • For your personal camp area, make sure you take time to pick up MOOP (matter out of place—see glossary).
  • It’s a good idea to bring at least two more trash bags than you will need for your camp’s trash and recycling.
  • Never let it hit the ground. Be an Earth Guardian for your camp and make sure things are kept tidy.
  • Prevent the release of other items that disturb the property such as excessive gray water, chemicals, gasoline, cleaning detergents or any other non-native items.
  • Do not disturb the wildlife. They were there first.
  • Organic items such as banana peels, eggs shells, etc. are also considered MOOP and need to be removed upon departure.
  • Plan to spend two hours cleaning communal areas of litter: the effigy field, roads, river banks, trails and commons.
    It’s not just about your camp, but all about all the spaces you enjoyed. We leave the entire event site as if we were never there.

What You’re Getting In To

Burn Shit, Volunteer, Don’t Tread On Others

Burning Flipside is a participant-created experimental community bound by a spirit of participation, mutual respect and radical self-expression. Here are some ways we operate.

Can’t wait? Get involved

Can’t wait for Flipside? Then don’t wait. Make stuff happen every Wednesday night at Church Night! Church Night is community building, literally. Wanna meet people? Have a project idea and want to find help or get feedback? Projects come in all sizes. Paint signs or cigarette-butt tins, or help build the effigy. Church night is every Wednesday around 7 pm at the AAR Warehouse—3106 Industrial Terrace, Austin.

Effigy burn

We reserve the right to burn the effigy at any time or not at all depending on weather conditions. The effigy burn is planned for Sunday evening. Pay attention on-site for schedule changes. In the rare chance the effigy is to be burned early, we will do everything we can to let the community know.


Many people are sensitive to photos taken or recordings made of them at the event. Knowing that you’re being photographed can make you hold back from the self-expression that Flipside is all about. The right not to be photographed (or recorded in other ways) supersedes the right to take a photograph. Ask permission.

Music. dance parties. megaphones.

There is always something going on! Flipside is organized into areas by sound—“Loud” “Really Loud” and “Slightly Less Loud.” There is no guaranteed quiet zone. Plan ahead with earplugs, other sleep aids, white noise machines, etc. You can always ask nicely for someone to turn it down. Please consider that it’s one weekend and earplugs are super cheap. Bring extra!

Personal boundaries

Self-expression and cooperation require a social contract to make our event a place for everyone to play.
Respect the personal boundaries of others.

  • Respect the moment. Comfort levels vary at different times and with different people.
  • Before you assume someone wants your physical attentions, ask. Being direct is not a buzz-kill obligation—it is expected protocol.
  • NO means NO. Only Yes means Yes.
  • After someone has said no, cajoling, pleading, or any form of emotional blackmail is UNACCEPTABLE.
  • Respecting personal boundaries includes taking pictures or video, as well as physical and verbal interaction.

Take responsibility for your own boundaries.

  • You must be able to say NO.
  • Be sober enough to be in control, or make arrangements with a friend to have a “designated driver.”
  • How you feel is not magically telegraphed to others. You are in charge of your boundaries.
  • You are responsible for yourself but you can always ask for help. Talk to those around you (or a Ranger) if someone is making you uncomfortable.

Volunteer: it’s how we have fun

There are so many valuable ways to be a participant: create art, perform, be yourself, form or join a Theme Camp. One of the easiest ways to participate is to volunteer! Many people consider volunteering their art form, whether it is the emotional assistance of Sanctuary or the manual labor of Shaven Apes, every department at Flipside makes our event go. What does that mean? In a nutshell, when you look around, you know someone who is contributing through the gift of their time and expertise.
Volunteering isn’t a means to an end or a trade, it’s a gift. It’s art. It’s participating, at an event built on participation.
Contact if you would like to discover the new artform of volunteering. We’ll work with you to find a place where your talents can be utilized.

Plan Ahead. Way Ahead.

Really, Don’t Forget To Plan Ahead


What are you bringing? Where do you want to put it? What do you need to make it go? Register your installation or piece so we can point folks your way and help get you the resources you need!

For more info see, or email Art registration closes April 15.


If you want to run a low-power FM station at Flipside, you must contact the event organizers at prior to the event for approval.

Burnable Art

Burning art is part of our culture at Flipside. It is a symbolic celebration of the cycle of life and death—we don’t dwell in what we’ve done so much as we celebrate what we can do.

  • IF YOU PLAN ON BRINGING ART TO BURN contact Art Logistics at in advance for approval and coordination. This refers to art that is consumed by fire.
  • If you plan on bringing flame-effect art, such as propane-fired devices, you do not need to register that with Art Logistics. You must register with Art or Mutant Vehicles, as appropriate, by April 15. Questions? Contact Art Logistics.
  • There is no guarantee that your art will burn. Please plan other creative ways to destroy or transport out your art in the event of a burn ban. You may not leave it behind.
  • Don’t ever throw toxic or dangerous things into any fire!


For the protection of minor children and in accordance with Texas law, any minor child attending this event must be accompanied by someone with legal authority to make decisions for the child.

  • A minor is anyone under the age of 18.
  • Bring proper documentation to demonstrate your authority to make decisions for the child.
    For the child: Print out the Minor Affidavit at, fill it out, and have it notarized. Alternatively, you can bring originals of official documents identifying the child, such as a birth certificate or passport. An electronic copy of your documentation will be stored along with the signed event waiver. For the parent: photo ID.
  • You are solely responsible for the care, supervision, and well-being of your child AT ALL TIMES. There may be activities not suitable for children or behavior that you may not wish your children to see. Do not expect anyone to censor their behavior because children are present.
  • You must sign an event waiver of liability for each minor child, including a statement that you have authority to act on behalf of the child.
  • Bring everything your children will need to have a safe and enjoyable event.
  • Inability to take care of the minors you bring to the event can result in ejection of you and the minors in question.
  • Questions? Email AAR, LLC at


FAA rules require drone operators to register with airports within 5 miles. If you plan on using a drone at Flipside, please contact so we can provide a list of drone operators to the airport.

  • Follow the photo and social media policies with any recorded media captured by drones.
  • Operate with direct line of sight to the drone at all times.
  • Other questions,


We are all big fans of lighting up the night, having AC, making music…and out on the property, this means you’ll probably bring a generator. Some things you should know:
Bring a quiet generator and a baffle

  • A first step to making friends with your new neighbors is by not bringing the loudest and smelliest cheap generator around. If you can, spring for a quiet genny. Place your baffle so that those who get the benefit of having the generator are dealing with the repercussions.
    Placement of generators
  • If you bring out a generator, do not set it on, next to, or over the boundary of your neighbor’s camp. Even you don’t want to hear it or smell it—and it’s yours. Your neighbors don’t either.

Media depictions

Burning Flipside is a private event. For the protection of all artists and participants at Burning Flipside events, Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC retains full and exclusive ownership and control of any and all filming and recording of any other pictures, descriptions, audio or accounts (hereinafter “Media Depictions”) of any and all Burning Flipside events. AAR, LLC will not sell or use your work without your permission. Commercial use of all Media Depictions is prohibited without prior written permission of AAR, LLC.
Approved, professional media will receive a camera tag indicating their approval, and have been informed of our community expectations for the media. Anyone encountering a problem with a photo/videographer should discuss it with a Ranger. Information about the media policy and permissions may be obtained at (Note: there are no comp tickets available for members of the media. You must provide supplies and shelter for your entire crew.)

Recreational Vehicles & Trailers

  • No hookups or pumping available.
  • If your trailer or RV is coming as part of a theme camp, please make sure to include this information in your theme camp registration. If registration has closed, contact the City Planning team directly.
  • In the interest of space, traffic flow, and emergency access, there are restrictions on where RVs can be parked. A designated RV park with adjacent camping has been created in order to safely accommodate some trailers and RVs. If your trailer or RV is not included in your registration, you may not be able to park in your camp. You may have to relocate your beast if it is deemed an obstacle by the event organizers. If you bring a generator, please review the generator etiquette guidelines.
  • No in and outs for RVs.
  • Must be parked and left stationary during event.

Sound Systems

Must be pre-registered by April 1. If you are planning on creating or using anything with lots of sound, you must be familiar with and abide by the Burning Flipside Sound Policy, which can be found at You will be asked to sign a Sound Policy Agreement upon entering the event. Contact the Sound Lead at if you have any questions.

  • See for registration deadlines.
  • If your art piece involves loud sound, you must indicate that in your art registration.
  • If you are camping with a sound system, you must
    register as a theme camp.
  • If your theme camp will have amplified music or loud sound, you must indicate that in your theme camp registration.
  • Mutant vehicles making sound must also abide by the Sound Policy and must register with the DMV.

Theme camps

Guess what? Also must be pre-registered by April 1.
Theme camps are a central part of the Flipside experience for a lot of people. Are you organizing one? If so, register by April 1
at Fill out your form with accurate information so City Planning volunteers can place everyone.
don’t be a stranger!

Mutant Vehicles

If you want to cruise the grassy playa, you must pre-register with the Department of Mutant Vehicles and have DMV tags. All other cars must go to parking or be artfully disguised in your camp. An art car is not just meant to transport you around the event, it’s also supposed to be ART!

To drive your sweet art ride around the city

  • Register at <> before the event. ALL art cars must pre-register.
  • Undergo an on-site inspection.

Follow driving rules

  • Speed limit 5 mph. Yield to everyone, observe traffic signs.
  • Abide by instructions from Rangers and event coordinators.
  • Be completely sober.
  • Have gelled headlights if driving at night.
  • Have a genuinely artfully mutated vehicle.
  • Submit to on-site safety inspection/interrogation/ indoctrination to receive DMV tags.
  • No mutated buses or vehicles in excess of 35′.
  • Improper use of a mutant vehicle can result in the revocation of your DMV license.

The Flipside Flame

The Flipside Flame is a great communication resource. Contribute to it or just read it to find out what’s going on. It’s yours. Advertise your theme camp fundraiser, find out about events, and read about community issues. It’ll help you plan ahead! You can submit an item to the Flame at, and read it online at

What to Bring

Glitter Stays Home, Leaving More Room For Water, Bacon

Bring it

Burning Flipside is an exercise in radical self-reliance. You must bring enough food, water and shelter to survive, and hopefully enjoy, your time at the event. Gifts are a wonderful expression of community, but you must take responsibility for your own survival and well-being. Do not show up expecting the community to take care of you. Participants arriving with inadequate supplies will not be allowed to enter the event.

Some recommendations on what to bring:


  • Three gallons of water per person per day (for drinking, dish and body washing, food preparation, etc.). Keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
  • Enough food and beverages for your entire party.
  • First aid kit. See for a comprehensive list. Don’t expect PETS to fix your little booboos or banish your headache. Plus all required prescriptions, contact lens supplies, toiletries, etc.
  • Bedding and shelter of some type (a good camp tent is recommended along w/sleeping bags).
  • Single-ply toilet paper—the Port-a-Potties can run out.
  • Garbage bags (more than enough for all of your garbage—plus extra for MOOP that accumulates during the event).
  • Portable ashtrays if you smoke (mint tins work well)
  • Flashlights—headlamps are very useful.
  • Extra batteries for everything.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Sturdy closed-toe footwear.
  • A cup for beverages (some camps may have drinks to share, but you are expected to supply the container).
  • Ice chest, ice for the entire duration of your stay,
    or cash for ice sales.
  • Common sense, an open mind, and a positive attitude.


  • Shade structures, umbrellas, parasols, sheets; things to break the cruel midday sun.
  • A cooking stove.
  • Portable showers (There are no showers!)
  • Earplugs (not everyone will sleep when you do).
  • Insect bite treatment/medication
  • Watertight protective bags (e.g. heavy Ziplocs) for cameras, electronic gear, etc.
  • FM Radio—some participants set up micro-power stations for your entertainment.
  • Blinky lights, toys, magical fabulousness and swell stuff to share; anything you think would make things more fun for you and your fellow Flipizens.
  • Handi-wipes.
  • Spray bottle (for misting).
  • Rope, string, duct tape, zip ties.
  • Fuel for stoves, generators, mutant vehicles, etc.
  • Abundant amounts of whatever makes your life better: beer, bacon, chocolate, coffee, powdered donuts.
  • A MURS walkie-talkie (See Emergency Call Boxes).
  • Clothing for a range of weather conditions. And costumes.

What to leave home

Bring the kitchen sink, your costume closet, and the art project you’ve been working on all year. But these things…


  • Animals (except service animals by prior arrangement).
  • Firearms.
  • Fireworks and other explosives.

Think Twice or Thrice

  • Excessive packaging (buy in bulk, reusable containers, or consolidate before you arrive).
  • Feathers (MOOPy).
  • Glitter (seriously, how are you going to clean that up?)
  • Lasers (See Lasers).

Getting There

Map, Gate, Greeters, Parking

Pyropolis basic city map

Pyropolis basic city map


  • Drive to Thorndale, TX, from wherever you’re coming.
  • Take FM 486 north to San Gabriel.
  • Make a hard right in San Gabriel (the road is still FM 486).
  • Travel 3.1 miles to the intersection
    of FM 486 and County Road 428 (a dirt road).
  • Bear right on Country Road 428 and travel 1.3 miles to the Flipside entrance.
  • Drive through the property gate and present your
    WILL-CALL RECEIPT and ID to the gate crew.
  • For more specific directions from other cities, see

###Fly In, Rent a Car, Get Here Fast!

The fastest route from Bergstrom Airport to Flipside uses Toll Road 130. Exit the airport by turning right (east) on 71. Get in left lane to enter Toll Road 130 heading north. Stay on 130 until you hit 79 in Hutto. Turn right (east) on 79 and follow the map. Basically it is 80 mph all the way, no traffic or traffic lights until you hit Hutto. Texas has done away with CASH PAYMENT in toll booths. The tolls will be charged to your card a few weeks after the rental by your car rental agency. Please check with your rental agency to confirm their additional service fee for this. For supplies on this route, Stone Hill Town Center in Pflugerville is located at the intersection of Toll roads 130 and 45. You’ll find Super Target (bacon, groceries and what not), Dicks Sporting Goods (camping equipment), and a Home Depot (duct tape).

Gate Hours

Thursday & Friday, May 25–26
9 am – Midnight
Do not show up early: you will not be admitted!
Saturday, May 27
9 am – 10 pm
Sunday, May 28
9 am – 4 pm
No one admitted after 4 pm so volunteers can enjoy the Burn too!
Monday, May 29
You must leave the property by 5 pm


The first folks you’ll encounter are the Gate staff! The Gate is staffed by a private company working with AAR, LLC to provide impartial services for the thousands creating Pyropolis.

  • Gate is not Greeters. They aren’t there to make sure you feel the Flipside Superlove. They process your ticket and make sure you’re adequately prepared and not sneaking someone in. Then they send you to the Greeters.
  • Wait until you arrive at Greeters to refresh yourself or take off some of those warm clothes and begin your Flipside experience.
  • Follow all requests from Gate staff. Giving them attitude will not get you in any faster.
  • You’ll have to sign some waivers. Where appropriate please legibly print your real name, not your burner name.
  • Gate staff will apply your wristband. These wristbands help us and Milam Country Sheriff’s Department to identify and deal with trespassers.
  • Please keep all ticket information updated at
    <>. If your cousin will be using your extra ticket but their name isn’t in the database, make sure it’s updated on the ticket website! It makes things faster. Faster is better.
  • Be nice to Gate. They’re super-awesome folks who do a non-glamorous yet essential job for our community.


The Greeter Station is where we step out of default reality and enter the one we create together as well as a place to ensure all participants are prepared for their time together. The Greeter Station may set up outposts during peak times.
How to be Greeted:

  • Arrive at a Greeter station ready for some love!! The Greeters will be super excited to see you. Greeters love gifts and will share them back, especially water, other drinks, and snacks!
  • You will be directed to an appropriate parking place so that you can safely leave your vehicle and join the Greeters while they quiz you on the Survival Guide, to help you set good expectations for yourself and double-check that you have made yourself aware of all the necessities for a great event (water, sunscreen, trash bags, food, etc.). If you’re not fully prepared, you may be turned back to finish gathering enough provisions.
  • Once you have been properly Greeted, proceed to your identified Pyropolis Zone where you will be met by Zone Greeters who will direct you to your flagged theme-camp spot or the Awesomest spot in Open Camping. You will have a window of 2 hours to unpack and get your car to Parking. You must park your car in Parking! No one wants to hang out in a parking lot, so please don’t turn Pyropolis into one.

Zone Zero

If you’re bringing a theme camp, major art piece, or sound system, stop by the Zone Zero desk at Greeters to check in.

  • Parking will be extremely limited; carpool if you can.
  • Park in designated areas away from camping areas.
  • If you are sleeping in your vehicle and it is parked in your theme camp you must disguise, cover or otherwise get rid of its “car-ness.” If a vehicle is not artified you must move it to Parking.
  • Your car will be marked with your drop-off deadline; after that you need to park in the designated area.
  • Unloading vehicles must be 5′ off of the roads. There must be easy access for emergency vehicles at all times.
  • RVs, trailers and other larger vehicles may be directed to reserved areas. (See RVs).
  • Vehicles parked in unauthorized or unlawful areas will be towed (yes, really towed) at owner’s expense.
  • It’s a long walk from parking back to the camping areas; unpack everything you want, and consider wearing those shoes for just a little longer.
  • Please secure your vehicles when you park!

Any late-breaking news will be announced on the Austin-Announce list or in the Flipside Flame.

Made It To Central Texas And Need Supplies?

If you would like to maximize Flipside’s positive monetary support of Milam County, please consider shopping for goods in Thorndale, Cameron, and Rockdale. (FYI: Round Rock, Hutto, Taylor, and Thrall are not in Milam County.) HEBs are the local big grocery stores. Produce, organic items, meats, beer, and wine. An HEB is located in Round Rock on 79 and A.W. Grimes. Grocery stores carry only beer and wine, and do not sell either before noon on Sunday. Liquor is sold 10 am–9 pm only at liquor stores.

Milam County Businesses

Apache Pass Restaurant & Icehouse
At Apache Pass, off of FM 908, in Downtown Texas, Texas.
Steve’s Place
111 E Salty St. (Off Main St), Thorndale. A small bar, less expensive. Excellent burgers served after 6pm, Sat. 11 am–3 pm.
The Uptown Cafe
204 W Hwy 79 Thorndale. (512) 898-4182 Good folks and good food, near as we can tell. They can handle a crowd (up to 150 people). Catering available. Tell Louis “Howdy!” from the Burner crowd.
Thorndale Community Lumber
Co. 99 S. Main St, Thorndale. (512) 898–2024. They also have a supply of hardware. 8 am–5 pm M-F and Sat. 8–noon.
Thorndale Meat Market
204 W Hwy 79, Thorndale. (512) 898–5387. A good place for meat, especially bacon. Give a howdy from the Burner crowd. Call ahead if you have a special request. 7 am–5:30 pm M-F and Sat. 7 am–noon.
CEFCO Convenience Store
201 E. Hwy 79, Thorndale. (512) 898–2683. Especially convenient because it doesn’t cross Hwy 79 and FM 486.
J&K Grocery (Shell)
101 E. Hwy 79, Thorndale. (512) 898–2921. Will do special beer orders; deliveries are Tuesday & Wednesday. Call ahead.
Brookshire Brothers
1701 West 4th Street, Cameron, TX 76520 and at 725 West Cameron Avenue, Rockdale, TX 76567. Grocery store.
709 West US 79, Rockdale, TX.

Being There

Services And Policies


NO PETS ALLOWED. If you bring an animal, you will not be allowed into the event. Service animals allowed on a case-by-case basis; no emotional support animals. If you require a service animal, email by May 1, 2017.


Austin Artistic Reconstruction, AAR, LLC, reserves the right to deny entry to the event or to revoke event access at any time for any reason or for no reason whatsoever.

Entrance policy

No one will be allowed into the event without a ticket, signed waiver of liability, and valid ID. If you are bringing minor children, additional documents will be necessary. (See Children) . You cannot gain admittance by volunteering. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Keep your ticket handy.


Flipside officially ends on Monday, May 29, 2017. The celebration is over and we need to begin returning the land to its natural condition. So all Flipizens, their camps, MOOP and trash must be off the land by 5 pm on Monday. There will be Exodus teams roaming the land assisting Flipizens with their departure. There are no exceptions to this rule. Due to unforeseen conditions (weather, emergencies), an unplanned Exodus can occur at any time during the event.

Fires and fire performers

If you are planning fire activities, contact the Safety Area Facilitator at If there is a burn ban no fires will be allowed at all, not even those in burn pits, and all fire performances must be in designated areas. If there is not a burn ban, be respectful of the land when using fire. Read the Flipside Flame or check with Greeters when you arrive.

  • Use burn barrels or pre-made fire pits. Do not damage the land. DO NOT LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED. If using ANY fire or flammable materials, bring a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
  • If you are a fire performer, have a “safety” at all times.

Fireworks & Firearms

Fireworks and weapons are prohibited and can be grounds for immediate ejection from Flipside.

In & Out Policy

In and outs at the gate are discouraged. Really, why would you want to leave? If you must leave, check in with Gate on your way out. To get back in, you must return only during Gate Hours (See Gate) with:

  • The re-entry pass issued to you by Gate for $10 per person.
  • Your Flipside ticket.
  • Some form of identification.
  • Your wristband.


Lasers are cool, but even inexpensive handheld ones can cause permanent blindness almost instantly if used carelessly. Before using or even packing a laser, think hard about how you will use it responsibly, and whether the fun you’ll have with it will outweigh the risk. Improper use of lasers can result in temporary or permanent blindness. Seriously. Look it up.

  • You must never shine a laser of any size into anyone’s eyes, including your own.
  • Anything larger than a handheld laser MUST be mounted 7′ above the ground and must be aimed into the tree line.
  • If you bring a laser, you take personal responsibility for the safe use of that laser.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, email AAR, LLC at

Law Enforcement

We create a temporary city with its own rules. This city coexists within an area of real laws. Try to make that coexistence a peaceful one. Abide by all relevant local, state and federal laws. If you see law enforcement officers, be nice to them. AAR, LLC will cooperate with all local, county, state and federal officials. We all share an interest in having a smooth event.

Photography, Video & Audio Recording

Burning Flipside is a private event. Redistribution or public display of images, including internet-based media, requires the explicit consent of all subject parties.

  • ASK FIRST before you shoot or record! Many people are sensitive to photos taken or recordings made at the event.
  • Images may only be taken for personal use and may not be used professionally or for any commercial purpose without prior written approval by AAR, LLC.
  • Photography, videography, and audio recording for personal use is allowed; however, you must sign a Commercial Media Agreement which states in part that the media will not be used commercially unless otherwise approved by AAR, LLC
    (See Media Depictions).
  • All video cameras must be registered. Registration can be done at Gate or the Ranger Station.
  • See Social Media below if you are considering posting photos on a website.

Safety Markers

Any intentional removal, destruction, or alteration of the safety lighting, event signs, or caution tape is grounds for removal from the event.

Social Media

Posting photos to social media sites removes your control of the photos and of the ask-first arrangement made with other participants. Your friend said “yes” to your snapshot, not to your publishing that photo into the InterCyberGooglyTweets. These sites can retain photos even after you delete them. Think twice before giving your art to Social Media Inc.


Don’t cross fences, boundary tape, and other posted boundaries. The property lines may be in unexpected places. DO NOT CROSS THE BOUNDARIES OF THE EVENT. If you see a sign, respect it. Trespassing on private property is illegal and can be dangerous. Disregarding boundary signs can get you ejected from the event.

Vandalism/Art Defacement

Defacing art or any other property that belongs to others, including the land and its trees, is not an acceptable exercise of self-expression. Anyone caught defacing any artist’s work or private property without that artist’s express permission will be subject to both ejection from Flipside and any potential legal charges that the artist may wish to file, with the full support of AAR, LLC.


Everyone is required to wear wristbands. Anyone found without a wristband may be ejected. Replacements can be acquired at the Gate (you will need your ticket and ID).


Ice will be sold at on the main field near the Effigy area.

Ice Hours (subject to change):

  • Thursday: noon to 4 pm
  • Friday through Sunday: noon to 6 pm
  • Monday: noon to 2 pm

Emergency call boxes

Call boxes will be placed around the event site with radios that communicate directly with Safety HQ. Look for a yellow post with a red box containing a radio. If you have a MURS radio, you can set it up to communicate directly with Safety HQ as well. Configuration: MURS radio to channel 5, code 11 (154.600/CTCSS 97.4). This channel is used by both Flipside’s Safety teams, and Burning Man’s too. More information


Porta-a-Potties will be located throughout all populated areas at Flipside. Hand washing stations will be located at the larger banks of Port-a-Potties. don’t leave your trash or throw trash in the Port-a-Potties.


Recycling will be back this year at Volunteer Central, thanks to the wonderful efforts of the Recycling Lead and the citizens of Pyropolis. It is expected that glass, aluminum, cardboard, plastic and steel will be accepted. See the Flame for details. Hours are subject to change.

Planned Recycling Hours:

  • Friday: 11 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm
  • Monday: 9 am to 5 pm

Volunteer Central

There will be a station at the central crossroads where you can sign up for a volunteer shift during the event.

Look Out!

Have Fun, Don’t Die


Many volunteer departments use golf carts as official vehicles. You must be authorized to drive an official vehicle. Participant-created art vehicles (cars, trucks, golf carts, etc.) must be registered with the Department Of Mutant Vehicles. Unauthorized or unsafe use of a vehicle can result in ejection from the event, liability for property damage, and even criminal charges (See Mutant Vehicles).


There are plenty of nasty critters all over Texas. This is not a definitive guide. Keep an eye out and try to avoid these creatures.

Pound for pound, the fire ant is the meanest animal to ever walk the face of this great planet. Put signage around ant beds so people know to avoid them. Ants don’t like cinnamon; put around your tent to keep these pests out of your stuff.

Mosquitoes are omnipresent in Texas during the summer. Use bug spray, and treat bites by cleaning the bite area and rubbing on Benadryl lotion or some other anti-itch lotion. Don’t scratch!

Scorpion stings can be painful, but they can be avoided. Scorpions like to hide under things (like tents) and in things (like shoes). If you are stung by a scorpion, wash the area with soap and water. Use ice to dull the pain. If you experience unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, dizziness, vomiting), contact the Pyropolis Emergency Team (PETs) immediately.

While many snakes are not harmful, go with the plan of mutual avoidance for safety. If you hear a rattle, stop and move slowly away from the sound. The river may contain water moccasins.

Ticks can carry diseases you do not want. Avoid them by using insect repellent, and wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt while setting up. If you don’t know how to remove a tick, ask the PETs for assistance.


Poison Ivy

Look for asymmetric lush green leaves of 3, 5 or 7, red stems. If you think you have been exposed:

  • Cleanse exposed areas with rubbing alcohol.
  • Rinse with water first—no soap yet! It will only make the reaction worse. Now wash with soap and warm water.
  • Put gloves on and wipe everything you had with you, including shoes, tools, and your clothes, with rubbing alcohol and water.
  • Pack Ivy-block, Zanfel, Ivy Cleanse Towelettes and/or Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub just in case.
  • For more information visit

Pecan Trees

The trees at the land are beautiful, sacred, and fragile. Do not hang things from the trees, as that may cause breakage. The trees are part of a working agricultural orchard. Do not paint, mark, cut, trim, drill or spike a tree for any reason. Doing so will be considered vandalism of private property. We want to be invited back, so this falls under being respectful. Some art may be allowed to hang from trees, but only with advance approval. If you are bringing art and want to explore your verticality options, contact the art lead at


Dehydration is a very serious risk due to Texas summer heat. DRINK WATER, lots of it. Beer dehydrates you; it is not water. Water is not sold at the event (except in the form of ice), so bring all the water you will need. We strongly recommend a minimum of 3 gallons per day. Signs of dehydration:

  • Feeling uncharacteristically cranky.
  • Rapid or sudden weight loss.
  • Increasing thirst.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Weakness or lightheadedness (particularly if worsening on standing).
  • Darkening of the urine or a decrease in urination (drink enough water to “piss clear”).

The river

The San Gabriel River runs through the land and is a
great place to cool off. Be aware that the water is considered public and is not a private swimming hole. While water traffic in the area is uncommon, it is possible. Media, law enforcement, and others may be using this public waterway. Consider the water like a public road. Please respect all local, state, and Federal laws, and the sensibilities of our neighbors. Before you hit the water, know:

  • Swim at your own risk. There are no lifeguards on duty. DO NOT SWIM ALONE.
  • Be alert to obstacles under the water (tree limbs! rocks!).
  • It is not a pool, but real live flowing river downstream of a dam. Check first for signage before entering the water.
  • Be alert to weather conditions. If there is rain in the area, water can rise rapidly. In case of storms, get out of the water.

Mutant Vehicle Etiquette

Mutant Vehicles can be seen and ridden at the event. Participants are responsible for interacting safely with Art Cars. Unsafe or unauthorized use can result in ejection from the event, liability for property damage and even criminal charges.

Thou Shall Not

  • Try to get on, impede, or stop a moving mutant vehicle.
  • Be a jackass and still try to get on the art car if doesn’t stop
    for you.
  • Operate any mutant vehicle and/or its artistic additions (e.g., fire cannons, pants cannons, sounds and light systems, etc.) without permission of its owner/operator.
  • Hi-jack, hoodwink or harass the driver whilst they are in command and control of the mutant vehicle.

Thou Shall

  • Dance around, wave thy arms and ask politely from a safe location to get on a passing mutant vehicle.
  • Wait until the mutant vehicle has come to a complete stop and you have the operator’s permission before boarding or disembarking.
  • Help look out for the safety of thine fellow passengers, passers-by and other sundry freaks.
  • Report any safety issues, violations, and/or problems to the Pyropolis Rangers immediately.

Safety Teams

Located At Safety HQ, Not A Bad Idea To Know Where It Is

Pyropolis Emergency Team (PETs)

The Pyropolis Emergency Team (commonly referred to as PETs) provides 24-hour first aid and emergency response for Burning Flipside. Every PET is certified or a licensed medical professional who is trained to treat injuries and, if necessary, work with the Rangers to evacuate patients with serious injuries or potentially life-threatening medical conditions. If you need a PET, they can be found at Safety HQ, or contacted via your nearest Ranger or radio-wielding volunteer. Safety HQ is located near the main field (See Pyropolis Basic City Map).

Pyropolis Fire Department

The Pyropolis Fire Department is made up of trained volunteer firefighters. In an emergency, the fire team can be reached at Safety HQ or via radio by any radio-wielding volunteer, including any Ranger.


Radical self-reliance and respect means you are responsible for your own actions. Make sure your actions don’t interfere with the enjoyment of the event for others. This includes being respectful of your neighbors, controlling the volume of your camp, and working out disagreements respectfully. Rangers mosey through the event. You can reach out to them if you need urgent help, or assistance in resolving a conflict. They are not police, they are not The Man. Rangers are participants who volunteer to help make our event safe and smooth, so that we can all have more fun. There will always be a ranger at Safety HQ.


Flipside can be a challenging environment, not just physically but emotionally, and sometimes people get overwhelmed. Sanctuary is there to help participants get centered and get back into the event. Oh, and sanctuary…this ain’t no raver daycare.


  • You voluntarily assume any risk of serious injury or death by attending.
  • You must bring enough food, water, shelter and first aid to survive a long summer weekend in rural Texas.
  • You may encounter venomous snakes and insects, wild animals, thorns and poison ivy.
  • Proper footwear and personal lighting are essential.
  • Extreme heat is to be expected and flash flood conditions are possible.
  • Be aware.
  • This is not a consumer event. Leave nothing behind when you leave the site. This is what it means to Leave No Trace.
  • Firearms, fireworks, rockets and all other explosives are prohibited.
  • Commercial use of photo/video/audio and other media depictions taken at Burning Flipside is prohibited without prior written consent of Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC.
  • No vending.
  • No pets.
  • No spectators.
  • Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC, reserves the right to deny entry to the event or to revoke event access at any time for any reason or for no reason whatsoever.
  • Tickets are non-refundable.

You agree to abide by all rules in this Survival Guide.

To learn more about Flipside 2017 and how you can get involved, visit or email