Survival Guide

Survival Guide 2020

Burning Flipside May 21–25 2020 The Sacred and the Propane

Thursday, May 21–Monday, May 25

You can view a PDF edition of the paper Survival Guide here.


Gate Hours

  • Thursday & Friday, May 21–22: 9 am – Midnight Do not show up early: you will not be admitted!
  • Saturday, May 23: 9 am – 10 pm
  • Sunday, May 24: 9 am – 4 pm No admittance after 4 pm so that volunteers can enjoy the Burn too!
  • Effigy burn: Sunday, May 26: dark-thirty
  • Monday, May 25: You must leave the property by 5 pm

The Sacred and the Propane

From the dusty corners of the liberal arts, Sacred and Propane is a French sociological theory- based pun on the “sacred-profane” dichotomy. By this theory, the rites and beliefs held sacred by communities are defined by their counterpoint to mundane drudgery, and the way the sacred is created and celebrated by communal action that transcends the individual.

How many of us have enjoyed spiritual experiences as a part of this community and the art and spaces we build and burn collectively? This thing we do at Flipside is special, in part, because it exists outside of the default world. And there is no way it works unless we all hold it sacred and do it together.

Math rules the universe. This year, may you be inspired to build monuments not only to the beautiful logic of sacred geometry, but also to the ephemeral, chaotic intuition of community, and the wild transcendence of fire.

What is Flipside?

The Philosophical and the Practical

Burning Flipside is an experimental community bound by a spirit of participation, mutual respect and radical self-expression. Inspired by the Burning Man event, it is a place of acceptance and inclusivity. Everything you see inside Flipside is created by your fellow participants and volunteers. There is no paid staff or paid entertainment. There is no “them.” There are no concession stands or cash transactions (except ice sales)—even bartering is discouraged. This is a sincere experiment in creating a gift economy. And as this is a leave-no-trace event, you must pack out everything.

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



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.


With about 100 acres, there’s room for parties, performance art, group events, art cars, guerrilla theater, music, and art installations large and small. The event is what you bring to it and make of it.

Theme Camps

Before Flipside, many people join or organize a theme camp around common interests, art events, and opportunities to give to the community. They’re a great way to meet people, share resources and engage with the Flipside experience! If you aren’t part of a theme camp, open camping zones are available for everyone.

Music. Dance parties. Megaphones.

There’s always something going on! Flipside is roughly organized into areas by sound—“Loud” “Really Loud” and “Slightly Less Loud.” There is no guaranteed quiet zone. Plan ahead with earplugs and other sleep aids. You can always ask nicely for someone to turn it down.

Effigy Burn

The effigy is conceived of and built by volunteers in the months before Flipside. The burn is planned for Sunday night. It is preceded by a procession through the city that is open to all, and a fire performance coordinated by the community. (We reserve the right to burn the effigy at any time or not at all depending on weather conditions. In the rare chance the effigy is to be burned early, we will do everything we can to let the community know.)


There are no spectators at Flipside, only participants, and one of the most direct 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 is contributing through the gift of their time and expertise. Browse shifts and sign up at

There are leadership roles in the organization to suit different abilities and personalities. Creating leaders in the community is one of our main goals, right alongside creating art. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator—we’ll work with you to find a place where your talents can be utilized.

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.

A Leave-No-Trace event

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 no recycling, but you can still do your part by separating, bagging and take yours home.
  • 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 extra trash bags more 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.


Pre-Flipside Registrations and Logistics


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! See;, or email the art area facilitator. Art registration closes April 1.


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.


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 on what we’ve done so much as we celebrate what we can do.

  • If you plan on bringing art to burn contact Art Logistics in advance for approval and coordination. You must also register your art piece for placement. This refers to art that is consumed by fire.
  • There are steps you must take before your piece will be approved to burn, including a quiz on site.
  • 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.
  • If you plan on bringing flame-effect art, such as propane-fired devices, you need to register your art piece by April 1 for placement purposes. Questions? Contact Art Logistics.
  • 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 at all times 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, 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 or have other questions, please contact the media liaison 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.


If you are planning fire activities, contact the Safety Area Facilitator. If there is a burn ban no fires will be allowed at all, not even those in burn pits, and all fire performances will be limited to designated areas.


We are all big fans of lighting up the night, having AC, making music…and this means you’ll probably bring a generator.

  • Bring a quiet generator and a baffle. It’s a first step to making friends with your new neighbors. If you can, spring for a quiet one. Place your baffle so that those who get the benefit of having the generator are dealing with the repercussions.
  • 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.


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.)


  • 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. 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.
  • In the interest of space, traffic flow, and emergency access, there are restrictions on where RVs can be parked. There is a designated RV park with adjacent camping to accommodate trailers and RVs. If you use a generator, please review the generator etiquette guidelines.
  • No in and outs for RVs, they must be parked and left stationary.


Service animals are allowed on a case-by-case basis; no emotional support animals. If you require a service animal, email by May 1.


Must be pre-registered by April 1.

  • If you are creating or using anything with lots of sound, you must be familiar with and abide by the Burning Flipside sound policy found at You will be asked to sign a Sound Policy Agreement upon entering the event. Questions? Contact the Sound Lead.
  • If your art piece involves loud sound, you must indicate that in your art registration.
  • If 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 must also abide by the Sound Policy and register with the DMV.


Also must be pre-registered by April 1. Theme camps are a central part of the Flipside experience. Register by April 1 at Fill out your form with accurate information so City Planning volunteers can place everyone.

What to Bring

Glitter Stays Home, Leaving More Room For Water, Bacon


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.


  • 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. Bring 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 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.
  • 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.


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).

Maps and Arrival

Map, Gate, Greeters, Parking

Pyropolis basic city map
Pyropolis basic city map


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. Please wait until you arrive at Greeters to 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, which helps us and Milam Country Sheriff’s Department to identify and deal with trespassers.
  • Please keep all ticket information updated. If you’re transferring a ticket to someone else, do it at 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.


  • 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, see


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.

How to be Greeted

  • Arrive at a Greeter station ready for some love! The Greeters will be super excited to see you.
  • Greeters will quiz you on the survival guide, help you set good expectations for yourself and double-check that you have all the necessities. If you’re not fully prepared, you may be turned back to finish gathering provisions.
  • Your car will be marked with a drop-off deadline for parking.
  • Once you have been properly Greeted, proceed to your identified Pyropolis Zone where you will be met by Zone Greeters. They will direct you to your flagged theme camp spot or Open Camping.

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 limited; carpool if you can.
  • You will have a window of 2 hours to unpack and get your car to parking. You must park your car in parking—you will be towed if you leave it in camp.
  • 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 even if you are in open camping.
  • 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).
  • 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 vehicle, turn off your engine, and put your keys somewhere memorable!


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).


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. 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.

Being Here

Services and Policies

Abusive expression

AAR will not tolerate expression in any form that serves to demean, intimidate, or ostracize.


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.


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


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.


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 are necessary. (See Children). You cannot gain admittance by volunteering. Tickets are not available for purchase at the gate. Keep your ticket handy.


Flipside officially ends on Monday, May 25, 2020. All Flipizens, their camps, MOOP and trash must be off the land by 5 pm, no exceptions. There will be Exodus teams roaming the land to assist you with departure. At any time during the event, unforeseen developments (weather, emergencies) may require an Exodus.


Be respectful of the land when using fire.

  • 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.
  • 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. Check with greeters when you arrive.


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 hours, inside front cover) 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 hand-held 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.

  • Never shine a laser of any size into anyone’s eyes, including your own.
  • Anything larger than a hand-held 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 .


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.


Mutant Vehicles, a.k.a. Art Cars, can be seen and ridden at the event.

  • Don’t try to get on, impede, or stop a moving mutant vehicle. Wait until it has come to a complete stop and you have the operator’s permission before boarding or disembarking. Don’t be a jackass if it doesn’t stop for you.
  • Ask for permission of the owner/operator before you operate the vehicle’s artistic additions (e.g., fire cannons, pants cannons, sounds and light systems).
  • Help look out for the safety of fellow passengers and passers-by.
  • Report any safety issues, violations, and/or problems to the Pyropolis Rangers immediately.

Art Car Owner/Drivers:

  • Be registered with and inspected at DMV and have tags.
  • Observe speed limit of 5 mph or slower.
  • Yield to everyone and observe traffic rules.
  • Follow instructions from Rangers and event coordinators.
  • Be completely sober.
  • Have gelled headlights if driving at night.
  • Submit to on-site safety inspection/interrogation.
  • Improper use of a mutant vehicle can result in the revocation of your DMV license.


Self-expression and cooperation require a social contract to make our event a place for everyone to play.

  • Respect the moment. Comfort levels vary at different times and with different people. Respect personal boundaries.
  • 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 can always ask for help. Talk to those around you (or a Ranger) if someone is making you uncomfortable.


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. The right not to be photographed (or recorded in other ways) supersedes the right to take a photograph. Ask permission.
  • 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 dedicated video cameras must be registered at Gate or the Ranger Station.
  • See Social Media below if you are considering posting photos on a website.


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


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.


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.


Defacing art or any other property, 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 a wristband. Anyone found without a wristband may be ejected. Replacements can be acquired at the Gate (you will need your ticket and ID).

Look Out!

Have Fun, Don’t Die


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

  • Fire ants are mean. Put signage around ant beds so people know to avoid them, and cinnamon around your tent to keep them out of your stuff.
  • Mosquitoes are omnipresent
  • Pecan trees on the land are beautiful, sacred, fragile, and part of a working agricultural orchard. Do not paint, mark, cut, trim, drill, spike or hang things from a tree for any reason. Doing so will be considered vandalism of private property, and we want to be invited back. Some art may be allowed to hang from trees, but only with advance approval. Contact the Art Area Facilitator.
  • Poison ivy is, unfortunately, abundant. Find out what it looks like before you arrive. If you think you have been exposed:
    • Wash with a grease-cutting dish soap and warm water.
    • Put gloves on and wipe everything you can with rubbing alcohol.
    • Pack Ivy-block, Zanfel, Ivy Cleanse Towelettes and/or Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub just in case.
  • Scorpions like to hide under things (like tents) and in things (like shoes). If you are stung and experience unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, dizziness, vomiting), contact the Pyropolis Emergency Team (PETs) immediately.
  • Snakes in the area are mostly not harmful, but 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.


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. Keep an eye out for these signs of dehydration in yourself and help fellow participants be aware:

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


The San Gabriel River runs through the land and is a great place to cool off. It is public and is not a private swimming hole. While water traffic in the area is unlikely, 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.

  • Swim at your own risk. No lifeguards on duty. Do not swim alone.
  • Be alert to weather conditions. Check first for signage before entering the water. If there is rain in the area, water can rise rapidly—we are downstream of a dam. In case of storms, get out of the water.

Safety Services

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


The Pyropolis Emergency Team (commonly referred to as PETs) provides 24-hour first aid and emergency response for Burning Flipside. Every PET volunteer 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 through a Ranger or radio-wielding volunteer. Safety HQ is located near the main field (See Pyropolis Basic City Map).


The Pyropolis Fire Department is composed 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 also 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 the contents in this Survival Guide.

To learn more about Flipside 2020 and how you can get involved, visit or contact the Volunteer Coordinator.