The operational side of Burning Flipside has an extensive volunteer organization, with nine Areas subdivided into Departments. Areas are led by Area Facilitators (AFs), and departments are led by Leads.
- Area: 360/24/7
- Area: Art
- Area: City Planning
- Area: Communications
- Area: Genesis
- Area: Safety
- Area: Site Prep
- Area: Site Sign-Off
- Area: Site-Ops
- Area: Volunteer Coordinator
Covers departments that serve Flipside and the Flipside community outside of the event season.
The Combustion Chamber Scribe, or CC Scribe for short, is a lead positions whose main responsibility is to keep minutes at CC Meetings. As part of taking minutes, the CC Scribe is also expected to keep track of the agenda for future CC meetings.
The Church Night Coordinator is responsible for generating Church Night hype; there to spam the email lists with Flipside positive goodness to help foster participation in creating our fair city!
The Edjumication Lead educates newbies about the community’s principles. Edjumication disseminates information about Leave No Trace, community participation, gift economy, photography at the event, and other “rules of engagement” that are held common by Flipizens and other Burner communities. This Lead helps newbies achieve a more fulfilling Flipside experience, allowing them to integrate fluidly into the existing community.
The Equipment Librarian is responsible for maintaining an inventory of AAR, LLC-owned tools and equipment. The Equipment Librarian is also responsible for facilitating documented lending and return of certain types of equipment. If this position is not filled, no equipment is lent outside of the fenced warehouse area.
The Off-Season Event Planner is responsible for coordinating events run by AAR, LLC which are not Flipside itself. These tasks may be offloaded onto someone else at times, but in general, this lead will be the point contact for all “other” official events, such as Townhall, Volunteer Appreciation, etc.
The Regional Outreach Lead is responsible for establishing contact with the other Regional Burn communities (Transformus, Toast, Playa Del Fuego, Apogaea, etc) and inviting members of their community to Flipside.
The Warehouse Manager Lead is responsible for overseeing the usage of the Wherehouse and its upkeep–this position is often called “Warehouse Advocate.”
Creative self-expression is central to what Burning Flipside is all about.
This Lead reaches out to the community of participants at large to foster the cultural value of art participation, encourages participants to sign up for an installation spot or register their pieces – then pass them to Art Installation Logistics so that they have ALL the support they need. This Lead should be present at Church Nights and any other Art Nights, and may help organize and communicate art workshops, flash mobs, and other forms of hyping of art.
This Lead serves as a central clearinghouse to facilitate the needs of artists’ installations (power, lighting, transportation, etc.) and facilitate or provide assistance with ride sharing, volunteers, shared rentals, and other possibilities.
The orchestrator of the final show! This lead coordinates with representatives from several Areas of Pyropolis: Procession, DaFT, Rangers, PETS, Safety, to name a few. This person gathers the needs and plans of each team and weaves them together into a smooth play of events and coordinated response among players. Main responsibility is Sunday of the event (from noon until the effigy is ashes!)
The Burnable Art Lead coordinates burnable art. This Lead identifies and contacts the artists who intend to burn art at Flipside (register your art!); ensures that artists take measures to prevent burn scars; schedules art burn times on and off the “Burn Night;” facilitates and ensures coordination between the artists and the Fire Safety team; ensures that no art is burned without the presence of Fire Safety; and ensures that artists Leave No Trace of their burned art. This lead may have access to techniques, vendors, and inspiration for burnable art to share with artists…
Commons Host will facilitate the creation of relaxing communal hubs where Flipizens can congregate in artfully vibrant spaces. Host will lead teams to decorate and light the spaces, provide lounging materials and designate areas for smaller art installations. Events are welcome in the Commons in either an impromptu fashion or around a schedule, to be maintained by the Commons Host team.
The DMV Lead is responsible for clearing mutant vehicles for event travel (this includes determining what constitutes an art car). This Lead is responsible for organizing the enforcement of parking and driving policies (cars that aren’t registered with the DMV and cleared for during-event travel are not to be operated during the event, save loading and unloading). This Lead is ideally very organized and a good communicator.
The DaFT Lead is responsible for designing the effigy and leading the team that creates it. This position requires a strong commitment to the project, an ability to meet deadlines, ability to manage projects and budgets, and a positive attitude. It’s also a good idea to have some design and construction skills. There are many experienced people in the community who are available to help the DaFT Lead. This role will likely take 20-40 hours a week for most of the time from March through May. Construction of the effigy should ideally be finished by Friday of the event, but past years have had DaFT (and especially the lead) working until late Saturday.
Leads a team to create sturdy, aesthetic, bright lighting structures that encircle the Effigy and surrounding landscape. Works with Art and Safety Area Facilitators to ensure the aesthetic enhances the safety and appearance of the effigy circle.
Conceptualize, design, render, plan, and otherwise communicate the logos, graphics, constructs, and memes for department T-shirts, patches, swag, signs, newsletter(s), etc.
The Procession Coordinator is a Lead responsible for organizing the procession on the night of the burn. This position exhibits lots of creativity and the ability to work (and play) very well with others. Lead is also be familiar with fire safety, as many of the procession participants will likely be performing with fire. Previous leads have used the Procession as a theatrical performance (the Voodoo Wedding in 2005), or as a Pied Piper-style parade that seeks to pull the populace from their camps and continues to grow as it winds its way through the city, finally ending at the effigy (2006).
In 2012, the procession will took on aspects of a tribal CIRCUS PARADE with illuminated costumes, stiltwalkers, marching band drummers, giant puppets and circus freaks.
This person is responsible for designing, procuring, and implementing a fireworks show to accompany the burning of the Effigy. This lead or someone on the team will be a trained and licensed pyrotechnician. Lead will assist the Fire Safety and Burn Night Coordination teams in determining whether and when conditions are favorable for a fireworks show. They should also be available to provide input and advice to DaFT team members, if/where pyrotechnology is used in the effigy.
This recently-formed role is responsible for increasing awareness of the welcome possibilities to get art and representation at other burn events by Flipizens, and to welcome and assist in getting artists and their art from other events to Pyropolis.
Every year we create a temporary city from scratch. These are the people that design it and help it spring into existence.
The Cartography Lead works with the Placement and Roads leads to build the map of the city of Pyropolis.
The City Planning Admin is responsible for managing the data input needs of the City Planning team. The Admin will work closely with the City Planning team to ensure the FS website has the right tools and information to smoothly process all required data. Candidate should be experienced with data entry, Media Wiki, website design, HTML, CSS, and database administration.
The City & Street Signage Lead is responsible for coordinating the creation and installation of all artistic signs to be used at Flipside. While mainly associated with the creation of the year’s Street Signs, this position is by no means limited to just that. In fact, many folks could benefit from having some help building and painting their own signs. The ideal person for this position is organized, creative, and excited about creating opportunities for members of the Flipside community to express themselves.
The Disinformation Kiosk Lead has the general responsibility of providing a forum for the community to tell itself what is going on at the event.
The Flagging Lead is responsible for translating the theme camp placement map into actual, flagged boundaries on-site at the event. Flagging generally occurs the weekend before the opening day of the event. The Flagging Lead uses a variety of tools to accurately lay out each theme camp’s boundary. The Flagging Lead usually works closely with the Placement Lead and the Cartography Lead to ensure each camp is allocated its proper space. The Flagging Lead also works closely with the InterZone Coordinator prior to the event to resolve boundary issues caused by misplaced flags, absent flags, or improperly measured boundaries.
The Placement Lead is responsible for placing each theme camp, art installation, and event infrastructure. This lead works closely with each theme camp (both directly and through the Theme Camp Liaison and with several Art Area volunteers to ensure that the needs of the participants are met along with the needs of the event. The Placement Lead is responsible for interpreting the data provided by placement registrants and translating this information into a master plan for the entire event. Candidates for this position must be excellent communicators with strong diplomacy skills. This lead is expected to communicate regularly via e-mail and telephone, as well as speaking publically at Town Halls and Road Shows. The Placement lead works closely with the InterZone Coordinator on-site to ensure the smooth placement of theme camps. Because of the nature of this position, candidates will be required to undergo an in-depth interview and screening. This position has generally required a minimum of 120 man hours prior to the event and a willingness to be on call several hours per day (or more) for the first three days of the event. Contact
The Theme Camp Liaison facilitates communication and cooperation between the Placement Lead and theme camps. This person might also help build villages, facilitate communication between camps, and generally help things run smoother in the city of Pyropolis. Contact
Covers ticketing, technology, and public information.
The Content Lead serves in an editorial position for content posted to the burningflipside.com web site, for Flipside Flame publication, and for the Flipside Broadcast System videos. Content typically will be event- or community-oriented in nature, and frequently under the direction of the LLC. Strong spelling and grammar skills are a necessity.
The Email Lists Lead is responsible for maintaining the various burningflipside.com mailing lists. Generally, the Email list lead simply maintains the the email lists.
This lead’s work has become a part of the Content Lead’s job. The Flipside Flame will now go hand-in-hand with the newly formed Flipside Broadcast System, where print media will meet digital video, and provide new outlets for information relase.
The Flipside Flame Lead is responsible for soliciting content for, organizing, and publishing the Flipside Flame to the austin-announce list. The Flame ideally should go out once every two or three weeks. The ideal Flipside Flame lead is excited about being a conduit for new event information, is well-organized, is an excellent communicator and solicitor of desired content. The lead should be able to collate the information and have it published in a timely fashion to meet the desired timeline.
The Media Liaison Lead is the resource and contact for any media source who wants to cover the event. The Media Liaison also organizes the policies by which the participants are allowed to take pictures and shoot videos of their experiences at the event. To be the Media Liaison, you should be a good people person, have an understanding of mass media, and have some knowledge of dealing with the media as a representative of the Flipside organization in case of emergencies.
The Social Media Lead serves in an editorial position for content posted to all LLC official social media pages. Content typically will be event- or community-oriented in nature, and frequently under the direction of the LLC. Strong spelling and grammar skills are a necessity.
“Sticket” is a portmanteau of the words “sticker” and “ticket.” The Sticket Lead accepts the ticket and sticker submissions, wrangles the selection committees, and orders the final product.
The Survival Guide Lead is responsible for obtaining content for and editing the Survival Guide.
The Ticket Distribution Lead is responsible for being in charge of everything pertaining to the distribution and sale of tickets to the event. This lead is not responsible for overseeing the design or printing process (that’s the Sticket Design/Ordering lead). This lead is encouraged to recruit some assistants. To fill this position, you should be an organized person who can meet deadlines and doesn’t mind fielding lots and lots of questions.
The Website Administration Lead is responsible for the technical operations of the burningflipside.com web site. The Website Admin evaluates and recommends hosting services and technologies to be implemented for the organization’s web site. This Lead also installs software, grants administrative access to appropriate individuals, and helps maintain general availability and uptime on the site.
The departments in Genesis are involved in welcoming participants to the event and getting them situated.
The Greeters Lead is responsible for coordinating all of the details of greeting the participants that arrive at Flipside, acutely increasing their excitement about the event, and educating them about Flipside’s core values. This position requires excitement and exceptional patience. You must be able to delegate and motivate. Experience as a Greeter is a must.
The InterZone Coordinator is responsible for supervising the placement of theme camps on-site at the event. This individual manages each of the Zone Greeter teams and provides direction when needed. The InterZone Coordinator resolves camp placement issues in lieu of the Placement Lead and/or the City Planning AF. This is an important position requiring the individual to be on call for the first 72 hours of the event. The InterZone Coordinator generally works long hours for the first three days of the event. The InterZone Coordinator maintains the Zone Placement Guides, oversees radio distribution to Zone Greeters, ensures Zone Greeters and City Planning personnel take breaks, get food & water, and are relieved in a timely manner. The InterZone Coordinator may be required to travel frequently between the Greeter Station and each of the Theme Camp Zones. This is a demanding volunteer position requiring the candidate to go through a formal interview process and subsequent training before being assigned a position.
Parking is responsible for working with the land owners, greeters and rangers to create the best possible parking environment. Considerations for the volume of vehicles, congestion and safety are all handled by the Parking Lead, with the assistance of their pool of volunteers and other entities. The Parking Lead must be patient, diligent, organized, and effective when dealing with conflict.
The departments in the Safety area are crucial to the sustainability of Burning Flipside as an event.
The Boundaries and Safety Signage Lead is responsible for evaluating the need for, creation of, and execution of a plan utilizing signs to promote safety during the event. This Lead also coordinates the following: placement of boundary tape around the event’s perimeter, placement of safety signs at Gate and Greeters, and placement of signs that alert participants of safety hazards such as high-density cactus areas, cliff edges, slippery surfaces and other potential hazards that could result in injury.
Echelon is the name of the Safety Support Department.
The Fire Safety Lead is responsible for coordinating, organizing, and leading the Pyropolis Fire and Rescue Department. This Lead should have a history of fire suppression duties, preferably with emergency management supervisory experience.
Guardians/Perimeter Lead: The Guardians Lead is responsible for securing the event boundary and coordinating with Rangers, LLC, etc. in the event of gatecrashers. Are there participants accidentally meandering beyond the event boundary? We got your back and will gently point you back towards the “MAGIC SPARKLE UNICORN RAINBOWS” inside Flipside! Hooraaay!! Curious, unwaivered, or otherwise non-ticketed persons and/or BEARS trying to sneak into Flipside? The Guardians Lead maintains expertise on the event boundary and surrounding terrain; he/she also trains, recruits, supports, and transports our intrepid spooks to keep unticketed folks out and protect the sanctity of our beloved Pyropolis. Also, pandas.
Motto: “Nulli Expugnabilis Hosti”, taken from a military motto originating in Gibraltar.
This is the best-fed department at Flipside. Word.
The Meteorology Consultant (or Lead) is a single-volunteer department of Burning Flipside.
- The PETs Lead is a Liability Lead responsible for recruiting and organizing the necessary volunteers and procuring supplies to address, 24 hours a day, any emergency medical situations that might occur over the course of Flipside.
- The PETs Lead should also possess an understanding of associated medical liability issues that may relate to volunteer providers and the event itself.
- The PETs Lead should possess good clinical evaluation skills in order to facilitate the transfer of an emergent patient to a higher level of medical care.
- They should have a working knowledge of the Flipside Incident Command System.
- They should be familiar with FEMA’s Incident Command System, the ICS 100.
The Ranger Lead is responsible for organizing Ranger operations for the Burning Flipside event season. This Lead should have previous history as a Pyropolis Ranger, preferably as a shift lead. Black Rock City Ranger experience is also a plus, but not required. Many, many people will interact with this lead. This Lead position should have a good knowledge of the Flipside organizational structure, be well organized, a reliable and understanding communicator, and capable of delegating tasks to avoid being overwhelmed with the details of the position. This position is a liability lead and will oftentimes be in high demand.
Sanctuary is geared toward supporting the burn community’s psychological well-being. We are staffed by volunteers who are coached in providing counseling to the Flipizens of Pyropolis. Our services are gifted to participants that are disoriented, grieving, and mentally or physically fatigued. We allow a place of temporary asylum, where burners can find their fun again, and then take on the city anew.
The Sanctuary Lead is charged with recruiting, training, scheduling, and coordinating. The chosen lead should have a background in counseling and possess excellent social assessment skills.
The Sound Lead establishes sound decibel level criteria that meet requirements to minimize sound impact on the neighboring community. This is a liability lead position and requires assembling and training “sound marshals” who monitor and enforce sound policies at the event. Excellent communication skills, organization, and a willingness to formulate and disseminate vital sound information to the Flipside community prior to the event are paramount to this position.
Organizes work weekends, overseas improvements to the site to make it suitable for the event, and researches potential event sites.
We’re always on the lookout for the perfect spot to host the next Flipside. Someplace with a creek or a river where they don’t mind all the noise and silliness that make up our event. The Land Search Lead is Flipside’s seeker of Utopia.
The Roads Lead works with leads in the City Planning department to ensure roads on site are maintained during work weekends. If new roads are needed, or existing roads need significant changes, the lead also coordinates that activity with the interested parties. The amount of road work varies by year, from having to carve out new roads throughout and entire city to no work at all.
The Waiver Wrangler is responsible for work weekend waivers, and various other waiver organization the LLC may need throughout the year.
The Work Weekend Communications Lead sends out information about work weekends (dates, things you need to know, etc.) and helps garner volunteer support for our outings to improve the land.
We can’t work the land with just our hands, yo. Well, we could, but after some trial and error, we discovered using tools aids the efficiency of this process. The Work Weekend Tools and Supplies Lead is charged with borrowing tools (as needed) to work on the event site, securing rentals (as needed), and checking out any warehouse tools for use over work weekends. Also, this lead is responsible for coordinating getting this tools to and from the site. You don’t have to be able to haul them there yourself, but knowing someone with a truck or two wouldn’t be a bad thing for this lead.
This is how we Leave No Trace.
This lead is responsible for the returning of the land to a state equal or better than when Burning Flipside personnel arrived. Generally this has been the organization of volunteers to remove any MOOP left behind and restore any burn scar or effigy remnants. Clean-up as a department, has more information.
The Earth Guardian Lead is responsible for Leave No Trace and Sustainability education and action. For more information, refer to the Earth Guadians department.
The Exodus Lead (formerly GTFO) is tasked with ensuring a safe and orderly exodus from Burning Flipside. Additionally they work with participants and other volunteers to ensure their area is clean and MOOP free prior to leaving.
In specific, in order to begin the restoration efforts necessary to return the land to a pristine state participants not involved must be off the property by the pre-determined time (Monday 5pm). Exodus is empowered ensure this happens!
The Recycling Lead facilitates Flipside’s recycling operations. Responsibilities include the organization for the collection, sorting and eventual removal of recyclable items and organization of volunteers.
Covers departments related to on-site event operations.
The key master. This lead is responsible for keeping track of who has and who is authorized to have golf carts, heavy equipment, etc. on site.
The Equipment Vendor Liaison is responsible for conducting business with vendors to secure all rentals (generators, light towers, heavy equipment, and anything that isn’t medical, ice or a toilet — those are different leads) for the event. This person should be at least six-and-a-half-dozen times more organized than my Trapper Keeper was when I was in school, and will need to maintain professional relationships with vendors.
The Fuel Lead is responsible for coordinating the fuel needed to power the Motor Pool, infrastructure generators, and other infrastructure fuel ordering needs.
The Ice Lead is responsible for all aspects of planning and executing ice sales at Flipside.
The Infrastructure Transpo Lead is responsible for coordinating the loading and transportation of infrastructure items to and from the event site. The Transpo Lead should be organized and committed; the effigy doesn’t get built if it never shows up.
The Power/Electrical Lead is responsible for ensuring safe and reliable power for infrastructure. Infrastructure groups requiring power/electrical needs are the Effigy, PETS, Rangers, Fire Safety, Sanctuary, Ice, Greeters, Safety Lighting, Radio Communications, Parking, the Grove.
The Pre/Post Ops Lead is responsible for coordinating the volunteer labor pool who will assist with infrastructure setup for Flipside. Unlike the Shaven Apes, Pre/Post Ops deals specifically with helping set up the various pieces of infrastructure such as carports, the radio tower, etc. The Pre/Post Ops Lead should be well organized, a good communicator, have a decent knowledge of the organizational structure, and capable of recruiting a pool of volunteers willing to help out with heavy lifting and other backbreaking, sweaty work. Pre/Post Ops are /not/ simply Flipside’s grunt workforce; all Leads should be recruiting their own help. Pre/Post Ops are the heroes who make everything much easier.
The Radio Communications Lead is responsible for organizing the radio system used to connect the various organizations at Flipside. This lead should have a decent knowledge of radio technology and the available systems at Flipside’s disposal; in addition the lead should be communicative and well-organized.
The Safety Lighting Lead is responsible for ensuring that any hazardous areas of Pyropolis are appropriately lit.
The Sanitation Lead is responsible for coordinating the contract with the Port-o-Pottie vendor regarding delivery, pickup, stocking and servicing of the port-o-potties at Flipside. The ideal lead for this position should be organized, friendly, and willing to put up with a little shit. Just kidding. Kinda.
Shaven Apes are a group that help the community through grunt labor. Helping to set up a tent, build a dome, get a car unstuck, etc. are the type of tasks that the Apes undertake. Apes are informal, in that a participant does not have a “right to Apes”, but they can certainly ask. Apes in general do NOT undertake the setting up of infrastructure. The ideal person for this position is organized, communicative, and has an understanding of the types of roles they imagine the Shaven Apes to perform.
A human switchboard who connects people who want to volunteer with volunteer positions.
The Volunteer Assistance Squad (or “bum squad” as they’re affectionately known) are coordinators for helping the other volunteer teams. They have a cart for shuttling volunteers around when they need a ride, they can have refreshments for volunteers working out in the sun, and they can provide some onsite recruitment.
Flipside 311 provides a centralized informational hub for volunteers and participants alike. They are waiting in the Pyropolis Civic Center and keep themselves abreast about the official Flipside word about things (such as the weather report), and are ready with information that can connect someone who needs something with someone who can provide the thing.