Posts in austin

Austin’s Burning Flipside: Taking Leave No Trace to the Next Level

 

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the Burning Man regional event. By working with authorities to override a long-term population cap, Burning Flipside organizers have successfully rewritten the rules!

Photo by Mark Kaplan.

Photo by Mark Kaplan.

In order to increase the event’s capacity, State regulations required Flipside organizers to provide potable water, daily trash service, trash receptacles, cups, napkins, lighting and other services. But Flipside is a Leave No Trace event based on personal accountability; participants are expected to bring in everything they need and pack it out when they leave (sound familiar?).

The vast majority of large-scale events and festivals do provide trash cans, based on the assumption that attendees are not interested in picking up after themselves. Leave No Trace events like Burning Man and Burning Flipside have a different ethos. The latter trust that community members are not only perfectly capable of cleaning up after their own wild rumpuses, but that they feel satisfied and self-reliant as a result of doing so.

We come together, build something amazing, burn it to the ground and then pick up every last cinder. It’s an achievement we’re proud of, and it’s part of what defines us as a community rather than merely an event. We do it because we respect the land and the right of others to enjoy the land once we depart.

Incorporating trash services would change the very nature of what Flipside is about and Austin Artistic Reconstruction (AAR), the organization running Flipside, wasn’t willing to subvert the community’s values just to sell more tickets.

Faced with a choice of either going against our community’s values by providing trash cans, or limiting the population, AAR did what they had to do:

They changed the rules.

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March 11th, 2011  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Burn-BQ at SXSWi!

For the last few years, Burning Man staffers have attended the SXSWi conference in Austin, TX to learn, connect and develop our minds around community organizing and technology, discovering what’s going on with cutting edge social and cultural tech — ever-more important as our population grows and spreads further around the world. (Our relationship with the technology world goes back years — November 1996′s WIRED magazine declared Burning Man “The New American Holiday”, after all.)

As Burning Man is effectively a social network in and of itself, we realized that we have a lot to contribute to the SXSWi conversation as well. So this year, we decided to send a somewhat larger contingent — including staff members from Communications and Technology teams as well as two Burning Man Board members– to participate in this tech-cultural institution, sharing information and ideas.

We’re excited to connect with the Austin Burner community while we’re in town, too. To that end, we’ve hooked up with our friends at Honk to help celebrate the climax of the HONK! TX festival, an energetic street-music festival featuring some of the most amazing marching bands in the country.  Following their final parade, we’ll be heading over to Pan-American Park at 2100 E. 3rd Street on Sunday, March 13 from 5-8pm to join them for some fun. There’ll be Texas BBQ (by Lick and Suck), and all the interactive eye candy you can stomach – including you, SXSW Burners (after all, there are only participants in this world).

If you’d like to join us, we will be marching with the HONK parade, and then celebrating with them in the park … and remember, YOU are the entertainment. Participate! And Leave No Trace! Show SxSWi what interactive is all about!  What is that? A costume? A bizarre piece of performance? You bring it!

We hope to see you there!