Give feedback on Kiez Burn 2018, general ideas you have about the event and the community.
NEEDS MORE BURNERS!
The org did an amazing job of encouraging and developing a lot of amazing Kiezes. This is critical for the foundation of this type of festival. However there was so much going on that it didn't quite have the population to support it.
I think it needs a larger portion of people in open camping who come and participate at the events at all the kiezes otherwise our workshops, parties, and orgies run the risk of not having enough people to make them worth doing.
This has to be done appropriately to ensure the acculturation for new burners but its manageable.
My regional in Canada has 1200 people and only 1 daytime sound camp, 1 large nighttime sound camp and 2 small nighttime soundcamps.
Not saying to decrease the amount of sound camps but if they are all offering the same thing at the same time they are competing for our limited amount of Burners.
First off, Kudos to Nino and Alex for pulling off the incendiary masterpiece friday night! That beauty of that thing burning was more impressive than seeing the man in my virginal 2002 burn. That Alex had never orchestrated something like that before was incredible, and I say that with 18 years event production experience. I assumed he had some sort of theater director background.
Given how much of an apex the burn felt, I'd prefer if it had happened saturday night. This would have conflicted with the crowd pleasing tesla/fire concert, but the mesa really felt empty without the effigy piece.
As my main role was helping with placement and stuff, I'd like to spend some time on that subject.
1. There was lots of discussion concerning just being and kinderkiez. As neither were on my radar of what interested me, i spent little time at either, but did the placement work out? I wonder about dedicating that area for truly silent (i heard y'all making some noise and I was tenting next to süß kiez) camps, like kinder kiez, and moving JB and the other 2 as we grow on the freiland space.
2. I was happy with the Feuerwehr/Saloon/etc area and think it would be good to flatten out the available area a bit more so that the road between toolhaus and flow camp can be more easily populated.
3. As I predicted, Zerzura was too big. While very nicely built, it would take a lot more burners to bring that concept to full potential. The storms obv didn't help, but we might need to rethink how to structure that neighborhood.
4. I noticed that underworld and pyjamcakes had to put a lot of their tents well outside their kiez zones. Was everyone cool with that? Should areas be downsized to allow more kiezmates to camp closer?
5. The flattening of the area for deine mudda and drug sluts was great! I think we could fit another kiez in there, too, if drugs sluts were not to expand.
6. Based on how we used the freiland space, i think we could max out at around 1500 people if we were to use the area north of the gate. This would ensure large areas for kieze far away from sound camps, could result in new placement for kinder kiez, mothership, workshop area, etc.
7. Not all art made it to the mesa. Message from Space (fuck your burn el wire piece) was moved because we (the artists) felt that its intended area had gotten too full of stuff. Once we had the actual burn, I understood why so much of that area ended up empty. My intention was for the mesa to be the central gallery, but as some works were only visible at night and others during the day, and since the effigy commanded so much space, I can see the value in distributing pieces elsewhere if we have enough (we always need more!). If there had been more back and forth between underworld and zerzura, this issue might have been different.
8. I have some ideas on expansion. While we can more densely populate what we already use, I predict and hope we grow by hundreds of people for the next one and do not think the current urban plan will remain comfortable for that.
9. Monkey kiez needs to remain where it is. It was great watching and hearing them monkeying about from across the valley.
10. Lemon Kiez was simple and classy.
11. Downtown Saloon was my favorite kiez. They perfectly integrated their public structures into the environment.
12. I was lectured by someone from kiez kitchen about dish washing. As I was accustomed to washing dishes at a centralized area last year, I did the same year, as I freekiezed both years. OK, camps needed to handle their own gray water. That is fine, they cook in big groups for themselves and are able to divide such a task accordingly. That isnt an option for freecamping, and we made up a signficant portion of the population. That doesnt mean we merely spectated and not contribute to the event. While it is encouraged that people join a kiez, it isnt the end all, be all of a burn experience, as I personally spent just as much time as any kiez member with org planning and an art project. What I can offer as as member of area 51, is that kieze place a bigger strain on the organization. This strain is necessary, but to wrap things up - throw free campers a bone and let them wash their dishes. Showers were organized for everyone.
13. Considering how few children showed up, a disproportionate amount of planning went towards kinder kiez. While burns are inclusive, being a parent myself, I would never want to inconvenience the vast majority of participants just so I can have a burn and bring my kid, too.
Music is a big part of my life (I have 400 gb of music on my hdd) and while don't expect burns to match my aesthetic interests, I would have enjoyed more an overlap. Much has been written in facebook threads and I am on the fence between sound camps being their own units and them inviting a greater diversity for the sake of inclusivity. Ketapop and tech-house and psytrance are all going to invite me to sit down far away from the speakers, while the right disco or house or techno is going to make build up a sweat, but I prefer authenticity from the people organizing a kiez. While my preferred dance music party time in the default world is during the day, I'd like less of it played during a burn. Daytime is a great time for guitar stuff, for pianos, for stuff which isnt so dark or introverted. I'd love to see a kiez properly devoted to chillout. Drug sluts kinda fulfilled that role at night by simply being enclosed, places to lounge, and quiet enough, but it sometimes felt like one was intruding in someone else's living room.
Ticketing information was not totally clear for the broke-asses who volunteered a shit ton during the planning stage and could have really benefited from a low-income option with their volunteer ticket.
I felt a bit confused and stupid having invested quite a bit of time putting together a sound protocol, consulting about how people can get teh best out of their gear, how to minimize the impact the sound has on others, and was planning on coming early to help with measurement on the condition of assistance securing a ride. The ride never materialized so I went with plan B(us) and found upon arrival that the measurements already happened, which then made me feel weird about getting the volunteer meal which had been promised to me for my involvement, and as a freecamper part of my planned meals for the week. I made due, but will not involve myself like that again.
All in all, a great burn. Better weather would have been nice, but the rain might have made the effigy burn possible. Since it took place the same weekend as 48hr Neukölln arts festival in berlin, I would like future dates to be considered for july. I know that there is always a burn somewhere that it will conflict with, but given the name "kiez" would be nice to make it more of a large local thing than just another regional.
The sound levels were very good from my perspective. However you did it, i felt that it worked. Our area next to kinderkiez was quite reasonable at nights and silent in the mornings. Its a huge huge improvement from the sound levels of 2017.
Regarding Pyjamcakes placement/tents: There was space at Pyjamcakes for more tents, but our camp members chose to camp elsewhere -- mostly because they were worried about the sound from Zerzura making it difficult to sleep.
In the end I personally was happy with how it worked, since our space looked a lot better without tents all around it.
We only had 2 tents (4 people) at our space, but could have fit probably 20 people if necessary (but it wouldn't have looked as nice).
Perhaps switch the burn to Saturday and the Tesla/fire orchestra to Friday...? Not sure if there was a reason for doing t the way it was done, but ti felt weird to see a lot of people arriving after the effigy burn.
It also felt a bit strange that so many people showed up so late. I know work commitments will get in the way, but are people who show up on Saturday afternoon really going to contribute to the event or just be tourists. Borderland cutoff new entries from late night Thursday onwards once in order to avoid this - not sure how people would see this. Perhaps a bit too exclusionary?
I felt it was a very music dominated event and after about a half-hour walk of the place I'd seen pretty much all the art there was. Not sure how you go about getting people to create more visual/interactive/installation art (or if it;s wanted) - but just an observation.
It was also a bit loud even at the non-curfew times Maybe a general quieten down at about 4am before the 6am curfew? Or maybe just have one sound camp per night going all night, and coordinate which one on a rota.
Venue was wonderful - love the place and lots of size to grow!
I wonder if the late arrivals also had something to do with the weather? I personally found its really strange to have a camper back out 3 days before build and another (very nice) camper arrive Saturday afternoon. Did anyone else have this or no-shows? It would be nice if an event as special and work intensive as this one took priority
From my perspective, the orga kicked ass. There were the big visible things that succeeded, but also the little or 'behind the scenes' successes that many of us may not have noticed. To compliment them all would read like a book, so ill just leave my very few criticisms/opinions.
Toilets didn’t work out so great. From the calculations, we should have had more than enough. But there were hotspots near sound camps that were used far more often than others. Then there were single standalone toilets that were occupied for so long that many ahead of me ran to the bushes instead of waiting. I think that if we grow bigger, we will have in general more toilets so that standalone toilets are rarer. Could it be that they were just not emptied frequently enough?
Symphony of fire on Friday, burn on Saturday. Was this a weather decision? Both were AMAZING, BTW. So fucking good.
Our camp learned quite a few things as well that I want to share. Here are some that would apply to other camps possibly.
Our camp is going to have a virgin mentor program next year, and a more thorough introduction. Our virgins were awesome people! But some had a lot to learn in how to be good Burners. I think in doing this they will feel more included, feel more comfortable asking “dumb” questions, and come better mentally prepared and better packed.
We had shared cosmetics – like soap, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. This worked out really well.
The weather knocked us off schedule. We will have a better way of communicating changes in our schedule next year.
We need to bite the bullet and rent the transporter for an extra day or two longer. We squeezed too much labor into a short amount of time with too few builders. Fuck that. Never again. Except for probably next year.
One of our gifts was a Lemonade bar but it wasn’t open very often and we had a quota per day. We will have some easy store-bought lemonade that we can give out anytime when people come off schedule. I expect this problem could be similar for other camps?? Also, we will reach out to other camps and the free campers next year to see if they want to take over our bar at certain times.
We made some enormous blocks of ice a few days before the burn. You need to freeze them in layers (please don’t put 10 liters of water in your freezer at once). The blocks stayed frozen the whole burn and kept our crushed ice (for drinks) frozen for the whole burn too.
The end. Thanks again orga. This burn was a huge success and we are all so proud of you!
Hey thank you for your feedback. Concernig toilettest there was a communication problem with the toilette company or rather a not doing their job they where supposed to do. On the one side they should have emptied the toiletts on wednesday already but they started on thursday. And they did not place the toiletts correctly. So please let me know wether there where issues from thursday on as from that time everything was like it was supposed to be and how we calculated and communicated it with the toilette company.
I felt like a lot of people (including lots of my friends) were on shifts at first aid / wonderers / welfare for quite a long time without that much "action." The lack of action is of course good, since it means people don't need the support.
But that is time and energy of volunteers that could have been used in other ways. Some people like volunteering, but there was also a push to get people to sign up so some people were volunteering out of a sense of duty or wanting to help the community, not because they actually enjoyed it more than they would being able to run around freely.
But my question is: do we need so many people on shift at all times? Could the numbers be lowered at certain points in time (not always the same amount)? Could there be more on-call shifts?
For example: it's good to have a sober medical professional, but does that person need to be at the first-aid tent the whole time? Could they instead be enjoying the burn elsewhere and carry a walkie-talkie, only called when there is a real emergency? How many incidents were there where having a medical professional was necessary or even helpful?
Could there be a "health team" made up of say 5 to 7 people that do the three roles (wonderer / first aid / welfare) as a team? Since people can shift between roles as the needs arise, you don't need as many people to cover it all.
I have written down my learnings, more from a macro-POV, on and off, in the run up to Kiez Burn: