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Announcement and Call for Discussion

Abstract: Firefly Arts Collective will organizationally and financially support experimental new Burn events growing out of the Firefly community.  We are now requesting open discussion that will lead to formal proposals by motivated new leaders. We hope to receive proposals and make sponsorship decisions in late Summer 2020.  We are currently accepting community feedback on the proposed questionnaire and decision process through March 2.


Firefly’s mission is to foster a collaborative environment and community for participatory arts, encouraging people to express their creativity, and challenging them to extend their concept of both community and art.

To that end, we recognize that Firefly’s July camping event is of a size and maturity that fundamentally limits the different ways in which we can experiment with changing values, prioritize new principles, and challenge community expectations.  We wish to use our resources to foster new events that can do so, as part of the existing Firefly community or by spawning new communities entirely.


Beyond the desire to further our mission as described above, Firefly Arts Collective also recognizes other inspirations for a bold experiment.

  • We’ve long discussed the idea of having multiple events, both to manage capacity and to further engage the Firefly community.  We’ve concluded that FAC doesn’t have the volunteer resources to do so; we’re exhausted from doing just one big event a year.
  • Some participants have expressed that they would prefer a smaller event than what Firefly has become.  As resources allow, Firefly will continue to grow as an event to support demand, but a new Burn can experiment with different sizes and formats.
  • Some participants have expressed dissatisfaction with how Firefly is administratively organized, and wish to experiment with different structures.
  • Some participants have concerns about stagnation in Firefly’s camping event, such as a yearly consistency in Camp Placement.  Similarly, there are different opinions on what is appropriate in areas such as Sound, where experimentation at the Firefly event is difficult.
  • Experimentation in a creative community is inherently valuable and should be encouraged.
  • Firefly is itself an experiment, building on Burning Man and other similar projects, and some of the things we have learned can only be realized in new events that build upon older ones.


Firefly Arts Collective offers to sponsor and mentor any group that wishes to put on an alternate Burn event that grows out of the Firefly community.  The level of engagement from Firefly Arts Collective is entirely at the option of the new event (or events), including but not limited to:

  • Introductions to current landowners, local community representatives, and vendors (e.g. insurance, portable toilets, rental equipment, parking sites, buses, etc.)
  • Use of current and coordination on future capital improvements that Firefly makes at the current event site, such as road maintenance, forestry, and the well.
  • IT infrastructure, including personal email, mailing lists, websites, ticketing, grant management, and volunteering software.
  • Access to resources that Firefly shares with other community events and organizations, such as operational knowledge and experience related to event timelines, the Firefly Conduct Committee, art grant process and infrastructure, and insurance and safety considerations.
  • Representation as an Official Regional Event for Burning Man (via a Burning Man Regional Contact), should the new event wish to pursue this status and meet the necessary requirements.
  • General advice on starting and operating a non-profit organization.
  • Seed funding for event operation, and additional funding on successful execution.


We welcome proposals for new Burns and wish to foster experimentation and creativity, but offer some guidelines on what submissions are likely to be successful.  These are not strict requirements — we will consider any proposal — but these should be considered as strong recommendations.

  • A successful proposal should take strong inspiration from the Ten Principles of Burning Man. These are not strict rules, but a guiding social and cultural framework for the larger Burning Man community, and embodying these principles is a requirement for being an Official Regional Event.  Working from these principles distinguishes Burns from superficially similar events.  We welcome proposals that wish to vary from or expand their goals through changes and additions to these principles, and would like to see a thorough discussion of how and why this is desired.
  • Event proposals should not operate on a for-profit basis, where revenue derived from the event directly benefits the producers of the event.  Any revenue from the event should be reinvested in the community as a whole, and not benefit a camp, sub-community, or project. While proposals are not restricted from compensating organizers for their time, priority will be given to all-volunteer organizations.
  • Proposals should plan to operate an event in a manner that complies with all applicable laws, permits, and regulations.


This announcement is a call for public discussion about Firefly sponsorship for new events, so we can better understand what criteria are a priority to the Firefly community as part of a proposal and selection process.  We invite you to take the time now to discuss this idea, identify other participants with similar experimental interests, and prepare to create proposals for the Firefly Board of Directors and greater Firefly community to consider.

In addition to this overview, we have shared a draft event proposal questionnaire, as well as draft criteria to consider while reviewing proposals.  We welcome feedback on these, or any aspect of this process, via this form or in email to

After community feedback, we will revise the questionnaire and open it for proposal applications. Once the application window closes received proposals will be published for community discussion, followed by an opportunity for revision, and then community discussion at an event scheduled during Firefly 2020.  The community will then have the opportunity to vote on how well proposals match our decision criteria, and the Firefly Board will meet to discuss, decide funding and support, and finally announce the results of this process.


  • February 3: Burn sponsorship program announcement, feedback opens
  • March 2: Questionnaire feedback and criteria feedback closes
  • March 16: Questionnaire opens for sponsorship proposals
  • June 15: Questionnaire closes
  • June 22: Proposals published for community discussion, community feedback on proposals open
  • July 2 or 3: Community proposal presentation and discussion on Firefly Stage
  • August 3: Community feedback closes
  • Approximately August 31: Funding decisions announced
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