Midburn Year: 2015
Playa Name: Kippi
Currently Resides in: London
So after hours of sitting in front of your computer, clicking refresh and worrying about how to get a ticket, and buying (or maybe not yet) a flight ticket to Israel, you are wondering how to get organised, what to expect from Israel and specially from Midburn, in short what the hell did I get myself into ☺
So not to worry, everything will be just fine, fun and as they say “the Playa provides”.
As an Israeli who lives in London for many years, and who has been to Burning Man 6 times and Midburn once, here are just a few tips which I think can be super helpful!
- Info-binge because “Self-Reliance”.
As much as Midburn is about community, it’s also about Self-Reliance, one of the 10 Principles. Wait a sec, you still don’t know what those are? Well, here’s a great place to get started. If you have never been to a Burning Man like event, it’s extremely important to read the 10 principles on which the whole event is based (that’s right, it’s an event! Steer clear of the ol’ faux pas and don’t call it a festival), and the Survival Guide, where you will find a lot of useful and essential information like X, Y and Z.
A great source for information is the official Midburn website which has an English section – http://midburn.org/en/.
2. Don’t forget visas & passports
Ahhhhh traveling. Leaving on a jet plane is great, but means you need to think about passports and visas. Make sure your passport is valid, and pack carefully! Also, visas. Many international visitors do not require a visa, but please ensure it by going to the website of the Israel embassy/consulate of the country where you live and verify for sure. After all you don’t want to come to Ben-Gurion airport wearing a feather in your hat and flowers in your hair (actually the last one is for San-Francisco), only to be told you can’t gain entry.
3. Be a tourist
You will probably want to stay somewhere central like Tel Aviv where it’s easy to find a couch to crash on or an airbnb to share with friends. And, Israel’s a beautiful, interesting country. Try to tour for few days before the start of Midburn or after if you still have energy. Need advice about where to go and what to see? Ask people on the Midburn facebook page and see what’s going on in the Israel Burning community.
4. Survive the desert
As for Midburn – just like the parent event in Black Rock City – it takes place in the Israel desert. That’s right- it’s a desert, and a desert can be very hot during the day and cold at night. Check the forecast before you go and make sure you are ready for all weather conditions. Sunscreen, dust masks, goggles, long clothing, short sleeves, and all the rest.
5. Don’t be a litterer!
And on that theme – please think about the principle Leave No Trace, which is one of the major 10 Principles – let’s try to have the least impact on our environment during the whole trip. Bring what you need, cause everything you bring there, you take back with you. Nothing gets left on the Playa !
6. To theme camp or not to theme camp?
This always seems to be the million dollar/euros/pound/bitcoins/pesos question. Just like in BRC (this is Black Rock City for you BM virgins) – the event is built around many theme camps who run different events and happenings during the days and nights of Midburn. If it’s your first time and especially if you come on your own, I think it’s a great idea to join a theme camp and enjoy its facilities – may they be communal meals, a shaded area for your tent, activities to take part in (of course you can wander between all theme camps at Midburn and enjoy what they gift to the community) or just friendly faces to see when you come back at night exhausted from your night wandering. Why? Well, the way I see it, it’s a fantastic way to get involved and find a communal way to give and meet wonderful people.
Again the list of camps and what they include is vast, find them on the Midburn website or on social media. Different camps have different joining fees and offer different communal facilities, check them out. Get in touch once you have found a theme camp that you like – some get full real quick.
7. My best experience at Midburn
It’s that time: time for a little anecdote so you can get to know my Midburn. My best experience at Midburn was the workshop which I ran twice. It is called “Keep in Touch” and deals with what is touch how to touch and about consent. I ran it twice, once for mixed men and women at the famous Free Love camp which was also my “home” at Midburn, and a second time for men-only at Straight Friendly the gay theme camp… though I had at least one straight guy who loved it. It was great being able to share something so important to me with a wide community of people on the Playa.
8. Burn bright, burn high
I can go on and on with tips and advice but the main thing is to Burn bright, Burn high and mainly have fun. If any wants to know more than they can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours with burning love Niv (a.k.a Kippi – that’s my Playa name – more about it can be shared on e-mail).