For many people, this is going to be the first time at Midburn, or any other burn, and it’s hard to know what to expect. In this post, we will try to make things clearer and more focused, and answer the most frequently asked questions, in the shortest version possible (trust us when we say this IS our shortest version…)
Midburn is a really cool event where we build together a city in the desert, for 4 days and nights, and fill it with art, parties and experiences, only to disappear as if it never existed.
What the people in the city (meaning, us) will create is what will be in it.
If someone sets up a bar – we’ll have a place to drink, if someone gives a workshop – we’ll have something to learn, if artists create big or small art installations, sing or perform – there will be art, and if someone creates a climbing wall made of boobs… well, you get the point.
This fun city we build operates according to the ten principles of Burning Man, our parent event from Nevada – a great read if you haven’t read it yet. In case you were wondering, there’s also a video clip version!
So what characterizes Midburn?
Midburn creates a special space, where we are all have a place. A place to be, to express ourselves, and to give to anyone around who is interested in receiving what we offer. There are people whose self-expression involves revealing outfits or different expressions of sexuality. It is all acceptable, as long as we make sure that no other participant is hurt by our self-expression, when it comes to sexuality – we must have a clear consent from our partner.
Radical self-expression is not to be seen as consent or an invitation to touch.
This subject is so important and sensitive, we must stop for a second here and remind you.
What is consent?
No means no.
Silence or passiveness mean no.
Yes followed by no or enough, means no.
A person that is not in full consciousness cannot give consent and therefore, the meaning of their situation is no.
Consent should be given explicitly by word or clear, active and enthusiastic behavior.
To remove any doubt, it is recommended to respect ourselves and the person in front of us, and make sure they consent by asking directly.
What is this gifting we keep hearing about?
Midburn has a unique economic system – gift economy. We don’t use money, there are no shops, restaurants or souvenirs, at least not for money, but as a gift.
We don’t expect anything in return for a gift, and only we decide what to give, when and to whom. You can’t demand a gift, so make sure to rely on yourselves and not on gifts! Yes, we have a video for that too…
What to expect?
Get excited and pumped, but leave your expectations at home.
Come to Midburn and go with what you experience on the playa (did someone say immediacy?)
In its nature, the Burn is a place that brings unique, powerful and surprising experiences – it is a safe, free and varietal place. This is the place to experiment with different things, and it’s crazy fun.
There is no reason to be disappointed if it’s not all parties and fun – there are hard moments, down moments and all kinds of other moments. The things we don’t usually deal with in our day to day lives, tend to rise during a burn. It is a natural side effect of soul searching. It’s ok, you come out stronger.
So do yourselves a favor, just go where the wind takes you with an open mind. If you do what you feel is right in each moment, you will not be disappointed.
Want to be prepared for this emotional rollercoaster? You should read the Emotional Survival Guide.
As we mentioned before, what we create is what will be in the city. This concerns all of us, there are no spectators.
Other than the fact everyone must help to make the event happen, whether it’s with a camp, the production or any other way, when you put an effort in something it’s much more satisfying to see it happen. There is no pleasure like seeing something you worked hard on, become reality.
Come and take part! Come to construction days, help with building, help with art fundraising, come to parties, just participate.
By the way, every participation is a chance to meet people before the event.
Day to day
How do you imagine the day to day life in Midburn?
There are no two people with the same experience, nor a similar one. If it’s important to you to know what goes at what time, check out the program you’ll receive at the entrance. But beware, the program might give the greatest FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) because the truth is – there is no way to experience everything, so just go with things. There is something happening everywhere. You can’t participate everywhere. Our recommendation is to try and experience the playa both during the day and the night – it’s not the same…
By the way, even if you haven’t volunteered in advance, and suddenly have the urge to participate, it is never too late! Just go to the Playa Info and ask where you are needed. It may start with a shift during the event… and end with a meaningful part on the Midburn 2017 production team!
You must (!) read the Survival Guide. Remember that you can’t buy anything other than ice in the city. We are not joking about this. Bring enough water, food, shade and anything else you’ll need!
Even though you sleep in a tent, in the dust with the scorpions, it doesn’t have to be hardcore.
If you’re not used to it, don’t spare too much, don’t live off of canned food. We have full four days, so spoil yourselves, and bring things that will make you feel comfortable, warm food, equipment and water for normal shower and hygiene, and enough clothes. Make sure you have some place comfortable to come back to at the end of the day (A nice tent, mattress and shade are a good start).
Bring clothes you enjoy wearing, dress up, go crazy, and express yourselves all the way. Hats you made yourselves, LEDs, pants that light up when you are spanked, or anything else you can come up with.
Don’t forget warm clothing, this is the desert and it gets cold during the nights. Try to make the warm clothes fun as well, so you’ll enjoy wearing them!
What are Midburn clothes? Anything you want! You can google Midburn images for inspiration.
Many times people on the playa will give you something to eat or drink. If you’ll have a cup, you can taste what the playa has to offer. When you go for a walk, don’t assume you’ll be back in an hour or five, you may be back after two days… So don’t forget to take a reusable plate, a cup (or even two, since they tend to get ruined or lost), reusable cutlery, a flashlight, a hat, some water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, first aid kit and sunscreen.
For safety reasons and just for fun, it is recommended to wear some kind of light so you’ll be seen during the night. After all, there is going to be a pirate ship sailing on the playa, you don’t want to get run over…
LNT – Leave No Trace
We leave no trace, meaning we reduce the amount of garbage we make as much as possible, and don’t leave any of it behind when we leave. For example: we bring reusable kitchenware, leave large packages at home, collect the ash from your cigarette into a cup, don’t bring clothes that might shed (feathers, glitter etc.), pick up garbage (even if it’s not yours), reuse anything you can, don’t spill water (or pee) on the ground etc.
What do I do if something is wrong?
Contact a Nomad.
The Nomads (or as they are called in Burning Man, rangers) are participants just like us, that were trained and receive their authority from the community. They goal is to help maintain a safe and pleasant environment and the safety of the citizens in the city. They maintain the echo of the Burning Man values inside our changing and expanding community, through watching and controlling, but mostly through inspiration and by setting an example.
The Nomads are also the link between the citizens of Midburn and the event organizers, security personnel and the authorities, help in addressing safety hazards and containing extreme events, and help with conflict resolution between participants.
The Nomads can be found touring the city during all hours of the day, starting when theme camps arrive for construction, during the entire event and during deconstruction. They can be identified by the pale Nomads cape adorned with the Nomads symbol.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Nomads in any matter regarding your safety, your comfort zone or any other question or need. They will help you in a kind and generous attitude. During the event, if the need arises you must follow instructions from the Nomads and cooperate with them.
Can I ask something?
Anything you want to know? Ask! Go to the Midburn Website
Or the unofficial, yet very hectic, Burning man Israel vip group
Do yourselves a favor and don’t be shy to ask! Some of us won’t stop talking if we get the chance. Ask, check, get help from friends. The more prepared you are, and the more people you know – the more fun you’ll have!
Wait a minute…
If you reached this far, you have a lot of patience and curiosity. You’re awesome, way to go!
We have a personal invitation for you from Anat Agmon:
“I would like to invite you to come to Temple and take part in the Farewell Wall I make in it. This wall is a monument for David Bowie, and the event will mark five months since his passing. Come to say goodbye to Bowie, an artist that meant love and many meaningful moments for me, or come and say thank you and goodbye to whatever you want or must say goodbye to. You can say goodbye to a period that ended, loved ones that have passed away, a habit you are sick of, a love that ended, a relationship that is not good for you, a job you don’t enjoy, or anything else you might think of. On Saturday night, when we burn the temple, we’ll all say goodbye together.
See you on the Playa…”
**A big thank you to Matan Ostrovsky, Anat Agmon and everyone else who contributed words.
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