The Kiwiburn Organisation
So, you know a bit about what Kiwiburn is… you may have even come along to the festival a few times… but do you know how it works? How does so much chaos get facilitated and organised? How does a festival run entirely by volunteers even function? How does it all happen? It has taken some of us a long time to figure it out, because the people who have been very busy organising the event year-round and running the on-site operations have been too busy doing everything at once. So here’s a basic run down.
We’ll start with you…
You buy your ticket. This makes you a part of Kiwiburn, whether you realise it or not. This is all part of the participation. The ticket price includes your automatic annual membership subscription to Kiwiburn Incorporated Society. Members are able to attend the AGM to have their say. The money from tickets goes into financing the festival; all of it. That is why everyone, even year-round organisers, buy tickets. The money is spent on hiring the site, the toilets, the medics, security, funding Art Grants, the Temple and the Effigy, and many other things. If you want to know more about the finances, you can read about them in our Afterburn Report.
Now the structure…
The decision-making structure has been evolving over the years and, in late 2017, Kiwiburn restructured to be better able to manage the growth of the event, tweaking the structure again mid-2019. ExCom has traditionally had three officers – Chair, Secretary and Treasurer – a requirement of being an Incorporated Society, as well as an ever-changing number of committee members, mostly greater than three at any time. Now there are the three officers together with six Facilitators, who work with the leads of the 30 or so teams of volunteers which make Kiwiburn run, ensuring they have the people, information and resources they need to function (see org chart below).
The Facilitators are associated with one of six groups of departments:
- Site Safety
This structure has moved ExCom away from discussing and making decisions at every level, into a central communications hub, effectively reducing the workload of individual volunteers and enabling each ExCom member’s workflows to be smaller and more well defined. If you are interested in knowing more about the strange goings-on of the Kiwiburn ExCom you can check out the Google Group.
The Kiwiburn Leadership Team
A dedicated attendee of Kiwiburn since 2012, Geveta joined Kiwiburn’s ExCom in 2017 as Secretary following her participation in The Giant Weta project. The collaborative art project by Auckland Burners featured at Burning Man 2016, and inspired Geveta to give back to the creative Burner community she had met through Kiwiburn. Based in Auckland, Geveta’s interests include collecting vinyl, hoop dancing, and cheese boards.
Having observed Burning Man from afar for many years, Andy couldn’t get to a Kiwiburn until 2017. He joined the Finance team in early 2017, taking up the Treasurer role within ExCom in October 2017, and was on site for the set up for KB18. Andy joined ExCom to help develop a plan for the long term viability of Kiwiburn’s annual event and the expansion of Kiwiburn’s activities to include other events and happenings year round, particularly in relation to the Arts. Besides someone has to take care of counting the beans! Kiwiburn is a great event, a great community, with great people – who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? Have some fun and contribute at the same time – join us now, sign up here.
Myself and the Art’s team are proud to support, encourage and advocate for all things Arts, and we look forward to working with you all in making the magic come alive. How do you create magic …. that can be created when you mix a culture built on like-minded principles with a super group of humans and from that all manner of beauty emerges!
All I can say is that I have been amazed, inspired, and had a super time at every burn I have been involved with. Thanks to all the artists, creators and participants who add to tapestry, I can’t wait to be amongst the mayhem again. Previous life bean counting new life evolving …
Julia was introduced to all things Kiwiburn via the temple build for KB2018 and has was been immersing herself ever since. Her team includes amazing writers, webpage gurus, super photographers, social media hacks and community liaison specialists. This collective awesomeness creates the regular newsletter, our cherished Electric Fencepost, updates the website, keeps all of you informed via the Facebook page and other social media (Instragram or Youtube anyone?). She ensures everyone is kept up to date and this has nothing to do with her fondness of talking. She can be found on the Paddock dishing out the infamous Shark Attack TM, so watch out.
If you’re lucky enough to glance a sight of the enigmatic onesie clad, radio wielding powerhouse that is Holly, give her a bit of your pie, she’s probably forgotten to eat. Her fingers are in all the pies; her balls are on all the walls and her one giant eye remains open at all times. You may remember her from such films as “Woah, Did You See That Giant Chicken?”, and “Is That Supposed To Be On Fire?’ Parts 1 & 2.
Ronan, also known as Grumpy Old Nan, is both on the ExCom during the year and the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) manager on site. (Wowzas trousers) Some call it love, some call it being a sucker for punishment. He helps set up the infrastructure needed for Kiwiburn’s participants to have a great time (thank you Ronan). He keeps coming back because he likes playing with power tools on paddocks. Soon he will be getting a puppy dog and it is very exciting. It will be the best dog ever for all dogs are the best dog ever, for this is the truth.
Craig (aka Patterpaws) and the rest of the Services team get Burners to the Paddock and make sure they’re challenged in all the right ways upon arrival. The team includes ticketing, Gate, Greeters, Depot and Central Camp. The Burn and it’s principles are home for Craig, who is also passionate about promoting consent culture and radical self-reflection in addition to the core ten. When not sorting out ticketing, you can find him at camp Devour & Delight or lost in the woods.
Site Safety: Selena
Event Management: Andy
Inducted into burner culture back in 2015 at her hometown burn, Blazing Swan, Andy has been passionately in love with all things fire, chaos, and Burner principles ever since. While on top a driftwood velociraptor at Kiwiburn 2018, Andy decided on two things – 1. New Zealand is the land of the Gods, and 2. Kiwiburn is the most magical place ever. With a passion for the Paddock and an innate ability to feel at peace within chaos, this Firecracker cannot wait for you to join in on the magic and see big things burn!
Back to you…
You’re looking for the best way to participate, right? What are you into? Perhaps you want to be responsible and busy during the event, or, if Kiwiburn is your holiday, perhaps you would like to put in a few hours doing a bit of admin during the year or writing a blog post here and there. Check out the volunteer opportunities here. And for more information check out our volunteer teams.