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 eight Facilitators, who work with the leads of the almost 40 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 eight groups of departments:
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, or the Minutes of the Monthly ExCom Meetings.
The Kiwiburn Leadership Team
Chairperson: Andy (He/Him)
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. After stepping up as Acting Chair in 2019, Andy became Chair proper in 2021. 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.
Secretary: Briar (She/Her)
Briar’s first experience of Kiwiburn was as a heavily pregnant Rainbow Unicorn at KB2017. She immediately felt at home on the Paddock and has felt a passionate connection to the Burner community and the principles ever since. This year she decided it was time to give something back to the community by taking on the Secretary role. The Secretary role involves all the behind-the-scenes paper shuffling. The department also encompasses the amazing Admin and IT Teams who create and manage the systems and processes which empower the other departments to do what they do best. On the Paddock you will find Briar on the dance floor or at The Manifested Terrarium camp.
Treasurer (Actiing): Andy (He/Him)
Arts: Paul (He/Him)
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 …
Communications: Julia (She/Her)
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.
Crew: Holly (She/Her)
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.
Infrastructure: William (He/Him)
William likes to tell anyone who wants to hear it that he attended Burning Man “before it got commercial”, but in fact didn’t really like it. Ran out of water after two days, struggled to get a good wifi connection, spending a lot of energy trying to keep dust out of the camper van and hippies out of his campsite. He is a fervent advocate to bring sponsors on the paddock so we can finally afford a private spa for the crew. In short is a jerk who doesn’t understand second degree but we tolerate him because apparently radical inclusion is a thing.
Community Co-Lead: Tamati (He/Him)
Community Co-Lead: Craig (He/Him)
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.
Services: Chloe (She/Her)
Having known about the Burn world some 8 years beforehand, my first Kiwiburn was 2018. Immediately signing up to volunteer at Gate, I subsequently became a Gate 2IC for Kiwiburn 2020 and Gate Lead for Kiwiburn 2021. It was only natural that when this role opened up that I stepped into it to keep contributing to an event that has brightened my world over the last 3 years. The Services department is comprised of the Gate, Greeters, Parking, Traffic, and Ticketing teams – often referred to as ‘Front of House’. Making sure participants get on and off the Paddock safely, efficiently, and refreshed on the Principles is what we’re here for. On the Paddock you’ll typically find me flitting between my two favourite camps who I’ve been honoured to be a part of – Sensory Dispensary and The Rusty Joint. #uptherus
Site Safety: TBA
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.