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.
An Aussie native who lived in New Zealand for seven years and calls it her second home. A regular face at Kiwiburn, whose love for making art drew her to the Arts Facilitator role. Diia is a member of the Auckland Burners group which created The Giant Weta for Burning Man in 2016. It’s her love of community that has spurred her to be part of the Temple Crew for KB18 and helped bring Ignition Festival 2019 to life as their Art Grants Coordinator. Now based in Melbourne, distance is not keeping her away from her beloved Kiwiburn and she is just as passionate now to bring art into the Kiwiburn community all year round, not just on the Paddock.
After Burning Man in 2006, Shelley designed the Kiwiburn logo and the event poster for the 2007 event, and has been our key graphic designer ever since. She’s been at every Kiwiburn since then too, mostly working behind the scenes year round helping write all those important announcements you read, updating the website, dealing with photographers and media, making documents look pretty andserving on the ExCom to help shape the event and engage with the community. On the Paddock, she can be found spinning rock and disco at Hijinxx as miss mixtape. A key member of Auckland Burners, she was an integral part of the team which created The Giant Weta sculpture.
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.
Jaz first attended Kiwiburn in 2012 with her now eight year old child. She has previously been Gate and Ticket Lead and been involved with Site Management and Event Management. Jasmine joined the ExCom in 2018, stepping into the role of Chair, until late 2019, while also holding the positions of Ticketing Lead and Event Management Co-Lead. Outside of Kiwiburn she can be found coordinating her local environment centre, supporting environmental education and sustainability.
Site Safety: Carvy
Carvy first discovered Kiwiburn in 2016 and has been hooked on attending and contributing ever since. A brewer and yeast wrangler in the default world, Carvy’s offerings on the Paddock often revolve around flavour and fermentation. Having lived a past life as the H&S Manager of a company that completed 60% of the residential demolitions following the Christchurch Earthquakes, he’s using this knowledge to help facilitate the many awesome folks working to make Kiwiburn safe.
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.