Kiwiburn Photography and Video Policy

Kiwiburn is a private event held on private land. Our participants follow principles such as ‘Radical Self-Expression’ and ‘Immediacy’ to create their Burn experience. We also follow the principle of ‘Decommodification’ which means creating social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising.

As a result of this, our approach to photography is driven by:

  1. Protecting the privacy of participants to give them the freedom to express themselves and experience the immediacy of the Burn
    – always ensure that you get consent for your media.
  2. Ensuring that the Burn is not unduly used as a profit-generating event by photographers.
    do not monetize the media you create at Kiwiburn

This policy is for anyone planning to take photos, videos, or audio (“media”) at the Burn or related events. This policy uses the term “photo” and “photography” to mean any type of recording or media. Disregarding this Policy may result in you being prohibited from filming or photographing, and any further attempts to film or photograph may see you being evicted from the event.

1. Types of use

We distinguish the application of this policy by whether the media is recorded for ‘personal’ or ‘professional’ use.

Personal use media is recorded by participants for their own use, which includes:

  • Sharing with your friends and whanau.
  • Displaying on personal websites—as long as the websites do not sell any products or services, and do not pretend or appear to be an official Kiwiburn website.
  • Posting to your personal accounts on photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Tumblr—as long as the posts aren’t commercial in any manner and the accounts aren’t used for purposeful promotion. You may not directly monetise any media through paywalls or advertisements.

Unless you have prior permission from Kiwiburn Inc Society, you may only use photos, videos, or audio obtained at the event for personal use.

Professional use media is everything else, including:

  • Publishing photos in a printed or online book, magazine, or newspaper.
  • Using footage in a professional quality video.
  • Displaying images on a non-personal website or in a gallery show.
  • Using imagery in a documentary or TV show.
  • Distributing media to any third-party group or publication. This includes offering photos for publication or making any commercial or promotional use of event media.
  • Using images of people taken at Kiwiburn at any other event.

Whether your media is for professional or personal use, the following general rules apply to everyone:

2. General rules for everyone

Kiwiburn is committed to preserving the uniquely creative and noncommercial character of its culture. You are welcome to create photos, videos, audio recordings etc at the Burn. However, we ask all participants, including members of the media, to exercise and respect certain rights and responsibilities and follow our guidelines:

Consent is key

Always obtain the permission of the people you are photographing.

Look out for bright yellow wristbands that are handed out at Gate (or Depot) by which the wearer indicates that they are happy to be in photographs. It may still be best to ask though.

  • Ideally, consent is obtained before the photograph is taken
  • Sometimes that is not possible – in that case, approach the person afterwards, show them the photo, and ask their consent. If consent is not given, delete the photo.
  • If you are asked to stop filming/photographing, you must do so immediately. You have the responsibility not to interfere with the immediate experience of other participants.
    When asking for consent, explain how the photo will (or may)  be used
  • Inebriated people can’t give consent! Stick to sober participants or your own friends who can approve the pics later.
  • Crowd scenes – chances are that you can’t ask everyone in a crowd for consent – this means it’s not ok to capture these large groups!
  • Understand that consent, even once given, can be withdrawn at any stage.


In some cases, people may not be recognisable and it’s tempting to take the pic without consent. Please follow these rules:

  • Take a very conservative stance on recognisability. What you think is anonymous can be recognisable to others:
    • A specific costume may disguise a person but the costume is known to belong to someone
    • The back of the head can be distinctive too!
    • People are much better at recognising themselves than you think!
  • Apply the rules of consent whether the picture is recognisable or not – you can always ask!
  • Scenes that are very dark, silhouetted and distant are more likely to be unrecognisable
  • Nudity, even if you can’t see the face, is particularly sensitive – see next section.


Kiwiburn has lots of freedom and that includes nudity! This is great, but in the default world, hanging out naked is still frowned upon. There is also a risk that an image may be used for pornographic purposes by someone, which is something we oppose strongly.

  • Don’t take pictures of naked people unless you have explicit, enthusiastic, informed consent from the person.
  • Be extremely careful about sharing nude images
  • If you are planning to use nude images for professional purposes (see section 3) you must obtain written consent from the subjects, as well as from Kiwiburn.

Pictures of things

Pictures of things (art, tents, Kiwiburn infrastructure, your favourite portaloo) are much less sensitive than pictures of people. The only things to consider are:

  • Private spaces: People’s own tents, cars, etc are their personal private space – don’t take pictures of them (why would you!). If you really have a good reason, ask for permission.
  • Credits and descriptions: Where possible, find out what you are photographing and give credit to the subject – especially art!


You may not profit from pictures taken at Kiwiburn, unless you have permission from Kiwiburn Inc Society. However you took the photos and whatever your intention was, if there is an opportunity to be paid for those pictures later, you may not do that.

If you want to monetize any media with nudity on it, you must, in addition to written consent from Kiwiburn, get written consent from the subject(s).


We do not allow any drones to operate during the event, with the exception of one officially registered and sanctioned drone flown by the medical team to help survey the site from a great height, or other event management related purposes such as to help locate missing persons. If you are flying a drone without permission, you may risk expulsion or confiscation of the drone for the duration of the event.

3. Rules for professional use


If you wish to use any photo, video, or audio from the event for any professional use, you must have permission from Kiwiburn Inc Society.
If Kiwiburn permits it, you may use images for professional purposes as long as you have followed this policy.

Permitted professional use may generate profit as long as Kiwiburn has been informed of this.


You have the right to express yourself and create art as a photographer, videographer, and/or audio artist, but you must also respect participants’ right to privacy. Adhere to the general rules on consent at all times.

Captions and credits

Reliably and consistently gather data on what you are documenting. Please make a serious effort to know about what you are documenting: art installation name, artist, camp name, art car name, department, performance group, planet of origin, genus, species, etc.
here are many reasons we request accurate captioning, including:

  • Give credit where it’s due. Artists, campers, performers, etc. work very hard to bring their art and creations to share with the community, the least we can do is try to make sure they get credit.
  • Knowing your subject makes better photos. A lot of the best coverage comes from having a relationship with the subject matter or having done some homework ahead of time.

Sharing photos with Kiwiburn

The permission for professional use you obtain from Kiwiburn may require or request that you share your work with Kiwiburn. You may also want to contribute to our archives voluntarily or even to promote your work.

  • Kiwiburn may use photos shared with us in our own website, publications, social media, even material or for any other purpose.
  • You will always be credited for your work.
  • Please be selective and send us your top photos only – we want our archive to be diverse and searchable
  • Please include all information about the subject and content of the photo
  • You can submit your photos via a link that will be provided here closer to the event.
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