Covid and the Paddock

Feb 27, 2023 | Burning Man, Kiwiburn

If you’re anything like me, you love reading anything about anything Burn related, whether it’s about our beloved Kiwiburn, or if it’s about the big Burn over the far horizon. Now, if this is the case, you may have come across a particular blog post that discussed how Covid affected things at the most recent Burning Man (BM). It was really interesting to read about how Covid had changed the way that Burners interacted with each other. It talked about how there was less of a community feel, less of the usual communal spirit and not as much of the ‘help your neighbour’ attitude. Debates quickly became heated and burners were generally less agreeable.

While it was, of course, the opinion of just one Burner, it goes to show that the Covid effect is real. It has no doubt changed a lot for everyone, but hearing how it affected the Burn was eye opening to me. This got me thinking, would this be the case with Kiwiburn 2023? Would we see similar changes to the community and how we interact with each other on the paddock? How much does solely communicating online affect our ability to reconnect in real life? Is 2-3 years of hiding inside away from others enough to change our Burn? 

Well, I’m delighted to tell you; you can breathe a sigh of relief, for the answer is no. I went into Kiwiburn wondering what it would be like (and full of excitement of course) and I can honestly say that I came away ecstatic. I saw no evidence of the same effects that I had read about at the big Burn. What I saw was 2300 people who came together as a community. Friends helping friends, neighbour helping neighbour, Theme Camps helping strangers… the list goes on. It was so good to see (and feel) the happiness and joy that come with being a part of the Kiwiburn community and all the madness that comes with it.

While Covid isn’t going away anytime soon, it heartens me to see that it hasn’t affected us too much. We’ve all been through a lot these past few years, and while we may have struggled, we came through it emboldened, stronger and ready to bring as much excitement and passion for the Burn as we could, together.

This is just my experience, and as always, experiences can vary wildly person to person. I’m curious though, did you also go into Kiwiburn wondering how the past few years would affect it? Did you find it harder to meet and talk with others than in previous years? Was it harder for you to integrate into the community after Covid? Or perhaps you were stoked to be back in the vicinity of so many lovely people and went straight back into connecting with others in a variety of ways. I’d love to hear more about others’ experiences, so please feel free to reach out with your thoughts to We’re always looking for more contributors for blog posts, so get in touch if you’d like to put your experience out there!

That’ll do it for now. Next time I write a blog post, I promise it won’t be Covid related!

Ka kite ano, arohanui,


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