Wristband Initiative a Success

Feb 26, 2024

We tried a new thing this year to address photography, consent and interaction with people taking pictures this year!

We introduced bright yellow wristbands for punters to wear when they were happy to be photographed by our roaming team of Kiwiburn official photographers! It was a last minute initiative and while far from perfect, general feedback has been very positive!

The good:

  • These wristbands can be easily taken on or off giving flexibility to Kiwiburn participants
  • They empowered participants to make a clear decision on being in official photographs or not
  • These wristbands were largely collected at Exodus and will be used again next year
  • Much healthier conversations around photography and consent post Burn than we’ve had in years!

The stuff we need to work on:

  • The bands did not fit those with either very large or very small wrists so will look at more sizing options for Kiwiburn 25
  • Communication was not optimal as not everyone knew about them or fully understood their purpose, which was very much a function of this idea coming to life only 2 weeks prior the Burn. We will definitely improve on this next year. This also meant that there was the misunderstanding by a few (non-official) peeps yielding a phone or camera that the wristbands were an invitation to take pictures of anyone wearing them without asking for consent.
  • Not everyone knew to hand their wristband back or had it collected at Exodus. Just bring them back next year
  • We ran out! Demand was much bigger than anticipated (there were enough bands for ¾ of those on site). Again, we will rectify this next year.

The initiative was supposed to help remove guesswork for official photographers in who and what they can take pictures of and who might be uncomfortable by the sheer presence of a camera.

Immediacy is still a thing, but so is capturing moments that mean a lot to some people, excellent costumes or of those you don’t see very often. Having official photographers educated in consent also helps eliminate the need for many to take heaps of pictures themselves which we then have no control over.

No policy will ever be perfect or please everyone, so please bear with us as we try to better things one issue at a time.

Image Credit: Julia Damrow

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