Theme Camp Setup Guide

Early Entry

Only pre-authorised Theme Camp participants are allowed early entry for a set up crew to the site to complete the set up of their shiny new camp, from two days before the event begins. You’ll need to organise early entry for your set up crew with the Theme Camp Coordinator after you register. You must keep the set up crew numbers to a minimum so Kiwiburn can keep the pre-event population to a minimum so we can comply with our Resource Consent conditions.

To apply for Early Entry you must first complete the registration process. Early Entry will be confirmed in early December.

You will only be allowed to enter onsite before gates open if you have a named email, from the Theme Camp Coordinator, clearly stating your Early Entry allocation. You will only be allowed to enter on or after the date stated in that email, if you arrive early you will be required to camp nearby at Vinegar Hill.



Theme Camps must register all fire and flame related art or braziers with Fire Arts Safety Team (FAST) through the Kiwiburn on Fire form. Before arriving onsite you will be required to have completed the required health and safety documents, provided photos of the proposed fire art / brazier. When onsite, and prior to lighting up, you will need to be approved by a member of FAST.

Please note that the ability to have open fires/fire art operating on the Paddock is subject to change at any time due to fire restrictions.



Leave No Trace! Please be aware that there will be NO RUBBISH BINS ON THE SITE! Everything that your camp brings, your camp must take away. Everything that visitors deposit in your camp, your camp must take away (for this reason please consider carefully as to how and where you deal with your rubbish and waste).

We have found that the amount of Matter Out Of Place (MOOP) on the ground is directly proportional to length of stay. Densely settled areas can leave a greater trace. MOOP includes many smaller items, such as nut shells, bottle caps, cigarette butts, plastic ties – the list goes on and on. It is easy to ignore such items on so small a scale, but ALL of these things must be cleaned up.

All Theme Camps should employ a systematic grid to MOOP their site. Walk this grid before departing with your fellow campers and pick up EVERYTHING in your path. A second and more basic rule to follow is don’t let things hit the ground in the first place! This will save you time and effort at the end of the event.



Are you bringing a generator to Kiwiburn? If you do choose to bring a generator, please be considerate of others by following these guidelines:

  • Bring the quietest generator you can afford, and the smallest that will meet your actual needs. Larger generators are more difficult to transport, use more fuel and create more pollution.
  • Don’t run your generator late at night or early in the morning.
  • Place the generator as far from other camps as possible.
  • Cover your generator with a sound shield or baffle. Do NOT bury it to shield the noise. No matter how well it is filled afterwards, the hole leaves a tremendous gouge in the ground.
  • Make sure people can’t trip over any power cords.

We encourage you to share generators between theme camps wherever possible. If you do intend to share a generator with other theme camps, please note this in your registration or email as soon as possible so that our Town Planners can make sure that your request for close placement is able to be accommodated. If, for some reason, the Town Planners are unable to place you next to one another, you will be contacted by December 1st.


Alcohol and water

Alcohol and water must mix i.e. if your Camp intends gifting alcohol to participants you must follow the Responsible Host guidelines and offer low or non-alcoholic beverage alternatives – plus dancing is thirsty work and guests need to stay hydrated! So the easiest option is water – and lots of it – being made available to your guests. Our rule is simple – no water available = no alcohol to be served.

To help theme camps cut down on plastic waste and allow for more packing-space, we suggest organising an IBC that can be filled on site.

We encourage all theme camps to reduce their waste as much as possible. Last event was a huge success with multiple Theme Camps bringing IBCs and having them filled onsite. Please organise this amongst yourselves and inform the Event Manager and Theme Camp Coordinator if you plan to bring an IBC, along with the expected arrival of the water tanker.



Black Sheep Rangers, Health and Safety, and a professional First Aid crew assist the Kiwiburn community in keeping the event safe, and you can make your camp more safe, secure, and self-reliant if you choose to. Here are some recommendations:

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in camp, and remember that there is a medical station located next to Depot should you require medical attention. If possible, have at least one member of your camp certified in first aid and CPR.

Keep a fire extinguisher in camp should a fire start or go out of control.

Consider the safety of all who are in and may attend your camp. Small things like tripping hazards can really spoil someones experience. Your Theme Camp should be a safe environment for all who enter.


Sound Policy

The site has trees that form natural sound barriers and it doesn’t take much to produce a large amount of sound. Bass travels multi-directionally and cannot be effectively contained with any structures. This gives “sound” as an art form an unfair advantage over other art forms. We are dedicated to radical self-expression, but we are also dedicated to creating community. This means we all must find a way to get along with our neighbours. Our past history has led us to develop guidelines on amplification and limit space for this sort of art.

The following four rules make up our basic Sound Policy:

1. Neighbours should talk to one another when sound becomes problem and try to resolve the issue through direct communication.
2. Large-scale sound installations MUST be registered and build in the location and facing the directions as instructed by the committee. They may express themselves unless community complaints persist.
3. Any complaints about excessive sound will become the concern of the Site Manager. Concerns about excessive sound can result in:
     a) volume check and mediation between camps,
     b) volume check and a final warning on complaints,
     c) the disabling of equipment.

For our more detailed policy visit our sound policy page

Large Scale Sound
Large-Scale Sound Camps, like all Theme Camps, will be encouraged to be as creative and interactive as possible. Please follow the advice and instructions of the Town Planning Team regarding camp placement and direction of speakers. The same applies to loud art projects.

Sound Complaints
If you believe your neighbour’s sound is too loud and you are not able to effectively negotiate a solution, you may report this to the Site Manager. A complaint should contain:

  • The exact SOURCE of the sound
  • The exact TIME of the disturbance

Please report problems when they happen, although reports filed the next day can be useful with persistent problem camps. We will not take action on issues of taste. Vague reports will result in no action or ineffective action.

As a community, we need to work together to keep sound at desirable levels.

  • Everyone involved is personally responsible for how they affect everyone else’s experience.
  • If your neighbour believes your sound is too loud, you must work with them to find an acceptable volume.
  • Check in with those that you are camped near to find out what other events are planned and work with them to create a schedule.

With these actions you should be able to handle all of your own sound issues. If everyone works together there will be no need for crew to monitor sound. Please pass on this information to other participants in your Theme Camp. A community effort is needed to pull this off.



Kiwiburn has no main stage, though there will be camps where people and music groups perform. Any structure from which people may fall more than one metre will draw the attention of the building inspector and should be well constructed and signed off the H&S Team.



Large structures need to be secured properly with ropes, rebar, and commonsense. All designs are strongly advised to include safety provisions. Note that strong winds are common in the area.



At Kiwiburn, the site is not quite large enough to make a bike compulsory for getting around, but feel free to bring one and decorate it as you feel. Keep in mind that bikes will need to be well equipped with blinkies or other visible lights if they are going to be used after dark to avoid accidents.


Theme Camp Registrations

If you are planning to build a Theme Camp and don’t register your intention, we cannot guarantee that space will be available for you to build your camp. The general camping area is a generator and fire free zone, you may be severely restricted in your activities.

Any unreserved Theme Camp areas will be allocated to the first participants to register their camp. Register now!