New Burner or Nestling Landing Page

If this is your first time at Burning Nest or any Burn event -- This is the page for you!

Welcome!

This guide will give you all the fundamentals you need, and will signpost you to other places for a deeper dive.

On this page:

  • What is Burning Nest?
  • What actually happens during the Burn?
  • What do I need to know?
  • How does it work?
  • How can I get involved?
  • Who can help me?

What is Burning Nest?

Burning Nest is an event inspired by Burning Man, its culture, community and principles.

It is a co-created community gathering for authenticity, self expression, playfulness, depth, expanding perspectives and enjoying good company.

It is magical and real and ridiculous and profound. It is difficult to describe or summarize. Come see for yourself.

What actually happens during the Burn?

The Burn

Everybody experiences the Burn differently. There is so much going on at once, you can’t do it all! You’ll find the right things for you in the moment. And as they say: “You get the Burn your need.”

Check out the Programme for a list of planned activities and performances and events throughout the week. You can (try to) make a plan but remain open to following your nose! There’s also plenty going on that isn’t in the programme… just wander the site and visit Theme Camps, art pieces, lovely spots in nature… wherever there are people gathered. Make friends, try new things, and enjoy!

Timeline

“Gate” opens on Monday, but not everybody turns up right at the start. Nestlings trickle in throughout the week. There are events in the Programme from Monday, but the first few days are quieter while people are arriving and getting themselves established. Some Theme Camps take a couple of days to finish setting up, and everybody is easing into the flow of things. This is a great time to meet new people, explore the site and find your own way to do the Burn.

By the end of the week, the Burn is in full swing. There are tons of overlapping workshops and activities all day, parties and performances and celebrations into the night. Serious FOMO if you let it get to you. Nestlings are enjoying new connections and old friendships.

The energy reaches its peak on Saturday with the burning of the Effigy, when all of Nest gathers at sundown. On Sunday evening, the Temple is burned in a more solemn, reflective ceremony.

Then it’s time to pack up, say goodbyes, and Leave No Trace behind as you return to the Default World.

Build and Strike

There are actually two more parts to Nest as well: Build and Strike. Build starts 7 days before Gate opens for the event, and Strike ends 3 days after the event officially ends. If you’re on site for Build or Strike, then you’re working on setting up the event infrastructure or packing it down and resetting the land.

It’s a poorly kept secret that Build and Strike can be some of the best times of the event! It’s a small community of people working side by side, and having a lot of fun while doing it! It’s a different way to be at the Glade.

What do I need to know?

Physiological Needs

The Decommodificiation Principle means that there is no commerce at Burns. There are no vendors selling food. There’s no shop selling camping gear or festival clothes. Radical Self-Reliance means that you need to prepare in advance.

But on the other hand, Gifting and Radical Inclusion and Communal Effort Principles mean that you are not stranded on a desert island.

Shelter:  Most Nestlings sleep in tents. You can also stay in a live-in vehicle in the “Free Camping” area near the entrance.

Food: Be prepared to bring your own food and have means to prepare it. Consider grouping together with peers and collaborating on food. If you are with a Theme Camp, there may be a meal plan. If you volunteer for a shift during the Burn, you are entitled to a meal from the Event Kitchen. Volunteers with DPW will also be fed during Build and Strike.

Water and Washing: There are taps with clean water. There are no official showers or washing up stations, so consider bringing your own. Please Leave No Trace and use ecologically friendly soaps and detergents.

Toilets: There are compost loos at key locations around the site.

Sex: Nest is a family friendly event, and sex is not permitted in public areas where children may be present. Nudity is permitted everywhere. Consent is crucial at all times! See the Consent page for more details.

Safety Needs

The expectation is that Nestlings will take care of each other. Please read the Community Agreements to understand our obligations towards one another.

Rangers, Site Leads and Security are there to support us and keep us safe. If there is ever anything amiss, find a ranger in a high vis or anyone with a radio.

Welfare Enough is Nest’s haven for emotional care, relational care, psy-care, and respite. Stop in to say hi and have a regulating cup of tea — it’s not only for highly charged situations! There is also professional Emergency Medical Care available around the clock if needed.

The Consent Team is on hand to support Nestlings through consent violations, with the power to escalate to the Site Lead and eject participants if necessary. Learn more about how they operate on the consent page.

Love and Belonging, Esteem and Self-Actualization

Yes, yes and yes! You’ll find all these at Burning Nest! Come and get your needs met!

Packing List

Here’s our Packing List: things to consider bringing to Burning Nest.  Check it out here. You don’t want to be a “Sparkle Pony:” all flashy outfits and no self-reliance!

How can I get involved?

Come to Nest

Buying your ticket is already a really great start! Radical Self Expression, Immediacy and Participation are three Burner Principles you can embody just by showing up.

But Gifting and Communal Effort are important principles as well. Here are a few ways first time Burners can contribute to the event:

Volunteer for some shifts

There are many different roles to fill during the event. Roam the site as a Ranger, supporting your fellow Burners and keeping everyone safe. Take a shift at Welfare, offering assistance and comfort to Burners in distress. Spend some time at Gate welcoming Burners as they arrive on site. Cook a meal in the Event kitchen and feed hungry volunteers.

These roles are great ways for new Nestlings to get stuck into the Burn. You get to go deep with your teammates and feel great about bringing value to the event. Find out more and sign up on the Volunteering During the Event page.

Sign up for Build or Strike

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is a very special, close knit community. They get to spend up to a week together on site for Build before everybody else arrives. It’s a fantastic way to familiarise yourself with the Glade (you have a hand in creating it!), make close friends, and learn about Burn culture. And stick around for Strike to be able to process and integrate this wild experience with other Burners.

Although it sounds very physical, Build and Strike have roles for everyone! All skillsets and abilities are welcome.  Sign up HERE.

Make Art

Bring your creativity and expression to the Glade! From small secret features hidden on site to large complex installations… your ideas are welcome! You can also join the Decor team and prepare materials and pieces for decorating the site during Build. See the Arts page for all the practical details.

Offer something in the programme

There is no separation between “performers,” “crew” and “punters.” We are the main attraction! And the supporting acts.

What are you passionate about? Share it with the community! You can host a space, facilitate a workshop, organise an activity, perform, play, whatever! Burning Nest is a very welcoming environment to be yourself and try things out. Radical Inclusion and Each one Teach One are relevant Burner Principles here! See the practical details on the Programme page.

Join a team

Burning Nest takes a lot of volunteer hours before the event to get everything organised. There are plenty of roles available for every skillset, even for first time Burners. It’s a great way to meet experienced Burners, see under the hood and get a better handle on how the event works — before it even begins! Check out the organising page for a list of open roles and teams that are recruiting.

Join a Theme Camp

If you want to go far, go together. Theme Camps are collectives of people with a common vision that they want to share with the whole Burn. They construct a physical space to welcome other Burners and co-create their offerings to share. If you find a camp that resonates with you, and it is recruiting, you can apply to join! Theme Camps are a great way to have a default community of like-minded people at the Burn.

See the Theme Camps page for details.

WARNING

Don’t over commit! It’s great to gift your time and energy in multiple different ways. But at the end of the day, you should be enjoying yourself too! We want you to come back next year.

Learn lessons at your first Burn. Get inspired! And come back next year bubbling with ideas, rooted in the reality of your experiences.

How does it work?

A shared commitment to embodying the Burner Principles, a little bit of magic, and a whole lot of elbow grease and communal effort.

Burning Nest is a non-profit organisation that runs solely on the energy and enthusiasm of its volunteers: everyone who attends is co-creating the space and experiences they wish to explore. No one gets in for free or gets paid for their contribution  – from carpenters, artists and musicians, right up to the organising crew and board members. Everybody contributes in some way, and everybody participates. The more you put in the more you get back.

Long story short: come see for yourself! Come with an open heart and mind, and dive in!

Who can help me?

Official Information Channels

Website

Ideally, all the information you need is found on the website. Take some time to navigate to the different pages, follow the hyperlinks on this page, and see what’s already posted online.

Newsletter

Things change over the course of the year as they get organised. Teams recruit new members. Applications open and then close. Decisions are made and communicated. To catch the latest, timely information, subscribe to the Newsletter.

News Posts

Check out our News Posts, which offer different perspectives from Burners in the Community about many different Nest-related topics!

The Point

The Point is Burning Nest’s focal point for

Community Groups

Website

Ideally, all the information you need is found on the website. Take some time to navigate to the different pages, follow the hyperlinks on this page, and see what’s already posted online.

Newsletter

Things change over the course of the year as they get organised. Teams recruit new members. Applications open and then close. Decisions are made and communicated. To catch the latest, timely information, subscribe to the Newsletter.

News Posts

Check out our News Posts, which offer different perspectives from Burners in the Community about many different Nest-related topics!

The Point

This year, we’re experimenting with using The Point as Burning Nest’s education “brand.” Sharing information for first time Burners, teaching about Burner values, connecting people and building community… The Point is a focal point for new Burners. Let’s see how it goes!

At the Burn

The Point

The Point is a physical venue at Nest. It is also a concept: a focal point of people, activities, information, and values. It’s where education happens. It’s where people at loose ends can congregate. It’s where experienced burners can share their knowledge with fledgling Burners.

The Point is designed to be an important location for first time Burners. We hope it serves you well!

Gate

Gate is your welcome point to the Glade, located at the entrance of Free Camping and the Burn itself. It is designed to orientate you and your Burn. It is a nexus of information and resources.

Rangers

Rangers are available to support participants during the Burn. You can recognise them by their high vis jackets. They are sober, reliable and responsible (at least while on shift!). They have site knowledge, radios and a willingness to help out!

Everyone

If you ever need support on site, just ask anyone! People are kind, and willing to offer their knowledge and experience if they can. Or they can point you in the right direction! Don’t sit on your problems… ask for help!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, chances are somebody else has too. Check out the FAQ to see if it has already been answered!

A Welcome Letter from Mirage

Dearest Nestling,

Congratulations on getting a cherished ticket for Burning Nest! You are now an aspiring Burner, and your apprenticeship begins in earnest! Why? Because a Burn is not a festival. Not even close. It’s something else entirely, not easily conveyable in words, but until you’ve been through the experience of one, that’s all we’ve got to get you up to speed on what it is you’ve signed up for….so here goes!
A Burn is a collective endeavour. It’s not a few people organising in order to make a profit. It’s a communal effort. We all put in. (That now includes you! Hurrah!) And nobody makes a profit. Nobody even gets paid for their time to ‘break even’! Just let that sink in….a massive, brilliant fun event and no-one is monetising it! Not even a little bit. Totally wild! It’s two of the 11 Principles of Burning Man in action: GIFTING and NON-COMMERCIALISATION/DECOMMODIFICATION
How we contribute to Nest varies widely, but if no-one does, we are a thousand people standing around in a field. Not cool. If everyone does, however, we have the majestic, unbelievable spectacle that is a Burn. You can gift anything and everything. Your time is a gift. As are your skills. Your generosity with material things is key too, come event time, but the former you can start to employ from right this moment, now you’re a part of the Burner Community! (you bought a ticket, you’re in!). Here’s a general overview of how you can get involved in helping Nest become a reality in May – even as a new Burner!
Remember, we do all this stuff ourselves so we don’t have to pay ‘outsiders’ to do it for us, thereby increasing the costs and adding in a non-gifting ethos. Help us bring this revolutionary concept to fruition by signing up freely and willingly and get into the spirit of Nest from the get go!
What is there to actually do at Nest?
Nothing, unless you bring it! That’s right, no main stage with big names and their entourages, no sponsored beer tents. No paid performers, no guest list, no freebies, no ‘volunteers’ working in exchange for a ticket. None of that. Gasp!
See why we’re saying it’s nothing like anything you’ve ever been to before?!
We are the entertainment. You are! Individually and collectively, we think of ways to bring life to the Glade (our term for the playing field upon which Nest unfolds, down Exeter way) and organise our creativity to gift experiences to each other. You are invited to share your passions and skills and offer something!
Collectively, this takes the form of Theme Camps. Groups of people collaborating to bring a physical structure to Nest in which we are all welcome during the week. It could be a dance tent, a tea and cuddles zone, a bar, a conversation cafe, a hot dog stand with bells on, an interactive art installation, a weird and wonderful… something….your imagination is your only limit! Get a group of friends together and brainstorm ideas “What could we create to take down there?”
A daunting ask for the first timer, we know, as you’ve no frame of reference for what we’re talking about, but just know that you are not excluded from doing this just because you are new!
Individually, gifting can take the form of bringing a piece of art, or even dressing the part. Another of the 11 Principles is RADICAL FREE EXPRESSION. You’ve all seen the pictures! Civvies is not where it’s at at a Burn! Dressing up is! Several times a day! Get down the charity shops now and start collating your wardrobe for a week of wonderful wackiness!
Other individual gifting options are things you can handout as you walk around, food or drink items, stickers, badges, tissues, lighters, random surprises, again, get creative…there really is no limit!
Another massive difference between a Burn and a festival is the Principle of LEAVE NO TRACE. We literally do do this. Apart from some yellow grass where tents have been, you cannot tell we were there. We pick everything up and clean up after ourselves. ALL OF US! Not just a few volunteers who stay behind at the end. Each and every one of us, from minute one until we leave. It’s collective responsibility manifested by the individuals. We don’t make a mess. If we do, we take responsibility for Leaving No Trace (LNT). It’s a culture shift. No wading knee deep through plastic, cans, bottles etc on your way out like at Glastonbury or wherever. Nope. Spotless clean fields, just like we found them. That’s what Burners do.
This philosophy has further communal benefits, as it extends to how we keep our toilets. No ghastly or grotesque experiences on that front. It’s all extremely pleasant and civilised thanks to the 100% buy-in to LNT. Got it?! Great.
I’m sure in the deep dark recesses of all our phones we have voluminous evidence of past festival attendance. A gazillion pics and vids that state “I was there”. It’s become not only standard, but kind of compulsory. “Record everything that moves, and most of what doesn’t!” At Nest, we AGAIN invite a totally different ethic from the default model. We believe people have the right to let their hair down, engage with the concept of radical free expression however they see fit, go wild, get crazy, get naked, get spangled, be silly or embarrassing….whatever…WITHOUT being live streamed on the internet, or plastered over whatever social media you (not they!) choose. Nest continues to be one of the very few public spaces on the planet NOT plagued by an army of voyeurs videoing and interrupting whatever is happening to organise selfies etc and we want it to continue as such.
The Principles of IMMEDIACY and PARTICIPATION are simply not compatible with using your phone on auto pilot as in daily life. You remain a spectator, uninvolved, on the outside. Switch it off, leave it in your tent or vehicle, join in and be present instead. Talk to people. Have a go at whatever is being offered. Get involved. Be a Burner. You’ll be delighted with just how different the experience is. Promise…
These words are part of the Principle of EACH ONE TEACH ONE. This year’s Burning Nest will be twice as big as two years ago. It’s growing rapidly. We need everyone on the same page as quickly as possible to absorb the culture of a Burn and to fully engage with the Principles, or we run the risk of losing what is so precious and unique about them, and it becomes “just another festival”. Burns are not for everyone and not everyone is a Burner. We sincerely hope that you are and warmly welcome you to our extensive global tribe. Spend plenty of time on the website between now and May 22nd and get as familiar and comfortable as you can with all things Burning Nest. Volunteer, get inspired and enjoy your preparations for the most jaw-dropping week of your lives! Probably.
See you in the Glade!
-Mirage