The 2019 Afterburn Experiment

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Afterburn: Restoration was gifted to the Florida burner community in an effort to assemble and strengthen our community after tumultuous times – both within our community and meteorologically.

In between AB17 and AB18, a few of the community’s artists participated in the Florida Arts Road Road show and installed their art in front of 35,000 participants – and thrived. Many thanks to the Palm Beach Burner Collective for your participation, leadership, and sense of community. We see you.

The entire year of 2018 was spent dedicated to safety training by consulting with leaders at the highest level of BMORG and Black Rock Rangers and FAST. In addition, past and current leaders taught a re-formed CATS team the art of burning brightly. Anyone who saw Shelter From the Tempest or the Hippocampus burn saw the art executed flawlessly – and safely.

With a “blank slate” in mind, the community brought beautiful art and co-created a thriving enclave on the hills of Sand Lake at Afterburn: Tabula Rasa.

For the past two years we’ve seen participation increase; last year’s Department Leads brought dedication to the Tabula Rasa in new ways. Rangers created by far the largest theme camp at the event and had nearly 50% of the event’s participants stop by for an event safety training. Thankfully there were no incidents to debrief, no trips to an emergency room, and 218 ticketed participants went home knowing they left their mark on the canvas.

A restoration. A blank slate. The next step for Central Florida will be a rebuilding. We spent countless hours listening to those who’ve been hurt in the past, and offered apologies, an ear to listen, and now an opportunity to make a difference.

In all of our conversations and experiences elsewhere in the burn world, we’ve found one thing to be of the utmost importance, that yields the biggest amount of personal transformation, community building and creativity: a true spirit of participation.

There can be no argument; an event that’s run by the community offers the pinnacle of achievement. Community-run events are more vibrant, more expressive, more inclusionary and offer what only a regional burning man event can – the opportunity to come together and say, “We Did This.”

For those who have served the community at past events, we salute you.

For those who wish to say “I Ran AfterBurn,” come this way.

This year, the 2019 central Florida regional burn will be 99% community run.

The 1% is the part where the current volunteer board members will be responsible for handling financials (art grants, paying vendors, reviewing budget proposals, ticketing, etc) and legal concerns (contracts, insurance, security, etc), and the community will run, administer and learn how to bask in the fulfillment that comes from running YOUR OWN EVENT.

What’s Next?

The Board of Directors has unanimously voted, and we’re going to help the community form an event committee!

11 members will be voted onto the committee by you, the community.

Previous event and team leads are encouraged to participate.

The Newcomer is encouraged to participate.

The “great idea” person is encouraged to participate and carry out those amazing ideas!!!

The “naysayer” is encouraged to participate; committees LOVE debate!!!

Event committee members are asked to dedicate their time:

  • Roughly an hour a week between now and October
  • Roughly two hours a week in the month leading up to the event
  • Roughly four days for onsite, pre-event prep, teardown, and the actual, physical, immediacy of doing the thing
  • However long it takes you to finish any post-event work (inventory, submitting receipts, reporting, etc)

One of your first decisions will be picking event dates! We have options, including YOUR option, but yes, you decide.

The nomination process begins now and closes in one week. Community members will vote to determine which nominees will represent you in the committee starting in one week, and continuing through 7/1/2019.

We’ll announce the top 11 vote recipients and plan a public Zoom conference call to kick off the event planning process directly thereafter with your newly elected representatives.

Nominate yourself or someone you see as representative of your community.

Nominations open now and can be completed here.

If you’d like to see who has been nominated, entries are compiled live here.

Your first tasks may be daunting, but will be equally rewarding. Your challenges may seem difficult but with the support of 10 other committee members, department leads and returning veterans and board members, ultimately achievable. And you’ll learn something about yourself you might not have known: you could have been doing this all along but had been told “NO” your entire life. Not anymore. We’re here to say yes. Won’t you join us?

Who Runs Meetings?

There will always be at least one board member present – again to help with financial/legal concerns – but otherwise meetings are scheduled and run by the community. For transparency, we do require that meetings be held through Zoom which we will set up and record.

Who Is In Charge?

For legal liability, the events committee is a voting, advisory panel represented by the community who attends the event. The committee shall form no legal entity, nor have any liability beyond the personal action of any member. The committee shall elect two co-chairs who will take roll, and present written recommendations to the Burnt Oranges Board of Directors.

If it’s sane and safe, we move forward together. If it’s crazy and ludicrous and just might work, we move forward together. If it’s legal, we move forward together. If it’s affordable, we move forward together. If we’re going to take a bath on it due to poor ticket sales, it gets postponed or cancelled prior to vendor and property deposits being paid.

Department leads (CATS, Rangers, Medics, etc) will report to the Community Event Committee. The Community Event Committee will have the ability, at their discretion, to appoint, steal, beg, borrow, or otherwise appoint, vote or select “Event Leads,” or whatever titles they desire for those who will be doing the majority of the event’s work.

You’re encouraged to utilize existing department leads, or create your own. We have plenty of ideas to share with you, and encourage you to come up with your own. Board Members will be “On Call” during the event to deal with any legal, financial, or other ethical manners as required by our sanctioned status and agreement with BMORG. The “Event Producer” shall be listed as a board member (TBD) for insurance, legal, and financial reasons.

But we will not be meddling in the basics of how you want your event to run, nor responsible for its overall operations. We’re literally handing your designated “Property Quartermaster” the keys to all of it.

The Burnt Oranges board will also provide guidance – and, if necessary, a veto of any any activities the Community Event Committee plans that may jeopardize the event, community, or organization. It’s a true partnership; we’re providing the umbrella of liability and fiscal sponsorship; you’re providing the content, team, and feels.

There’s Not Enough Time!

The operational logistics for the past two Afterburn events were handled in far less time by far fewer people, but we do understand the concerns you may have. That’s why we’re available to provide guidance now, and in the future when necessary. Remember, there were 220 people at the event last year, all of our tools are already on site, and we have great team leads to help you along the way!

What About Art Grants?

Standby for a separate post about art grants very soon. Don’t wait for the post to start planning your projects though!

What If The Community Doesn’t Want To Run A Burn?

While all members of the Burnt Oranges board will be sad there isn’t a burn, the burn isn’t ours alone and we’ll respect the decisions made by the community. If the committee decides not to have an event, or to postpone it until 2020, we’ll support it, but miss it as much as you do. We’re already planning a decompression, so if you need some post-TTITD community there will be opportunities!

What’s Burnt Oranges Doing?

Actively pursuing our mission to support participatory art and community throughout Florida! With the burn being returned to the community for management, we now have the bandwidth to focus on that mission, including the aforementioned decompression, casual local burner social events, and additional art-grant-funding events (aka: fundraisers).


If you have additional questions regarding this evolution, please email us at We will compile questions and publish an FAQ.