I have been going to Burning Man for more than 25 years, and working it from the inside for 20. After two decades, I thought my threshold for awesome was fairly high. However, in 2017, on the Sunday of the Temple Burn, I watched hundreds of my old friends, new friends and coworkers gather at the 9:00 position of the perimeter to help hold the line and ensure we could do what we do. You know what? My awesometer was pegged!
I love a good fire, but what I love more is seeing my friends’ faces lit in the glow of that fire, their bodies adorned by the badge of honor and Burner spirit that is the orange vest.
The Burn Perimeter Support Group: B.P.S.G.
We orange-vest people have worked hard over the past few years to create a new team, the Burn Perimeter Support Group. B.P.S.G. has a straightforward but critical mission: to help artists staff their burn perimeters and keep the citizens of Black Rock City on the other side of the line. Team members arrive an hour or more before an art burn to establish the perimeter, engage with participants, and help ensure a safe, fun burn. These folks are part of the burn team, yet they face outward toward the crowds with a watchful and caring eye.
After the incredible response to our call for help last year with the Temple, I realized there was great pride in working burn perimeters. In 2018, we’re offering perimeter support to more than 20 burn projects, including the Temple and the Man. In recognition of the significance of this team and the efforts of those who stand the line, we’re providing sweet Burn Perimeter Support Team shirts!
Please sign up for B.P.S.G. via your Burner Profile, and we will keep you posted with a burn schedule, a pre-event online training date, and a link to shiftboard to sign up for specific burns.
Why B.P.S.G. Matters to Me
I was up most of the night on Saturday after the tragic incident at the Man Burn and awoke Sunday burned out and anxious about the Temple Burn. We had put out a call for help with the Temple perimeter, and we had to have a strong turnout to make the burn possible. By the time I arrived at the Temple perimeter that evening, I found hundreds of volunteers already on site! I could read the looks on the faces of the tough DPW folks; I could feel the passion of the black-clad Gate crew. I knew what every Greeter, department manager, volunteer of every sort and even board members were thinking as more and more showed up and put on an orange vest. They were all thinking the same thing I was thinking and feeling…
We had to do this.
Larry Harvey used to say that if we were presented with a fierce alligator in our way, we would each take a bite and overcome the most extreme impediments to the event together. That Sunday night, less than 24 hours after a painful tragedy, we did just that.
If you want to be a part of that, sign up for B.P.S.G. this year.
(Top photo by Paulius Musteikis)