This Solstice, Leave a Positive Trace!

Did you know Burning Man started as a beach burn on the solstice? Unlike the end-of-summer Black Rock City event we now know and love, the original Man was burned on Baker Beach on Saturday, June 21, 1986.

As we continue to consider how the 10 Principles can be applied to everyday life, and to remember Larry Harvey and what he initiated, we invite you, members of the global Burning Man community, to join us for a weekend of action, service, and celebration June 21, 22 and 23.

You may remember last year’s June 21 Global Celebration and Day of Gratitude, honoring our original instigator. It was a beautiful moment, with touching tributes coming in from all over the world (for details check out Thanks for Giving Thanks: Celebrating Larry Harvey’s Life and Legacy on the Solstice).

This year we’d like to reignite the flames — across the globe and right here in the Bay Area. This June solstice weekend we invite you to take creative initiative to activate and celebrate the ethos of Burning Man in your year-round community.

How can you leave a positive trace?

We hope you will be inspired to collaborate, make, serve, celebrate, and unite. What we do outside of Black Rock City is as, if not more, important than the event in the desert. To sustain this culture, we need creative action and civic participation.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Burners Without Borders, Permaculture Action Network, and Burning Man Project’s Community Events Team are organizing a permaculture action day to leave a positive trace.

Permaculture Action Day in Oakland — June 22 – 10am-7pm PST

If you’re in the Bay Area, ring in the first day of summer and celebrate the transformative principles of Burning Man with a permaculture action day at Hoover Elementary School in West Oakland, which has a long history of supporting creativity, sustainability, and community.

We will complete much-needed, hands-on projects including gardening, outdoor furniture building and mural creation while working beside one another. Think of this as a daytime festival, where work is the headliner! This fun, free, family-friendly event will include workshops, music, stage performances, art, and food.

Artwork Credit: Favianna Rodriguez Artist

Burners Without Borders unlocks the creativity of local communities to solve problems that bring about meaningful change through human-centered design and participatory citizenship. Since 2014, the Permaculture Action Network has organized 92 Permaculture Action Days, mobilizing over 13,000 people to take hands-on action in their own communities to shape a just and regenerative world. Check out the video below to see what’s in store for those who can join us in Oakland.

Invite your friends and check out the Facebook event for more info. RSVP form coming soon. To get involved as a performer, musician, volunteer, or workshop lead please email actionday@burningman.org!

Get Involved Around the World

The permaculture action day is just one way to engage this June solstice weekend.

Whether you’re a Regional Contact, a theme camp or mutant vehicle lead, a member of a local BWB chapter, a community activist, or a motivated citizen who has never been to Burning Man, we encourage you to connect with your local communities and work on something together or on your own. Find a project in your area, commit to a few hours of community work with others, or plan something entirely new with a circle of friends. Let’s join together for a weekend of Civic Responsibility, Participation, and Communal Effort. Bring Burning Man to the world around you!

$teven Ra$pa leading the “Billion Bunny March” in BRC. Photo credit: Scott London

Not sure what to do? Contact your local school and see if they need help. Get a group of friends together and clean up your local park while you picnic. Or, if you’ve never reached out before check out the Regional Network and locate a Burning Man community near you. Whatever you do, feel free to make it fun and self-expressive!

Share Your Stories

Follow the community’s discussions and plans for this Global Weekend of Action here. Contribute your ideas, and feel free to post your photos, videos, audio clips, and writings. If you post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, use the hashtags #thankslarry and #burningsolstice so we can find and share your content.

If an idea occurs to you after the weekend is over, remember that sometimes the best ideas take a while to manifest (we’ve certainly learned that on the playa!). So, make it happen next year, or make it happen anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to be in Black Rock City to create a Burning Man experience. #burnallyear. Thanks Larry! …and thank YOU!

Here’s a video from an Action Day in Los Angeles!


Top photo by Sharon Avraham, design by Tanner Boeger

About the author: Steven Raspa

Steven Raspa

$teven Ra$pa is Associate Director of Community Events for Burning Man and a founding member of the Regional Network Committee and Regional Events Committee. He is an artist, passionate arts advocate, community organizer and lover of cities.

8 Comments on “This Solstice, Leave a Positive Trace!

  • tony says:

    “What he initiated” Kinda seems since Larry’s passing there’s a “hint of minimizing ” his role in Burning Man.

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  • Bobby Cox says:

    Hi! The video isn’t captioned for Deaf burners like myself, could that be added? Or at least a transcript?

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    • $teven says:

      Hi Bobby! We will see if we can get someone to create a transcript. If anyone reading this has time to create one, that would be super helpful.

      Report comment

    • Honey Bee says:

      Here’s a transcript for your reading pleasure: I’m Brian Rising with Permaculture Action Network and we are here doing a Permaculture Action Day in Los Angeles on the road to Burning Man.

      Da da da da da da dici da da

      My name is Natalie Sunshine Flores and I’m a garden manager for Kiss the Ground, for this space. And I am here to bring my community back to the ground.

      One day, we will cherish the soil, valued more than gold, its value more than gold, and I sing it for this nation, singin’ for this nation

      Permaculture Action Network has been around for about two years and we work to mobilize concert audiences and festival audiences to come take direct action in their own communities
      to build the kind of spaces we want to see.

      So we’re out here at a place called Kiss the Ground that works on telling that story, that sequestering carbon in your soil and building soil gives us healthy food and really is the key to health for our own nutrition and the rest of the ecological web of life.

      Part of empowering creative communities to do social impact work is about not forgetting about the art and the fun that makes all of this sustainable. We want to involve as much education, creativity, art, music, food as possible because it’s really a celebration of making change in the world. And that is what our community is based on, celebration in general.

      Never be moved from here, our lives will live in the seeds we’ve sown, calling what’s coming clear our wellness held in the gardens we’ve grown

      It’s important because it inspires the artist within us. You know, we are all artists. And, ultimately, when you do this kind of work, you remember that.

      the thought of this and we dig for the ones to come

      We’ve done about 52 of these Permaculture Action Days across the country by now. We’ve been in 22 states, as well as Costa Rica and Washington, D.C. This is what we do, we just mobilize hundreds of people to come out before festivals and after concerts, on the way to Burning Man, whatever people are up to, and get down and put in a lot of energy into the ground like this in their own communities.

      my brother, live in a jungle concrete, like belly going rumbling, only wants a taste of the sky, wind and fire set in the seeds, for the son of his son, come with him one day, taste the roots, he was born

      Bye, bye you guys!

      That was a totally great experience! Hug?

      Oh, yes!

      That was totally awesome! Thank you!

      Have fun at Burning Man!

      Okay, thank you!

      as one

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  • Thank you for so much for all you do, and for articulating Raspa! “We hope you will be inspired to collaborate, make, serve, celebrate, and unite. What we do outside of Black Rock City is as, if not more, important than the event in the desert. To sustain this culture, we need creative action and civic participation.”

    Report comment

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