Afterburn Report | MPYRE Strikes Back on July 1, 2017

2017 MPYRE Strikes Back
Afterburn Report
Saturday, July 1, 2017
12p – 10p

Event Description
MPYRE – Monterey Burning Man Regional Group has produced a community gathering at Del Monte Beach, Monterey Bay Park since 2009. The summer event, MPYRE Strikes Back, follows the Ten Principles of Burning Man, and welcomes the public to its one-day celebration.

Completely volunteer-produced, MPYRE Strikes Back is the first, ongoing, free-to-the-public Official Regional Burning Man Event in the world. Community members set up sounds stages, art projects, costume exchanges, kid’s activities, as well as inviting live dance and music performances, DJ music sets, fire spinners—all with the intention of creating and connecting people to each other and to themselves in a welcoming, creative atmosphere—a temporary community where everyone is encouraged to join.

Attendance
Attendance was even, with a nice flow throughout the day into night. Without tickets or a gate, and on the public beach where participants and attendees can arrive from many different directions, we can only guess at actual numbers. Over the 10 hours, we estimate 300-400 people participated throughout the event, with most people on the beach from 3p to 10p.

All ages, from babies to seniors, were present, though the majority were adults in the range of 20 years – 50 years. Based on my personal acquaintance with some of the attendees, over half the people were local to Monterey Bay, from as far south as Big Sur and up to Santa Cruz. The Bay Area and Santa Clara County were also well represented.

We heard only positive comments about the event itself, with all happy to join the gathering, whether happening upon the space by accident or by design. The weather was beautiful and chilly, the atmosphere relaxed, and the connections among people warm and friendly.

Finances
At a suggested contribution of $10/person, donations were excellent this year. Based on 2016’s successful donation request announcements throughout the afternoon and evening, we followed the same plan, announcing, in between DJ and performance sets, that donation canisters were available and being walked around through the gathering.

Final Numbers
IN
Day of Donations…………….$1100.00
City of Monterey Grant……..$599.00
TOTAL…………………….$1699.00

OUT
Permit……………………………..$500.00
Insurance…………………………$246.90
Posters……………………………….$83.47
Postcards……………………………$76.51
Porta Potties……………………..$237.97
Badges & Signs……………………$31.95
TOTAL……………………..$1176.80

NET…………………………..$522.20

Volunteer Awesomeness!
We had a great turnout for set up of all spaces: one sound stage, effigy & fire ring, art project, costume swap, and greeters, which was completely well stocked throughout the day and night. Thank you to all who brought their energy to participate and create.

Load out was also managed quickly, and the beach was clear by 11:30p.

Greeters
We had a good crew of greeters all day and into early evening. With the greeter’s station placed next to the bike path, passersby could easily learn about Burning Man, both about our local group, as well as the annual event in Nevada. Burning Man literature, information, and email subscription to our local list were also available. Thank you to Carri and Cirilo for managing Greeters and its schedule of volunteers.

Art
This year’s effigy was built by Don Landis. Returning to our Burning Man roots, he created a fisherMan constructed from scrap plywood and draped with fish net. Re-introducing silver paper sardines, first used in MPYRE Strikes Back’s 2012 art project, participants decorated the fish, then tied them to the fish net. As is MPYRE’s tradition, the fisherMan effigy was set on fire at sunset.

Lori VanMeter installed a version of Everybody Leaves, her memorial art piece. Participants were welcome to decorate small wooden leaves tied to cords hanging from a shade structure. At sunset, the leafy cords were removed and draped over the fisherMan, all to be burned together.

Effigy Fire
Effigy lighting started just before sunset Don, the builder/artist, Alicia, Regional Contact for Burning Man in Monterey, starting the burn. Prepped with kindling and charcoal lighter fluid, the fire started small and easily, and the fisherMan was completely engulfed in 30 minutes.

Fire Performance
Fire performers gathered at 7:45p for a mandatory safety meeting. Safety procedures: tool fueling procedure, dip can lock down, and spin out area procedures were reviewed. Also discussed were performance circle etiquette, forming a queue for performance order, and entering/exiting the performance area.

With over 15 performers this year, fire spinning started at sunset, approximately 8:30p and continued to 10:00p, when all music and performance ended.

As usual, care was taken to place the fuel station far enough away from traffic but still close enough to maintain a clear path to the performance area. The performance circle was large enough to safely support three performers at a time. At least one safety person with a duvatyne cloth, to suffocate any uncontrolled flames, watched the circle at all times performers were lit.

Fire spinning has always been one of the highlights of our beach celebration, and this year was just as every year has been—mesmerizing and fabulous!

Sound
We had eight DJs scheduled over the day and night, on just one stage this year. Though fewer DJs played, their music kept the day and night full of fabulous beats for great dancing and relaxing. The sound levels stayed comfortable, at a volume that allowed for easy conversation. Big Mike not only contributed his sound equipment, but also built a very cool MPYRE stage set!

Live Performance
We welcomed three groups for live performance this year: Dragon Lotus Tribal Fusion Belly Dancing Dragons, Hipnautic Flowers Belly Dance Tribe, and Samba Legal Afro-Brazilian Drum and Dance each performed, with Samba Legal playing as our fisherMan effigy was set on fire—spectacular energy and excitement from all three!

Theme Camps and Public Participation
Along with our local Burning Man community’s many costume contributions, The Cat’s Meow again generously donated to our Costume Swap, Traci created a super fun ‘dress up’ closet on the sand. Having a space and collection of fun and furry, sparkly and dressy clothes always raises the energy of our gathering—gifting at its finest!

Unfortunately, no theme camps were able to join us this year. But a few groups of friends came early, set up their own cozy spaces with shade tents, blankets, and chairs, and spent the whole day on the sand.

Always great for us to see, StegaTron, MPYRE’s resident art car, arrived in the afternoon. With its colorful, LED lighting programs, StegaTron anchored the space after dark, and complemented the fire performances and effigy burn.

Media
Media coverage was good this year, with press releases going out to local Monterey media only. MC Weekly selected MPYRE Strikes Back as the Pick of the Week. Based on casual conversations, a good number of locals and visitors saw the MC Weekly article and showed up just to see what was happening.

A majority of our non-local Burning Man community heard of the event through social media and Burning Man email announcement lists, both specific regional groups and Jack Rabbit Speaks, the primary Burning Man email newsletter.

Rangers
We had a group of rangers in attendance: Ranger Triumph was lead, and he was joined by Ranger Sir JJ and Ranger Merit Badge. As our event often goes, just a few band-aids were distributed, and no other incidents were reported.

Law Enforcement
Monterey PD did not stop by our gathering. Good news that no complaints were called in!

Leave No Trace (LNT)
The City of Monterey donated recycle cans and liners, along with a recycling dumpster up the way at the Municipal Wharf. With several trash and recycle barrels set up in the event space, we made sure garbage was collected in the bins, and not on the sand.

The next morning, four of us showed up to help with our final beach Leave No Trace sweep. All recycle bins had been sorted through by conscientious recyclers, and we dropped off the borrowed City cans at the dumpster. Again this year, our community members did a great job picking up all moop, aka matter-out-of-place. Our morning LNT walk filled just over one-half of one plastic grocery bag with the usual: cigarette butts, zip ties, candy wrappers, and etc. We love leaving our Del Monte Beach home cleaner than we found it!

Improvements & Future

  • Continue with announcements at the DJ stage to request donations to support continued production of MPYRE Strikes Back.
  • In response to last year’s idea to design an MPYRE/Burning Man logo for our regional group—initial designs have been started. Next step: inviting community input.
  • Meet with Monterey Fire Marshall and Recreation Department officials to discuss the potential for approving a fire art sculpture to be installed for the 2018 event.
  • Plans for 2018’s event… June or July?
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MPYRE Strikes Back! Returns to Del Monte Beach on July 1, 2017

Join us in our 10th year of presenting our beloved community gathering and celebration!

MPYRE – Monterey Burners presents:

MPYRE_17b

Bring your creativity and energy to engage and enjoy another beautiful day at our annual community gathering and celebration!

MPYRE Strikes Back!
Community Gathering & Celebration
Saturday | July 1, 2017
12p – 10p
Monterey Bay Park | Del Monte Beach
699 Del Monte Ave
Monterey CA 93940
$10 Suggested Donation

Join us for another edition of the First, Ongoing, Official Burning Man Regional Event that is FREE-to-the-PUBLIC, no tickets, gates, or boundaries. We welcome all to participate and celebrate!

One Inspiring Day of:
…Art
…Fun
…Music
…Fire
…Dancing
…Creativity
…Community
…Connection

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Fanning the Flames Fundraiser

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Join us for an evening of talks from experienced Burners, sharing their experience and advice about playa projects, theme camps, and how to find your ‘home’ in the dust.

Fanning the Flames Fundraiser
Saturday, March 25, 2017
6pm – 10pm
Integrative Martial Arts
565 Broadway Ave
Seaside CA 93955
$10

Come and hear about how Black Rock Citizens find a space and ‘place’ to participate at Burning Man. Enjoy talks, Q&A, short videos + photos, music, fire&glow spinning, dancing, art…and especially our beautiful MPYRE – Monterey Burners community. Join us as we raise funds to produce our annual summer celebration MPYRE Strikes Back—the first, ongoing, free-to-the-public, official Burning Man Regional Event in the world!

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MPYRE Strikes Back! June 11, 2016!

vitruvianBurnerPOSTER

We return to Del Monte Beach in Monterey, California for our beloved Official Burning Man Regional Event! Bring your creativity and energy to engage and enjoy another beautiful day at our annual community gathering and celebration!

MPYRE Strikes Back!
Community Gathering & Celebration
Saturday | June 11, 2016
12p – 10p
Monterey Bay Park | Del Monte Beach
699 Del Monte Ave
Monterey CA 93940
$10 Suggested Donation

Join us for another edition of the First, Ongoing, Official Burning Man Regional Event that is FREE-to-the-PUBLIC, no tickets, gates, or boundaries. We welcome all to participate and celebrate!

One Inspiring Day of:
…Art
…Fun
…Music
…Fire
…Dancing
…Creativity
…Community
…Connection

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Afterburn Report

2015 MPYRE Strikes Back
Afterburn Report
Saturday, June 6, 2015
12p – 10p

Background
After a hiatus of eighteen months, MPYRE – Monterey Burners produced the summer edition of our Official Burning Man Regional Event. True Grit, our winter beach burn, last took over Del Monte Beach in December 2013.

Attendance
Attendance was very good, with a nice flow throughout the day into night. Without tickets or a gate, and on the public beach where participants and attendees can arrive from many different angles, we can only guess at actual numbers. Over the 10 hours, 300-400 people attended.

Conversations had and reported were universally positive, with much gratitude and pleasure that we had returned for another edition of our beach burn. The weather was beautiful, and many groups set up blankets and spaces for the whole day and evening.

Finances
Donations were adequate, but lower than expected. Overheard: people wanted to donate, but greeters did not mention the donation boxes and didn’t request contributions. People didn’t know how and where to give. So we missed breaking even on production costs.

Suggestion: DJs to announce how, where, and why to donate.

IN
Pre-Event Donations     $95.00
Day of Donations           $454.75
TOTAL                             $549.75

OUT
Permit                              $565.00 
Insurance                        $239.90    
Posters                               $90.00
Porta Potty                     $208.40
Laminates                         $32.81
Bank Charges                    $2.49
TOTAL                          $1138.60

NET                              ($588.85)

Volunteer Awesomeness!
We had a great turnout for set up of all spaces: one sound stage, effigy & fire ring, art projects, theme camps, costume swap, and greeters, which was completely well stocked throughout the day and night. Thank you to Elsa and Lori for organizing everything and everyone so well.

Load out was also managed quickly, and the beach was clear by 11p.

Greeters
We had wonderful greeters all day and into early evening. Some dedicated greeters stayed longer than their scheduled shifts, really enjoying meeting passersby and letting them know about our event.

Suggestion: Better script for asking for and receiving donations.

Art
This year’s effigy was built by Lilly Scott, Turn n’ Burn, inspired by this year’s Burning Man theme—Carnival of Mirrors. Fabric ribbons were offered to be personally inscribed by anyone to engage and add to the piece. Many more ribbons and decorations were added throughout the afternoon, and by evening the piece was overflowing with participants’ contributions.

Memory Lane, an interactive memorial piece by Lori VanMeter, was also installed on the sand. Marking a lane from the bike path towards the burn ring, Lori’s piece also invited all to decorate and commemorate wood chips, streamers, and ribbons for the wood poles lining the walking space. In a short ceremony, Lori de-constructed the art, and added the piece to the effigy in the burn ring.

Both Turn n’ Burn and Memory Lane were lit and burned.

Very exciting, and much less than safe, the pieces exploded with the use of white gas as fuel. Not good. Plan noted for next year: We need a defined fire safety perimeter and plan for our burn receptacle. There were concerns about the burn ring being unattended.

Fire
With sunset around 8:20p, fire spinning was shorter than at past beach burns. But after the effigy lighting, the fire monkeys gave a great show. We had a number of new spinners join us, as well as quite a few glow artists. An observation by many—the safety perimeter originally set up somehow was not maintained, as everyone crowded in, mesmerized by the fire spinning. This also pushed the fire spinners closer together. No one was burned or injured, but all was too close for comfort.

Suggestion: Fire safety plans for effigy burn and fire performances – A MUST!

Sound
Lucho handled sound again this year, and all was great, of course. Sets were on the hour, and though we had a shorter event by two hours than past beach burns, all DJs were awesome. I only heard huge love for their music!

We received input about bringing back a second stage for 2016, with proper placement to keep sound separate.

Live Performance
We hoped to enjoy the return of Dark Sparkle’s burlesque performers, but the timing did not work out. But happily a local group of belly dancers came! Their dub-step music and incredible dancing were definitely a highlight of the afternoon.

And just at dusk, Lillie Lemon had a half-hour set. All original music, with vocals accompanied by electronic mixes, their music was a great change in mood.

Theme Camps and Public Participation
A new theme camp joined us: Camp Shiny: A Burning Man Camp for Autism, and with the return of art car StegaTron, and other unexpected contributions—a local art car and slack line set up. The kids loved all. Camp Shiny installed their hexayurt and made a cozy quiet space for anyone to chill in.

Cat’s Meow again donated to the Costume Swap, as did many of our local MPYREians. Loads of costumes came and went to many happy people. There was everything from actual costumes to fun, dressy, glittery, furry wear. Everyone was pleased, especially with the cozy ‘dressing room’ space that Elsa, Lori, and Melissa created.

Suggestion: Post out earlier to the community to bring old costumes.

Two participants set up food to share: one offered hotdogs and popcorn, the other Bloody Marys. Everyone loved eating and drinking together, but we are in agreement that our beach burn’s food and drinks will remain participant-driven only.

Media
We got great press as the cover story on Monterey Herald’s Thursday Go! Calendar supplement and the Monterey County Weekly’s online edition. I did one interview with each publication. I’m guessing that with Burning Man’s greater presence in popular culture, our local papers were interested in covering our gathering—especially as we use a public space as our event venue.

Instead of postcards this year, we printed only posters to display around town. I did hear that one person learned of our beach burn from seeing the poster displayed near his work. This is a first for me! I believe most hear of MPYRE events through word-of-mouth/social media, though our traditional press this year was excellent.

Suggestion: Posters and postcards are preferred for easy handouts.

Rangers
We had two rangers in attendance: Rangers Lothos and Triumph. Neither reported any incidents or issues that required their intervention.

We would like to have more ranger presence, especially for fire safety during the effigy burn, as well as keeping a fire perimeter during fire spinning.

Police
As far as we know, no one called into MPD about the event. But the police did stop by when a local parked his art car on the sand. That was a no-no. Luckily he did not receive a ticket, and he quickly moved his vehicle back into the parking lot.

Leave No Trace
With several trash and recycle barrels set up in the event space, we had no issue with garbage. The City of Monterey donated recycle cans and liners, along with a recycling dumpster up the way, though a fair amount was captured by homeless community members who live at Del Monte Beach.

The next morning, five+ of our dedicated super-organizers showed up to help with our final beach LNT sweep. Kudos to all for the grocery bag of zip ties and cigarette butts. We also emptied our burn receptacle of all ashes, taking bags home to dispose of individually.

Improvements & Future
Fire safety plans for effigy burn and fire performances – A MUST!

Better script for asking for and receiving donations.

DJs to announce how, where, and why to donate.

Posters and postcards are preferred for easy handouts.

The next beach burn is planned for 2016, likely in June again. We like the summer weather!

 

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MPYRE Strikes Back! Del Monte Beach! June 11, 2016!

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MPYRE Strikes Back! Saturday, June 6, 2015 @ Del Monte Beach in Monterey!

Print

Thank you Patrick Watson for our beautiful poster!

Yes, it’s time for The Big ASK… Donate now at mpyre.treasury [at] gmail [dot] com to cover our pre-event expenses: permit, insurance, posters–official documents, Check!

At this moment, our total output is $865:
$565 permit
$240 insurance
$  90 posters

Greeters & Costume Swap
Thank you Lori for picking up decorations for both these essential spaces on the beach and helping with set up. Huge appreciation for all who have already signed up for a greeters shift. Please take one by clicking here: Greeters Sign Up.

Along with receiving donations, a greeters script will be available for you to answer all those questions newbies, burgins, and the curious might ask who happen upon our event. Thank you in advance for representing the beauty of MPYRE and Burning Man to all who pop in, stop by, and linger.

Don’t forget to bring your old favorite costumes that you’re ready to share with someone new. And be ready to discover that ‘new’ fabulous something that fits you perfectly! Bring one, take one!

Art
This year’s effigy, Turn & Burn, designed and built by Lilly and Scotty–with help from you, you, and you–will be ready for your thoughts, dreams, wishes. Tie fabric (ribbons and sharpies provided!) to the piece…pARTicipate, decorate, interact, engage.

And in the spirit of BRC’s Temple, a prayer flag memorial piece will also be installed on the beach for your remembrances and memories.

Both will be set ablaze and released at sunset!

Music
Big thanks to Lucho, Namraja, and Kerry for wrangling our performers and DJs! Live music, DJ sets, and cross-your-fingers for dance performances too! Set list coming shortly. Stay tuned…

And with our FM transmitter your battery-powered boom box will broadcast all sets! Bring it!

Fire
Thank you Celsius for wrangling all fire monkeys again in beautiful, mesmerizing style! Mandatory fire safety meeting is scheduled for 8p.

Theme Camps
Yay and welcome to Camp Shiny – A Burning Man Camp for Autism. We are excited to have you join us!

Rangers
We need at minimum two rangers for the day and night, especially once our effigy is lit. Please connect with your friends-in-khaki. We love all Black Rock Rangers!

Leave No Trace
Thanks to all of us for handling LNT again. We did a great job last time keeping the beach clean during and after. So let’s do it again! Recycling bins, courtesy of the City of Monterey, will be available. And we’ll have extra trash can liners at greeters so bins to not overflow. Let’s prevent the ick of trash on the sand. Thank you for mooping!

The List of Stuff We Need for June 6

General, please bring:
Firewood
Shovels
Work Gloves
Head Lamps
Battery Powered Boom Box

Specifics, we will bring:
Pop Ups & Shade Structures: Lori, Lucho, Alicia&Don
Stakes & Ropes: Lucho, Alicia&Don
Generators & Extension Cords: Lucho, Alicia&Don
Sound Set Up: Lucho
Lights for DJ Space: Kerry

Mirrors: Elsa, Alicia&Don
Bins: Alicia&Don
Crafts: Alicia&Don
Fairy Lights: Alicia&Don

If you have any of the specifics, please bring them. On this day, more decorations and crafts are better than less!

Schedule on June 6
9:00a-12:00p, Set Up
Monterey Bay Park @ Del Monte Beach
699 Del Monte Ave
Monterey CA93940

Arrive early to get parking. Don’t forget to buy a parking pass from the kiosk.

8:00p, Mandatory Fire Safety Meeting
All fire performers are required to attend.

9:00p-11:00p, Break Down & Clean Up
Just after sunset, greeters and costume swap will break down. Mooping continues…

9:00a, The Next Day
Final clean up, burn barrel move and mooping.

Thank you all for co-creating another beautiful edition of MPYRE Strikes Back!

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