Afterburn Report

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

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!


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!

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!

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!

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!

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:
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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Light the Fire with MPYRE – After Event Report

Light the Fire with MPYRE – Movie Night for a Cause
After Event Report
Saturday, December 6, 2014

For the past seven years, MPYRE has produced both summer and/or winter Official Burning Man Events at Del Monte Beach in Monterey, CA. True Grit was the last beach burn in December 2013. In the spring 2014, our group discussed producing another installment of True Grit. But our main leads were not able to commit to participating in a significant way, and not enough other community members were ready to take on lead responsibilities. In addition, the extreme cold temperatures of December 2013 de-motivated even our hardiest MPYREians.

A spring/summer beach event idea was floated, the return of MPYRE Strikes Back. MPYRE’s account balance was $420 and change, not enough to purchase a city permit for an official event. So we agreed a community gathering/fundraiser was in order. The first Saturday in December, a traditional day for an MPYRE gathering, was chosen.

Film Screening & Location
Jeremy Ambers, ‘Impossible Light’ filmmaker, brought his feature-length documentary about The Bay Lights art installation to screen at our event. To support MPYRE he shared 50% of all DVD sales with MPYRE.

Sylvan Design Studio, Espinoza Graphics, and Todd Kruper Fine Arts donated their indoor and outdoor spaces to host the gathering in Sand City, CA. The city’s Arts Committee granted our event $300 in support of the documentary screening.


$744—Ticket Sales, Food&Beverage Donations, DVD Sales
$300—Sand City Arts Committee Grant

$300—Impossible Light Screening Fee
$130.43—Jeremy Ambers’ Accommodation at Casa Munras

$509.46—Net Funds Raised

Attendance evening of community and connection. 32 people sat for the screening, with 15-20 more who preferred to enjoy the music, costume swap, fire ring and conversation outside.

Fire Performance
Fire lead, Celsius Maximus, brought 6+ fire performers, along with his sound and art car, StegaTron for our outdoor spinning space (parking/driveway space adjacent to sidewalk and street). They presented two sets, before and after the screening. A highlight fire spinner was Maxsim, Celsius’ son—Exciting to see the next generation of fire performers!

“Impossible Light” Screening
The documentary was very well received, and the DVDs sold well, especially post screening. Jeremy Amber’s Q&A followed for about 30 minutes—longer and more interesting than most, according to the filmmaker.

Gathering & Costume Swap
Popcorn, candy and non-alcoholic drinks were available, along with hotdogs and chips—all free with donations accepted. BYOB and food to share were welcomed, and many contributed. Todd Kruper created a cozy and charming space for our costume swap in front of his studio. It was a huge hit, with great finds for all. Quite a few people skipped the screening to chat, try on clothes, hang out, and go home with something new for their closet.

Ideas for Improvement
Better attendance is always a goal, though most of our local MPYREians were there. Others heard about the event through friends, and were very excited to talk about Burning Man, the playa, our local beach burn, and our community. Posters around town were not mentioned by attendees regarding event awareness, but I feel these marketing pieces are essential, even if not explicitly ‘noticed and integrated’ in people’s consciousness.

Final Thoughts
Responses from our location hosts and all attendees I chatted with were extremely positive, and everybody, including several new-to-MPYRE-&-the-Playa people I met, were happy to connect through our mutual love of all things Burning Man. Sand City Arts Committee members were excited to support our documentary screening, in addition to our creating a community gathering with an artistic focus. We have a lot of energy to continue producing our official beach burn event, and with this event’s successful turnout, we now have the funds to purchase event insurance coverage and the city permit.

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Light the Fire with MPYRE – December 6, 2014

Impossible Light

MPYRE –  Monterey Burners returns to Sand City for an evening of community, connection, fun & inspiration!

Light the Fire with MPYRE – Movie Night for a Cause
Join us for Music Fire Costume Swap and… A Special Screening of Jeremy Ambers’ documentary Impossible Light: The Story Behind An Iconic Light Sculpture, followed by a Q&A with the director.

Saturday, December 6, 2014
Sylvan Design Studio
613 Ortiz Ave
Sand City 93955
Adults $12
Kids Free

We gather to raise production funds for MPYRE’s annual beach burn–the only ongoing Official Burning Man Regional Event that is Free-to-the-Public. Look for MPYRE Strikes Back at Del Monte Beach in Spring 2015!

Feel free to bring your own cup, snack or drink to share in Burning Man style! Donations will be happily received for popcorn, candy, food & beverages provided.

In the spirit of community, non-perishable food items will be accepted to support the Monterey Food Bank this holiday season. MPYRE will deliver!

With thanks to Sylvan Design Studio, Espinoza Graphics and Todd Kruper Fine Arts for providing space for us to gather, connect and engage. And huge gratitude to Patrick Watson for our fabulous poster!

Reserve your ticket: Paypal $12/adult to mpyre [dot] treasury [at] gmail [dot] com.
Learn more about Impossible Light: impossiblelightfilm [dot] com.
Volunteer through: monterey [at] burningman [dot] com.
Comment on Facebook: mpyre – monterey bay

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Notes for Saturday… TRUE GRIT! RETURNS!

Some Final Notes for TRUE GRIT!

Saturday, December 7 @ 8am: Meet for set up.

Everyone Please Bring:
Work Gloves
Head Lamps

Additional to Bring: (For the original list, scroll down)
Sound Set Ups
Light Set Ups
Pop Ups
Generators & Fuel
Extension Cords
Zip Ties & Duct Tape
String and Rope Lights
Greeter Decorations
Tables & Chairs
Mirrors & Bins for Costume Swap
Greeter Info, City Permit, Cash Box, Donation Jar

And I Just Remembered… Can You Also Bring:
Alan & Ellen, a few of your Burning Man books for the Greeters table?
And if anyone else has similar items you’d be open to sharing at Greeters, we’ll make sure they go home with you. Thank you!

More Important Stuff:
Green Beans…We are all on LNT duty. Trash and Recycle bins must be emptied at the end of the night. Heavy duty liners will be at Greeters, so please empty when you see they are almost full. One bag o’ trash home for each of us = Leave No Trace. THANK YOU!

Laminates will be at Greeters. Please add your name, so all of us organizers, theme campers, DJs, performers, rangers, and question answerers may be easily identified.

Saturday, Sunset to 11p: Break Down, Load Out, Moop Check

Sunday, December 8 @ 9am: Meet for final Moop check. Red’s Donuts and coffee will be included.

PM me with any questions.

Dear MPYREians and Burning Man Family from near and far: So once more with feeling…THANK!! YOU!!

Can’t wait to see you all on Saturday!



Kraken Effigy

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Kraken: Sea Monster Effigy…


S/He was born on November 9, and now Kraken is just two hot glue guns and more tentacles away from being full grown. 

Thank you Alan and Ellen for imagining our ocean-living monster, then bringing him/her to life. Pinky and I happily provided tentacle and arm support. Round two of Kraken construction continues this Saturday, November 16, 12p-5p, at Masaoka Glass Design. Bring finished pine trim or moulding (and work gloves) to be cut into wood blocks and chips to feed our monster.

At True Grit, we invite everyone to decorate the ‘food’ with their fears, hope, dreams, and wishes to be set afire at sunset…releasing energy and vibration to manifest the change we each visualize for ourselves, for our community, for our world!

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