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Good Standing with the Fire Conclave – Published 3/20/21

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It is pretty easy to be in good standing with the Fire Conclave Council.

Namely, integrity. 

  • Do what you say you will do. 
  • Send in monthly reports on time (the 25th of each month). 
  • Attend (or watch recordings) of mandatory meetings.
  • Send your videos in on time or before the deadline.
  • Send in your group lists on time (July 25th). 
  • Check into Fire Conclave Convergence (on playa) by Friday at 6:00 p.m.
  • Be on time in the Great Circle and dance your fiery best. 
  • Honor Sobriety in the Great Circle.

Sobriety and Great Circle Safety

Sobriety has become an issue within the great circle.  People think we are only referencing Alcohol; we are not. To honor sobriety we mean you should NOT be: baked, blasted [slang], blind, blitzed [slang], blotto [slang], bombed, boozy, canned [slang], cockeyed, crocked, drunk, drunken, faded, fried, gassed, hammered [slang], high, inebriate, inebriated, intoxicated, juiced [slang], lit, lit up, loaded [slang], looped, oiled [slang], pickled, pie-eyed, plastered, potted [slang], ripped [slang], rolling, sloshed [slang], smashed [slang], sottish, soused, sozzled, squiffed (or squiffy), stewed, stiff, stinking [slang], stoned, tanked [slang], tight, tipsy, wasted [slang], wiped out [slang]. 

Photo Credit: Espresso Buzz

Which means being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or mind altering substances is dangerous. If we see you being unsafe and under the influence you may be ejected from the Great Circle and added to the Ugly list for the next year.  It is possible for an entire group to be added to the ugly list. Furthermore, Law Enforcement is also present in the Great Circle. 

Enough said.  


When you or a member of your fire performance group acts without integrity in regards to the Fire Conclave or Burning Man, and it’s policies, there are consequences. We want everybody to be responsible and fulfill their obligations. However, it is important to note certain consequences and how to avoid them.

The Major consequences are:

  • The Ugly List
  • Temporary Suspension or Probation from Fire Conclave
  • Permanent Removal from Fire Conclave
  • “Other” Consequences

While we have a list of things that will make some of these things happen, we also will use our judgement and make decisions based on our experience and our expectations.  Consequences can be applied to individuals or groups.


The Ugly List is a list of names of people who did not fulfill their responsibilities to the Fire Conclave in some manner or another. It is similar in nature to a one year suspension in that you may not receive a discounted performer ticket, but differs from a suspension as you may still participate/perform in Fire Conclave so long as you provide your own ticket to the event.

Things that will get you on the UGLY LIST include but not limited to:  

  • Got a performer ticket, picked it up at Will Call, but didn’t sign-in  at Fire Conclave Convergence.  
  • Got a GIFT or Low Income ticket and attempted to sell it.
  • Attempting to subvert the ticket system by getting more than one Performer or Staff (reduced price) ticket aka: Double Dipping
  • Walking into the event without a ticket of any kind.
  • Signing in for other people at Fire Conclave Convergence. 
  • Failing to attend any of the mandatory meetings required by your participation commitments. 
    • SHINdig.
    • Helmsman Meeting.
    • Documentarian Safety Meeting.
    • Sentinel Meeting.

Note: The Ugly list is suspended for 2021, meaning everyone will be starting fresh this year. 


Probation and Suspension are disciplinary actions issued to Fire Groups where actions deemed to have lacked integrity have ensued. These actions, as listed below, will be reviewed with the Shin and discussed between the FC Council in depth with regards to circumstances/severity until a course of action has been reached.  We do not take these violations lightly, and our decisions are non-negotiable. 

  • Actions which violate our Safety Protocols.
  • Lying to the FC Council. We have been around the sun more than a few times, we’re adept at identifying dishonesty. Please don’t do it. 
  •  Blatant disrespect of the FC Council or its members.
  •  Blatant disrespect of Fire Conclave procedures established by the FC Council.


Permanent Removal from Fire Conclave is a disciplinary action issued to Fire Groups or individuals where extreme or repeated actions deemed to have lacked integrity have ensued. These actions, as listed below, will be reviewed with the Shin and discussed between the FCC in depth with regards to circumstances/severity until a course of action has been reached.  We do not take these violations lightly, and our decisions are non-negotiable. 

  • Actions which severely violate our Safety Protocols, or place people’s safety at risk.
  • Repeated, blatant disrespect of the FC Council or its members.
  • Repeated, blatant disrespect of the Fire Conclave procedures established by the FC Council.


Selling a GIFT Ticket is the antithesis of the Gift as intended. When we learn of these things, we cancel the ticket and nobody wins.

All Burning Man departments have staff lists and we double check all the names everywhere. We make an effort to communicate with people so they are aware that we’re aware that they’re eligible for tickets through multiple departments and for what reasons. If a Gift ticket is to support working for a department, the department the ticket is accepted from is the department the ticket holder is beholden to. For example, if someone receives a Gift ticket through the Fire Conclave, and is also working with another Burning Man department or art project and faces a scheduling conflict, we expect that the recipient will honor their obligation to the Fire Conclave.


There is not one answer to everything, nor is a list of possible consequences enough.  We, much like the dance we encourage, will flow with the times, evaluate the circumstances of each situation, and respond accordingly. 


We understand that everyone needs a break from time to time to regroup. Add to this the current pandemic and all the issues that come with it like financial difficulties, inability to gather, fluctuating travel restrictions, etc…

So, the question becomes: can an entire group  take a year off without losing your group’s status within the Fire Conclave?

The answer is yes.

Groups in good standing are allowed to take up to two consecutive years off from Fire Conclave without having to re-apply as a new group. You will be allowed to keep your original group name and be treated like a returning group under these circumstances. 
Due to the evolving nature of Burning Man and life, groups who take more than two years off are considered to be a new group, and will need to prove themselves again as any new group would. In some cases we may ask you to change your name if your name no longer abides by the current naming rules.

Keep in mind that there are other options available to you. If it’s just the Shin that needs time off, another Shin may take over for a year or two (or permanently!) and then be allowed to switch back without jeopardizing the returning group status.

Remember, when in doubt you can always email the FC Council at and we can help you discuss your options, averting confusion down the road.

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