Mon 21 Jun 2021 7:54AM

Swimming in the Lake - Not happening at this stage

AK Alex Kaos Public Seen by 149

OUTCOME - No swimming in either Lake

Until a strong realizer shows up (and there would be a directed ticket for them if they want it), who is qualified and can organize enough qualified lifeguards to monitor the southern lake, it is in the interest of the affected parties (which is currently the legal body responsible if someone drowns at the event) to take the rational and cautious choice of simply enforcing a "No-swimming in any lake policy"

This means that in order to cool down, you will have to be really self-reliant. Remember there's no lake on the real Playa, just sand and alkalized salt, so I think we'll survive the German summer heat. It looks like we will have showers though. Bring a spray bottle and a handheld fan just in case.

There are 2 lakes at Freiland, and at this stage, technically we can't swim in either.

Lake 1 is on the west bank, and is completely forbidden to swim in as it is a recovering natural pond and the wildlife get's severely disturbed and damaged by 1000 sun-screened hippies taking a dip to cool their boots.

We still intend to protect the nature of this lake at the costs of being hot, and this remains non-negotiable.

The southern lake (by the Pirate Kiez) we have permission from the Gelande to swim in, so long as we take adequate precautions (washing sunscreen off beforehand etc).

However - Legally we must ban anyone from swimming in the lake and enforce this ban, as any body of water requires a qualified and designated lifeguard on shift at all times.

Freiland simply enforce the no-swimming ban, but I think the participants of Kiez Burn can do one better.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This whole situation is currently outside of the entire Covid safety protocol discussions, and it may be that the Gesundheitsamt or local Amt decide that the lake is a high risk zone and should be banned anyway. We will find out later in the negotiations.

If someone steps up to being a Lake Realizer, and we can gather enough volunteer lifeguards to watch the lake, Kiez Burn could have a legally swimmable location!

As a board member and Treasurer, I am currently wrapping my head around the legal responsibilities of hosting an event in a Pandemic without putting the verein/board into debt. I would very much like this issue to not be weighing over my shoulders, and for all of you who might think "Bah humbug! Trust in radical Self-reliance! The hippies can take care of themselves":

There have been accidents in this very lake in past events. And the government and bereaved nearly always want someone to blame for the suffering.

So please don't moan, and propose a solution. Because when they blame, they won't be blaming your radically-not-responsible ass!

#1 - Proposal

  • Someone steps up as Lake Realizer (a.k.a Neptune/Merperson/Poiseidon), who would coordinate this proposal.

  • We fill shifts having qualified lifeguards within specific times of the day (most likely daylight hours), stationed at the Southern lake (by the Pirates)

  • Adequate signage and safety materials are supplied

  • We can cool off on the hot august days!

  • We have to create an official swimming ban on the lake

  • Rangers would need to be briefed to enforce this

I recognize I am proposing a role for which I cannot fill, but as I stated above, I have some legal responsibility to the event and the safety of the participants, and I am currently wrapped up in financial as well as other board/korg/camp duties and cannot drive this. By default I have to go with #2, but I think the participants of Kiez Burn should be given the opportunity for #1. Whoever can, will just have to step up if that's the case.

BOARD STATEMENT - Legal Body Representing the Verein Kiez Burn
 Concerning the usage of the lake: we can't keep 950 substantized participants safe for the entirety of the event, nor can we protect the lake from 950 sun-screened participants.

Kiez burn more outsources visit all Amt-required safety services, Feuerwehr, First aid, security. This will now also include lifeguards. It is unfair on everyone involved to place the life of another human being in volunteers' hands. Our philosophy cannot stretch that far at this stage.

We can however at least create a safe space for one artist to fulfill a dream of performing in the lake, safely watched, by both the participants and the undisturbed wildlife.


CJ Yetman Mon 21 Jun 2021 10:15AM

I'd feel safest if the lake was clearly defined and marked as off limits.


Erin Jeavons-Fellows Tue 22 Jun 2021 11:49AM

@daniel no best to comment here.


Bee Mon 21 Jun 2021 9:25AM

I appreciate and would echo these concerns. I also am quite concerned about the fact we already had a lake injury this weekend that could have been a lot worse given the huge chunk of broken bottle that was recovered from the lake bed near the shore. I have absolutely no idea how we would be able to ensure the lake is also safe from things like that before letting our inebriated Burners splash around.

Going ahead and tagging @Franzi for safety protocols input. @Hans for first first aid input @Jessie and @Cris for any rangers knowledge. Also @CJ Yetman as this could ultimately add a layer of responsibility for site leads.


Veroca R. Sala Mon 21 Jun 2021 2:35PM

Sounds good, however, we need to have consent from the pirates IF they will actually guard their shore.

  • who will seriously enforce their boat doesnt go off-limits?

  • how do we marK perimeter in the water?


Bee Mon 21 Jun 2021 2:36PM

While this proposal is still open the answer is unfortunately 'we don't know yet'. If we cannot organise lifeguards and find a lead for this then we would have to avoid encouraging swimmers with a lake ban - meaning the floating dreams won't be accessible. Perhaps we can come to an agreement with these in mind - see Cris' valid suggestion underneath, if this works as a health & safety friendly compromise.


Diarmaid Mon 21 Jun 2021 10:59AM

Pirate Kiez would like to build an island there.


Purzel Mon 21 Jun 2021 6:55PM

It´s not about the distance and more about the depth. I'd say about 1,20m would be the max. but thats only a guess, if we get more serious about it, I could check on more correct numbers. If I remember right, the drop to "not beeing able to stand anymore" was rather sudden.


Veroca R. Sala Mon 21 Jun 2021 2:35PM

this is being discussed now 🤓


Jessie Tue 22 Jun 2021 10:31AM

The Rangers will be equipped with handheld Spray Bottles, so we can run around and refresh everyone who wants. You or me could add that in your proposal, if you like.


Diarmaid Mon 21 Jun 2021 11:03AM

I like the halfway proposal - if we can fence off so that the water doesn't go above neck height, it becomes much less dangerous. It would provide a clear demarcation between where was allowed to swim and where was not, making the jobs of rangers much easier. It would remove the danger of stepping on broken glass, because the water is very clear and we could sweep the area to ensure that it was clean.

We would need to provide showers beside it so that people can wash off first, and clearly sign that this is required.

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