Thu 30 Jan 2020 7:53PM

[Advice Process] Kiez Burn population growth?

W walto Public Seen by 171

A decision has been made

  • Who made the decision: @waldo

  • When was the decision made: 12.03.2020

  • Decision Summary: We will grow by 10%, to 1100 people total. Limited growth due to challenges in the pre-event orga.

This advice process is started to figure out:

  1. is growing the Kiez Burn Event desirable?

  2. How much growth is sustainable towards the amount of work involved in scaling up?

Please edit this proposal-thread how you see fit


Proposer (name, handle, etc.)


Proposer's role

I was guiding several Needs & Responsibilities in 2019. In 2020 I plan to guide the event team. Although I am also part of the Kiez Burn e.V. board, I am following this process as a participant, not a board member. My motivation in taking on this advice process (AP), is to get more experience in Advice processes.

My stake in this topic is that I would like to have a transparent & open discussion on this topic. For the sake of this AP, I do not have an opinion on if we should grow or not.

The advice process

A starting point

We sold about 1000 tickets last year. We will have our burn 17-21th of June but the exact location decision is still between 2 locations, one of which is Freiland.

I am starting this discussion with the assumption we do not want to decrease in size.

Another assumption is that we are not forced to increase in size due to financial pressures.

Gathering relevant info before posting

  • Census

    • 76% of the '19 participants attended a burn before (79% of those were at Kiez Burn)

    • 70% participated in a Kiez, 30% free camped

    • 74% believed the number of attendees to be just right, 26% thought it was too few

    • participation rates looked great

  • Realities:

    • most volunteer positions were filled

    • Missing realizers had to do with some event-critical roles such as:

      • security & fire marshalls

      • first aid

      • leave no trace

      • Fire safety

  • Facebook:

    • we have seen a 55% growth of the Kiez Burn Facebook group since 30/01/2019

    • 3200 members of the group are actively involved over the year

    • From this data, we can conclude that a ticket sale would get even more attention this year, with demand increasing with about 50%

Seeking advice

Here I am gathering advice from the people that are experts on the matter, and leads of areas/Needs that are most affected. This, with a focus on the more event critical needs & responsibilities. The question I want to ask them is “How much additional work would it be to scale your area of responsibility and can you do it?”

  • Event coordination (tagging last year's board who fulfilled this role): @Franzi @Remy Schneider @Patrick Baodu @Alexxx @waldo @Hanna-Maija @Henrik 🤖

  • Build/Setup: @Keegan & @Gur eilon

  • Storage: @dylan

  • Tickets: @Callum Macdonald / @Otto / @Jan Thomas no input

  • Volunteer coordination: @Veroca R. Sala supports 20%

  • Security & fire marshalls: @Patrick Baodu

  • Site leading: @CJ Yetman

  • Welfare: @aleksandrina

  • Gate: @Juli Finster

  • Parking: ??

  • Site liaison: @Jan Thomas

  • Fire Safety: @Alexxx

  • Water: @daniel dansta

  • Legal & Safety: @Franzi First aid needs to be professional, might be a blocker for going over 1000 people

  • Site planning: @Hanna-Maija

  • Toilets: @Remy Schneider and @Andy

  • Dream platform: @Henrik 🤖

  • Dream guidance: @Saskia (The Fuzzy Facilitator)

  • Power: @Sven Dudink

I will actively reach out to the people tagged if they do not see this post.


Often the argument against growth is that we do not want our culture to be diluted by more people joining.

  • during-event: given the low (25%) percentage of non-virgins joining Kiez Burn, this is a rather mute point

  • Pre-event planning:

    • there seems to be a need to align better between all on how we talk, reach decisions and execute. The question is if we are ready for more co-creators to join this process.

    • Could we address this concern to facilitate growth?


After input has been given by all the experts & people affected, a decision will be made. No timeline has been set for this yet.


Franzi Thu 30 Jan 2020 9:40PM

I agree with CJ. If we stay I feel strongly that we have capacity and the community to grow . I mean our decom was bigger than our burn <3

But if we move sites I am strongly against growing. Moving sites last time was so so much work that there is little capacity for other things.


Jeff Spirlock Sat 29 Feb 2020 11:31AM

Was there a sign-up sheet for unfilled volunteer roles at the gate last year? If so, was each person entering asked if they were already volunteering? If they were not volunteering already then reminded that this event is made possible by volunteers?


walto Sat 29 Feb 2020 3:32PM

Tickets sold does not necessarily equate how many people are on-site at any given moment. If I remember correctly, we had about 80% usually that actually show up, but I might be wrong. @Jan Thomas or @Otto did you have any insight on that?

And at the moment, I cannot tell you what the decision would be, since I am waiting for the pause on decisions to be lifted (estimated to be next Saturday).


walto Tue 3 Mar 2020 5:26PM

thank you for your input!


walto Wed 5 Feb 2020 9:36AM

so that then also implies a higher cost per person attending given the additional cost in fire department and first aid. Gotcha, thanks


Purzel Sat 29 Feb 2020 2:11PM

I started to contact companies regarding first aid and security, so far I was under the assumption that I work with numbers around a thousands.

If we have a decision already about it, we should contact everyone it will involve.

Can I still work with 1000 people on site or should I upscale for my negotiations?


Jan Thomas Mon 2 Mar 2020 8:07PM

@waldo the no-show-rate has been around 7-8% last year, which was a bit lower than 2018 where we had 10% buying a ticket and not showing up.

having just discussed with Freiland what the impact on their growth has been in regards to restrictions from the Ordnungsamt, it seems that once crossing the 1000 people mark means we'd definitely need to use a professional 1st aid service i.e. permanently have an ambulance and 2 or 3 professional 1st aid people on site.


Purzel Tue 3 Mar 2020 7:37AM

I already have aapproval from the board to negotiate with professional first aid services, I contacted them and waiting for a response.


Franzi Tue 3 Mar 2020 8:46AM

I think we need to apply our values here and find the sweetspot that allows for radical inclusion.


walto Sat 29 Feb 2020 3:33PM

census: but we do not have participation figures specific to free campers.


Purzel Wed 4 Mar 2020 1:40PM

I believe that the companies can handle us no matter if we talk 1000 or 1200 people on Site, it might show in an increased end price.

I´m in close contact with Alex regarding the budget and Jan regarding the negotiations with the Amt, the end number that I will use in in my negotiations with the local fd/First Aid and security will likely be the one that we file with the Amt.


walto Tue 3 Mar 2020 5:27PM

@Purzel thank you so much for that! Do you feel we should set this agreement with a professional first aid service as a blocker towards deciding if we go above 1000 people or not? Or do you feel confident we will find a partner to fulfill these duties on site for us?


walto Thu 12 Mar 2020 1:25PM

Advice process closed and thread updated on top.


Franzi Sun 8 Mar 2020 7:11PM


We are hitting play again on the advice process

We had our "How we work together" meeting on Saturday March 6th and agreed on an iterated version for the advice process. Everyone currently affected by the pause please read through the iterated process and continue with the updated version of the advice process. All the details you find over here.


Franzi Tue 3 Mar 2020 8:46AM

I wanna give input for my marked area: Legal & Safety

Legal: we will need to renegotiate the contract with Freiland, making sure it reflects our growing plans. I am sure @Jan Thomas as site liaison is on it.

Safety/ Insurance: From an insurance perspective (event liability insurance which is mandatory to get green light) that's fine. It will just be more expensive but not significantly.

Safety/ Security: That will be dictated by the requirements from the Amt (they tell us exactly how much external security we need onsite at any point in time) and then usually security has an opinion on how much they wanna be (requirements eg could be 3 people but they might not do it unless they are 4 people). Essentially not a problem, will just be more expensive. I am sure @Alexxx as the finance lead has it on his radar.

Safety on site: this will not change. That's essentially parameters, signs, light structure were its needed and safety requirements to be communicated with the Kieze.


Veroca R. Sala Sat 29 Feb 2020 11:01AM

From the Volunteers Coordination perspective: it doesnt seem to be much more work if we grew up to 20%.

  • We had a numerous 30% free campers: If someone has got precise data about participation likeliness on free campers would be great. (I couldnt find the census)

  • 79% of the participants were at Kiez burn before: which means some degree of commitment to the event and participation.

From volunteers recruiting perspective: growing it would also mean more people available to be recruited and perhaps more participation (hopefully) onsite .

Nevertheless I wouldn't expect more volunteers participation pre event, but projecting a positive participation boost ( that we will need) for the upcoming year; by then do-ocracy and AP will be settled. 💪

My opinion is to grow a 20%


Jeff Spirlock Sat 29 Feb 2020 9:20AM

I would prefer an increase in ticket price to increase the art budget vs bringing more people.


walto Wed 26 Feb 2020 11:18PM

Currently, it seems the decision to be reached is to grow with 20%. I am waiting with taking the decision until the pause has been lifted on decisions. Please give input & feedback if you have anything to add. I would particularly love input from the event coordination team. Tnx!


Mareike Mon 10 Feb 2020 5:35PM

From gate/greeting/parking point of view i agree with @CJ Yetman that growing in Freiland would be manageable (with improvements) but on a new Gelände I think we (if Monkeycamp does gate again) would need to put way more effort into basic orga first. I personally feel that figuring out a new location (and getting used to do-ocracy) is already a big deal, lets do this first (if this will be the outcome of the location decision) and then do the growing one year later.


Henrik 🤖 Sat 8 Feb 2020 1:32AM

Concerning the online tools (namely the Dreams platform) growing isn't a problem at all. We would probably run into difficulties when 10000 people are voting on dreams at the same time.

On a personal note I agree with what's been said and also prefer to grow slowly, if at all. I believe it's more important that we strengthen the community ties before expanding.


Cris Sat 1 Feb 2020 10:44PM

From the point of view of my experience with the Rangers I would add:

  • I see the possibility of KB growing up to 20% without significant changes in the amount of work it may cause in the organization of this area;

  • I would expect, nevertheless, an slight increase in the number of incidents during the event, which at the end, goes back to other areas (Site Lead, First Aid, Gate, Welfare..)

  • The incident rise is directly related to the culture-dilution and the "Verantwortungsdiffusion"; which advices a very slow growth.

So, zusammengefasst, we could grow, yes, but we shall better do it fucking slowly!

My personal suggestion would be to figure out first how can experienced burners rock it with the do-ocracy, before we overload the playa with what-does-moop-mean-people?

Cool exercise!


walto Sat 1 Feb 2020 6:20PM

Thank you for your input. I will update the thread to reflect this input. Also thanks for pointing out the wrong date. I will correct this in the thread.


Saskia Fri 31 Jan 2020 11:54AM

From a dream guidance perspective I do not see any issue with raising the numbver of attendees.
In general, one can expect for the relative number of people getting active at the dreams plattform to drop with rising absolute numbers. If you want me to pull out empirical research for this claim, let me know. But in generaL: The bigger the group, the less active & self-initiated participation of the individual. It's called social loathing or 'Verantwortungsdiffusion'.

On a personal level, I am more than happy to have the event stay at 1000 this year. We had massive growth over the past 2 years and I would like for some processes to firm up a bit before we grow to 1XXX humans.


Jan Thomas Fri 31 Jan 2020 8:01AM

@waldo I think you got the date wrong, or was that intentional? I thought we have settled for 17-21 June!

@Franzi Regarding permit this will very much depend on the location. At Freiland we know that with a growing number of people they will keep raising the requirements and thus our cost will go up, mostly for:

  • Additional security

  • A fully professional first aid

  • Permanent presence of the fire department

  • More toilets

If we end up going to Muckwar I'm sure a similar direction would apply, but it's a different federal state and a different Amt with no real event experience so the details will likely look different.

Regarding the Population Growth question itself - while we might be able to grow, I'm not sure it's desirable. My personal view would be to aim for 1000 people again and see how we get on with that, and whether/how the event can get better with the contributions of these 1000 people. Especially if we change site, but also if we stay at Freiland in a quiet fashion (which might also attract less people, rather than more). And then think about growth again in 2021.


Purzel Fri 31 Jan 2020 7:18AM

I'd like to answer the question concerning first aid, given that I spent a fair amount being on duty there, @Remy Schneider was lead but also loaded with many other responsibilities. (Remy of course can overrule or add)

I dont see a problem in expanding in this particular field, although it's difficult to make an estimate given the nature of the duty. I experienced the first aid duty overall rather relaxed.

With emergency services such as this the situation can quickly escalate, for example through food poisoning of a camp or MANV but overall I experienced our community as acting responsible and caring. 😊


Franzi Thu 30 Jan 2020 9:38PM

I am curious to hear from @Jan Thomas (Site Liaison ) more about the impact on getting the permission for the event. The event permission is tied to number of participants and requirements change by brackets quite significantly. Which I would like to understand what they look like to then see if we are ready to deal with them.


CJ Yetman Thu 30 Jan 2020 8:00PM

The other assumption here is that we can grow, which is dependent on the details of the venue for the event. My personal gut feeling on this is: if we move to a new venue this year, I think it's probably a bad idea since we'll have so much else to figure out... why rock the boat even more?

I will need more time to respond to this from the Site Lead perspective.