What is Midburn?
Midburn is the name for an association, a community, an event, and a city that is resurrected in the desert every year.
For one week every year (excluding periods of plague and zombie apocalypse), the Midburn community unites to build this temporary city.
The city reflects a culture and a community that is active throughout the year. In fact, everyone can be part of the temporary city and the community, and there are no prerequisites. No one is a stranger and everybody is invited to take part in building it – Radical Inclusion is one of our Ten Guiding Principles.
The city is established under the perception that ‘what you bring, is what will be’.
Midburn has no visitors or spectators – everyone is a participant. The city is erected as a joint effort by its dwellers, volunteering community members, and through the bonds formed between them.
Midburn is founded upon the Ten Principles, written by Burning Man founder Larry Harvey in 2004, to reflect the culture and spirit of the community since the first event in the 1980’s.
The city takes the shape of a circle. Along the perimeter, streets and squares mark the location of Theme Camps and other public and hosting spaces. These can include, for example; cafés, barbershops, workshops and lecture halls, radio stations, mail service, circus, library, restaurants, bars, and any other place fantasized and conceived by the city residents.
At the center of the city, the core, lays the Playa, where two central installations are situated – the “Man and Woman” (AKA ‘The Effigy’), and “The Space” (AKA ‘The Temple’). These two installations are burnt to the ground through two central ceremonies taking place on the last two days of the city’s existence.
The community’s artists fill the city with multiple creations, making it a colossal art gallery. These installations are created by groups of artists working for months to manifest their exciting visions and dreams.
Other voluntary services operated by participants throughout the event are the Medical Clinic, Center Camp (‘living room’), Nomads, Safe zone, Gate, Greeters, and more.
Based on the principle of decommodification, no money is used at Midburn, and everything that occurs within it, is served as a gift to its residents by its residents.
The city is an official event of the Burning Man Regional Network. Burning Man is the central event of the community, taking place each year in Black Rock City, Nevada.
Midburn is established for just a brief moment, and disappears completely after a week, but the spirit continues to resonate through its residents, many continue to realise and attempt to live according to the Ten Principles and a “Burner” lifestyle long after the event.
The Midburn community lives beyond the event, and continues to organise other gatherings, events and groups in the same spirit.
Taking part in Midburn entails personal involvement, which promises enjoyment and belonging.
You are invited to take part in establishing and creating Midburn city and in a possible internal change.
The Midburn community was established in September 2011, when a group of burners returned home from that year’s Burning Man event, and were eager to establish, in the spirit of the event, a similar community in Israel, cultivating the Ten Principles.
They often met to discuss the creation of a community following the Burning Man way of life. They began to organise local events, attracting increasingly larger crowds, which naturally led them to consider a grand local event.
The first major community event, the ‘Mama Burn’, took place in April 2012, at Bonim Beach and attracted some 600 participants. Legend has it that the event was originally dedicated to the mother of one of the participants, who eagerly wanted to, but could not attend Black Rock City.
The first organised (yet unofficial) community event was the Octoburn, taking place in October 2012, also at Bonim Beach. It incorporated Theme Camps and other municipal logistics. Approximately 1600 people took part in the event.
In 2013 the Israel community was officially recognised by the Burning Man Regional Network, with the official name ‘Midburn’. In that same year, the community was invited to erect an art installation at the Burning Man event in Nevada. Through the joint effort of dozens of volunteers, ‘The Hand of Inspiration’ was built and became the first community project overseas, attracting much attention.
In 2014 the first Midburn event took place and was attended by 3000 participants. The event was widely covered by the media and even resonated within the international burner community. It has even been described as the ‘next best thing’ to Burning Man.
Through the years, the community grew and evolved, and by 2018, Midburn drew some 12,000 participants to the main yearly event. Accompanying the growth of the community came the rise of ongoing discussions, concerning what defines the community and its members, alao regarding plans for the future.
These discussions, which included endless surveys and meetings, reflected the love and passion characterising the Midburn community.
These community efforts also induced the creation of wonderful new endeavors such as MITA (support for sexual assault victims), the Generator (a project to support social activity in local communities), volunteering activities, and many more, strengthening the web of community support and encouraging inclusion and self-expression. Within this web, families and friendships are formed, along with Theme Camps, events, art, and other wonderful gatherings, peaking in the main Midburn event, where our city rises from the dust and then disappears, leaving no trace.