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Spending the Solar Eclipse at a Regional Burn

What is a Regional Burn

Regional burns are local events organized by burners around the world to help connect with each other. Along with being the only way to burn for people who can't make it to Nevada, regional burns help to bring Burning Man principles, art, and culture into their local communities through events and activities year-round. Texas alone has eleven regional burns, including Alma Burn, Flipside, and Myschevia.

Regional burns often follow their own version of the ten principles or add their own values on top of them. Most are similar to Burning Man's, encouraging Leave No Trace, de-commodification, and radical self-reliance. Rules and recommendations for participation differ based on the time of year, property, and organization hosting the event. For example, nudity may not be allowed if the venue is very public, or car camping may be discouraged on a venue with a small amount of space.

Burning man's regional network is a great way to find regional contacts, burns near you, and a calendar for events.

Inside Alma Burn

Alma Burn is a regional burn based in San Antonio, Texas. Like many, it is based on the community and principles of Burning Man and the Burning Man Regional Network with the inclusion of values that are important to the organization. In the case of Alma Burn, this is enthusiastic consent, expressed gratitude, and earned respect.

Burns are run by an organization team. There are many moving pieces involved in the organization of a burn, including securing the land, organizing the event and ticket sales, informing attendees, prepping the land, cleaning up, and more. I helped secure a piece of land that was in the path of totality, and it was great to get an insider look on how this worked.

Volunteering before, during and afterward helps enhance your regional burn and make things run more smoothly. Especially for events with small crews, everyone's help makes a difference. Burners can volunteer to help with community mediation, safety services, greeters, parking, leave no trace, and more. Along with joining a camp, volunteering at a local burn is a great way to feel a sense of community and make friends!

Learn more about Alma Burn:

The Beauty of a Small Burn

While lazing in the sun together, a fellow burner and I had an intellectual conversation about a book she'd been reading. It referenced Dunbar's number, the theory that people can only handle about 150 relationships. While this has since been widely disputed as limiting and lacking support, especially for such a nuanced topic as human relationships, it got us thinking about why we enjoyed regional burns so much.

While I love Burning Man, the strongest relationships many people build are with their camp members, partners, and friends. Due to the sheer size of the event, there are many times when you will meet an amazing person and have a life-changing conversation, then never see them again. While this in itself is magical, it felt refreshing to get to know people more intimately.

Throughout Alma Burn, which was capped at 100 tickets due to the capacity of the land, I started to remember faces and names, had more deep conversations, and shared meals. It felt familiar and safe to pass by a camp and know who was staying there, or to be invited to play a game with people who weren't all complete strangers.

Experiencing the Solar Eclipse

Alma Burn 2024 took place on a property full of rocky hills and desert forest, not ideal for camping but with beautiful views of the surrounding Texas countryside. As the eclipse grew closer and the day grew darker, we gathered at the highest point in the land to enjoy it together. The normally bright and hot strip of land had grown cool and dark, and there was a palpable excitement in the air.

Being directly in the path of totality, we could see the entire solar eclipse, where the moon passed between the sun and the earth and completely obscured the sun. I was fascinated by the few moments before and after, where the moon looked like a dark circle surrounded by a ring of fire. It was awe-inspiring, and we celebrated with howls, horns, drums, and general goodwill.

Natural events like eclipses can serve to remind us that we are just a small part of something bigger than ourselves. To many, the energy of an eclipse is about completion, clearing, and letting go. Throughout the burn I had a few heavy conversations with people about things going on in their lives that they wanted to let go of or change, and gave a lot of thought to the direction of my own life.

Get Naked and Hope for the Best

Regional burns are a great way to enjoy burner culture. Burners gather locally to enjoy art, music, games, and nature. At Alma Burn, people got married, did karaoke, shared smores, told fortunes, and spun fire. We practiced self-sufficiency in a harsh environment, decommodification, and introspection. While there's no guarantee that every event will be so much fun, sometimes the best thing you can do is get naked and hope for the best.



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Hi, I'm Koi!

I'm an environmental project manager who decided to make a change from office life to to outdoor projects and small business ownership.

My goal is to help promote forward movement in outdoor spaces and live events towards full accessibility and diversity by giving everyone the inspiration and tools to create their own adventure.

I love self expression, hiking, music festivals, and Burning Man, and want to show that celebrating diversity in the outdoors makes it better for everyone.

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