Theme Camps

Adrenaland brought many different flavours & activities to Anji in 2017
Adrenaland brought many different flavours & activities to Anji in 2017

This year’s Dragon Burn will be the second time we have THEME CAMPS! Yes, just like Burning Man various camps will be bringing their own individual themes. There are already more than 7 confirmed camps for the Burn, and if you want to start your own there could be even more!

If you want to participate in or start a theme camp then email our Theme Camp Coordinators!

Theme Camps Confirmed for 2018

Theme Camps from Past Years

That’s Not All Folks!

If you want to get involved with any of the theme camps, then email us  or even start your own! Not sure how to start your own? Presenting Dragon Burn’s:

Theme Camp Quick Start Guide

So you want to start a theme camp for the next Dragon Burn? Here’s a quick guide to help you get started….

Tiny Camp was the smallest theme camp at Dragon Burn
Tiny Camp was the smallest theme camp at Dragon Burn

First of all, what kind of theme camp are you going be and what will your gift to the participants of Dragon Burn be?  How will your theme camp promote interaction with the Burn beyond just gifting and entertainment? How are you going to fund all of this (remember there are no direct grants for theme camps and no money exchanged at the event)

What resources are provided by Dragon Burn?

Camp Jamboree – don’t need no electricity! Got a match?
Camp Jamboree – don’t need no electricity! Got a match?

Electricity? Hot water? Wi-Fi? Genial Bellhop and VIP concierge service? The answer is don’t expect any of these, the site changes every year and as the event has grown we expect to guarantee less of these comforts – if any.  So get ready to pitch in and enact the first principle: Radical Self-Reliance!

Provisions change year to year so come to a planning meeting or ask a friendly planner for a site update.

Some advice for getting started

James Brown & The Temple of Boom needed a huge team to make the dream of bands at the burn happen.
James Brown & The Temple of Boom needed a huge team to make the dream of bands at the Burn happen.

Gather a core group of people that you can rely on to give up any sort of normal life for a week or so either side of the Burn.  Look for dedicated people with a passion for what you are trying to do, there are always more initial volunteers than actual helpers once the party is in full swing. Be realistic about assigning duties and try and avoid doing it all yourself.  Dragon Burn is a community event, never shy away from asking for help outside of your theme camp.

When the yurt nearly collapsed on itself during setup the help of other theme camps and participants saved the day!
When the yurt nearly collapsed on itself during setup the help of other theme camps and participants saved the day!

Start planning as soon as possible, prioritize the needs of your camp bearing in mind what the core goals are. You’re sure to have some amazing ideas and concepts at your theme camp planning meetings but how many of these will you have the time, energy and financial resources to manifest?

Build your teams and camp membership as soon as possible; use Dragon Burn events, mail-outs and group chats to appeal for teammates, camp helpers and resources.   Chances are if you need something or someone the community will provide these solutions, Burners by definition are a very helpful bunch people.

Funding and Finance

Flying Baozi gettin’ Jiggly with it
Flying Baozi gettin’ Jiggly with it

If you’re doing a sound stage you’ll need to bring your own sound system likewise if you’re doing a kitchen-based camp you will have to bring all of your own kitchen equipment. So everything you do has to be self-funded which means no sponsorship or commerce at the Burn.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t fundraise by selling goods or services before the Burn at events or fundraisers though. It’s up to you, be creative and use your fundraising exploits as a chance to have fun and meet potential team members and contributors.

Some tried and trusted examples of previous DB theme camp fundraising; throwing a party, selling food, raffles, Jell-O shots and pyramid schemes (joking)

Members from all theme camps pitching in for unloading duties Dragon Burn 2017
Members from all theme camps pitching in for unloading duties Dragon Burn 2017

Maybe you have a really busy schedule and just don’t have time to fundraise:  in this instance charging camp fees for people to join your theme camp are probably the way to go.  Be straightforward and realistic about what these fees got to: Meals? Structures? Anything else?  Maybe it’s a mixture of all of these. Pick something that works for your theme camp and camp mates.

Logistics and Builds

A very wobbly looking yurt build for Temple of Boom which an hour before this photo looked like it was heading to the scrap heap!
A very wobbly looking yurt build for Temple of Boom which an hour before this photo looked like it was heading to the scrap heap!

If you’re building structures there are a number of things you need to take into consideration:

  • Do you need to practice building it before hand?
  • How are you going to transport it?
  • If you don’t burn it at the event do you have a space to store it when you return from the Burn?

All of these things should ideally be thought out beforehand and the associated costs calculated. Remember this is a leave no trace event, you will have to pack everything out that you brought to site so make sure you have the personnel, tools and energy to do so.

Essential Members and Structure

Tony Soprano making some great pasta at Rollerdisco camp kitchen.
Tony Soprano making some great pasta at Rollerdisco camp kitchen.

This is the typical crew you’ll need for a successful theme camp:

  • Themecamp leader(s) – To liaise with Dragon Burn on all matters, communicate within the camp and ensure smooth running and coherence to the 10 principles
  • Build Team –  Responsible for getting all your gear to the Dragon Burn Truck ready for transport to the site.  Also responsible for building your camp, stage, structures and probably other Themecamps too 😉
  • Pack down team – Responsible for packing down your camp into the Dragon Burn Truck and for moving all of your camp equipment upon return to Shanghai to your home or storage facility
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Team – Responsible for cleaning up your placement area throughout the duration of the Burn (through daily sweeps) and at the end of packdown.
  • Kitchen team –  Responsible for procurement of food beforehand, keeping your food from going bad and then providing meals for campmates and/or participants during the Burn.  We recommend that this is centrally planned and budgeted through camp fees.  If each camp member brings their own food to share communally there is a big potential for food waste.  Also be sure to ask your campmates about any special dietry requirements.

Not pictured but worth mentioning Adrenaland kept a world class cheese board going for the full 4 days of the Burn….eDAM!!

What are the requirements for theme camps?

The First Lady of Funk at the Temple of Boom kitchen cooking up a vegan storm.
The First Lady of Funk at the Temple of Boom kitchen cooking up a vegan storm.

The only requirement is to submit your theme camp “brief” – a description of your camp, including required space, power requirements, details of sound setup if you’re a sound stage, LNT plan and details of at least one activity (workshop, performance, food sharing or other) per day that your theme camp will provide to the community.  This should be submitted 30 days before the Burn to be included on the site map and list of official theme camps.

Send an email to [email protected] or come to one of our public meetings and grab a planner who can guide you through the procedure.

That’s it, you’re ready to take on your first theme camp! Good luck and see you at the Burn 😀