Survival Guide: Constellation 2017
(aka: Hitchhiker’s Survival Guide)
What is Constellation? Constellation is a new regional Burning Man Event to be heldSeptember 28 – October 2, 2017 at Pegasus Campground in Elkins West Virginia.
Constellation is an experiment in collaborative community featuring art and music created by those who join us to participate. Attendees are known as participants. There are no spectators at Constellation Burn; everyone collaborates in some way to create the event.
Inspired by the Burning Man festival, it is a place for radical self-expression and an experiment in temporary community building. It is a place of acceptance, inclusivity, and respect. It is organized entirely by volunteers. Art and entertainment are created solely by participants. There are no concession stands. No cash transactions (except ice sales) are permitted at Constellation. Bartering is discouraged.
This is a sincere experiment in creating a gift economy. If you need something, ask for it. If you have it, gift it! Constellation is a blank canvas; expect nothing…bring everything. And then bring it home with you. There are no garbage cans on site, and Constellation is a Leave No Trace event.
Constellation believes its participants want to be good citizens. Getting to Constellation can be a lot of hard work. We think people genuinely care about the community they work so hard to contribute to. This document contains information participants need to sustain this sincere experiment. We encourage all participants, newbie to gnarled, to look over the information shared below and be reminded that this experiment in collaborative community is not complete anarchy. Generally, if something is not covered in the this Guide, and it is legal in the larger world, it is allowed at the event.
Community Process — how the Hitchhiker’s Guide evolves
These policies have been created by members of the Event Production Team and the Board of Directors, all of whom are volunteers. Once something becomes an official event policy/procedure/rule via the BOD or Event Team, it goes into this Guide, which is compiled by humble scribes.
Pegasus Farm Campground
480 Arnold Hill Road
Elkins, West Virginia 26241
From the directions page of the Pegasus Farm website: http://pegasusfarmcampground.com/wp/directions
From the North and West:
Go through town and stay on the main road. You will pass the courthouse. At the South end of Elkins the “Beverly 5-lane” begins. (Rt 250 South). There will be a McDonalds on your right at the intersection.Go a couple of miles south on the “5-lane”, go through a red light and pass Wal-Mart on your left. At the next redlight, look for a universal State Camping sign. You will be turning right towards the Airport. The road winds around about .7 of a mile. You will see the Airport runway on your right. The next road to the right is the Airport entrance. Go to the next right. You are now on Arnold Hill Road. Go 1/2 mile and look for the sign on the right. (hint: the first house you see on the left is where you turn right on a gravel road)
From the East
Take I-66 West to I-81. Take I-81 South exit 1A towards Roanoke and Strasburgh. You will only go a few miles when you come to Strasburg. Look for the 2nd Strasburg Exit. Keep a lookout for Rt 55. Take 55W all the way to Elkins and wind your way towards the High Land Jam.
Coming into Elkins, you will turn left at the first traffic light you come to. You will turn left on the “Beverly 5-lane”. (Rt 250 South). Go a couple of miles south on the “5-lane”, go through a red light and pass Wal-Mart on your left. At the next redlight, look for a universal State Camping sign. You will be turning right towards the Airport. The road winds around about .7 of a mile. You will see the Airport runway on your right. The next road to the right is the Airport entrance. Go to the next right. You are now on Arnold Hill Road. Go 1/2 mile and look for the sign on the right. (hint: the first house you see on the left is where you turn right on a gravel road)
From the South
Go through the town of Beverly and then the “Beverly 5-lane” begins. (Rt 250 North). You will travel about five miles. At the first redlight you come to, turn left BEFORE THE LIGHT. Look for a universal State Camping sign. You will be turning left towards the Airport. The road winds around about .7 of a mile. You will see the Airport runway on your right. The next road to the right is the Airport entrance. Go to the next right. You are now on Arnold Hill Road. Go 1/2 mile and look for the sign on the right. (hint: the first house you see on the left is where you turn right on a gravel road)
Nearby Hospitals and Urgent Care Centers
Davis Memorial Hospital (Emergency)
Gorman Avenue And Reed Street
Elkins, WV 26241
Approximately 5 miles away from the campgrounds.
Open 24 hours.
Elkins Express Care (Urgent Care)
1513 Harrison Ave.
Elkins, WV 26241
(9:00am – 9:00pm daily)
MedExpress / Urgent Care Center
613 Randolph Ave.
Elkins, WV 26241
(8:00am – 8:00pm daily)
Direct Care of Elkins (Urgent Care)
720 Beverly Pike
Elkins, WV 26241
(8:00am – 8:00pm M-F, Sat 9:00am – 1:00pm, Sun 12:00pm – 04:00pm)
PLANNING, PARTICIPATION, AND ORGANIZATION
There is a vast hive of activity behind the super-slick, seamless production that is Constellation. We would LOVE to have your help! Here’s the skinny on the world behind the curtain.
Leadership: If you are interested in a coordinator or leadership position, we want to hear from you and invite you to complete this form. If you are interested in shadowing a Sphere Lead or a Coordinator at this year’s event, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com. We’d be thrilled to chat with you about what’s involved and connect you with the right team.
This event is 100% run by volunteers. There are no comp tickets. The volunteer opportunities are varied – some (but not all) are listed here. We invite you to stop by HQ and see how you can help! To learn more about Constellation’s Reserve Ticket Policy, go here.
- Greeters – Greeting is not only one of the most important roles but one of the most fun! Greeting is all about helping new arrivals make the transition from the hassles of their work week and the long drive into that fabulous magical world that brings us together. There’s plenty of information to give out, but the most important parts of the role are funkadelic fun acculturation, vibe induction, and consensual hugs! If you think your groove is contagious, we’ll need a reception crew 24/7 all the way until the Burn on Saturday night. Consider enlisting your campmates to work the same shift as you do – team greeting is a blast, especially for those late night and early morning shifts!
- Gate / Perimeter – The first stars of Constellation are the Gate team. This 24/7 crew are the ones who will welcome you into the event, make sure your IDs match your tickets, handle waivers, and generally serve as a line between the default world and the magical world of our temporary city. A strong team of Gate volunteers will help keep the line of cars along Constellation’s single-lane road moving smoothing and expediently. The Gate team will spend their shifts in shade, along the tree-lined road up by the cosy home of our hosts. Volunteer to be the first to welcome your friends into Constellation!
- Parking – After your fellow participants have passed through Gate, been hugged by Greeters, and unloaded their vehicles at camp, they’ll be coming your way to find a place to park their human transport machine. You’ll be in touch with the Gate crew to help keep the flow of traffic moving and your participants safe. Parking volunteers have been known to get lots of hugs, beer, and pizza.
- CATS HQ Volunteers (Kittens) – Meow! Join CATS – The Constellation Art and Theme camp Support team! We have lots of space at this new site but it is uniquely groomed. While we have a tentative city plan, we want to make sure we make the most efficient use of space and a comfortable city for all. Kittens will help arriving theme camps and artists find their spots or help them find an alternative good place to set up and help with any questions. We’ll need a crew of patient people with good spatial and communication skills beginning Thursday morning and continuing through artist checkout on Sunday. Want to help build and maintain the cultural vibe of the city? CATS is for you!
- Participation and Volunteer Engagement – Love to recruit and support volunteers? Great! This awesome team of positive, enthusiastic, and dependable volunteer rockstars will be responsible for holding down the fort at HQ, providing on-going support to our volunteers in the field, and facilitating shift changes between departments. You’re a go-to, super-fab source of all things useful who can point your fellow burners in the right direction. And if someone shows up and wants to help but doesn’t quite know how? You’ll have ideas and ways to get them involved right away!
- Rangers – Rangers at Constellation are members of the community who volunteer a portion of their time in service of the safety and well-being of the Constellation community. As the Black Rock Rangers put it, “Rangers act as non-confrontational community mediators, providers of reliable information, facilitators of public safety (with the expectation that everybody read the back of their ticket, of course!), and navigators of the edge of chaos. Day or night, pairs of Rangers can be found engaging with the community, enjoying the art, and always ready to help sort things out.” Ranger Training will be held onsite from 2-5pm EST on Friday, September 29th. Come to HQ to register. We may also conduct a second on-site training should demand dictate.
- First Aid – If the idea of volunteering with other community-focused, fun-loving, patient, calm, and knowledgeable first aid professionals sounds good to you, please volunteer! First Aid at Constellation is not a professional medical team, but rather an amazing team of first aid volunteers who want to share their skills. EMT certification or higher medical qualifications are not required, though we ask that you have some basic first aid certification. Please contact firesafety@constellationburn.
org if you have questions about how best to participate.
- Sanctuary – Burns can be overwhelming to all of us sometimes, and the incredibly calm, welcoming, and compassionate volunteers of Sanctuary are there to help. Sanctuary volunteers excel at listening, holding space, and helping their fellow participants ease into the next phase of their experience.
- Fire Safety and Fire Team – It’s a burn! There’s fire! We want to work with volunteers who have informal or formal knowledge of fire safety and fire art who can help inspect fire flame effects and assist in the safety of all participants. Volunteers with Firefighting knowledge and experience who help the Fire team in response to any potential incidents and assist on burn night. Please contact firesafety@constellationburn.
org if you have questions about how best to participate.
- Fire Perimeter – Fire Perimeter volunteers choose to watch participants’ reactions to the art burn instead of the burn itself. These invaluable volunteers help maintain a perimeter around the fire conclave and the burn itself, helping to keep their fellow burners away from the fire until it the fire team has declared an all-clear and participants are welcomed to break perimeter to dance.
- LampLighters – City lights help to tie the city together, weaving paths through camps and guiding explorers into new and exciting adventures. Information for LampLighters will be located at HQ. The team will gather each day around sunset and prepare to battle the darkness with light.
WEATHER AND CONDITIONS
US climate data shows temperature ranges for the end of September to have overnight lows down to 45F, highs up to 70F. Be Prepared for Weather Extremes. Our event is held rain or shine.
Really Radical Self-Reliance
Constellation is an exercise in radical self-reliance. Bring everything you are going to need, including food, water, shelter, basic medications, and hygiene products. Gifts are a wonderful expression of community, but you must take responsibility for your own survival and well-being. Do not show up expecting the community to take care of you. We have dedicated volunteers at first aid,, but they are an emergency resource only. Do not rely on them for basic OTC medications.
What to Bring Necessities:
- Bedding and shelter of some type (a good camp tent is recommended, along with sleeping bags/bedding)
- Three gallons of water per person per day (for drinking, dishwashing, food prep., etc.). Keep a bottle of water with you at all times
- Enough food and beverages for your entire party for the length of your stay
- All required prescriptions, contact lens supplies, toiletries, etc.
- First aid kit
- Warm clothes – it may be cool during the day and gets cold at night. Fabulous coats are a popular burner fashion.
- Single-ply toilet paper (the port-a-potties only get serviced, but still may run out)
- Garbage bags (more than enough for all of your garbage—it’s good to bring extra for MOOP that accumulates during the event)
- Can or bottle opener if bringing cans or bottles that need opening
- Portable ashtrays if you are a smoker (Decorated mint tins work great)
- Flashlights (headlamps are very useful)
- Extra batteries for everything
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Sturdy closed-toe footwear
- A cup for beverages, many camps have drinks to share, but you must bring your own cup
- Common sense, an open mind, and a positive attitude
- Anything else you can’t live without
- Shade structures, umbrellas, rain gear – things to keep you dry in event of the rain
- Rebar to keep the above structures firmly rooted to mother earth
- Ice chest(s) to store your perishable foods and beverages
- A cooking stove
- Earplugs, not everyone will sleep when you do
- Eye shade eye pillow, see above
- Watertight protective bags, like heavy Ziplocs, for cameras, electronic gear, etc.
- Blinky lights, toys, magical fabulousness, handmade, and heartfelt and swell stuff to share; anything you think would make things more fun for you and your fellow PDFians.
- Pre-moistened towelettes, aka baby wipes, handy wipes
- Rope, string, duct tape, zip ties
- Fuel for stoves, generators, mutant vehicles, etc.
- Rain hat, rain gear
- Sun hat
- Seating, because you can’t dance forever
- Simple tool kit and a sewing kit
- Abundant amounts of whatever makes your life better: beer, bacon, chocolate, coffee, lift, etc.
- Open mind, and good attitude and common sense
The point of preparing and understanding how Constellation works is to help you relax into the experience and enjoy the playground of ideas and community that make the whole thing worth the effort! The Hitchhiker’s Survival Guide is here to provide clarity and a framework for our grand experiment. Like the constitution, it is a living document. If something is unclear, missing, or you have other questions, feel free to let us know!
Constellation – The Event
The Effigy – A featured art piece that is considered the center of the event. It is burned with ceremony and celebration on Saturday Night.
MOOP - matter out of place, anything that is not indigenous the natural environment you are in, for example: litter, cigarette butts, glitter.
LNT = Leave No Trace.
Rangers - helpful people who rove about in khaki with radios. They are neither cops, your mom, nor required to wear utilikilts.
Coordinator - A super-volunteer who doesn’t just work a shift, they run an entire department like DPW, PARKING, THEME CAMPS, or GATE.
Burn - slang for a Burning Man-inspired event like ours. Burns are not music festivals. A burn puts structure and framework in place, and the participants bring music, art, themselves – whatever it is to make the experience awesome. A few differences being: at burns there are no spectators, burns follow The 10 Principles, and it is clean! No one is dancing ankle deep in a pile of beer bottles and cups (unless, of course, that’s your thing, then bring it – just clean up after yourself when you’re done.). Example usage: “Have a nice burn.”
10 Principles - Burning Man’s version of the 10 Commandments, wherein you are permitted to covet your neighbor’s wife but not to litter or participate in cash activities like vending. And so very much more. See 10 Principles in COMMUNITY STANDARDS or here.
Volunteer Central - AKA “Participation Station”. It has volunteer schedules and sign-ups, lost and found, ranger HQ and radios, copies of the WWW Guide, and a few shady seats. Good place to go with a question, or to find an open volunteer shift. Because you do want to volunteer, don’t you?
Gate - The Gate is the portal through which you enter the event. Gate turns tickets and valid IDs into official wristbands during specific hours posted elsewhere. Always show your wristband to the nice people working the gate when you enter, leave, or bring them a cold beverage/tasty snack.
BOD - Board of Directors. A dozen or so unpaid volunteers in search of a hot tub in which to sit and think. They also handle all the boring legal parts of the event like taxes, insurance, liability, and adhering to our mission.
Comp Tickets – There are no comp tickets at Constellation. Not even for volunteers, artists, DJs, or the Board of Directors.
Reserve Tickets – These are used to ensure that people essential to the smooth operation of the event. Art Grant recipients also receive reserve tickets, and can also be requested by registered theme camps. Everyone approved for a reserve ticket must still pay for it. Learn more about the Reserve ticket policy for Constellation here.
Playa – A burner term for the event ground. Example usage: “I’m bringing my best fabulous to the Playa this Fall!”
Playa del Fuego, Inc – This is the official name of the organization that puts on the Constellation Burn, the Playa del Fuego Burn, and occasionally sponsors other community art project and events.
Our events foster an environment of creative self-expression, where participants feel supported to honestly express their inner selves through artistic creation, performance, and in their social interactions.
Our events foster an environment of self-organization. The event is 100% volunteer run. No one gets comp tickets. Everyone is invited to play. Everyone is invited to work.
Our events foster an environment of personal accountability, where we hold ourselves responsible for our own actions, and take personal responsibility for meeting our own needs, for the event itself, and for the event’s impact on the world at large.
Our events foster an environment of cooperation, where participants work together to resolve potential conflicts respectfully, to help mediate conflicts between others, and to create art, performance, and social space on a larger scale than one person could alone. Additionally, participants seek to keep events sustainable by volunteering, cleaning up after themselves, and assuming personal responsibility for conducting themselves in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.
At Constellation we follow the Ten Principles of Burning Man. They are as follows:
Radical Inclusion - Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Gifting - Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
Decommodification - In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Radical Self-reliance - Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise, and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical Self-expression - Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Communal Effort - Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote, and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
Civic Responsibility - We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.
Leaving No Trace - Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
Participation - Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
Immediacy - Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
EXPECTATIONS AND BOUNDARIES
Constellation is an experiment in community, ad-hocracy, and do-ocracy. Respect is fundamental to this community. Please respect yourself, other participants, and our hosts. Participants can be held liable for endangering or injuring other participants or their property. Please plan all projects and activities accordingly and use common sense.
Constellation operates on a gift economy. It is expected everyone contributes to the community in some meaningful way and gives as much as they receive. There are many ways to give; do not limit yourself to material gifts.
Boundaries and Consent
Self-Expression and Cooperation require a social contract to make our event a safe place to play. These rules apply to everyone regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Remember that not everyone wants your attention so be courteous and always ask for consent.
What do we mean by consent? Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon activity. The consent has to be ongoing throughout any encounter. While consent is generally spoken about in terms of sexual activity, it extends beyond this at Constellation – we apply the same guidelines to taking pictures of others, hugging, entering a camp’s private space, etc.
While we strive to make Constellation a safe place for everyone, assumptions can be made (sometimes from those who have never been to a Burn before) about what is acceptable and what is not.
The following is Constellation’s stance on consent and “best practices” for protecting yourself and others.
- NO always means NO. Only YES means YES. Get an enthusiastic YES before proceeding with anything that might infringe on someone else’s boundaries.
- After someone has said NO, cajoling, pleading, or any form of emotional blackmail is UNACCEPTABLE.
- YES can turn into a NO at anytime and that needs to be respected. You or the other person don’t have to go along with something, even if it was previously agreed on. If you change your mind you should speak up, and if someone else changes their mind you should act in accordance with that new boundary.
- Before you assume someone wants your physical attentions, ASK. Being direct is OK. This includes anything from hugs, spankings, kissing, etc. Some people do not want to be touched, and that should be respected. Asking is expected protocol, and sexier than you might think. Not respecting these boundaries can be considered sexual assault, and will not be tolerated at the event.
- Respect the moment. Comfort levels vary at different times and with different people. Even if a person seems comfortable with one person touching them does not mean they are ok with everyone touching them.
- If you’re not sure if what you’re about to do is ok, either where you are, or who you are with, ask. Not everything is a good idea everywhere.
- Being under the influence is not an excuse for infringing on others boundaries. Consider your level of sobriety. Are you able to ask permission and respect others’ boundaries? Consider the other person’s level of sobriety. Are they able to give consent? TIP: You can say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may regret later.
- Don’t hesitate to check in with others around you. If someone looks uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to say hello and ask how they’re doing.
- If you are uncomfortable, ask for help. We are a tight-knit community and look out for each other. Look around – are friends close by? Theme camps? Random people walking around? Let them know that you aren’t comfortable in the current situation.
- Rangers are trained in mediation techniques and can diffuse any number of situations. In addition, if there is a violation of your boundaries, Rangers can intervene and will keep a log of the incident in case the offending party continues this type of behavior. Assault or repeated harassment may lead to ejection from the event; reporting incidents helps us spot predators. Rangers are the cool kids walking around in khaki with walkie-talkies. –
- Practice saying YES as well as no. We know it can be challenging to communicate your feelings or boundaries verbally. And no one should assume they understand someone else’s body language. Being clear about what you want or don’t want can help avoid situations where boundaries are being violated.
- Remember, respecting personal boundaries includes taking pictures or video, as well as physical and verbal interaction.
RANGER ARE HERE TO HELP
Rangers are not cops or your mom, but they do want to try to ensure that everyone is having the best burn possible.
People who Ranger are usually those friends that you always know will be there for you. The Constellation Rangers do their thing via the FLAME method: Find Out, Listen, Analyze, Mediate, Explain. But you don’t need to be a Ranger to do this yourself! If something or someone is bothering you, try to talk to that person calmly and work it out. If something doesn’t seem right to you, ask about it – Find Out what’s going on. You may discover it’s not really a problem, or you may discover that it is and that you either need to make a request, or explain one of our few rules and see if you can recruit that person to help you respect it.
If/when you decide you want help, something is more intense or complicated than a minor disagreement, or you or a friend might need help from an outside resource of any kind, find/ask a Ranger (they are those funny looking folks in khaki). If you don’t see one wandering about, head over to Center Camp where you will find Ranger Headquarters (behind Participation Station) and the Ranger Base Radio. There are instructions posted near the radio on how to turn it on and call for an available Ranger to meet you at Participation Station. We are ready and waiting to help you have an awesome Constellation!
Interested in becoming a Ranger? Have you attended at least one PDF prior to this? If so, feel free to come by Ranger Headquarters on Friday night at 7 pm for Ranger Training.
Rules have consequences. The consequences may include being ejected from the event and/or being unable to attend future events.
Please note: Constellation does not condone ANY illegal activity. We create a temporary city with its own rules. This city coexists within an area of real laws. Try to make that coexistence a peaceful one. Abide by all relevant local, state, and federal laws. If you see law enforcement officers, be nice to them. Constellation will cooperate with all local, county, state, and federal officials. We all share an interest in having a smooth event.
Drinking and Driving
Don’t be stupid, motorized vehicles don’t mix with intoxication. Any ticket holder found driving while intoxicated/under the influence may be banned from the event for no less than one year and possibly for life. There are no plans to bring breathalyzers to Constellation, so the BOD reserves the right to ban participants suspected of altered driving based on concerns raised by members of the community. A motorized vehicle is defined as a non-human powered vehicle and includes cars, RVs, buses, art cars, tractors, go-karts, golf carts, scooters, and similar devices.
Everyone is required to wear wristbands. Anyone found without a wristband will be ejected. Replacements can be acquired at the Front gate during ticketing hours. If someone asks to see your wristband, it’s cool, just show them.
This is the business end of Constellation, and it can be a bit of a circus during peak times. Please be ready with everything you need and be patient while the ticket takers do what they need to do. It’s a great time to practice the zen art of patience, start de-stressing, and make friends with the folks in line next to you.
- Each participant must come to the Gate with a government-issued ID.
- Your ticket will be scanned and your ID checked. You must present photo identification at the gate. Special wristbands are issued to persons under the age of 21; those without ID will be issued a minor wristband. All minors must be accompanied by a legal parent or guardian.
- Your wristband will be put on by a member of the ticket team tight enough that it will not slide off. Participants must wear this wristband while on-site for the duration of the event. If a wristband breaks or is removed, it may be replaced from within the gates by exchanging the broken band for a new one at the gate. If you are concerned about it being a hazard while spinning fire, you should remove it and exchange it when you are done spinning, cover it with something, or possibly wear it on your ankle.
- You will then be directed to the back for parking, drop off, and greeting.
We strongly encourage you to plan to arrive and stay on site for the duration of the event. Should you absolutely have to leave, re-entry is permitted if you are wearing your wristband. Please note that the road is a single-lane narrow road, and any vehicle that leaves prior to Exodus requires coordinated effort from the gate and traffic team.
Gate Crashing and Sneak-ins
Gate crashing and sneaking in violates core principles of our event and are not tolerated. Gate crashers and sneak-ins will be treated like anyone else without a wristband and be ejected.
Scalped and Counterfeit tickets
Scalped and counterfeit tickets violate core principles of our event and are not tolerated. Scalped and counterfeit tickets are void and will not be accepted for admittance or exchanged for a wristband. Wristbands obtained with scalped or counterfeit tickets or in any other nefarious manner will be voided and the wearer ejected.
No Nudity within Sight of Gate
If you are in sight of public roads, on the railroad bridge, or anywhere off the event property, you need to dress accordingly This means that outside the gates, in the parking lot, or off the property, if you can be seen from the road or a neighboring home or business, you should be properly attired for a public setting. This means there should be nothing about your attire that allows others to see parts of your body the law does not normally allow to be displayed in public. Generally, if you can see the road or the “outside world” make sure you are covered.
Vending of any kind is not allowed. This includes promotion of other events.
But there is Gifting! Gifting does not equal bartering, nor are you entitled to anything. It’s only a gift when offered – and accepted – freely; taking something because you want it is still theft at Constellation. Ask permission before taking or touching anything or anyone.
There are several areas at Pegasus campground that are clearly marked as off-limits, most notably the owner’s home. There are other areas that are off limits, and will be marked as such. If there is a question about a particular area, contact a Ranger for clarification. In general, use good judgement.
If you disrespect off-limit areas, Constellation is not responsible for what happens to you. At a minimum, you will be forced to leave.
The following sound policy was created to ensure the greatest amount of creative freedom while maintaining happy neighbors inside and outside the event and also creating a collaboratively supportive event environment.
This policy applies to Sound Camps or any individual, group, instrument, or device (instrument, installation, speaker system, generator, etc.) producing audible or sub-audible sound within and during a Constellation event. All Constellation Theme Camps bringing amplified sound intended to create an environment for gathering to dance, relax, or otherwise participate where music is the primary form of artistic expression are considered to be Sound Camps, regardless of the size, wattage, or volume of their system. All Sound Camps, regardless of their power source (private or municipal), must agree to abide by the sound policy in order to gain placement at Constellation events.
Amplified sound shall be permitted between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and. 2:00 a.m.
From 2:00 – 10:00 a.m., all subwoofers (any device capable of emitting sound below 100 HZ) shall be turned off and the sound shall be no louder than 70 db at a distance of 50’ from the source of the sound, or at the property line if said property line is closer than 50’ to the source.
All Sound Camps agree to have a representative who will meet with at least one representative from the CATS team (which includes Theme Camp Placement, City Planning and and Sound Departments) prior to the event (generally during pre-event construction) to determine and set appropriate sound levels for their camp as well as the direction of their speaker setup, and each day during the event to review any issues from the night before if required. These meetings will be determined on-site by the participating parties.
All camps will adhere to the sound levels so-established, with violators being subject to being shut down for the duration of the event.
Constellation recommends the use of limiters or similar equipment to help manage Sound Camp sound levels. We also encourage the use of personal decibel meters for Sound Camps to random sample their own sound levels. No two camps are guaranteed the same levels for their sound; Comparisons should not be drawn from camp to camp.
Learn more about the sound policy here.
Photography and Video
- Individuals retain legal rights to the use of their images, and the use of any media for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without the express written permission of Playa del Fuego, Inc. and any subjects of the photographs and video. Contact the BOD for more information.
- Photographers may not photograph anyone who requests not to be photographed, and must destroy any existing images at the subject’s request, even if prior consent had been granted.
- It is prohibited to take pictures in a camp or of a person that has posted a “No Photos” sign, or at an event where a “no photos” policy has been announced.
- We expect photographers to be open about their activities. If someone is seen trying to hide that they are taking pictures, malicious intent may be assumed.
- Photographers obtain permission to take pictures of individuals. This permission would ideally be obtained beforehand. However, if a great candid shot presents itself, a digital photographer may choose to “shoot first,” and ask permission afterwards. He/she is still obligated to erase the picture if the subject does not approve.
- A photographer may take a picture of groups of people, or of artwork with people nearby, in a public area that has no specific prohibition against it, without asking permission of all the people that incidentally appear in the shot. However, it is expected that the photographer will exercise judgment about the content of their photographs, and will obtain consent whenever practical.
If a photographer is perceived to be violating these rules, guidelines, or the community trust, they may be confronted by any member of the community. If the problem cannot be resolved, ask a Ranger to help mediate. Ultimately, someone violating Constellation rules or interfering with other’s safety and enjoyment of the event may be evicted.
Additional information about the photography policy can be found in the event waiver.
Let the reveler be wary. Despite the Constellation photography policy, Constellation cannot be held responsible if a photo of you appears in public.
Social Media and Photography
In our Community consent is key so please, never post photos of other people to social media unless those people have consented to have their photos posted online. Many people in our Community have sensitive jobs or family lives and a careless post could potentially do something like jeopardize a career, make a messy divorce messier, or who knows what else. Also, by posting images on most social media sites you give ownership of those photos to the social media sites. These sites retain those photos even if you delete them. It is understandable to want to share images and the myriad feelings they evoke, just be thoughtful and get consent first when using images with people.
Minors and Children
IMPORTANT: If the minor’s parent or guardian is not attending Constellation with the minor (e.g. you’re bringing your nephews and nieces to Constellation), you must contact the event for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org. You need to do extra notarized paperwork for this case.
- For the protection of minor children and in accordance with WV law, any minor child attending this event must be accompanied by someone with legal authority to make decisions for the minor or child.
- A minor is anyone under the age of 18.
- Children 12 and younger do not require a ticket. They enter “free” with accompanying adult. Minors 13-17 do require a “minor” ticket, which is the same price as an adult ticket. A participant must be younger than 18 at the time they enter the event in order to use a Minor ticket.
- You are solely responsible for the care, supervision, and well-being of the minor AT ALL TIMES. The accompanying guardian must sign an event waiver of liability for the minor.
- There may be activities that are not suitable for children or behavior that you may not wish your children to see. Do not expect anyone to censor their behavior because children are present.
- Inability to take care of the minors you bring to the event can result in ejection. Unacceptable behavior of a minor under your supervision (examples include but are not limited to: underage drinking, vandalism, theft) can also result in ejection. If it’s your minor, it’s your responsibility.
- Minors volunteering: In general, parents’ best judgment should be used regarding appropriate volunteer tasks for minors. However, minors may not ranger or be responsible for checking IDs at the gate for legal and safety reasons. Coordinators and shift leads have the right to remove unsupervised minors from tasks or shifts at their discretion, if a situation becomes unsafe or problematic.
- If the participant is under 18 years of age at the time they arrive at the gate, a parent or guardian must sign a waiver on behalf of their children when arriving at Constellation. A separate waiver must be signed on behalf of each minor.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
If it wasn’t made by your body, don’t put it in the potty. Your wastes and 1-ply toilet paper are the only things that should be in the potties. “Flushable” baby wipes, tampons, food, beer bottles, etc. clog the hose of the pottie truck, damage the pottie truck, make the pottie man’s life difficult, and may result in our potties not getting emptied on schedule. Also, potties are not trash cans. Do not abandon your trash on the floor or bench of a potty. See LEAVE NO TRACE, MOOP, and THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TRASH CANS.
Dehydration is a very serious risk at Constellation; DRINK WATER, and lots of it. Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate you; it is not water. Water is not sold at the event (except in the form of ice), so bring all the water you will need. We strongly recommend a minimum of 3 gallons/per/day.
Signs of dehydration:
- Feeling uncharacteristically cranky
- Rapid or sudden weight loss
- Increasing thirst
- Dry mouth
- Cessation of sweating
- Weakness or lightheadedness (particularly if worsening on standing)
- Darkening of the urine or a decrease in urination (drink enough water to “piss clear”)
FIRE, BURN BARRELS, and BURNING ART
Fireworks are not permitted. The only exception is for fireworks added to the effigy that is explicitly sanctioned and supervised by the burn team. You want fireworks – submit to build the effigy!
Firewood is included in your ticket price. It is available while supplies last. Participants are welcome to take as much firewood as they need from the main stack, and asked to return any used wood to the main stack at the end of the weekend. Don’t take wood once it is stacked under the effigy!
Sharing is much cooler than hoarding, and that includes wood, too. Help keep greeters and gate volunteers warm and safe at night by not taking wood from the gates where burn barrels provide warmth, safety, and a welcoming beacon.
Have something that burns a lot of wood? Consider bringing some of your own wood. However, moving firewood is complicated due to attempts to limit evil insect species spread. You best bet is to source wood locally. More info & links: https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/map/west-virginia/
Only build fires in burn barrels or other suitable containers that are elevated off the ground to prevent ugly, dead, permanent, burn scars. Build your last fire with enough time for the ashes to cool for safe disposal. Cool ashes get dumped in the ASH DUMP.
Fire Lanterns are Forbidden
Fire lanterns, aka Chinese fire lanterns, aka sky lanterns are prohibited. They are flying, flaming MOOP whose trajectory can’t be controlled or predicted.
All fire is prohibited inside or under any of the structures, including Fire performance (like Fire spinning and breathing, etc). Fire Performances are to be done with a ‘Safety’; in a clearing, away from personal property (tents, shade structures, etc) and other people. No more than two performers for any one Safety, minimum. No Fire performances under any overhead wires. Props are to be spun off away from others or their property. In all cases, fuel dumps should be secured and away from all open flames. Fire performers who desire to perform with Conclave during Burn night are advised to contact Conclave before the event, or sign up at Participating Station before 1PM on Friday.
All open flame items must be approved by the Constellation Fire Team. Items like cauldrons, burn barrels, fire pits and similar items shall be placed sturdy on level ground and must be lifted up off the ground to protect the land. Participants should bring their own concrete bricks to use for burn barrels, and are responsible to set up and maintain a 10’ (ten foot) radius around the Item. Wood and synthetic camp firewood shall be the only fuels in Burn barrels and fire pits. Any burn barrel or fire pit shall be prohibited from any use inside or under any structure on the property, permanent or portable.
On the entire event grounds, fuels (gasoline, liquid propane, etc) shall be stored away from any open flame. Any camps or installations housing fuels shall be required to keep an extinguisher within reach of their fuel storage and assure safe operation of any fire within their camp/ installation.
Pressurized Gas Art/ Poofers
All Pressurized Gas Art installations are to be inspected before ignition. The Installation Artist shall assist the Fire Safety Team with checking all operational parts, placement and usage limitations of the installation piece. Once cleared ignition can begin. From transport onto the property until exodus, the Installation Artist shall retain all responsibility of the equipment, fuel, and operation of the Art.
- Burning art is part of our culture at Constellation. It is a symbolic celebration of the cycle of life and death—we don’t dwell in what we’ve done so much as we celebrate what we can do.
- IF YOU PLAN ON BRINGING ART THAT YOU WANT TO BURN: you must contact the Fire Art Coordinator in advance for approval and coordination. email@example.com
- There is no guarantee that your art will burn. Plan other creative ways to destroy your art that are less reliant on the weather.
- Don’t ever throw toxic or dangerous things into any fire.
Generators must be attended at all times when running, because generators are a fire hazard. Generators create many types of pollution, including noise pollution, and should be used thoughtfully. Generators should be boxed to minimize their polluting effects. If a generator must be used, it should be sited in such a way to minimize its effect on neighbors and the community.
Leave No Trace
Leave no trace is an important but simple principle of our community. The goal is to leave no trace of our amazing event. If possible leave things in better condition than we found them. That means to not leave trash, cigarette butts, poop, feathers, sofas, bacon grease, beer cans, glitter, or sequins behind when we leave. That means to not harm the environment by scorching the ground by burning something improperly, or altering or destroying trees or existing structures. We also don’t leave problems for other people to deal with.
Carry in, Carry out. Burn barrels are not trash cans. There are no public trash cans at this event. At all times, at all places on the site, you are responsible for the trash you create. Don’t ask someone if they have a trash can – they don’t.
Spent ashes go in the ash dump. The location of the ash dump has changed now and then. Ask a Ranger, DPW, or smartie-pants where it is. Wise campers stop their fires early Sunday so their ashes are cold during Pack Out on Monday, or they will find that they are standing next to their smoldering fire barrel until it’s done.
There are several recycling centers near the shopping centers in town. Participants are encouraged to collect their recycling and drop it off at one of these centers, or bring it home for your local pickup.
Water as a “Trace”
Water leaves a trace and should be used thoughtfully. Private “sun” and other types of showers, kiddie pools, vigorous washing up, dishwashing, and other large water uses are discouraged and should only be used when a plan on how to disperse the water properly is in place. In general, small amounts of gray water should be dumped into existing ditches on the site. Gray water should not be dumped onto the ground in areas where people are camping. Be especially careful using water near roads and pathways. Muddy paths are a nuisance and can be a safety hazard. See LEAVE NO TRACE.
Pools by definition are any body of water used explicitly or in some part to bathe, swim, or cool off.
- Pools filled with liquid are only allowed in personal or theme camp areas. They can not be placed in communal areas.
- All gray water must be dealt with appropriately and in accordance to event policy. That is, it cannot be dumped out on the ground and must either be packed out or disposed of at an appropriate drain location. If you don’t know where an appropriate spot is, it is YOUR responsibility to find out. See WATER AS A TRACE.
- All filled pools must be either attended by an adult 18 years or older or somehow locked up or fenced in at all times.
Dogs are prohibited (with the exception of service animals) at the event.
How to get to the event what what to do when you get there. It is always advisable to read this part in advance, because the effects of playa-brain can set in rapidly.
Early Entry Policy
General entry does not begin until 12 pm Thursday.
Early entry is available for those helping with city setup, and for artist who require additional time to build their art. Everyone entering early must be pre-registered to do so.
An early entry coordinator will manage the list of volunteers and help direct setup on site. Early volunteers must agree to follow the direction of the early entry coordinator and/or departmental coordinators.
When you enter the property please follow the signs and the directions of your lovely lovely parking volunteers. It is important to follow the flaggers and park where they ask you to in order to maximize the number of available parking spaces. If there is not a flagger, please follow signs and avoid parking in roadways or paths.
Once you’ve gotten wristbands and parked your car, head inside and you will be greeted by our dedicated greeter team inside gate. The greeters’ mission is to give you hugs,, explain the 10 principles, spank virgins, answer any simple questions your may have, and provide information (like where to volunteer, nudge-nudge). Spanking is optional, but (butt!) it is always appropriate to approach a Greeter bearing gifts.
On-Site Parking Passes
On-site vehicle passes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, determined via pre-registration with the parking coordinator. Only vehicles such as RVs, Vans, Trucks (with caps), and campers are permitted to be parked on-site for sleeping. Otherwise, you need to sleep in a tent, yurt, cardboard box, or whatever. Sleeping in your car in the parking lot is strictly prohibited. Please park your vehicle where you are instructed to by the volunteers at the gate. Once it is parked on site, your vehicle must stay there until you leave the event – you cannot drive it out and re-enter. On-site parking passes will be issued and must be displayed at all times. If you did not pre-register, do not arrive at the event planning to park at your campsite or sleep in your vehicle.
Art cars are permitted on site but must be pre-registered! If you have any questions about parking or art cars please email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHile there is water for washing up, you should plan ahead and bring what water you will need for hydration and camp chores.
There is a shower house onsite. We hear it is very nice!
Showers are a luxury. Be brief to conserve water, especially hot water, as supplies are limited.
All personal items brought into the shower including toiletries, garments, and trash must be taken with you when you leave the shower. See LEAVE NO TRACE, MOOP, THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TRASH CANS.
Our event is inclusive to all genders and sexual orientations, and that includes the showers, too. Don’t like it? Come back later. If someone is making you uncomfortable in the showers, or anywhere at the event, or is acting without your consent, speak up, let them know. If that doesn’t help, ask a ranger for assistance.
Elkins has stores – there is a tractor supply (for hardware) & a Goodwill near the site. We are still figuring out the best ones. Have a hot tip – let us know!
The point of preparing and understanding how Constellation works is to help you relax into the experience and enjoy the playground of ideas and community that make the whole thing worth the effort! The Hitchhiker’s Guide is here to provide clarity and a framework for our grand experiment. Like the constitution, it is a living document. If something is unclear, missing, or you have other questions, feel free to let us know: