The Less than Definitive Guide To More Than Surviving At Otherworld

Going to Otherworld and wondering what to expect?
Your first couple burner events can be a bit of a strange time until you get the hang of them, and then strange just becomes normal. No worries though, we have you covered.

We,  Amara! and Shenanigans, have yet to miss an Otherworld, since the very first one,  and between us have been to a ton of Burns, regional events and other festivals as well. We’re here to help you have the best Otherworld you can.

First things first.  Go read the official Otherworld Survival guide, it has site specific information and rules that are going to make your planning much easier.
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Now that you’ve done that,  what is the secret to having the best Otherworld  you possibly can? The simple answer, in a word:

Participate!
Burner events are participant driven, and that doesn’t just mean volunteering.  When you set out to participate in every way you can, you find yourself involved in all sorts of ways that you didn’t expect. It could be sunrise yoga, it could be a kite making workshop, it could be a tea ceremony, it could be pulling the trigger on a flame thrower, it could even be half naked lube wrestling with a complete stranger.
When you are open to participating in new and unexpected ways, the full potential of the event is available to you.  If you set limits on your participation, you limit your experience correspondingly.

Being open to participating isn’t about always saying yes, it’s about making yes a possibility, even  if it’s usually something you’d never consider, and sometimes there’s a perfectly good reason for a boundary. Personally, I always say no to Tequila. It’s a mess. No “Hot Hot” just mess, and nobody has a good time.
So if you don’t want to wrestle half naked in a pool of lube with a complete stranger, you don’t have to, don’t climb the thing if you are afraid of heights, don’t pull the trigger if you are afraid of fire, but if you want to get more out of the event don’t make “No” your default setting, and consider the possibility of pushing your limits when temptation comes along. (That thing looks pretty safe to climb, and the view from up there is great) Otherworld-2016-Placement-Map_2Plan!
If you show up and fake it, you will likely survive,  you’ll even likely have a good time, Otherworld is a hell of a lot of fun. However, you’ll not have half the experience that you would have had with a little planning.

Radical Self Reliance is one of those burner values you’ll hear about a lot. It’s just far easier to be out experiencing the event when you are not scrounging up your next meal or a place to sleep. There’s only so much event, you don’t want to be using it up on just surviving.
That doesn’t mean that you have to do all the arrangements yourself, as long as you’ve made them before you head out to the event. This could be as easy as a shared kitchen or ride sharing, or as complicated as a major theme camp.

You are in charge of your good time, so look at the placement map,  know where your friends are camping, know where medical is, and where the bathrooms are.  Know in advance what Rangers are, and why they are your friends. Look at the What-Where-When, and know when the Soul-Funk Pancake Breakfast is,  so you won’t sleep through it. 
And if the unexpected happens and a tree falls on your stuff, you can expect that the community will step up and help you out. nobody expects anyone to have a backup plan for every contingency. 

Ask!
Do not listen to that online grouch who says you could have googled that shit yourself. (oh, was that me?)

Yes, you should do some reading beforehand.
Yes, you really must read the survival guide first.
Yes, Google will tell you a lot of useful information.

However, if you can’t find it, ask. Not the event organizers, they are losing their minds right now. Ask in the comments here. Ask on the event FB page.  Ask on the Burning Man Victoria FB page. Email or private message if you are not into asking publicly, or use the contact us link.
The goal here is to have the best Otherworld you can, and that’s hella difficult if you didn’t understand something important (like directions)  and didn’t ask beforehand.  

 

Now go play.

 

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