Fire Conclave

40 different fire groups communicated intention to join the Fire Conclave in 2010, but by the time Black Rock City opened only 33 were able to dance in the Great Circle. The different groups work long hours to stand in the Great Circle and show off their fiery magic in dances dedicated to the Man and it is indeed the largest gathering of fire performers and support staff in the world.

Membership totaled 1,400 plus, a huge spike from 2009. In all, there were 980 fire performers, 279 fire safeties, 33 radio communicators, and 128 musicians.

25 fire groups returned to the Fire Conclave, while eight groups were brand new to the ranks.  Of the returning groups, six had a new Shin (leader). Majority of the new Shins understood the responsibility while a few found themselves challenged leading a group of free spirits.

Even though 2010 brought the largest numbers to the Fire Conclave, the Great Circle was packed too tightly with too many great fire groups. The dividing line between the groups inside the Great Circle is a little hard to demarcate since there cannot be any visible barrier. Groups were unsure of how much space they had, and many times were carried away with their performance affecting groups to either side. The solution to this challenge is to reduce the number of fire groups, which means that the criteria will need to be tightened for the future.

Ever since the beginning of the Fire Conclave there has been a very small managing group, but a lot of the responsibilities have fallen on the Art Director of Burning Man. Management tasks for Fire Conclave management include:

  • Organize monthly communications to the Fire Conclave announce list.
  • Receive and communicate with potential subscriber of the Fire Conclave Announce list.
  • Communicate to the announce list setting the yearly procedures, responsibilities and deadlines for auditioning for the Fire Conclave.
  • Accept prospective Shins that have communicated intention by the deadline and subscribe them to a discussion list.
  • Communicate out to the announce list the prospective fire groups.
  • Receive monthly status reports from each Shin reporting their successes and challenges.
  • Keep track of relevant information from each fire group: location in the world, numbers of performers relative to number of fire safeties, helmsmen, musicians/drummers, person documenting the group in the Great Circle.
  • View each media submission and scenario, making sure that the two correspond. When selection is made communicate thank you email plus communication to the announce list.
  • Accept final member list with ticket request, sending info to assistant to input into the ticket request system.
  • Create layout of locations for each fire group.
  • Collect & Print support documents: full list of all pre-playa members, Master Check-In book and have it bound, Ambient Drummers list, video/photographers related to the different groups.
  • Working with support group that will manage Fire Conclave Convergence, playa location where all members of the current Fire Conclave will check in.
  • Support the team that manages the Friday night Shin social. The final chance for each Shin to see who from their group checked in.
  • Support the team for laminate distribution and radio check out.
  • Support the team that demarcates the Great Circle and distributed fuel stations.
  • Stage Manager for the procession and the Fire Conclave inside the Great Circle.
  • Receive final report from each Shin.

All these responsibilities need to be shouldered by more than one person and it is time to pass on the management of the Fire Conclave. Thus, a Fire Conclave Council is in the works for next year.




  • Radiant Heat – Returning Group, Vancouver
  • Thermal Shock Mafia – Returning Group – New Shin, Alberta


  • Church of Flaming Funk – New Group, Anchorage, Eagle River


  • Pyroklectic – Returning Group, Prescott


  • BeOnFire Tribe – Returning Group, Nevada City
  • Heartburn – Returning Group, Southern CA
  • Dreamtime Circus- Returning Group – New Shin, Bay Area
  • Entropy Arts – New Group, Los Angeles
  • Fire Arts Collective- Returning Group – New Shin, Bay Area
  • Fire Euphoria – New Group, Santa Cruz
  • Garnish – Returning Group – Portland, Montreal, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Sebastopol
  • Las Piratas del Fuego – New Group, San Francisco, Mexico
  • Pois In The Hood – Returning Group – New Shin, Hollywood
  • Pyrospin- Returning Group – New Shin, Santa Barabara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Nevada, Canada
  • San Diego Fire Conclave – Returning Group – New Shin
  • Solar Flare – Returning Group – New Shin, SF, East Bay, Davis, San Mateo, Sydney
  • Spark! Circus Conclave Collective – New Group, Bay Area
  • The Burn Academy- Returning Group, Los Angeles
  • Vulcan – Returning Group, Oakland


  • Colorado Fire Tribe – Returning Group


  • Ka Mana Lei O Ke Ahi (powerful circle of fire) – Returning Group


  • Minneapolis Fire Collective – Returning Group – New Shin


  • Axiom Elements – New group, Reno
  • Controlled Burn- Returning Group, Reno
  • Great Basin Manipulations – New Group, Reno


  • Oregon Fire Conclave- Returning Group, Portland


  • Aish Tamid (Eternal Flame) – Returning Group, Philadelphia


  • Utah Fire Conclave – Returning Group – New Shin, Salt Lake City


  • Playa Del Fuego Fire Conclave- Returning Group


  • NXW – Returning Group – New Shin, Seattle
  • Womanipura & Friends – New Group, Seattle


  • Pyronauts- Returning Group, 23 Countries/19 States
  • The Firework Collective – Returning Group, United Kingdom

Submitted by,
Crimson Rose