Consent Culture Planning Guide

This planning guide is intended to help you understand what’s expected of each and every group or participant who requests placement at YOUtopia! You will be asked about your Consent Plan as part of your placement application.

Consent can be complicated and challenging for lots of us. We’ve compiled these tips and resources to help you craft a plan for your Theme Camp, your artist crew, or any other group or entity requesting placement at YOUtopia. Yep, that means you - regardless of the theme of your group or your art; regardless of the attributes of your members. We’re all responsible for creating a culture of consent.

This guide is meant to be just that - a guide. If you have any questions, best practices, or resources you’d like to share, get in touch with us at This guide and the accompanying resource list are living documents, and your input is welcome!

Free training in Consent, Bystander Intervention, and Crisis Intervention will be available to the community beginning in July 2018. If you’d like to schedule a training for your camp or department, contact

Consider the following:

Consent Culture begins before you arrive at YOUtopia.

Consent Culture begins before you arrive at YOUtopia.

  1. Spread awareness within your group that consent is: a clear-headed, explicit, non-coerced, ongoing/revocable, and informed “YES.”
  2. Recognize that consent is not just about sexual activities. It also includes other types of touching (even spraying people with misters), substance use, photography, etc.
  3. Discuss within your group why consent matters. Invite people to share about their experiences:  times they were in the wrong, times they were hurt. Encourage them to articulate their boundaries.
  4. If your camp has a bar that serves alcohol to the public, determine how you will help maintain safety by having a plan for handling participants whose judgment is substantially impaired and intervening when you observe participants engaging in problematic behavior at your bar.
  5. When inviting people into your group, consider cultivating a positive environment of people committed to Consent Culture.

At the Event, identify ways to further Consent Culture within your camp.

  1. Model pro-consent behavior by continuing these discussions. Ideally, include a consent discussion in your camp orientation on the mountain.
  2. Get in the habit of checking in with people. If you aren’t confident everyone involved is okay, ask each person if they’re having a good time and wait for an explicit “yes” from each person before moving on.
  3. If someone seems trapped or uncomfortable, ask them to step away from the situation with you, or give them some other escape route.
  4. If someone is clearly over-their-limit intoxicated, help them find a safe space or reunite them with friends.
  5. Ensure your bartenders and camp members in public-facing roles are trained and clear-headed enough to be active bystanders and offer lifelines to YOUtopians in need.
  6. Utilize prosocial techniques to call out people who engage in disruptive behaviors

Have a plan for responding or intervening when things go wrong. And yes, things do go wrong.

  1. When incidents occur, help the impacted people connect with appropriate resources at the event. There are Rangers, Medical, Safety, Waldos, and Security onsite.
  2. Match your response to an impacted person’s emotional state. Defer to their stated needs, neither downplaying nor over-reacting to the information they share with you.
  3. When confronting aggressors, keep the focus on de-escalating the situation and creating a safe space. Do not attempt to exact justice or retribution.  
  4. In the wake of a harmful incident, consider ways to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people in your group throughout the remainder of the event.

In case you missed it at the top of the page:

we have compiled a list of resources to help you and your group create a plan that will work for you.

And here are some concrete examples of Consent Culture in the burnerverse:

How to Get Laid at YOUtopia 
courtesy of Fool’s Errand

Consent Culture Section from Theme Camp Handbook 
courtesy of Uli Baba’s

Halcyon’s take on consent

11th Principle – crowdfunding consent stickers & buttons

Does Your Group Need Training? 

The San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and YOUtopia offer free training in Affirmative Consent, Bystander Intervention, and Crisis intervention to any group within the San Diego Burning Man Community.

Trainers have been professionally trained by The Center for Community Solutions, and are available to work with your theme camp, sound camp, art project, intentional community, knitting circle, etc.

If you would like to request a training, please apply here:

Consent & Bystander Intervention Training Request Form

Have any questions or comments?

Get in touch with our team at:

Curious about Culture of Consent?

Read more at:

Culture of Consent