Safety and Rescue

Event & Venue Policies

Respecting the event and it's attendees

A Guide to a Safe and Wonderful Experience.

These guidelines for safety and rule regulations apply to all YOUtopia attendees. Please read carefully and understand that these policies are in place as preventative and safety precaution to guarantee the security, enjoyment, and participation of YOUtopian patrons.

The Safety Team is made up of four teams, each with its own set of responsibilities.  But we’re ALL here to keep YOUtopia as safe and enjoyable as possible so never hesitate to ask any of us for help.  If someone else is better suited to the task at hand we’ll contact the right person.

Rangers

Rangers are participants who volunteer a portion of their time at YOUtopia in service of the safety and well-being of the community. They can be identified by their khaki attire which will be labeled “RANGER”. Rangers are 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 walking through the Event, engaging with the community, enjoying the art, and they are always ready to help you sort things out.  We love and respect what they do for us. Please be respectful in your interactions with them.

Fire Safety

Fire Safety team makes sure that any use of fire, be it for performance, sculpture, cooking or heating, is done in a safe and considerate way. The Fire Safety team inspects and certifies (or not) IN ADVANCE all fire art and performances at the event, and are there to address any fire concerns you may have.  If you plan to use fire in art or cooking, or have a generator or heat source of any kind at YOUtopia you must be familiar with the relevant policies which can be found here:  Fire & Heat Source PolicyFire Performance Policy, and Generator Policy.

Fire Safety

Fire Safety team makes sure that any use of fire, be it for performance, sculpture, cooking or heating, is done in a safe and considerate way. The Fire Safety team inspects and certifies (or not) IN ADVANCE all fire art and performances at the event, and are there to address any fire concerns you may have.  If you plan to use fire in art or cooking, or have a generator or heat source of any kind at YOUtopia you must be familiar with the relevant policies which can be found here:  Fire & Heat Source PolicyFire Performance Policy, and Generator Policy.

MEDICAL AND HARM REDUCTION

Professional and trained volunteer medical staff is available 24/7 during the Event.  The team can deliver first aid, provide advice and save your life in an emergency!  If you need medical attention and can safely get to Medical HQ please do so. In case of a medical emergency, or if you cannot safely get to Medical on your own, flag down a Ranger or Event staff with a radio or send someone to a Safety HQ and Medical will be dispatched to your location.

Alongside our Medical HQ, we have professional a crisis intervention team, which works collaboratively and are present to support Harm Reduction efforts in our community.

Security

Our security staff is a professional team familiar with our Event and culture.  They are here to help maintain the security of the landowner’s and Event’s property and to handle the often unpleasant task of ensuring that the Event is only populated by ticketed participants.  They also have radios and can get the right folks dispatched to your location if you need safety services.  Please be respectful in your interactions with them – they are here to help keep us safe.

Security

Our security staff is a professional team familiar with our Event and culture.  They are here to help maintain the security of the landowner’s and Event’s property and to handle the often unpleasant task of ensuring that the Event is only populated by ticketed participants.  They also have radios and can get the right folks dispatched to your location if you need safety services.  Please be respectful in your interactions with them – they are here to help keep us safe.

Fire & Heat Source Policy

It is imperative that all participants take fire risk seriously and use fire, heat sources and fuels with caution.  Prevention is essential!  The lives you save could be your own, your friend’s and your community’s.

All use of fire or heat sources (including fire art, propane fire pits, cook stoves and jet-boils, and heaters of any kind) at YOUtopia is subject to appropriate safety considerations including weather, wind strength and direction, and other environmental factors.   Burning of wood containing nails, screws or metal hardware is prohibited (that means NO pallets).

All participants using fire or heat sources MUST have adequate fire suppression equipment on hand and be present until their fire/heat source is extinguished and cold.

Fire dancer

Fire Pits, Cook Stoves & Heat Sources

  • Fire pits and other group heat sources are allowed only in approved burn barrels and only with prior authorization from the Fire Safety team (which may revoked at any time by any Safety Department personnel or Event staff)

  • All fire pits – regardless of fuel source – must be raised a minimum of 3 inches off the ground and have efficient spark-arresting protection.

  • Propane is the preferred fuel source for use at YOUtopia.  Wood burning fire pits or burn barrels are allowed with prior authorization from the Fire Safety team.

  • A minimum of 1 fire extinguisher of adequate size and type must be present when any fire pit or heat source (including jet-boils and cook stoves) are in use.

  • Fire pits, cook stoves and heat sources must be attended at all times until they are out and cold.

Fire Sulpture

Fire Art

All Fire-Art (including poofers and other art-based fire effects), whether mobile or stationary, must be inspected and approved by the Fire Safety team prior to use. Failure to submit to inspection or follow the instructions of the Fire Safety team will result in the fire source being shut down for the duration of the Event. Authorization for use of Fire Art may be revoked at any time by any Safety department personnel or Event Production Team.

ALL FIRE ART MUST:

  • Be officially registered with the YOUtopia Fire Safety team and placed by The Placement Team
  • Have adequate fire suppression materials on hand at all times , and
  • Be attended by a competent, sober adult while lit.

Photo Consent Guidelines

THESE GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS APPLY TO ALL PARTICIPANTS WITH A CAMERA, REGARDLESS OF BEING ON YOUTOPIA MEDIA TEAM OR NOT.

It is easy to get caught up in a moment and lose yourself in your composition, but it is important to remember that your subject deserves a say-so in whether or not they are captured. In candid moments, this isn’t always possible, but there is no reason you shouldn’t approach the person or group afterward and show them the photo you’ve taken, and get an ok from them! Photographers sometimes witness emotional moments, romantic connections, compromising / adult situations, and minors at play. These are all things that have to be considered with very special care. If capturing an emotional / romantic / compromising moment, please attempt to get an ok on the photo, while respecting the moment and the privacy of the subjects. Sometimes this means waiting a while, but if you are asked to delete the photo, you must do so immediately.

Do not photograph minors without the permission of their parent or guardian.

When uploading photos to social media or personal websites, make every effort to get explicit consent from your subjects and refrain from tagging people (i.e. allow your subjects to tag themselves).

When in doubt, exercise discretion and refrain from posting photos of people that they would conceivably not want an employer to view – unless you have their explicit consent to do so.

Photo consent

Things to Remember as a Participant

  • If at any time you are uncomfortable with someone photographing you, you have the right to ask them to stop and delete the photo. If they do not, find someone with a radio and alert our staff.
  • Some camps have been designated as “No Photo” zones, be respectful of these boundaries or you will be asked to leave.
  • YOUtopia Media Team will be clearly identified with a tag letting you know who they are. Unless you see this tag, they are not part of our team. The photos taken by our team members will be gathered into a collaborative gallery after the event and shared with the community. We will have a separate gallery for members of the community to post their shots of the event!
  • Be aware that there are many folks who bring cameras on-site who are not members of our YOUtopia Media Team, and they may capture your image or record you.

Temple Effigy

Generator Policy

Only camps and projects authorized for power at the Event may plug in to event generators and only after those generators have been cleared for use by Event staff.  If you plug into Event provided power remember that you do so at your own risk. Power is… well…POWERFUL and even when reasonable care is taken accidents can happen. We strongly recommend meter-testing the power output before plugging in

Personal Generators

If you bring your own generator remember that you have an obligation to ensure that it’s used in a safe manner and that anyone you allow to use it should be trained in its safe fueling and operation. Hot generators and flammable vapors are an easy way to endanger the lives of every single YOUtopian, so if a Fire Safety team member tells you the location of your generator or fuel depot is not acceptable, please don’t argue…just comply. Failure to conform to any of these rules can lead to your generator being shut down for the duration of the Event.

  • ALL generators must have an accompanying appropriate fire extinguisher (for most folks this will be an ABC fire extinguisher) of sufficient size and ready to use.
  • Generators must be placed in an area that is free of debris, and other flammable materials.
  • Fuel must be stored a minimum of 10ft from the generator and any other heat sources, and out of direct sunlight. Your fuel storage area must have a “No Smoking” sign posted.
  • Generators must be completely shut down prior to beginning refueling.
  • Absolutely no smoking while refueling.
  • Gasoline fueled generators must be attended when in operation at YOUtopia. Unattended generators WILL be shut off, and locked out. To unlock your generator visit Safety HQ or ask anyone on the Fire Safety team. We don’t want to inconvenience you, but we are committed to preventing unintended fires. Exceptions to this rule may be made on a case-by-case, site specific basis, but ONLY IF approved in advance.  Please contact Fire Safety if you are seeking such an exception.

How loud is your generator? A lot of generators are loud and if yours is, as a courtesy to yourself and your neighbors, please incorporate sound baffling in your generator plans. If this is your first time baffling a generator please remember to use fire retardant materials in the lining and allow enough breathing room to prevent your baffle from becoming tinder. A properly baffled generator can be placed wherever the Fire Safety team requires it without the noise keeping you, your campmates, or the neighbors from complaining.

Harm Reduction

PLEASE BE ADVISED

ALL LOCAL STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS APPLY at YOUtopia and may be enforced by law enforcement officers at the Event. Responsible alcohol use is permitted for adults 21 and older. USE OR POSSESSION OF ILLEGAL DRUGS MAY RESULT IN ARREST. Drugs, whether legal or illegal, can be dangerous on their own, and, like any city, YOUtopia is not immune to the dangers of intentional and unintentional assault involving drugs and alcohol. Given these realities, YOUtopia and its partners in health and safety, including law enforcement, believe in the importance of harm reduction when it comes to drugs and alcohol at our Event.

AVOIDING THE DANGERS

The highest priority of harm reduction is to mitigate the dangers of assault or accidental overdose. Even doses of drugs that are not physically dangerous, including legal prescriptions, can be psychologically harmful or overwhelming if taken unknowingly. Here are some important points to remember:

Fire Safety
  • Bring your own water wherever you go.
  • If you feel yourself becoming ill, tell a friend what you’ve taken so they can share that information with medical personnel.
  • If you don’t know what’s in something, it’s best not to drink or eat it.
  • Remember that we live in a world where intentional dosing with intent to assault — sometimes referred to as “date rape” – happens. It is important for all participants to be aware of this risk and exercise appropriate caution.
  • If you feel like you have been dosed without your knowledge, immediately call for help or call for a Ranger.
  • If you see someone who appears to be overly intoxicated, ask them if they need help. If they do, or if you don’t think they’re in a state to answer safely, get help. Rangers can be easily identified (they wear khaki) and they are always willing to help. You can also ask anyone wearing a radio.
  • If you or someone you’re with is feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. There are services at YOUtopia to support you. YOUtopia provides a safe space and trained peer counsellors to help people going through challenging emotional or psychological processes. There are also participant-run camps that offer safe spaces around YOUtopia for people going through such experiences. Seek them out.
  • For assistance, or to report a crime or dangerous incident, go to Safety HQ, wave down a Ranger, Security, or Event staff.

Remember, YOUtopia is our community, and we need to look out for each other

Laser Policy

No Handheld or High Powered Lasers:

Handheld lasers are not permitted at YOUtopia.  DO NOT bring them. Period! This policy is in line with nearly all major events and festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

Mounted lasers are only permitted on art pieces, or in Theme Camps if they comply with specific restrictions.  If you have plans to include a laser in your art, art car or Theme Camp you must disclose your plans in detail – including all complete specific details related to the lasers you plan to use in your art grant and/or placement applications.  Relevant applications will be forwarded to the safety team for review and further communication.

Unsafe laser installations will not be permitted to operate at YOUtopia.  If you see a laser you feel is being operated unsafely please contact a Ranger, Security or Safety HQ as soon as possible and report the location of the laser.