Photo credit: Leslie the Pony Lion and Amy. Photo © Sara Muskulus
Code of Conduct
FirePony Creative Society (FPCS or FirePony) strives to keep the number of rules to a minimum, however certain types of behavior serve only to harm other participants, the event itself, and/or the community. Radical inclusion means that strangers are welcome to participate in our community; it does not mean tolerance of harmful behaviors.
This document identifies behaviors and actions that will not be tolerated at any FPCS sponsored event, including Playa del Fuego (PDF), Constellation, the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Conference (MALC), and recipients of grant funds through the Community Art and Civic Engagement (CACE) program.
A copy of this Code of Conduct is available online at FirePony.org, PlayaDelFuego.org, and ConstellationBurn.org.
In addition to the conduct detailed below, participants of any FirePony Creative Society-sponsored events are expected to comply with all federal, state, and local laws.
The FPCS Conduct Committee is the mechanism by which reported conduct incidents are investigated. Information and resources regarding the Conduct Committee can be found here.
- During the Event: Participants may report any incident in which another participant is engaging in any Prohibited Behavior as detailed in this document by approaching a Ranger and requesting to report an incident.
- Outside the Event: Conduct Violations can also be reported at any time through the FPCS Incident Report Form found here.
Incidents Outside of FPCS Sponsored Events. The FPCS Conduct Committee may consider investigating incidents that occurred outside a FPCS sponsored event when submitted via the Incident Report Form, such as Protective Orders, racist activity and Hate Speech, patterns of abusive behavior like stalking or harassment, history of prior misconduct, criminal charges, and/or violations of this policy or similar policies at other events. Information regarding the Conduct Committee can be found here.
The following types of behavior are unacceptable at FirePony Creative Society-sponsored events, including, but not limited to, Playa del Fuego and Constellation, and may result in a Conduct Committee Review:
Consent Violations. Non-consensual and unwanted contact with the body of another, especially of an aggressive or sexual nature, regardless of claimed intent. Unwanted sexual attention, including sexualized comments or jokes. Non-consensual intoxication (includes gifting intoxicants without disclosure and putting a drug into someone’s drink without their knowledge). Also includes non-consensual demeaning speech, predatory behavior, and aggression, as well as doxxing, blackmail, and the taking of photographs or video without the express consent of those involved (see “Media Without Consent” below). FPCS supports body autonomy for all participants and direct and unambiguous enthusiastic consent is expected of all participants at all times.
Hate Speech. Any conduct, depiction, video, image, audio, gesture, symbol, art, item, and/or discussion (“content”) that consists of abuse, threats, intimidation, animosity, attacks, or incitement of attacks against an individual or group of people and is defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender expression, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status, economic status, location, or any identifying characteristic. Hate Speech includes slurs and any content that incites the hatred or violence against these groups as well as praise and/or glorification of terrorism, organized crime, hate groups, and/or dangerous indivudals or groups, including any/all Nazi and White Power content, symbolism, items, or expression (including the Confederate flag).
Hate Speech that is shared in an educational, historical, satirical, or artistic manner with the spirit of challenging it or raising awareness is allowed; however the intention surrounding that content must be clearly evident and the participant must be willing to engage in respectful discussion with the community about their content.
Bullying, including Stalking and Harassment. Any conduct that intimidates, abuses, menaces, or threatens participants and/or has the intention to exclude, silence, shame, or degrade a participant (or group), or incites others to do so. Includes all manner of stalking and harassment, including conduct such as intimidation, verbal assaults, threats of violence or harm, degrading or shaming speech, humiliation, and repeated unwanted contact, both in person and electronic.
Endangering others. Any conduct or content that puts others in serious danger, including personal attacks and violence, unsafe operation of any vehicle (includes your personal vehicle, golf cart, art car, and bicycle), unauthorized fireworks, unsafe flame art and/or burning art, not maintaining general fire safety protocols (such as spinning fire without a designated safety or improper storage of fuels), and/or violations of any safety and fire policies provided by a FPCS sponsored event.
Entering a FPCS Sponsored Event Without a Ticket or Service Contract. All participants, volunteers, coordinators, board members, landowners, etc. gain entry to our events by purchasing a ticket, signing the Code of Conduct, and presenting a valid ID at the gate. Vendors, such as ice delivery or the porta potty cleaners, are under contract with FirePony Creative Society and are allowed on site to fulfill their contracts. Any other entries are unauthorized and will be considered trespassing. Aiding or helping an unauthorized entry get into a FPCS sponsored event will also be considered trespassing and will subject that participant to repercussions.
Destruction, using, or taking of property. Includes theft, destruction, and vandalism of any property, including FPCS infrastructure as well as landowner, vendor or participant property. Consent applies to things as well as bodies. If it is not yours, leave it alone, unless you have the consent of the owner of the property.
Media Without Consent. Direct and unambiguous consent is required before photographing or recording any participant at a FPCS event. Direct and unambiguous consent is also required when sharing any video, photograph, or content depicting a participant taken at a FPCS sponsored event on social media. Absolutely no media, content, video, image, description, or depiction of a FPCS event may be used for commercial purposes without prior written consent of the FPCS Board of Directors.
Other Behaviors. Other types of behaviors that are prohibited include possession of a firearm, serving alcohol to someone under 21, impersonating a volunteer, repeatedly breaching a fire perimeter, harassment of wildlife, and negatively impacting the surrounding community by dumping trash in local dumpsters, trespassing, or repeated violations of a FPCS sponsored event’s sound policy.
Repercussions. Participants in violation of this Code of Conduct at any FPCS sponsored event may be removed from that event, depending on the severity of the transgression. All removals from the event will result in a Conduct Committee case to review for additional repercussions, up to and including the suspension from participation in one or more future FirePony Creative Society-sponsored events (such as Playa del Fuego and Constellation). Other actions, such as a formal warning or the removal from volunteer position(s) are also possible. Transgressions that violate federal, state, or local laws will be escalated to the appropriate authority.
The prohibited behaviors outlined in this document are a non-exhaustive list. Nothing in this document is intended to or shall waive the right of the FirePony Creative Society Board of Directors to restrict the access of an individual or entity to any FPCS sponsored event as it may determine, in its sole discretion, is warranted.
Updated and Adopted: August/2020