This is your survival guide. Read the whole thing! No really, everything! It will redeem your soul from the burden of ignorance.
Long, long time ago in a distant galaxy, there was a loving mother waiting for her next offspring to see the light of wonder. The universe around her created worry and doubt as the living creatures abused their nourishing land for wealth and ego while all they needed was unity. The mother lived in lack of love and life force, never sure if she’d made it and if she’d be able to provide for her family to show them true bliss through loving kindness.
When suddenly, the source got hit by a big bang, the divine power of creation trying to bring all creatures back to reason. The loving mother – ready to leave everything behind – went on a journey to find clarity, support and purpose. Travelling through the galaxies, she saw a tiny shiny light on planet earth. From afar she witnessed a picture she oh so well knew:
a battle between their own kind and all kinds of microorganisms, living creatures, abuse and a fight for glory and status, a crumbling community.
And despite the human creatures not doing any better than her own tribe, she could feel that little spark of deep-rooted feeling that was: HOPE.
Hope for union, unity and community.
With the loudest sounds she’s ever expressed, gathering all her suffering, sadness and year-long silence, in a world of despair and suffocation, there was this eternal voice of love speaking, no screaming out of her womb: URGHHHHHHHH!
For all sinners, lovers and loverines, to find forgiveness and truth, to be welcomed to the burning planet of wonders and magic. Far up the Swiss alps, where the ground and the trees were covered in snow in the middle of a dark, cold and innocent nature, there was light shining out from the inner centre of a number of creatures who came together to find warmth and shelter.
First there was silence and then there was URGH. Echoing laughter filled her ears, experimental art sparked her eyes, infectious happiness filled her heart and blissful silence calmed her mind. All qualities reunited in one circle of URGH.
URGH is welcoming you with your own loving and shining heart, you, creature of light, a silent nomad, a cheerful introvert, a different kind and yet you are one.
We meet as one, we dance as one and we create as one.
Welcome with us this new child, a gift to the universe and space. URGH – a name carrying the past of suffering, effort, pain and stuck emotions, ready to ignite a new era bigger than us, radically including all the dimensions and shades of being. Every one of you is an appreciated contribution to this miracle, building a colourful city in snow as more and more arrive.
And so we can’t wait to have you sparking up that beautiful mountain with warm souls and fresh minds so that the world can hear us cry out of sheer joy:
Explanation Attempts for URGH!
UrSchweizer Riffenmatter Gnusch-Herstellung
Underrated, Ridiculous Gnomes Hallucinate
UnRelated Geometric Hazards
Usually Real Geniuses are Heroes
Unexpectedly Reality Generates History
URGH! - Event Date and Duration
Build: 11th - 15th of February
Event: 16th - 19th of February
Strike: 19th - 21st of February
How it Works: The Ten Principles
URGH! generally follows the principles of Nowhere and Burning Man. Please read them if you are unfamiliar with them (There will be a test at the entrance and you don’t wanna be „that“ person).
Be the person you are. Be the person you want to be. We respect and value you, and expect the same from you. You have the freedom to be yourself. Become who you are.
You are responsible for you, mentally and physically. Bring what you need, give yourself what you need – and ask others for help when you need it.
Forget about money – there’s nothing to buy. By removing commerce from our community, we create co-operation and participation. We plan ahead and work together. We live without money to remind us of what’s really important.
Leave No Trace
From dust to dust, we leave only footprints.We care for the environment, and we take care of our home. We clean up after ourselves; we leave nothing behind; we leave no trace we were there. From dust to dust, we leave only footprints.
Get involved – This event is what we make it. The more you do, the more you get back. When you join others in play and in work, you are part of it. Your contribution is more valuable than you realise.
Everyone is welcome at our event. We welcome everyone for their unique contribution to our community. Include others as you want to be included, with respect, consideration and tolerance.
We give our time, effort and gifts freely.We give to help others and because it makes us feel good. From a cold beer to digging out a tent pole to a small badge, our gifts are from our heart.
Together we are stronger.From how we work together to how we communicate, co-operation is at our core. If we can make life easier, we will. If we can make life better, we will. Together we are stronger.
A family of individuals, we look after each other. A diverse group of separate self-reliant beings, we are united in our need to be part of something larger than ourselves. Community, others, self – united by tolerance and joy.
Make now count. All this will soon be gone, so enjoy now. Experience, participate, be. This is all there is, so enjoy.
Be a Meister!
We believe that everyone is a Meister! Your personal space bubble has a radius of two meters, it follows you, you’re the Meister of it. Make sure everything within your realm is going smooth and no one is harmed.
Remember: Volunteering is fundamental for our event. All participants are encouraged to contribute. Set up a structure on the snow field (Shnaya) that provides comfort and shelter, bring art, perform, help in the various fields of volunteering like greeting people at the gate or cleaning the toilets.
To learn how to participate, go to "Get Involved"!
Consent (aka "The 11th Principle")
In the open and experimental environment we are trying to create, it is crucial that you always check with others before practicing your self-expression.
Be aware that people from different cultures and generations come together. What’s OK for you might not be for somebody else. And how can you know if you don’t ask?
Consent isn’t just about sexual actions but anything involving another person or their personal belongings.
Remember: A no is a no, always. Even if a yes has been expressed earlier!
On the flipside, however, a yes is a yes and why would you go for anything less than “Hell, YES!”?
Consent also applies to photography:
Anybody who is identifiable in a photo you take has to be asked for consent. Consent for publishing a photo publicly, especially on social media, has to be explicitly given.
How to Get to URGH!
Important Information on
Trains, Busses, Parking, Campervans, Shuttles and Logistics
Louetli 86 c
3156 Riffenmatt (BE)
Arrival by Public Transport
Take the train to "Schwarzenburg". Check www.sbb.ch (Swiss railways) for the best connections and fares (have a look at the supersaver/ Sparbillet option for early booking). The SBB app also works pretty well.
This is the closest you can get by train. Once you've made it here, you're only about 7km away from our site - uphill. Meaning you will need additional means of transport.
There is a bus going up all the way to Schwarzenbühl very close to our site with the number B615.
However this bus only runs Saturdays and Sundays and the last one to go up leaves Schwarzenbühl at 15:15.
At the weekends there are four journeys per day. The ones going up from Schwarzenburg station leave at:
09.15 12.15 13.48 15.15
These departure times are aligned with the suburban train number S6 arriving from Berne.
The bus ticket cannot be paid in advance or through the SBB ticket page or app and has to be paid in cash or through the Swiss payment app "Twint".
A single fullprice ticket for adults costs CHF 8.00, for children or holders of a Swiss "GA" or "Halbtax" subscription it's CHF 6.00.
Take the bus right to the final stop, the journey takes 30mins. From there walk back down the road for about 10mins and you will find some crazy hippies jumping around in the snow...
For the most of participants that first bus won't be an option.
Bus number B612 is another option, which runs much more often, but will only go until Riffenmatt. The village of Riffenmatt is 3.6km from our location.
From there you will either have to organise a ride or walk for about one hour until you arrive at the Waldhaus.
This bus goes almost every hour and is mostly aligned with those S6 suburban trains that leave Berne at 6 past the hour. For best connections search at the SBB website or app. You can search directly from Berne to Riffenmatt.
Bus departures in Schwarzenburg are:
6:13 7:13 7:43 9:43 11:43 12:43 13:43 14:43 15:43 16:43 17:43 18:13 18:43 19:43 20:43
Do you want one? We want one! We have a car but we need a Meister who can URGH-anise driving shifts and coordinate arrival times of participants. Can YOU help?
Our gift to you, future Meister, is this handy spreadsheet for URGH-anisation and carpooling.
ALL PARTICIPANTS are requested to complete the spreadsheet - especially if you are coming for build/strike - to help coordinate travel as a community.
Arrival by Car
You can park your car on the public parking called "Schwarzenbühl Nord". Its located after the Waldhaus continuing on the road for 2 minutes up the mountain. Parking fee is 5 CHF per day paid cash (coins) or by the mobile apps "Paybyphone" or "sepp-parking".
From the parking its a 10 minutes walk downhill back to the Waldhaus. You can stop and unload your luggage at the gate while driving past Waldhaus, but please don't leave your car there and be aware of traffic since the house is situated in a sharp turn of a windy mountain road.
Snow Chains and Parking Alternatives
The road is extremely steep and often snow-covered - its highly advised to BRING SNOW CHAINS! If your car cannot make it up to Schwarzenbühl, please park it down in the village of Riffenmatt. There is a free public parking lot at the "Mehrzweck-Halle" (multipurpose hall) in the village center. Use our shuttle bus or hitchhike to get up to Waldhaus (its only 5 minutes by car but at least 1 hour walking).
On saturday and sundays there is some Postauto-Busses driving up, see section above on bus times.
Available spots are limited and might have run out by now >> contact placement immediately!!!
Practical Advice and Considerations
Arriving during build - Your food and sleeping arrangements
Important: Sign up for build if you are planning to arrive prior to the official start of the event, i.e. before 16th of February!!!
As you all know, there are various sleeping arrangements during URGH. You either have a camping ticket, which means you will sleep in a tent, a yurt, an igloo, a campervan... Or you might have a bunk bed ticket, which means you will have a bed available to sleep in during the event from Thursday 16th until Sunday 19th (you will still need to bring bed linens and/or a sleeping bag).
Regardless of which type of ticket you have for the event, if you come early to help with build you will have a bed to sleep in during this time! Please note that there is only limited space and this space is dedicated to people working. Build time is not party time. We get up early in the morning to work. There will be food served to volunteers during this time. If you come for build, you must fill out the build sign-up form - otherwise we won’t know to feed you. You want to eat, don’t you?
On Thursday morning, everybody needs to move out of the bedrooms completely and go to Gate between 10:00 and 12:00 for check-in. Please bring your ticket. You will then receive your wristband and can sign up for your bed if you have a bunk bed ticket.
Arriving during event time (16th-19th)
As at every burn, the very first thing when you arrive is to go to Gate and check in with your ticket and ID. Hug your old/new friends (if everyone consents) and maybe even fill your cup with something… (Hopefully you brought your burner cup or it’s going to be a very sad day on the Shnaya for you.)
But wait - did you fill out the spreadsheet with your travel details? Make sure you do this or you might find the Gate is closed and no one is waiting to welcome you!
Make sure you come to Gate upon arrival. If you have a bunk bed ticket, you will need to sign your name on a list to claim a bed at Gate. That way we can make sure everybody can find their sleeping space. Remember to bring your own bed linens and/or a sleeping bag.
If you are camping outside - congratulations! We are trying to gradually change into a winter-outdoor event and you are making this a reality. Make sure you read the vital information on Survival in the Snow in the next section. We don’t want any human popsicles this year!
Important: Outside horizontal space is limited.
If you want to bring a yurt, large tent or other larger installation get in contact with placment as soon as possible! Like NOW!
Radical self-reliance! There is one clean, open, communal kitchens (C.O.C.K.) where you will need to make your own food during the event. The C.O.C.K. is not big enough for everyone to use it at the same time - this has strong potential for a cluster fuck.
To make sure there is enough C.O.C.K. for everyone to be satisfied (and avoid gigantic waiting lines), we advise you to organise in groups, bring very simple (one pot) or preferably even pre-cooked meals to reheat, or bring food that doesn’t need cooking at all. Also - sharing is caring (just don’t feed the no-care bears)! There will be no space to store your food inside, so bring smart solutions to store it outside (boxes, etc).
The C.O.C.K. will come equipped with all the usual toys (pans, knives, spatulas, etc) for you to use, but personal items like cutlery and dishes will be locked away - please remember to bring your own. Also remember to always keep your C.O.C.K. clean and leave it ready for the next person to enjoy!
Please only bring what you can and will take out again. General waste organised by the event should be restricted to small things like food packaging.
This also goes for unconsumed food. The strike team might be thankful for leftover food but in general be prepared that you might have to take it out with you!
Remember to bring a moop bag (“moop” = matter out of place) and a personal carry-on ashtray if you are a smoker.
Volunteering: The Meisterplan
Be a Meister! As always, there will be a volunteer-shift plan. Make the event a joy for everyone instead of an URGHHHH by volunteering!
The sign up for the shift-plan will be posted in the URGH facebook group before the event. Also, there will be a printed-out version of the shift-plan during the event at Gate. Please make sure to double check your shifts during the event (we know it can get confusing in the snow…)
*** Breaking News! Breaking Pots! Breaking Minds!
... uhm... "someone(tm)" will surely fix them *** 😉
Anyhow.. SnowInfo might or might not be represented at URGH! Yeah... thats pretty urgh... but as this is a smaller happening, we have shifts that need to be filled to make URGH happen at all!
Maybe we will make SnowInfo Gate again (*badummzischh*) - maybe there will be a some other manifestation of the bright shining spirit of SnowInfo! In the very least, Flirt4Yurt a.k.a. Bang4Bed a.k.a. should be back, as will the PawnShop - uhm - LostAndFound I mean.
Survival in the Snow
Hello, it’s Switzerland, I’m cold in winter, especially during night.
Bring warm clothes, don’t turn into a popsicle. Wear lots of layers, onions are never cold.
Insulation is the word, especially for your feet. Wear good shoes (no plastic sole), socks are warm too.
Keep yourself warm and dry, cuddle puddles are a great way for “radiative” heat transfer.
Eat enough! Energy keeps you warm.
Drink a lot, but don’t eat snow! Melt the snow and drink it molten.
Never eat yellow snow!
Alcohol and other substances may alter your sensitivity to cold. Don’t fall asleep drunk outside, hypothermia doesn’t ask for consent.
Put sunscreen on and use sunglasses, you don’t want to be that sun-kissed.
Don’t venture outside by yourself. It’s boring anyway.
If you consider camping YOU MUST READ our camping guide.
For snow camping, you ideally want a “mountaineering tent” (or “4-season tent”) that’s easy and quick to set up in frigid conditions. These tents are a bit heavier than 3-season backpacking tent but offer better snow/wind protection.
A typical mountaineering tent features:
Dome shape and an extra-strong pole structure.
Mostly solid fabric (instead of mesh) for more warmth and strength.
Dual doors for easy access even in bad weather
Extra guy lines for more stability in high winds
A “gear attic” to stow small items and free up floor space
Large vestibule(s) for wet-gear storage or a sheltered cooking area.
A ground cloth protects your tent from any water that might seep from the snow through the tent floor. Any tarpaulin will work, but a tent “footprint” (sold separately) is lightweight and is custom cut to fit your tent’s dimensions.
These provide both cushioning and insulation. For winter camping, be sure to use two full-length pads to keep from losing body heat on snowy surfaces. Pads are rated by R-value, the measurement of insulation, ranging from 1.0 to 8.0. The higher the R-value, the better it insulates.
Tip: Use a closed-cell foam pad next to the ground and a self-inflating pad on top to get the best insulation from the cold ground. The foam pad also serves as insurance in case the self-inflating pad gets punctured.
Make sure you use a bag that’s rated at least 10°C lower than the coldest temperature you expect to encounter. You can always vent the bag if you get too warm. Cold- and winter-rated bags are supplied with generous amounts of goose down or synthetic insulation. Down is the most popular choice due to its superior warmth-to-weight ratio. Just make sure to keep it dry (when wet, down loses much of its insulating ability) or use the new water-resistant down bags now on the market.
Winter bags are also distinguished by their draft tubes behind the zippers, draft collars above the shoulders and hoods to help keep the heat in the bag.
Sleeping bag liner
Using a bag liner adds extra warmth, minimizes wear and helps keep your bag cleaner. The extra layer can add 4° to 8°C of warmth.
Clothes to Bring
You lose a significant percentage of your body heat through the top of your head. Follow the old mountaineering saying: “If your feet are cold, put on a hat.” Consider windproof models such as those made from Gore Wind Stopper fabric.
Gloves & Mittens
Another must. Take extras, too, in case they get wet.
Always protect your eyes from sun and wind. There are different lens tints for various weather conditions. Snow blindness is a thing! Bring shades.
Wear a thin, snug layer next to your skin and a second layer over it, both made of merino wool or a synthetic fabric. The thickness of your second sock is determined by your boot fit. An extra-thick sock will not keep your feet warm if it makes your boots too tight. Take extras.
What Can Happen to You in the Snow?
This is the body’s temperature decreasing due to exposure to the cold conditions. It can be life threatening. A person can become hypothermic without even noticing it.
This happens in cold-weather conditions. Frostbite is a freezing of the tissues usually on the fingers, toes, nose or face. It is a result of heat being lost faster than the blood can circulate. In severe cases, appendages may have to be amputated.
Tip: Use chemical heat packs to help stay warm and to avoid getting frostbite.
Numbness to an area.
Loss of sensitivity to touch.
Tingling that feels like burning.
Skin appears red and then white-to-purple
Even when the temperature is low, you can still get dehydrated and that’s not good for your kidneys, heart or brain. So drink plenty of water—even if you’re not thirsty. Drink before you become thirsty.
Tip: Keep the fluids flowing in freezing weather with an insulated reservoir and tubing.
A good way to determine if you’re drinking enough is to check the colour of your urine. If it’s dark, you are dehydrated. If it’s pale in colour, you’re doing a good job hydrating!
Other symptoms of dehydration in extreme temperatures:
Increased heart rate.
Stay warm! Eat enough! Drink water!
Art Grants, Volunteer Shifts, Workshops, Performances
Volunteering is an integral and very central part of any burn and a great way to make new friends and have a great laugh. We invite you to participate by taking some shifts and make this event as fantastic as it possibly can be.
Funding Art (fArt)
Bring your Art to URGH!
Dear beautiful, creative people
You always had some crazy idea in mind? URGH! is your moment to make it happen.
Do you want to bring an installation or a performance to our event but your project requires financial assistance? Whether you want to dazzle people’s minds with deeper insights, show off your skills or just bring something that looks pretty, we welcome it all! If you have not already secretly started building your art, NOW is a good moment to do so.
Here you find the guidelines which should leave no doubts and answer any questions.
As time is very limited this year it is even more important that you fill out the form asap or contact us with information about the space needed.
Again, please contact us as soon as you know more and fill out the form.
💰We have in total CHF 1500 to support artists. Let us have a chat, about what you need. The Verein might have some of the materials you need in our storage room.
Any doubts and questions? Please contact us with your ideas…and we will see how we can make it happen!
So exciting 🔥🤞🌈☃️ love everywhere!
You got a ticket for URGH! and you will bring your camp, your tent, your art installation, sauna, hot tub or other project? Awesome!! Please fill in the online registration form so we can sort out your placement.
This is particularly important if you plan to bring a yurt or other big structure since outside, horizontal space is limited. In this case please get in touch with placement as soon as possible!
In addition, if you plan to come early, we ask you to fill in the build sign-up form.
Power & Light
Electricity on site is limited. As we don't want to have a "Strommangellage" at URGH (aka unplanned power outages, aka end-of-party), we request that you use gas- and wood-based heating and cooking systems (or the available kitchen) - no electricity for heating or cooking.
Reasonable sound and light installations are fine, but please tell the power rangers (via placement form or our separate form until Feb 4th what you plan.
You want to create/share/teach/whisper/other some kind of workshop during URGH? Do you need some location/power/communication? Either way - signing up to make your idea a reality or just help coordinating things can't hurt! Do so at http://ungeil.ch/urghshops
This event is wholly organised by volunteers, everybody is a participant and a volunteer (see „2. Principles“). Our budget is very limited.
Therefore, kindly note:
You are attending the event at your own risk and you are responsible for your own health and safety.
There is no medical team on site.
You are responsible for your own medical and accident insurance.
Be prepared to look after yourself in case of an emergency.
We take no responsibility for any injuries or damage / loss of property.
We take no responsibility for any actions of the participants or content of the event.
THE ORGANISERS – THE VEREIN ZUR FÖRDERUNG DER BURNER SZENE SCHWEIZ („VFBSS“, A SWISS ASSOCIATION) – AND ANY VOLUNTEERS HEREBY EXCLUDE ANY LIABILITY AS FAR AS PERMITTED BY SWISS LAW.
The contract between the ticket holder and the VFBSS is governed by Swiss law.
Please carefully read our guidlines on Survival in the Snow!
If you plan on camping outside, please be especially aware of the risks and familiarise yourself very carefully with the needs in respect to equipment and skills. This is especially important to know for participants who have never been to the mountains or in a snowy environment. Extreme cold is potentially more dangerous than extreme heat.