• infobot@lakesoffire.org


We, the Effigy Council, are filled to the brim with joy, knowing people who love to build big things and burn them to the ground exist.

This passion has fueled our desire to create a one-stop-shop for all of your effigy-building desires. This page contains all the details of the effigy application process, deadlines, proposal requirements, restricted materials, build timelines, and more.  Please read and understand all of it.  As someone who wants to build the effigy, this will help us work together to see this project through.

We’ve outlined ALL the information that you need to create and submit a proposal, along with important expectations of the Effigy Build Lead and Crew. Don’t stress if you have questions or don’t know everything. The purpose of the Effigy Council is not only to choose the next effigy but also to consult with the effigy lead and builders in getting it constructed. If you have questions, please email effigy@lakesoffire.org.

The members of the Effigy Council will score each application. All factors that we score on are located in this document. The more detailed proposal you can give us, the better. The winner who gets their design chosen will be the new Effigy build Lead. Once the project is done, the lead (if you choose) can join the Effigy Council to help choose and mentor the next effigy for the following year.

Before you work up a full proposal, take time to brainstorm your effigy.  Here are some of the essential details to get you started:

  • The Effigy Build Team receives money from Lakes of Fire for materials and transportation for the effigy.  There is an $8,000 budget for the Effigy. This money is for EVERYTHING.
  • The fireworks budget is separate from the effigy budget.
  • The size of the effigy must be less than 4,500 lbs of wood and have a footprint of 25 feet by 25 feet and 25 feet in height or less. This is a firm size dimension. We have no space to hold a larger effigy then this.

With these facts in mind you are ready to sketch your effigy idea.  Send us your napkin sketch by the Phase 1 deadline (see below).


  • UPDATED: October 1st – 27th, 2023: Phase 1 “Intent to Submit”. Deadline is 10/27. (see Phase 1 information below)
  • November 30th, 2023: Phase 2 “Full Submission” deadline (see Phase 2 information below)
  • December 2023: Council Meetings to review applications and virtual interviews with artists.
  • January 5th ISH 2024: Artists will be notified of the council’s decision.
Napkin Sketch of the Life Star

Submission Phases

Phase 1: Call for Napkins! (Intent to submit)

  • Email effigy@lakesoffire.org with your napkin idea
  • Include your: name, playa name, email, a brief description of your concept, and a photo of your napkin drawing.

Phase 2: Fully Submitted Proposal


What if I have an effigy idea but I don’t know how to build it?

SWEET! You should apply for Phase 1, the Call for Napkins (see Submission Phases, above).  Please email effigy@lakesoffire.org before the Phase 1 deadline with:

  • A detailed description of your project. (Please address everything below under Proposal Requirements, keeping in mind everything under Limitations and Expectations)
  • A drawing

It’s OK if these things are not perfect, we understand.  To inspire you, See the 2019 Summerween effigy napkin sketch above!

How do I apply if I have an idea and a build team?

WOOHOO! Submit your napkin idea by the Phase 1 deadline.  Then, submit a full proposal (Phase 2) to Proposal Requirements and Limitations and Expectations; these criteria are used to score your proposal.

What does an impressive proposal look like?

Building an effigy requires dedication to detail; your application provides us with a first impression of your ability. We have included examples of several previous applications for you to understand what we are looking for. Detailed, complete proposals have a better chance of being selected.



  • Please view the list of Prohibited Materials here.
  • Due to space constraints, the size of the effigy and its footprint at the maximum amount is 25 feet by 25 feet and 25 feet high. This is non-negotiable
  • The total amount of wood used must be less than 4,500 lbs.
  • Budget $8,000.
    • The Effigy budget will not cover the purchase of tools (saws, drills etc). The budget is good for:
      • Hardware: bolts/screws/wood (indicate sizes and amounts in the proposal)
      • Paint
      • Replacement drill bits, saw blade, etc
      • Transportation of the effigy to/from LOF
      • Lighting purchasing (but we do have some already, and we would like you to reuse if possible)
      • Flame effect propane
      • Gas for generator (if using one)
      • Decoration
      • Small amounts of swag
    • Misused or unapproved purchases are considered disrespectful to the community at large and are not allowed. Misappropriated funds must be paid back to GLEA, the governing entity of Lakes of Fire (the organizing branch that allocates funds from each year’s ticket sales to pay for the effigy).
    • Any money spent outside of the approved budget will be the sole responsibility of Artist.
    • All items purchased with the intent of building the structure are the property of GLEA and must be returned to a member of the Effigy Council before the final payment of grant monies are distributed.
      • Items to be returned include anything that was purchased using GLEA funds and wasn’t burnt to the ground.
    • All funding for the Effigy is to come through GLEA and the Effigy design build crew only. Any outside fundraising and solicitation is strongly discouraged and is to be reviewed by GLEA before initiating.
    • Upon award of project and project funding, any subsequent budgetary adjustments must be reviewed by GLEA before proceeding.
  • The effigy build crew must be prepared to regularly participate with the rest of the Effigy Council through Google Group and conference calls. Failure to participate in these calls will make everyone’s jobs more difficult.
  • A member of the Effigy Council is required to come and view and/or participate in several of your build days. This allows us to see how your team works together, the construction of the piece and to troubleshoot any issues that might happen. Any suggestions that come from the Effigy Council member need to be listened to in detail and taken into account. If the build crew is not ok with these suggestions or these visits, please state so and we will kindly put your application aside
  • Effigy build crew will have access to the site starting Friday evening before the event. The piece needs to be fully constructed, decorated, lit up, etc by Wednesday morning on opening day.
  • Only one point of contact is necessary but more are welcome.
  • Never at any point is the build crew/lead to contact the local fire department. This is not your responsibility or your role. FAST will handle all communication with the fire department, permit creation and obtainment.
  • Fireworks: GLEA hires a licensed and insured fireworks company to install and execute a beautiful fireworks show. There is a separate budget of $4,500 for this piece of the Effigy. The Effigy build lead will be a part of the conversations with the fireworks company to create an event that showcases the Effigy. These conversations will be initiated by FAST.
  • Onsite Expectations: So you built it, you transported it, you assembled it… alas your work is not done. Effigy build lead(s) will have a radio during the on site build, and also on Saturday (Burn Day). This radio is used for FAST and other departments to communicate with the Effigy lead(s) about any number of things. There is a dedicated channel for this communication. A responsible and appointed in charge member of the Effigy Build crew must be onsite AT ALL TIMES and in a position to be able to make important decisions should they arise about the Effigy. The Effigy Department leads will also be on site, and responsible for making sure things run smoothly during the event, as well as assisting the team during the pre-event build days and the burn night preparation. More details and lots of discussion will happen once the build lead(s) are chosen – if you have questions, please reach out to the department leads.
  • LNT: The Effigy Build crew is responsible for the full LNT of the effigy burn site.  This is done Sunday morning till the job is all cleaned up. We will provide direction on how to do this.
  • DMV: Effigy build crew will be allotted 1 cart from DMV to use pre-event. This cart will be available to you from when the carts are delivered onsite until Wednesday morning when Gate opens. Your pre-event volunteers all need to sign the Golf Cart Driver Waiver before they can drive the cart. The cart is only allowed to be used for Effigy build matters. Abuse of the cart will result in removal of the cart from your care and if damages have occurred, the driver will be responsible for damages. This is covered in the Golf Cart Driver Waiver.
  • Effigy Contract: If your design is chosen, you will be given an Effigy Contract for the Effigy Build Lead to sign. This contract must be signed before money can be given for the project.


Any and all answers are respected. We need to know how we can best assist the project. Your honesty will only help the Effigy Council support you more from start to finish. We are all one big team.

The Effigy Council will review all applications, diagrams and images using these different categories. We score each application on these categories, in no particular order. Although the scoring system is numeric, we will also discuss subjective things – how does the design make us feel? What is exciting to us as viewers and participants? Does this design engage the community? Is it accessible for our mobility challenged participants? All of these things are considered alongside the completed applications. The more detail you can submit, the better. If you don’t know everything, don’t stress it, the purpose of the Effigy Council is to not only choose the next effigy but to consult with the effigy lead and builders in getting it constructed and give you guidance along the way. We will schedule a call in early December with each team that submits a full proposal to talk through your project, raise any questions that come up during council discussions, and give you a chance to ask any questions of us as well!

  • Effigy Vision: Give us a fantastic introduction, include the vibe of the piece, the intention, how you came up with the idea, theme incorporation, is there anything super special about this piece? A hidden element? Make us feel your inspiration.
  • Group Introduction: Please introduce you and / or your group to us. Include skills you have, talents you possess, previous build/project experience, leadership capabilities and burner resume. How many Lakes of Fire / burner events have you participated in? Additionally, we want to know what are your weak points. This could include:
    • Maybe you have never led a project like this before.
    • Maybe you hate using a saw.
    • Maybe you are bad at budgeting.
  • Prior Projects: If you have built prior projects and/or burning structures please tell us a little bit about them and what you have learned from each piece/project.
  • Drawings and Diagrams: Hand drawn, computer illustrated and/or blueprints.
    • Outside view of the effigy – in all it’s glory
    • Outside view of the effigy including dimensions
    • Inside view of the effigy – in all it’s glory – include any decorations or accoutrements
    • Inside structural diagrams – including dimensions, thoughts on weight load
  • Materials: What is your effigy made out of? Please list all materials used. Including lighting, sound, decorations, wood, screws etc. There are certain items that are not allowed to be used in burnable art at Lakes of Fire. (Please view the list of Prohibited Materials.)
  • Budget:
    • $8,000. Please do not make $8,000 your goal if the project does not need it.
    • Where are you sourcing your materials? Are you buying lumber from craigslist? Bolts from Home Depot?  Knowing this information tell us that you’ve done your research. After full review, we may be able to offer you a more inexpensive alternative to your originally sourced sources. We’ve done this a couple of times.
    • The Effigy Build Team is required to fill in a GLEA specific budget form and to continually update this budget. Failure to do so in a timely manner could result in lack of reimbursement. This templated form is part of your Phase 2 submissions process.
  • Participation and Interaction potential: We all like to play and climb on things. If your piece has been designed around the elements of participation and / or interaction, please tell us about them.
    • Include potential safety hazards that might arise from people interacting with your piece, and any thoughts you may have regarding minimizing those hazards.
    • How have you made your piece accessible for our mobility challenged participants? Are there any features that these community members will be able to access and enjoy? The Effigy and Mobility departments are working on solutions to help people get to the burn pad (that’s the sandy part), but once they are there, how does your piece include them?
  • Build Logistics:
    • Build Plan: Create a schedule based on anticipated milestones
      • Milestone 1: Purchasing of materials
      • Milestone 2: Date you / your team begins using materials
      • Milestone 3: Date of 25% total project completion
      • Milestone 4: Date of 50% total project completion
      • Milestone 5: Date of 75% total project completion
      • Milestone 6: Date of project dry fit
        • The dry fit date must happen at least 2 weeks before the piece is transported to LOF to ensure there is enough time to make structural or other changes, if necessary.
        • Project dry fit date needs to be communicated so a member of the effigy council can come and inspect the piece for structural stability.
        • Communicate any changes to this date at least 2 weeks in advance.
      • Milestone 7: A detailed account of what you will need onsite to build, finish and open the structure to the public.
    • On-Site Build Schedule:
      • Prefabricated structural components allow for ease of assembly on site, and should be considered in the design and build plan. Ideally, the Effigy will require minimal time for assembling the structural components at the LOF site. The majority of time on site should be budgeted for cladding/finishing, lighting and decoration.
    • Build Location: An important piece about your project is the home in which it will be created. Please tell us a bit about the space, where it is located (address is extra brownie points) and any limitations or benefits you know about with the space.
  • Safety Plan: Take a bird’s eye view to anticipate how someone, anyone of any size, might injure themselves while interacting with your piece.
    • Do changes need to be made to make it safer?
    • How have you incorporated safety into your design?
  • Your Burn Vision: We know what it looks like now but how do you envision it looking like when it burns? How do you envision lighting it? If you don’t have a vision yet, that is OK. FAST (Fire Arts Safety Team) will work with you on this.
  • LNT: We are a Leave No Trace event. After years of doing effigy cleanups, we have a very good idea of how the process works and are willing to train volunteers. Do you have a crew leader available to work LNT overnight on burn night? We will provide the crews to help, but do you have someone on your team who can fill this position?
  • Volunteers (Build, docent, perimeter, LNT): Your project will require a variety of volunteers to help you succeed.
    • Do you have a volunteer manager? The Effigy department has a Volunteer Coordinator to help you, but who on your team will be their point of contact?
    • How do you plan on recruiting volunteers?
    • How will you create space for the general population of Lakes of Fire to help out and/or create things for the Effigy?
  • Flame Effects: We love them, we know you do too. ALL flame effects have to be approved by the Effigy Council. Please tell us in your proposal if you have plans on building your own.
    We will have two 100 lb propane tanks available to fuel your wildest dreams – or at least a couple of poofers! If you choose to have flame effects for your effigy, we will staff volunteers to man them, but someone on your team will need to be available to train them in safe operation. More information will be provided once the design is chosen.