Serendipity Survival Guide

First and Foremost:


Serendipity follows the 10 Principles, a set of values fundamental to any burn-style event experience. Be sure to equip yourself with knowledge of these principles, and be ready to intertwine them into your experience at the Funny Farm.

Radical Inclusion

Anyone may be a part of this event. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.


Serendipity is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.


In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance

We encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression

Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort

Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility

We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace

Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.


Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.


Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.


Thur. & Fri. 10am to 10pm.

Sat. 10am to 6pm.


Have your ID and printed ticket ready when you arrive at the gate. If you know you're going to be late, please try to make arrangements with someone to meet you at the gate. If you are not here when the gates close, we can’t guarantee someone will be there to open the gate for you. You'll want to be here as early as you can anyway!

Once through the gate, you will be welcomed home by our wonderful greeters. You’ll then sign in, get swag, and get reacquainted with the Principles. We’ll also ask you to fill out the waiver completely - there is a reason for the madness, we promise!

The next step is to find your campsite, get parked, and get set up. If you don't know where you want to camp, there will be willing and fabulous volunteers to show you around.

You will unload your vehicle at the camping access point by the entrance into the woods, and will then be required to move it to the parking area before beginning to set up your camp. Our parking volunteers will happily help you locate a parking space once you have unloaded. Please unload and move your vehicle to the parking area quickly so other people can also use the space to unload (no more than 2 hours after arrival).

For safety reasons, traffic within the Burn perimeter must be kept to a minimum, and may not be permitted after dark. Heavy rain before or during the event may force us to change plans in order to preserve the land, and we may have to change over to a "carry all your stuff in" policy. In these circumstances, you will be asked to drive straight to your parking space and carry your camp in from there. If this happens, don’t worry, we will have the necessary provisions in place to make it as hassle free as possible. Of course, this will mean that more volunteers are needed - please remember to volunteer!


Radical self reliance means bringing everything you need to survive on the farm for the duration of the event. You will not be permitted re-entry if you choose to leave the site to gather more provisions.

Recommended Packing List:

  • Shelter
  • Bedding
  • Clothing (for all weather eventualities including hot AND cold!)
  • First aid kit
  • Rain gear/boots/tarps
  • Matches/lighter
  • Bug spray (tea tree oil works great) and citronella candles
  • Sunscreen
  • Food (enough for your entire stay)
  • Water (recommended 2 gallons per person per day)
  • Flashlight
  • Utensils
  • Cookware
  • Garbage bags (pack it in, pack it out)
  • Towel
  • Toiletries (biodegradable preferred)
  • Medications
  • Fire Extinguisher (if you have any type of fire in your camp.)

There is not a lot of shade in the field camping, so you should come prepared to make some type of shelter for your camp. Tarps and ropes are good things. Any residential buildings, barns, cabins, sheds, etc., are off limits and belong to the landowner. Please respect their privacy.

Service animals must be registered before arriving - contact us if you wish to register your service animal for the event.


New for 2018, a gift of hot meals will be offered to event participants. A meal will be provided Friday and Saturday around 5pm, and a light meal on Sunday. As per the principles, please continue to be self reliant, and feel free to join in the spirit of gifting and bring food to share with everyone. There will be a Town Hall meeting held during the meal on Saturday.

We will also have a yoga goddess doing yoga instruction, for those who need a little stretching and relaxing.


Sign up here:

Serendipity is a volunteer-led event. YOU make this happen. Volunteering is the best way to meet new people, experience new things, and sustain the wonderful vibes that make this event. Volunteering is THE most fun you can have at the Funny Farm.

In addition to enjoying the wonderful land and people, please make sure to claim your volunteering status by signing up for a couple of shifts. If you are unsure about which positions are best for you, come and chat with the gate staff - you’re a shining star in the making!

If every participant takes a couple of 2-hour shifts, we could have a fully-staffed event….!


The principles still apply in the potties!  Please respect the public areas and do your part to keep them clean.

Do NOT put anything in the potty that didn't come out of your body, except for the toilet paper.

Do not drop baby wipes into the potty! It blocks things and makes it unpleasant for everyone. Don't do it. It makes us all sad to see trash and moop in and around the potty, so please do not be that person.

Be prepared and take all of your trash out with you. Thank you. End of Potty Rules.


This is a radical self-expression event. People express themselves in many different ways, whether it be through their clothing, speech, music, etc. However this expression takes place, consent is always required. Do not touch someone, or their possessions without their consent first. Consent also means that you do not take advantage of someone in a vulnerable state, in any way. Sober consent is the only real consent there is. If a consent issue happens, contact the nearest Ranger or Medic immediately. 


Always remember to ask permission before photographing or filming someone. People may be wearing “No Photography” wristbands. Some Theme Camps may have “No Photography” signs posted. Taking other participants’ photos or filming them without permission is wrong and against the principles, as is posting these online without permission. Don't do it. Consent is not an unlimited pass, you must ask each time, even if that participant had consented on a previous occasion. Respect boundaries and always get consent for all photographs and film footage.


Serendipity is an all-ages event, and we welcome children to come and enjoy the event. Please take a moment to consider how you can help them adhere to the principles so everyone, including your child, can have a wonderful and safe burn together.

In the event that someone shows up with a child/children and becomes unable to care for that child, they will be evicted from the event when it is safe to do so. Not only will

you be evicted, you will also be asked not to return to Serendipity again. The safety of our community is the number one priority, and any jeopardizing of that safety will not be tolerated. Don't be that person.

Some Theme Camps may have signage indicating their suitability for children. Please be mindful of this and check all signage before you enter any Theme Camps with children. If a sign indicates that a camp is not suitable for children, please respect this and do not bring your child into the camp. Remember to be self reliant for you and your dependents, and allow Theme Camps to do the same!


If you are camping in or near the woods, no open fires are allowed unless it is in an approved container. Any unattended fires will be gleefully extinguished with much dancing and caterwauling. Fire barrels will be situated at different spots on the land - if you need help locating these, please ask a ranger who will be happy to assist you.

Tiki torches, trampolines, and firearms are NOT allowed at Serendipity.


Because we believe in keeping our family safe, we ask that you only fire spin in designated areas and ALWAYS with a Safety.

If you plan to spin fire, you MUST speak with Fire Safety first and get an armband. NO EXCEPTIONS! If you are caught performing with fire without an armband, outside of designated areas, or without a safety, you and your camp will be ejected from the event. Don't risk it, stop by Fire Safety (or ask at the Gate) and get your armband before you light up.


Medics and Rangers will be on site and on patrol 24/7 throughout the entire event. If you need assistance please see a ranger or gate for direction. If you have a problem or a medical need, get in touch with the nearest Ranger, Medic, or person with a radio.

If you require an EpiPen, please be sure to carry one with you at all times. Remember the "leaves of three" rule! Poison Ivy, Sumac, and Oak are prolific in the woods.


This is a LNT event! If you pack it in, you MUST pack it out. Yes, that includes YOU! Do some planning while you pack and get rid of all that extraneous packaging materials, so you don’t have to deal with it during the event.

MOOP means Matter Out Of Place, which means any litter, glitter, puddle of spilled liquor! Sequins, feathers, and glitter are not recommended on site as they are very moopy. Leaving no trace means just that; pick up all traces that you were ever here at the Funny Farm, and take them off site and the end of the event to dispose of properly. If you wash your plates, your hands, or anything else at your site, make sure you collect all that grey water and remove it when you depart - do not pour it out onto the land.

Your garbage is your responsibility, so be sure to bring plenty of garbage bags and moop containers. If you partake in the act of smoking, bring a sealable tin or two for your ash and butts.


No one wants to say goodbye - we prefer see you next year!  When you leave, take your garbage home with you. Do not leave it by the roadside, or at someone else's dumpster or garbage cans.

We are all kind, welcoming, and respectful people, so make sure to demonstrate these wonderful qualities to the local community surrounding Serendipity’s grounds. Drive carefully as you approach and leave the event, and extend the same respect and courtesy to the community allowing us to return to the land each year, by respecting the local area and laws. Civic responsibility is our responsibility!

When you are ready to return to the default world, break down your camp, do a full and final sweep for moop, and bring your stuff back to the access point where you unpacked a few days earlier. Weather permitting, we will be allowing vehicles to drive over to this area to load up. Please be respectful of the other 449 weary participants that also need to use this space, and keep your loading time as swift as possible.


Hot showers are newly available on the premises! Please use the same respect as elsewhere on the site and clean up after you enjoy them.

Be aware that copperheads and rattlesnakes are native to Tennessee and may be present in the surrounding habitat.

If it rains, as tends to happen in May, expect mud. Please come prepared for any weather - after all, it is Tennessee!

Please help us make it safe and fun for everyone by doing your part to volunteer (we recommend two 2-hour shifts). Everyone should volunteer. Volunteering people are beautiful people!