SOAK is the annual regional Burning Man gathering for Portland and western Oregon, held Memorial Day weekend at the Justesen Ranch at White River Canyon in Tygh Valley, Oregon. SOAK is organized by an all-volunteer team and is a program of Precipitation NW.
Hello Community! We’d like to give you an update of what’s been going on with SOAK.
After much listening, many discussions, and careful consideration, we have made the painful, yet necessary decision to not build SOAK in 2021. We are sad to share this news as, now more than ever, human connection is really important. The disheartening reality of COVID-19 and a handful of factors went into making this difficult decision.
We’ve conferred with our Leads and Production Team, as well as the county, land owners and vendors, and have boiled it down to the following: we cannot apply for our Outdoor Mass Gathering (OMG) permit until Wasco County is in Phase 3 in which a vaccine or treatment is publicly available. In order for the county to have sufficient time to review and approve our permit before our event, as well as for us to have sufficient time to plan and coordinate SOAK, this would need to happen by January 1st, 2021. Of course planning and paperwork are not the only reasons for the months of lead time on the cut off date. It will take time for a vaccine/treatment to become widely available and for herd immunity to provide the level of protection needed to keep a couple thousand physically friendly people safe – and for us to learn the appropriate ways to handle creating a safe event in that environment. We were holding on to a strand of hope that the current circumstances would change by January. We know we’re still a few weeks away, but at this point in time, we can say with 99.99% certainty that Wasco County will not be in phase 3 in the beginning of the new year. The well-being of our participants, volunteers, our Wasco County neighbors, and public health and safety is our top priority. Safety remains in first place.
The following are some ways you can get involved and connect with our community:
Learner Barn Program: Sign up for a workshop to develop & foster your creative skills for use at festivals, events, and sharing with our communities. If you’d like to teach a class, help produce the Learner Barn program, or make a contribution to Precipitation Northwest, we’d love to hear from you! More information about the program can be found at www.learnerbarn.com.
Develop a socially- distanced event with the help of PNW: If you have an idea for an event or program, this is a chance for you to partner with Precipitation Northwest and bring your idea to life! PNW can provide help and support for your event in a variety of ways. To submit an idea, fill out this form and the PNW Board will review your proposal and be in touch. Please feel free to contact PNW at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who knows what the future holds? What we do know is that we are all SOAK – we are multifaceted, multi-talented, innovative, creative, adaptable, weirdos! Keep burning bright!
Much Love & Virtual Dancing Hugs,
SOAK Production Team & Precipitation Northwest Board of Directors
Our Core Values
Participation • Accountability • Responsibility • Respect