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General Info 2016

What can I expect?


Catharsis on the Mall 2016 will be held on the National Mall, in the shadow of the Washington Monument. We will be located south of Constitution Ave and east of 17th St NW, between the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial. Our event this year runs from Friday, November 11 11:11am – Sunday, November 13 11:13 am.

This year, vigilers can expect to find: a like-minded community of participants who care about healing for ourselves, each other and our society; large scale art including the Temple of Rebirth and Abraxas, the Dragon of Self Determination; workshops, speakers, music and activities during the day and evening; a variety of small scale local art provided by YOU; healing and gathering spaces; music and cathartic dancing on Saturday night until sunrise.

In addition to our opening and closing ceremonies, our signature events this year will be:

  • our ceremonial burning of the Temple of Rebirth with accompanying fire performance, starting at 8pm on Saturday
  • a sunrise march with Abraxas around the National Mall on Sunday morning, symbolizing our often cyclical journey through trauma towards Home, and calling for expanded federal funding for PTSD research.

What should I bring?


Here is a short list of what to bring :

  • Whatever personal food and water you will need for your time at Catharsis
  • Warm clothes for Saturday night – we will have some heaters but last year got COLD
  • Flashlight / head lamp
  • Blankets, chairs, and/or mats
  • Small container for cigarette butt disposal, if you smoke
  • If traveling from out of town, plans for sleeping accommodations OFF the National Mall
  • Your active, creative spirit and energy, awareness of your own journey home and readiness to meet others in theirs


What NOT to bring:

  • Sleeping bags / overnight gear / intentions to sleep on the National Mall (our permit does not allow this)
  • Any form of campfire, fireworks, firearm, camping stove, generator or anything like this; including fire staffs (Unfortunately, the conclave is a closed jam!)

***Do not bring alcohol or any illegal substances, including cannabis*** Catharsis on the Mall is a vigil for healing and an acknowledgement of our journeys. It is a space for consciousness, not for inebriation. Furthermore, it is on public, federal property and all federal laws are in effect. Anyone found consuming or possessing alcohol or illegal substances on the National Mall will be immediately asked to leave by volunteers and organizers, and law enforcement will be on site and assisting in maintaining public safety and compliance with the law.

Will there be food and water available?

Our permit does not allow us to give out or sell food or water to participants beyond our direct volunteers, and opportunities to purchase food are limited around the National Mall, especially at night on the weekends. We strongly encourage you to bring enough food and water for yourself for the time you plan to be at Catharsis on the Mall. We will have some water on site in case of dehydration or other emergencies.

Safety and First Aid

We will have trained First Aid volunteers readily available on site during the core hours of the event (Friday 11:00am – Sunday 9:00am). Their clothing will be marked and they will be reachable by anyone with a radio. The First Aid team is not a medical team, we will not provide any Emergency medical care. However, we will help facilitate transportation to the nearest hospital in the case of an emergency.

We will have trained and experienced volunteer Rangers on site to proactively address any safety concerns or other escalating conflict between vigilers. They will be patrolling the site during core hours and available by anyone with a radio.


Leave No Trace

Plan to pack out any waste and recycling you generate during Catharsis. On-site trash and recycling will be limited, and we don’t want to overflow any public bins in the nearby area.

Cigarettes butts cause most fires and trash. Always put your butts out and NEVER throw them on the ground. Carry a small can or film tube in your pocket to hold your used butts.

MOOP (Matter Out of Place) from clothes like sequins, glitter or feathers are nearly impossible to clean up. We plan to return the National Mall to the condition we found it, or better at the end of the event. Please avoid bringing costumes that incorporate elements that can easily fall off.

Let’s take collective ownership of our space and demonstrate the values of our community by keeping the National Mall beautiful and clean during the event. If you don’t clean it up, another volunteer will at the end of the weekend when everyone is exhausted. Please do your part.

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