Press and Media in Black Rock City

Like any other art, photography and other types of media are considered a form of self-expression and are a vital part of the artistic ecosystem of Black Rock City. With a temporary metropolis that lasts for only a week, the images and stories outlast the structures that are built and serve to excite and inspire Burners and Burners-to-be year round. While Burning Man supports the right of artists to express themselves using cameras, extra consideration must be taken to protect the privacy of all participants and ensure media is used in a way that upholds our community principle of decommodification.

If you would like to complete a media or press project for public distribution at the event, please be aware that there are some important guidelines to follow, and that pre-registration and approval is required. In addition our Photo & Video Rights and Responsibilities is an essential read for anyone thinking about coming to Black Rock City with a camera.

If you are shooting images or video for nonpublic distribution (ie: just sharing with friends and family through your personal social networks) you do not need to register for approval; if it is your intention to release something beyond that — you’re probably going to need to register. (See more on Personal vs. Professional Use).

Whether you are shooting for personal or non-personal distribution, under the Terms and Conditions every participant in Black Rock City with a camera agrees to:

  • Respect other participants’ privacy ask for permission BEFORE shooting.
  • Not distribute imagery that violates personal privacy (eg. nudity, illegal acts).
  • Not use media in any promotional or commercial manner.
  • Seek and receive permission from Burning Man before distributing publicly.
  • Remove images from distribution if requested.
  • Register any UAV or “drone” with the BRC Airport. Click here for more drone info.

Any participant representing a publication, news organization, or non-personal blog will need to apply for approval. The deadline to register all film, video, and still photography projects is the third Thursday in July. Click Here to Submit a Burning Man Media Proposal.

“I walked through the gates, looked around, and asked myself, ‘What is this place? Is it real?’ The pictures, the film, the chat on the Internet paled into nothingness when compared to what I witnessed — and later participated in …. Over the week, I became one of those people. I learned how not to let my camera spoil a fellow citizen’s experience. I learned how to leave no trace. I learned to love the playa. Above all, I learned that the world would never be the same ever again. I had walked through the fire, and I hadn’t been burnt.

I will return this year — but this time without my camera.” –First Time Journalist

In addition to reading all of the information included Press & Media section you will absolutely want to go through the Burning Man Survival Guide in its entirety. Burning Man is no walk in the park, and your survival and ability to thrive (or just finish your project, for that matter) will depend on your being prepared. Read up on what it takes to cover Burning Man!

If you have any questions you may contact us at press@burningman.org.