Press Kit

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About the Burning Man Event in Black Rock City

Black Rock City takes place annually in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the largest dry lakebed or ‘playa’ in North America. Black Rock City is not a festival. It is a temporary city, created by and for event participants. There are no spectators; Black Rock City does not book acts or provide entertainment. As a decommodified event, there are no corporate sponsors.

Black Rock City is the largest Leave No Trace event in the world. Learn about ongoing work to make Black Rock City sustainable and regenerative. 

The 2024 Burning Man theme is Curiouser & Curiouser. Black Rock City 2024 will take place Sunday, August 25 to Monday, September 2, 2024. Learn about Black Rock City 2024

Participants in the Burning Man community, aka Burners, organize, make and create in alignment with the 10 Principles. Burning Man is a global, non-commercial, participatory culture that comes to life at more than 100 Regional events in 34 countries around the world through the Regional Network.

Black Rock City has a positive economic impact on Reno, Nevada and Northern Nevada. In 2019 alone Black Rock City participants contributed $75 million to the Nevada economy.

Burning Man’s historical timeline will take you through the cultural history of Burning Man as it has grown from a small gathering on San Francisco’s Baker Beach into a year-round global community and culture. For more Burning Man history, philosophy and culture, browse the Burning Man Historical Archives and Founders’ Voices.

Black Rock City 2023 ANIMALIA Recap

The 2023 art theme was “ANIMALIA”, which celebrated the animal world and our place in it — animals real and imagined, mythic and remembered.

In 2023 Black Rock City’s peak population was 74,126.

And yes… it rained. Read “The Disaster that Wasn’t” in the Burning Man Journal to learn how Black Rock citizens adapted to the wet and muddy conditions. And yes, we passed the Bureau of Land Management Post-Event Site Inspection.

Shape and Size of the City

  • BRC’s border was a 9.45 mile ‘perimeter fence’ that is built by hand
  • Gerlach to BRC: 13 miles. BRC to Fly Ranch: 12 miles 
  • Total event size (perimeter fence): 3,935 acres / 6.14 sq miles
  • Area of city grid: 1,113.9 acres / 1.74 sq miles

Theme camps are the lifeblood of Black Rock City. Not only do they serve as temporary communities for tens of thousands of dusty Burners, theme camps create the city’s interactivity, offering everything from snacks and shade, to workshops, dance parties, and pyrotechnics. Explore the 2022 theme camp listing.

In Black Rock City 2023 there were:

  • 1,174 theme camps
  • 58 placed villages
  • Many unplaced and impromptu camps


Burning Man art is an expression of the participatory, inclusive and interactive ethos of the culture. It removes the distinction between artist and audience, inviting all to create, connect and play. 

In Black Rock City 2023 there were:

  • 561 licensed mutant vehicles
  • 383 art pieces on playa
  • 71 funded Honoraria art projects (of which 71 made it to playa) *
  • 38 walk-in projects (art that was not pre-registered with the ARTery)
  • 45% of Honoraria art projects were linked to the theme, Animalia
  • 43% of all funded art had a female lead
  • 16 art projects had flame effects
  • 9 projects burned (including Man and Temple)
  • 4 artworks didn’t burn due to rain
  • 56 international art installations represented 28 countries
  • 26 US states were represented by artists in Black Rock City

Read about 2023 Honoraria highlights in the Journal.

An Emphasis on Sustainability, and Solar Power

We prioritized Honoraria funding for art that focused on environmental sustainability — thematically, logistically, or both. 

  • All art in Black Rock City’s plazas was solar-powered
  • The Man Pavillion build and operations were 100% solar powered
  • Mobile solar units powered 12 art projects on playa
  • The Temple was 100% powered by the sun

If you are planning to participate in Black Rock City, particular attention should be paid to the Survival Guide and the Event Preparation section of the website.

More About Burning Man

Radical Inclusion, Diversity and Equity


The Burning Man Journal

Burning Man Staff Biographies

Media Archive (past event coverage)

Academics at Burning Man