The Administration of Burning Man is not a department or a group of managers, but rather the various departments and locations that facilitate Burning Man’s operations both on and off-playa.
The primary hub of facilitating year-round Burning Man activity is the San Francisco Office. The office is home to year-round board and senior staff meetings and decision-making, as well as a variety of other departmental operations. It is also the place of the annual Open House (formerly known as the “Town Meeting”) for volunteer recruitment, and a place where artists sometimes work on projects.
The equivalent of the San Francisco Office in Black Rock City is First Camp. This is the business management center and home for the organizers of Burning Man. Board, Senior Staff, Community Services, eXternal Relations Team and other meetings are held here daily. In 2006 First Camp hosted its 6th Regional Network Mixer, convening Burning Man Regional Contacts from all over the world. The Black Rock Arts Foundation had a thank you party, and Burning Man staff celebrated the culmination of a year’s worth of their planning to create Black Rock City.
Tickets are not only the passports from the default world into Black Rock City, but are also the lifeblood of the Organization, as virtually all revenue from operations comes from ticket sales. The Ticket Team manages the sales of all tickets either online or at outlets. The team also manages the database of ticket holders and educates participants about how to buy second-hand tickets without being defrauded. In 2006 ticket buyers experienced technological difficulty when purchasing online. However, the team worked closely with the ticket vendor to create new solutions that will eliminate these problems in 2007.
On-playa, the Ticket Team operates the Box Office twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This year the Box Office and Gate crews cooperated to create the same kind of atmosphere at their outpost that is felt inside Black Rock City. This was accomplished through decorating, fire performances and other spontaneous creative energy. Other improvements for 2006 included upgrading to new touch-screen technology for the check-in process.
The Safety Committee consists of a wide-variety of department representation to ensure that Burning Man’s work activities achieve safe levels of operation. Now in its sixth year of operation, the Safety Committee has grown to include representatives from the Board, Senior Staff, Emergency Services, Black Rock Rangers and Department of Public Works.
The Legal Team does for Burning Man’s legal compliance what the Safety Committee does for safe operations. Focusing primarily on trademark enforcement and contract negotiations, the team of lawyers, staff, law students and volunteers focus on keeping the Burning Man name and symbol free from commercial use, and ensure that vendor and other contracts are appropriate. Multi-year agreements are becoming the norm with our porta-potty and other vendors. Other legal issues come up from time-to-time including employment, Constitutional and BLM regulatory law.