Greeters are the grinning face of Burning Man, the first happy contact between participants and Black Rock City. Greeters welcome you home to the desert. This is a vital role that helps shape perceptions and expectations of both first-time and long-time participants. It’s also the one and only guaranteed chance to communicate with each participant on a one-to-one basis. In short, the mandated goal of greeting is the orientation and education of every participant before setting him or her loose to explore Black Rock City…and that which is Burning Man.

Burning Man 2007 saw continued growth and success for the Greeters.

  • Collation at the Greeters Station was again successful this year. With approximately 50,000 packets assembled in just under five days, the greeter volunteers should be proud of their accomplishment. This year, The Green Map was added, and although this piece of material was a bit late to be included with the collated packet, for the most part, Greeters were able to handle the distribution of this beautiful map.
  • The building and tear down of Greeters Station was better than ever. Even though there is not an official Station Building Manager, a terrific team has rather organically developed to ensure that the station is properly and safely built, torn down in a timely manner, and looks great.
  • Again, there were many participants who simply showed up at the station to help collate, set up, tear down and greet. These random volunteers are amazing and really help to round out the Greeter schedule.
  • The Greeter computer guru continues to ensure that the schedule is well-managed and easy for participants to work with. The schedule had a good balance between Theme Camps and Greeters.
  • Opening night was spectacular! Congratulations to all who made the opening of Burning Man such a success. There was an abundance of Greeters, art cars, fire displays, a fabulous DJ, and fire spinners all on hand to welcome the participants home. It was a very successful evening for all.
  • As usual, communication between teams continues to improve. The placement team continues to be awesome! The Greeter team and Placement team worked well together in 2007.
  • Greeter Council continues to work as a solid team. Members work well together, know what needs to be done with little direction, and have fun at the same time. In 2008, a new member is being added to the council to help run Greeters Camp. Having an additional hand to help with the running of camp will spread the work load more evenly for all.

A male greeter in a tie-dye shirt and Romanesque helmet poses with two women and a man.  One woman wears faux-fur legwarmers.2007 challenges and solutions:

Again, there was theft at Greeters Station. Two of the Greeter Bells were stolen. One from the station and one from camp. The solution – weld the bells to the bell towers then cut them off at the end of the event. A Greeter flag was also taken. This property of Burning Man is expensive to replace.

What is planned for 2008

  • 2008 will bring some updating to the Greeter Beacons at the Station. An upgrade to the power system and lighting will make the Beacons brighter and more visible at night.
  • A new Greeter Camp coordinator will be in place and helping out all around.
  • The schedule will be upgraded so that participants will be able to better manage their own schedule.
  • The Greeter’s Project Manager, running things successfully since 2005, will continue to lead the department in 2008.

2007 was a banner year for Greeters. A few more mini-dramas than usual… We have decided to blame it on the moon. Overall though, Greeters continue to ROCK at Burning Man. Everyone should be proud of all their hard work.

Submitted by,
Deb Stiers AKA Topless Deb
Greeters Project Manager