San Francisco

As was reported in the 2009 SF Office Afterburn Report, the current home of Burning Man Headquarters (3450 3rd Street) is a temporary location.  The Burning Man Board has spent the past 12 months searching for a new home that could serve as Burning Man’s office and public-facing “urban center.”  The urban center is part of a larger plan to increase Burning Man’s visibility in San Francisco and enable us to collaborate and cross-pollinate with other like-minded organizations in the city.  The Board is evaluating some promising locations in the heart of San Francisco – but no final decisions have been made.

While the search continues, we’ve tried to make 3450 as functional and welcoming as possible.  As the year progressed, it became increasingly obvious that having a large number of the office staff “work from home” was taking its toll on morale and getting stuff done.  So we rented another floor in the building to make sure that the whole office staff had somewhere to sit, work, and interact with each other.

In some ways, our “cozy” environment has actually helped teamwork and cooperation.  The organization set up several interdepartmental committees in the Fall of 2009, each tackling subjects (e.g. communications, tech) that required input and ideas from a wide range of staff.  After a year in operation, it’s safe to say these committees have worked effectively on large and small issues and contributed to a highly successful event in 2010.  The office also hosted countless meetings and workshops from the many volunteer teams that support Burning Man.  And, when space was truly an issue, we were able to use the fabulous facilities at Temple SF to hold our Staff Debrief and three all-staff meetings – thank you Temple SF and their fantastic staff!


Black Rock Trucking is the San Francisco-to-Nevada transportation team for the Burning Man event, managing the transportation logistics for whatever needs to get to Nevada, ending with the final pre-event run that arrives on the playa August 21st, the Saturday before the main set-up week. We move the stuff that the Burning Man Departments need to put on a successful event. Through the efforts of our Project Manager and our volunteer Assistant Manager, we developed a plan, we implemented that plan, and we had another smooth year.

The season began with our first delivery to the Work Ranch in July, a large carpet donation for the Center Camp Café. This was followed by the delivery of custom lighting fixtures designed and built for the Man Base from Petaluma, CA to the Playa, two weeks prior to the event. Then working with professional drivers, the team loaded two semi trailers in front of the Burning Man Headquarters in San Francisco and a dedicated trailer for the Greeters Pack materials at the printer. All three trailers were delivered to the Playa safe and sound and ahead of schedule. Post-event, the team managed to fill two semi trailers of production gear needing to be returned to the Bay Area; this year proved to be the smoothest post-event in recent memory. Much of this can be attributed to learning from years of experience and having the right tools for the job.

2010 was the second year using a unique and flexible pallet and crate system. The crating system has truly simplified the loading and unloading processes in San Francisco as well as on the playa. We are also able to give departments a storage solution for the items that return after the event. This allows our warehouse to stay better organized, while allowing for easy access to things in the off-season. We are already planning to increase our inventory of crates in 2011, allowing more departments to get organized.

Black Rock Trucking would like to thank the Burning Man Department Managers, our volunteers and our professional drivers for making 2010 a successful year for Transpo.

Submitted by,
Zabed Monika and Paul Schreer