It’s a whole new year in a whole new place for the Burning Man headquarters! In May of 2011 we moved offices to 995 Market Street, located at 6th and Market. This move places BMHQ squarely in the heart of the Mid-Market district, which is being supported by the city of San Francisco as an area to be transformed into an arts district. We’re finding ourselves in the midst of urban life, with all its joys and pitfalls, however we’ve found a lot to be joyful about here.
This new location will allow us to continue to grow our visibility as a vibrant community organization, to support the local arts scene, and to integrate better with the city we love. This new and more central location is easily accessed by public transit, making it much simpler for our volunteers and community to visit the offices, and the spaces we have here are large and becoming more and more inviting every day. We have room for all local staff to work in-house again, and though we’re still figuring out what our community spaces are and how to use them, there’s a much more vigorous feeling among the staff.
Once we moved in, we dropped all the boxes and dove headlong into putting on Burning Man 2011! Once again the admin team set out for the playa, setting up the Human Resources department for on-playa needs, and placing various other administrative staff members in support positions both on playa and in Gerlach. Now that we’re back in the San Francisco office, our attention is turning towards making this the environment we want to be in, learning more about our fantastic new neighborhood, and supporting the baby steps taken by the new Burning Man Project. We’ve taken on some new staff in the office to support both the people working here, as well as the to address the issues associated with moving: more space means more work for our Facilities Manager and our Office Hostess. Roles have shifted for some existing staff, and opportunities for growth and change are abounding.
We were able to hold the annual pre-event Way it Is meeting here at 995 Market Street and took that opportunity to welcome our entire managerial staff with building tours, and make them more acquainted with our new space. As we move in to the future here on Market Street, we hope to develop our plans for an urban center, become a community hub, and expand our outreach both within our existing community and beyond to our new neighbors. This building houses a lot of non-profit groups focused on supporting the less fortunate. At our recent in-house retreat, we were able to have representatives from many of those groups come speak to us and share their goals and needs, and we plan to continue to extend our radical inclusion to these new members of our community.
Black Rock Trucking is the logistics and transportation team for Burning Man. Our primary responsibility is transportation between California and Nevada for the Burning Man event, however in 2011, we were instrumental in the second Burning Man Headquarters move in as many years.
Since we had done this just two years ago, we had a much better idea of what we were up against. In April, when we learned that the move was officially happening, we began the planning process immediately and the staff started packing. In May, the actual move was on, but with a twist. We were only allowed to move in after 7pm and on the weekends. We moved our entire Tech/Web Department on a Friday evening and they were all set up with the entire office connected by Monday morning.
Working with a local moving company once again, the major move happened over two weekends. We worked with a local eco hauling company to properly dispose of all items that we no longer needed and moved all of our storage items into a new San Francisco warehouse. In July we consolidated our warehouses, moving everything from our Oakland warehouse to our warehouse San Francisco. As with all moves, it will be going on for awhile as we settle and re-settle into our new homes.
The 2011 event season began on schedule in early August with transpo runs to Nevada scheduled for each weekend. We moved more event-related items in 2011 than any previous year. There were multiple trucks scheduled for each weekend with loads being picked up around the San Francisco Bay Area and delivered to a staging warehouse in Alameda as well as our warehouse in San Francisco.
Man Base fire effects fabricated in San Francisco, mural artwork that was painted at NIMBY and lighting elements built in Petaluma; they all had to get to the Playa on time. The final trucks arrived on the Playa August 20th, the Saturday before the main set-up week. One carried the Greeter Pack publications making it to the Playa safe, secure, on time and ready to be collated. The second was packed full with crates of Cafe decor and lighting, Man Base lighting, the radio station BMIR , Box Office, Gate, Lamplighters, Media Mecca, Playa Info, Rangers, Recycle Camp and Tech – all the Burningman departments that make up the infrastructure of Black Rock City.
Black Rock Trucking has a simple mission: we will be there, whenever needed, to safely transport extremely important stuff that makes Burning Man happen. We would like to send a special thank you to everyone who participated, all Staff and all of our Volunteers who made 2011 a very successful and exciting year for Burning Man!
Molly Vikart and Paul Schreer