Arranging Deliveries

Page 1: Arranging Deliveries
Page 2: Outside Services Program
Page 3: Fuel Transportation, Storage and Distribution Requirements


Overview of the Outside Services (OSS) Program

We started the OSS program in 2012 to help groups receive access to and share resources, and be able to build in a timely fashion. Without a program and service gate in place, providers of outside services had difficulty making deliveries and providing on-site services (such as installing, maintaining, and servicing power grids). Burning Man personnel were also being pulled away from their intended roles to manage deliveries or troubleshoot service provider arrivals and direct them to their clients.  

More than 200 placed and unplaced camps used the OSS program in 2019. They ranged from very large camps to very small camps and included theme camps, mutant vehicle camps, and artist support camps.

Some of the types of equipment and services provided by OSS-approved providers include:

  • Transport and delivery
  • RVs and trailers
  • Domes and yurts
  • Electrical generators
  • Fuel delivery
  • Heavy equipment
  • Sanitation Services
  • Portable buildings
  • Water delivery

In order to help camps/projects access and arrange the infrastructure support through the OSS program, Burning Man Project publishes an annual list of previously contracted providers on the Burning Man website. Note that service providers not in good standing at the end of a season are not permitted to participate in the following OSS program year. Your feedback about the OSS program is important to us. If you have specific feedback about an OSS provider, please use THIS FEEDBACK FORM.

If you can’t get the equipment or services you need via the OSS program, consider rethinking your camp operations, doing more with less, and getting back to basics. Bigger is not necessarily better, and we encourage participants to “celebrate the small.” We also encourage all theme camp organizers and leads to take part in the annual Theme Camp Symposium, as it provides excellent opportunities to learn best practices and connect with other camp leads. The Theme Camp Symposium dates are announced every year via the Placement Newsletter.

We want camps to identify opportunities to share resources with their neighbors. If you’re filling out a Placed Camp Questionnaire, you can indicate whether you’re willing to have your contact information shared with neighbors. We’ve seen wonderful examples of neighborliness and communal effort stemming from camps sharing resources like heavy equipment and power. 

If you aren’t coming to the Burning Man event this year, there are many peer-to-peer platforms and networks where you can share infrastructure, RVs, and other equipment for use by our community. Check out Spark here

Cultural Direction Setting and OSS:

While many camps have used the program as intended, for some it became the backbone of their production, with camps being fully serviced by vendors. Over the years, we saw a huge growth in RV and trailer vending, and a corresponding increase in environmental compliance issues. We also saw vendors expand their offerings from RVs, trailers and generators to convenience items like e-bikes, Segways and mutant vehicle rentals. 

As making Burning Man more “convenient” was never the intent of the OSS program, Burning Man Project has been taking steps to ensure the program is in alignment with Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Participation and Radical Self-reliance, four of the 10 Principles that are the cornerstone of our community and culture.

Since 2018, no new providers of housing have been allowed to apply to the program. We have also continued to hold each OSS housing provider to the inventory allowance they had in 2018, and in future years, we will either hold them at those numbers or further decrease the amount of delivered housing units available through the program. We are actively encouraging participants to re-evaluate their housing arrangements if you are not able to bring your housing into the event yourself.

We have also actively addressed price gouging concerns. OSS providers’ pricing should not increase by more than 5% from each year to year. The Outside Services manager will investigate any complaints that service providers have imposed large price hikes. Those vendors found to have done so risk being excluded from participation in the OSS program.

OSS Provider FAQ

Q: How do I buy an Outside Services Delivery Credential for a provider I have already contracted with to make a delivery to me on playa?

A: You don’t — an Outside Services Delivery Credential is not sold to individuals; it is only for bonafide year-round businesses that provide to the playa the same equipment or services that they provide to their customers in the default world. Your provider will need to contact us directly to apply for the program, prior to the annual OSS application deadline, and will also need to obtain a special recreation permit (SRP) from BLM before its annual deadline (which was February 11 for the 2020 event). Frequently, OSS providers serve numerous projects on playa and are able to distribute the cost of the total program fees accordingly.

Q: I am interested in becoming an Outside Services Provider, what should I know about the agreement/contract required to participate in the Outside Services program?

A: The Outside Services program is not for everyone and the application period is CLOSED for 2020. We have a strict evaluation process for any interested businesses to ensure they meet our requirements (including that they are a bonafide business offering these same services to their customers year-round), as well as understand and support our culture. Please read through this list of requirements and restrictions:

  • License and insurance: You will be required to provide proof of your business license and insurance. If you do not have both of these, you do not qualify for this program.
  • BLM permit: You must obtain a special recreation permit directly from BLM’s Winnemucca District Office and provide us with proof that this permit has been secured in advance of our accepting your application. The BLM does not accept late applications.
  • Burning Man Project contract: The contract you sign with us sets out the terms of your participation in the OSS program. This webpage is for general information only and does not represent or replace the OSS agreement.
  • Restrictions on commercial activity: Consistent with Burning Man’s principles of Decommodification and Radical Self-Reliance, an OSS provider’s services must be limited to transportation, equipment and infrastructure support. Providers may not sell outfitting or travel package services for the event. While a provider may lease, install and maintain equipment for a customer’s camp, providers are prohibited from selling catering, cleanup, turn-key accommodations or any other variety of concierge service to customers.
  • Burning Man Project intellectual property: OSS providers may not exploit or otherwise associate themselves with the name “Burning Man” or any of Burning Man Project’s trademarks, images or other intellectual property except as explicitly provided in the agreement. Providers may not claim that they are “approved Burning Man vendors” or use Burning Man Project’s logo or event images to advertise (online or otherwise). 
  • No on-site promotion: Providers may not display their logos or brands at the event. No on-site advertisement of any kind is permitted.
  • No on-site sales: Providers may not proactively sell any goods or services inside the event perimeter.

Q: I have more questions that aren't answered in this FAQ. Who can I contact?

A: You can email outsideservices@burningman.org. You can also provide us feedback about any experience, positive or negative, with an OSS Provider by filling out this FEEDBACK FORM.

 

Next Page: Fuel Transportation, Storage and Distribution Requirements