This guide contains everything you ever wanted to know about creating a theme camp or village (but were afraid to ask). If we failed to satisfy your thirst for knowledge, feel free to contact us at email@example.com for more information.
In Black Rock City, a bike is a must for getting around. As a theme camp organizer, our community looks to you to help avoid unnecessary and potentially hazardous bike parking clutter by providing bike racks for folks to use, rather than splaying their bikes about willy-nilly. As for your personal bike, how do you choose the best bike to bring? How do you keep it from getting stolen, or lost in a crowd? Find out on our bikes page.
Villages may be composed of several cooperating camps, however there needs to be a single point of contact between the Village and the Placement team. The “mayor” of a Village is responsible for the Questionnaire, layout plan, early arrival bar code requests, and Leave No Trace plans as a single Village submission. Only the mayor should request additional subscriptions to the Placement Announce email newsletter for key Village players to be kept apprised of important information and deadlines. The early arrival bar codes are for a small set-up crew. Individual Camps located in Villages should file a separate Placement Questionnaire to highlight mutant vehicle information and fire usage, and to request listings on the Black Rock City Printed Map, Burning Man Website, Playa Info Directory at Playa Info in Center Camp, iPhone applications and the Burning Man API. Camps in Villages will have the option of simply answering “Camp in Village” for many of the required Questionnaire fields.
How can a city of several thousand people rise on a National Conservation Area, only to vanish without a trace? The answer is YOU. YOU make that happen. Read the sample Leave No Trace and Green plans on the Earth Guardians website, and maybe even become a certified LNT trainer yourself by attending one of their events.
We have found that the amount of debris deposited on the playa is directly proportional to length of stay. Densely settled areas such a villages can leave a greater trace. Debris includes many smaller items, such as nut shells, bottle caps, cigarette butts, plastic ties — the list goes on and on. It is easy to ignore such items on so small a scale, but ALL of these things must be cleaned up.
We recommend that all theme camps, and especially villages, imitate our large-scale cleanup effort and employ a systematic grid to police their area for trash. Walk this grid before departing with your fellow villagers and pick up EVERYTHING in your path. A second and more basic rule to follow is don’t let things hit the ground in the first place! This will save you time and effort at the end of the event.
For more information check out what the Earth Guardians are up to!
Dog are NOT allowed at Burning Man. Do not show up to the gate and expect to be allowed inside the event with your dog. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Are you bringing a generator to Burning Man? Get helpful hints about how to keep them and your neighbors happy on the Generators page.
The number of children attending Burning Man is continuing to grow. Participants planning this district see it as an opportunity for parents to pool resources. The district will be located in a quiet area with a central location. We encourage families to exchange ideas and information and create this district. If you want to get more involved, contact email@example.com.
If you are bringing children to Burning Man, please check out Kids at Burning Man. Also, please be sure to check out the Theme Camps & Villages section for the upcoming event year on the ePlaya Bulletin Board.
See our page on communal kitchens and food safety.
See our camp layout samples, more specifics, and submission guidelines.
Everyone enjoys a campfire around which to gather, or the light of a tiki torch to guide them back to camp at night, but open fire presents a unique set of challenges on the playa. Wind is an ever-present aspect of the Black Rock desert and must be taken into consideration. Winds can blow sparks and embers out of fire barrels and blow them across the open playa great distances until they settle against something (tents, shade structures, camping gear, art works, etc.). Wind is also a factor with tiki torches and taller flame effects. Precautions should be taken to prevent the wind from knocking them over, and a sufficient perimeter around them kept clear from flammables. To help you prepare for and use open flame or flame effects in your camp we have created these guidelines to help keep your camp safe and to protect the safety of participants. Please read them thoroughly.
Guidelines for open fires, burn barrels, tiki torches etc within theme camps:
- No fire barrels or open fires shall be left unattended. At least one camp member will be designated fire tender and be within visual distance at all times. If found unattended while lit, open fires or burn barrels may be extinguished and/or confiscated if there is sufficient hazard.
- If winds pick up, all open fires must be put out immediately and burn barrels must be extinguished if they begin to throw sparks.
- Open fire above 10 feet tall shall be secured from the wind and the safety perimeter increased appropriately.
- Open fire or burn barrels must be extinguished at the request of any Ranger or Emergency Services personnel.
- A 20-foot Zone around the fire must be free of any flammable materials, such as but not limited to: cloth, paper, tents, plastic, etc.
- All liquid fuels must be kept at least 50 feet away from any open flame. Please check out the guidelines for the storage of fuels at Burning Man.
- A supply of at least 5 gallons of water must be kept on hand to extinguish the fire in case of high winds (wind can blow embers and sparks a long distance on the playa!) or other hazards.
- Burn barrels shall be secured and constructed in a way that the burning surface is at least 6 inches from the playa to prevent baking of the playa surface.
- Note: please remember that gasoline is a dangerous fuel to use to start fires. Explosive vapors can instantly build up as it is applied and as the fire is lit it can flash and burn you!
Guidelines for flame effects within theme camps:
- No large scale flame effects using 40 or more gallons of fuel. Burning of large art installations, those which produce a tremendous amount of heat when fully engulfed in flames, require a Burn Shield Platform.
- No pressurized liquid fuels are to be used within the camping area.
- Flame effects shall be secured and constructed in a way that the burning surface is at least 6 inches from the playa to prevent baking or scaring of the playa surface.
- If winds pick up, all flame effects must be put out.
- Flame effects above 10 feet tall shall be secured from the wind and the safety perimeter increased appropriately.
- Flame effects must be extinguished at the request of any Ranger or Emergency Services personnel.
- If found unattended while lit, flame effects may be extinguished and/or confiscated if there is sufficient hazard.
- A 20 foot zone around the flame effect must be free of any flammable materials, such as but not limited to: cloth, paper, tents, plastic, etc.
- An appropriate safe perimeter will be maintained at all times to prevent injury to participants.
- No flame effect shall be left unattended. At least one camp member will be designated fire effect operator and be within visual distance at all times.
Bring aluminum cans, not bottles, to Burning Man. Recycle Camp will take only aluminum cans and is located in Center Camp.
Learn how to keep your smelly garbage to a minimum. Make garbage into art. Learn more about what Burning Man Recycling has to offer.
When you have decided to become a registered Theme Camp/Village you must complete the Placement Questionnaire. If the Placement Quesionnaire is NOT completed, your camp will be welcome but you will not be listed on the Burning Man website or BRC map given to all participants. Also, you may not arrive until our event opens and there will be no reservation for your space. Keep in mind that when you complete the Questionnaire, as well as meet the other criteria for placement, a limited number of your campmates must arrive to the playa before our event opens for set-up. After our event opens, all areas in the city are open and available on a first come/ first camp basis.
If you are not a registered Theme Camp your friends can still find you. You may register at Playa Information Services to be a part of the Burning Man Directory.
Dear theme camp or village organizer,
The Rangers and the Emergency Services Department assist the Burning Man community in keeping the event safe, but you can make your camp more safe, secure, and self-reliant if you choose to. Here are some recommendations if you want to help yourself.
- MEDICAL: Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in camp, and remember that there are medical stations located at both the 3:00 and the 9:00 plazas, and a medical station located in center camp should you require medical attention. If possible, have at least one member of your camp or village certified in first aid and CPR.
- FIRE: Keep a 5-pound, ABC type fire extinguisher in camp should a fire start or go out of control.
- SAFETY: Stay healthy and safe while you explore the many opportunities for participation at Burning Man! See our extensive Health and Safety section for information you need to keep yourself and your camp healthy, and tell you where to find emergency services, should you need them. Also, please be sure to read through the Event FAQ and Survival Guide sections of this website.
The playa is a natural amplifier and it doesn’t take much to produce a large amount of sound. Bass travels multi-directionally and cannot be effectively contained with any structures. This gives “sound” as an art form an unfair advantage over other art forms. Burning Man is dedicated to radical self-expression, but it is also dedicated to creating community. This means we all must find a way to get along with our neighbors. Our past history has led us to this point where we MUST give guidelines on amplification and limit space for this sort of art.
Within the city the maximum sound amplification is 90 decibels at 20 feet. Be thoughtful of your neighbors. If a problem with sound levels continues after sufficient warning, the device or system will be disabled. Mutant Vehicles with sound systems must follow the same sound guidelines when driving in the city, approaching camps or art installations.
The following four rules make up our basic sound policy:
- Neighbors should talk to one another when sound becomes problem and try to resolve the issue through direct communication.
- Large-scale sound installations MUST be located along the ends of our city. They may express themselves unless community complaints persist.
- A maximum power amplification of 300 watts is permitted behind this Large Scale Sound Art Zone in greater Black Rock City.
- Any complaints about excessive sound will become the concern of the Black Rock Rangers. Concerns about excessive sound can result in:a) volume check and mediation between camps,
b) volume check and a final warning on complaints,
c) the disabling of equipment.
Loud vs. Quiet
Again this year we will have no “loud” and “quiet” sides of the city. These are relative terms, and they set up expectations that may be impossible to meet. These terms create infinite gray areas regarding what is perceived to be “loud” or “quiet,” and this results in difficult negotiations between neighbors.
Large Scale Sound Art @ 10:00 and 2:00
All large-scale sound systems will be located in the Large-Scale Sound Art Zone. Like all theme camps, these camps will be encouraged to be as creative and interactive as possible. The primary rule is that all speakers MUST be turned away from greater Black Rock City toward the open playa at all times. The deadline for large-sound art installations is first-come, first-served, so when these spots are filled, no more sound systems will be permitted within Black Rock City.
If you believe your neighbor’s sound is too loud and you are not able to effectively negotiate a solution, you may report this to a Black Rock Ranger station or directly to a Black Rock Ranger. (Please do not mistake a BLM Ranger for our own). Black Rock Ranger Stations are located at both Outposts and in Center Camp. A complaint should contain:
- The exact SOURCE of the sound. (Vague reports will result in no action or ineffective action.)
- The exact TIME of the disturbance. (Vague reports will result in no action or ineffective action). Please report problems when they happen, although reports filed the next day can be useful with persistent problem camps. We will not take action on issues of taste.
As a community, we need to work together to keep sound at desirable levels. This means that everyone involved is personally responsible for how they affect everyone else’s experience. If your neighbor believes your sound is too loud, you must work with them to find an acceptable volume. You will need to check in with those that you are camped near to find out what other events are planned and work with them to create a schedule. With these actions you should be able to handle all of your own sound issues. If everyone works together there will be no need for Black Rock Rangers to monitor sound. Please pass this information around to other participants in your theme camp or village and to those that are not planning on being listed on the map. A community effort is need to pull this off.
Burning Man has no main stage, but there will be places for people and music groups to perform. You can also discuss your camp, art or event on the ePlaya in the Camps, Art and Activities forum.
There’s a lot to consider to make sure the structure you’re building on playa is safe. Read our guide, Building Safe Structures, to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Large structures need to be secured properly. All designs are strongly advised to include safety provisions. For more on this, please check out Securing your Structure.
If you would like to discuss your structural plans, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more Burning Man Shade Structure web sites please visit: