Criteria to Be in Good Standing

March 2020 Update:

The criteria to be in good standing will be updated as part of the Cultural Direction Setting project. Until then, please focus your camp’s efforts toward the Camp Placement Criteria. Each criterion within the Camp Placement Criteria includes a detailed explanation of what we encourage your camp to strive for (Here’s What We Hope To See), as well as the things we consider when determining your camp standing (Here’s What We’ll Look For). We still recommend reading the information below for further background.

After Black Rock City has become dust once again, the Placement Team collects feedback about all camps (including mutant vehicle camps and art support camps) and determines their standing. Camps are either in good standing, limited standing, or not in good standing each year.

This is a guide for how to be and stay in good standing. When camps are in good standing, it makes Black Rock City the place we know and love. We support your efforts to be in good standing, and we also honor the community by giving feedback to camps that are not in good standing.

We have a great community — the vast, vast, vast majority of Burning Man camps are in good standing after the event!

For placed Theme Camps and Villages to receive access to Directed Group Sale (DGS) tickets the following year, their camp must be in good standing. If a camp is not in good standing, they will not be invited to the DGS ticket sale and may not receive future placement. If a camp is in limited standing, they may receive between 25-75% of their otherwise allotted DGS tickets. If a Mutant Vehicle Camp or Art Support Camp is in limited or not in good standing with the Placement Team based on the below criteria, Placement will share the camp’s standing and their DGS recommendation (if eligible) to the DMV or Art Department.

We use the below criteria to evaluate camp standing. This is not black or white. Self-evaluate and think about how your camp can be in good standing this year!

1.  Did your camp show up and use your reserved space?

  • If something goes wrong and you need to cancel your camp’s reserved placement, let us know by emailing as early as possible. If you let us know sufficiently in advance, your camp’s standing will not be affected. If you have unforeseen problems getting to playa before our deadline to claim your reserved space, please email us so we’re aware.
  • If you do not show up without informing us, your camp is not in good standing
  • If you do show up, but do not use your reserved space, your camp is not in good standing

2.  Did your camp do what you said you were going to do?

  • This criteria only applies to Theme Camps and Villages
  • We understand that stuff happens, sometimes stuff that is truly out of our control. If something prevented you from doing what you said you were going to do in your questionnaire, let us know ideally by talking to one of your sector Placers while at Burning Man or afterward emailing
  • If you didn’t follow through on the primary interactivity and frontage per your questionnaire, your camp may not be in good standing

3.  Did your camp uphold our community’s principles and cultural norms?

Examples of citizenship for theme camps and villages include:

  • Are you hosting interactivity in your camp that is open to all citizens of Black Rock City?
  • Are you being neighborly (e.g. following the sound policy and considerate of the impact of generator sound and/or exhaust)?
  • Are you being respectful of the camp boundaries of your neighbors?
  • Are you a healthy balance of public versus private space?
  • Are you an obvious theme camp?
  • Is your camp’s design welcoming and open?
  • Are you being radically inclusive?

If we received community feedback to suggest your camp’s behavior was symptomatic of a lack of citizenship or did not uphold our community’s principles and cultural norms, you may not be in good standing.

4.  Did your camp honor our Decommodification Principle?

  • If you’re not sure what this means, watch this 10 minute video explanation from legal, fundraising and IP and read this article in the Burning Man Journal about how not to commodify Burning Man
  • If your camp advertised or engaged in commodification, your camp is not in good standing
  • If your camp collaborates with concierge companies selling Burning Man packages, your camp is not in good standing. If your camp places clients of concierge companies in your camp, your camp is not in good standing. If your camp creates your own Burning Man packages, your camp is not in good standing.
  • If we received feedback from other Burning Man departments or the community that anyone in your camp sold or advertised goods or services during Burning Man, your camp is not in good standing

Note: Starting in 2019 we ask all camps registering for placement to make a Decommodification Commitment that they will acculturate their campmates about the Decommodification principle and that their camp and campmates will keep Black Rock City a decommodified zone.

5.  Was your camp a strain on Burning Man’s organizational resources?

  • If you are repeatedly asked to address something by Burning Man staff or volunteers and are unresponsive in addressing it, your camp is not in good standing
  • If your camp attracted negative attention from Placement or other Burning Man departments, that may be deemed as a strain on resources and your camp may not be in good standing

6.  How was your camp’s MOOP score?

  • If your camp was black, red, or mostly red on the MOOP Map, your camp may not be in good standing
  • See the archive of MOOP Maps
  • The MOOP Map is released in the fall after the event; watch for it in the Jackrabbit Speaks

7.  Did your camp abide by the terms of your Work Access Passes?

  • Work Access Passes (WAPs) were previously called Early Arrival Passes. WAPs for Theme Camps and Villages are approved on the basis that the participants are working and staying at the camp they received their WAP from.
  • If a participant is found camping outside of reserved Theme Camp space or camping in another camp other than where their WAP came from, the camp has either sold or given away WAPs. WAPs should only be used for the camp they were approved for. Any other use will mean the cancellation of all unused WAPs for the Theme Camp and the camp is no longer in good standing.
  • Holding space in open camping for anyone not present or without their own WAP (a.k.a. landgrabbing), selling a WAP, or distributing a WAP outside of your camp is an abuse of our WAP policy. Doing so will result in your camp not being in good standing and all unused WAPs will be cancelled.

As we said in the beginning, this isn’t black and white, so this list is not exhaustive. However, this will give you as a camp leader a good idea of what it takes to remain in good standing. And like we said, the vast, vast, vast majority of Burning Man camps are in good standing after the event each year. Keep showing up and being interactive, culturally aligned, neighbourly, responsive, amazing citizens of Black Rock City who leave no trace! Thank you to everyone who has been and continues to do it oh-so right.