Man Watch

Man Watch is a crew dedicated to protecting the Man and enhancing the experience of all who come to see it. We are promoters, guardians, and information givers who enjoy interacting with participants about the Man Pavilion and Burning Man in general.

Man Watch was created in 2007 after a participant lit the Man on fire four days early. Since then, managers and crew members from various departments have kept vigil at the Man ensuring that this does not happen again. Over the years, the base the Man sits on and the pavilion surrounding it have increased in size and complexity. In response to this continuing growth, Man Watch became an independent crew in 2016.

Man Watch is there to engage those who come to the Man Pavilion, give them information about the structure, and educate them on how to be respectful visitors. As such, Man Watch can be one of the best ways to meet and talk to new people at Burning Man. The goal of the crew is to have positive interactions with participants while ensuring that we are meeting our responsibilities of keeping the Man and those who come to visit safe.

We are looking for people who have good understanding of the Burning Man core principles and have a passion for the event. Volunteers should be comfortable approaching participants, talking to them, and when necessary, explaining the rules pertaining to the Man Pavilion in a respectful manner. Man Watch generally requires volunteers to have attended Burning Man at least twice. The two year requirement is sometimes waived for individuals who have similar crew experience outside Burning Man.

Most Man Watch shifts are 6 hours long and are comprised of 1 shift lead and 7 additional crew members. Shifts start on the day the gates open and continue around the clock until shortly before the burn on Saturday. Crew members are required to be at the Man 1) on time, 2) free from the influence of any intoxicants, and 3) properly prepared for the duration of the shift. The shift is primarily spent either in a specified location or walking the perimeter of the base talking to participants, answering questions, and enforcing safety policies within the Man Pavilion. We are also there to be points of contact in an emergency and to provide crowd control as need.

Training for Man Watch consists of a combination of internet based training and personal instruction (via either one of our virtual meetings or once you are on playa). Training usually takes 2-3 hours and must be completed prior to your first shift.

If you would like to join the Man Watch team please fill out a Volunteer Questionnaire, select Man Watch, and tell us a little about yourself.

For more information, please contact us at

Note: Man Watch is not part of the burn perimeter or the fire conclave for Saturday night’s burn.