Event FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q. What is Burning Man?

A. Burning Man is a thriving worldwide community of artists, makers, and community organizers, guided by the 10 Principles, with events happening all over the globe. Burning Man spawned from Black Rock City, the annual Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert — and has taken root everywhere!  Black Rock City is an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to Radical Self-expression and Radical Self-reliance. Our First-timers Guide is a good place to start to learn more.

Q. Where is Burning Man being held this year?
A. Black Rock City will be held in the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The towns of Empire and Gerlach, as well as the Paiute Tribe which has a long history in the area, serve as guardians of the desert region.
Q. What are the dates for the event?

A. Black Rock City is always held the week prior to and including Labor Day weekend. In 2022 the dates will be August 28 through September 5.

Q. What night does the Man burn?

A. Saturday night before Labor Day.

Q. What is this year's theme?

A. The art theme for 2022 is Waking Dreams. Past themes have included Fertility, Wheel of Time, The Inferno, The Body, The Floating World, Beyond Belief, Vault of Heaven, Psyche, Hope and Fear, The Green Man, The American Dream, Evolution, Metropolis, Fertility 2.0, Caravansary, Carnival of Mirrors, da Vinci’s Workshop, Radical Ritual, I, Robot, Metamorphoses, The Multiverse, and The Great Unknown.

 

Tickets

See our tickets page for complete ticket information.

Q. How much is a ticket for my child?

A. Children 12 and under accompanied by a parent will be admitted for free, (but require a Kid’s Ticket, which helps us better understand the composition and diversity of BRC’s citizens). Children between 13-18 require full-price tickets. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 21 years of age. If you plan to bring a child, please read the Kids at Burning Man survival guide.

Q. Will I be able to buy tickets at the gate?

A. Tickets will NOT be sold at the box office of the event. Plan ahead and purchase your tickets in advance of your arrival to the gate.

Q. Are the gates to the event open 24 hours?

A. Yes. However, the event ends at 6pm on Monday August 5th and no unused tickets will be accepted for entry after this time. The Box office closes for Will Call ticket retrieval at Saturday, September 3 at noon. The main Gate access for entrance closes for BRC Exodus at 6pm Saturday, August 3rd. All entry traffic after this time and until the event ends Monday, August 5th will be directly to the 12 mile access and Point 1 for city access.

Q. Will I be able to leave and return to the event?

A. While leaving Black Rock City during the event and returning to the default world will probably be the last thing on your mind, in and out passes are available at the gate. If you leave without receiving a pass, you will not be able to return without paying full price for a ticket again. See the Preparation section of this FAQ for further information.

Q. We would like to visit Burning Man, but can only spend part of the day there. Are you selling 1-day or 2-day passes at the gate?

A. No. Black Rock City is an experiment in temporary community. Relationships are created, neighbors meet one another, and our collective survival is challenged. This is not a spectator event. It is difficult for you to take a role in the community if you are in Black Rock City for one or two days. To experience Black Rock City, you will want to become part of the community. Therefore, there are no day passes sold, and no discounts given based on your length of stay. Of course, it is not necessary that you come for the entire week. You are welcome to arrive early in the week and stay for just a portion of the event.

Q. I am a member of the press. How can I get a complimentary ticket?

A. Burning Man Project does not issue comp tickets to the press. Press must purchase their tickets like every other participant. If you plan to cover our event, you’ll need to register with our Media Team prior to the event. Go to the Media & Press in BRC section for more information, or email press@burningman.org.

Q. Where does my ticket money go?

A. Our ticket prices are on par with other festival and large-scale event prices. Here’s where your money goes.

 

Preparation

Q. What should I bring?

A. Thank you for asking the million-dollar question. Burning Man is an exercise in radical self-sufficiency. You have to bring all you need to survive, and then some. Some people bring only the basics; others bring everything including the kitchen sink.

  • Water, food and shelter are imperative — you will be asked to turn around at the gate if gate personnel believe you cannot meet your basic survival needs. Carefully read the Survival Guide, and prepare accordingly.
  • After you have taken care of your survival, everything else is up to you.
  • If you are fond of sleep, earplugs are a participant’s best friend.
  • A bicycle (well-lit, and ideally decorated) is helpful for enjoying our vast and burgeoning metropolis. Bring a lock — and use it! Bike theft unfortunately does happen.
  • For maximum enjoyment of the event, bring toys or costumes with which you can express your creative spirit.
  • Sharing resources is encouraged! Talk to other camp members and check the Spark classifieds.

Q. What can I buy once I get there?

A. Black Rock City is a decommodified space.

  • Only ice is sold in Black Rock City, found at 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and in Center Camp. Profits from ice sales are given directly to the communities of Empire and Gerlach. Check out the Afterburn Report for Camp Arctica to see the exact distribution of monies.
  • You need to bring ALL supplies, food, water and tools you will need for survival in a harsh environment. No food or sundry items are sold anywhere in Black Rock City.
  • If you forget something vital, your best bet is to make friends with your neighbors.

Q. What can I expect from the weather?

A. In Nevada, there is a saying: if you don’t like the weather, stick around for five minutes and it will change. Only one thing is completely predictable about the weather in the Black Rock Desert: Unpredictability.

  • Be prepared for volatile extremes, and ready for anything and everything. Come with ample shade producing shelter, warm clothes and sleeping gear, and lots of water. Please read our Survival Guide.
  • Temperatures by day have been known to exceed 100 degrees.
  • Pre-dawn temperatures can approach freezing.
  • Thunderstorms and dust storms arise with breathtaking swiftness, transforming the playa into a gigantic mud puddle in a matter of moments.
  • Winds are often 20-30 mph under normal conditions, and winds from 40-70mph can be felt during a storm. You are advised to secure your tent, shade structure and loose items in preparation for this possibility. We encourage you to visit: Securing your Structure for valuable information about creating a weather-worthy campsite.
  • While the weather in late August/early September is usually warm, it can be downright arctic. Participants at Burning Man have witnessed many freezing-ass-cold evenings and daytime temperatures in the mid-70s. In 1999, many longtime participants found themselves unprepared for a week’s worth of high winds and low temperatures. When it comes to the weather at Burning Man, it’s much better to be over-prepared.

 

Getting To Black Rock City

Q: I hear there will be no driving on the playa; how will I get to my campsite?

A: You may drive to your camping spot, but do not plan to use your vehicle as transportation on the playa for the duration of your stay. This is a serious safety issue and will be strictly enforced. No driving will be allowed without a Black Rock City DMV permit.

Q: Can I camp next to my car?

A: As long as you are not in walk-in camping, you can and you should keep your vehicle at your campsite. You may not use it for transport around our city. Black Rock City is fully accessible by bicycle or on foot.

Q. Where is the closest airport?

A. The nearest commercial airport with scheduled service is Reno International, 127 miles away. Many participants also fly from the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose are about 350 miles from the event). Keep in mind that you will be flying on Labor Day weekend, and flights fill up quickly and are often expensive. General aviation aircraft may land on the playa at the temporary Black Rock City Airport which is adjacent to the event (yes, you can fly into BRC!). Small aircraft planning to land at Black Rock City must contact the Airport Manager at airport@burningman.com well in advance. In addition, Burner Express Air (BxA) is a charter air service that transports Burners to and from BRC. You must have a Burning Man ticket in order to travel on Burner Express Air — find out more about BxA here.

Q. I'm coming from the East Coast and can't rent a car. What kind of transportation do you provide from Reno?

A. You are responsible for getting yourself to Black Rock City. If you are looking for a ride, there are some options.

  • The Burner Express bus service has pickups in San Francisco and the Reno Airport to Black Rock City and back. This service offers faster arrival, speedier entrance, reserved camping, and quicker departures than driving personal cars into the city.
  • Burning Man Project has its own rideshare board on Spark!
  • Leave a message on the regional section of our ePlaya Bulletin Board, especially the Reno ride-share bulletin board to arrange a ride.
  • Many people who arrive at the small Reno airport look around to find others that seem to be BRC bound. Those that trust serendipity and do find a ride from the airport should expect to share costs for gasoline and car rental.

Regardless of how you get to BRC, you are still responsible for all of your water, food, and shelter needs.

Q: What is the policy with regard to Recreational Vehicles (RVs)?

A: RVs are fine, but may not be delivered by an outside vendor (you must drive it in yourself). There are no hookups in BRC. Do not discharge gray water or sewage. RV servicing logistics may differ from last year. Stay tuned for details, and read the RV Guide.

 

Participation

Q. What is a Theme camp?

A. A very good question, indeed. Theme camps are interactive camps designed by the camp members with the intention of engaging participants within their camp. More information can be found in the Theme Camp & Villages section. Theme camps are located throughout Black Rock City and reserved placement can be applied for through the Placed Camp Questionnaire. For registration deadlines, visit Theme Camps.

Q. What is a Village?

A. Villages are a collection of two or more theme camps that come together to share resources and are centered around specific themes and values. Each camp within a village offers its own unique contributions and interactivity as part of the village. A village is more than a collection of camps; they create something greater than separate camps can create on their own. More information can be found in the Villages section of the Camp Resource Guide and in Placement’s FAQ on Planning a Theme Camp or Village.

Q. How do I register my theme camp or village?

A. The Placed Camp Questionnaire is accessed through Burner Profiles and generally opens in January – February of each year.

Q. Should I join a theme camp or village ahead of time, or when I arrive?

A. It is not at all necessary that you join either a theme camp or village. Whether you do or not, we ask you to find a way to participate; theme camps and villages involve teamwork and group participation. If you have an idea for a theme camp, consider creating one yourself. If you are planning on having an unregistered camp, you can secure a space in open camping. Just ask Greeters when you arrive where which part of the city have open spots and they can advise you.

Q. Can I create a large art installation?

A. Absolutely. You can either build your installation as part of your camp, or place your art on the open playa. Be advised that the open playa is not available for vehicles (except for installation purposes) or camping. If you’d like to stay near your installation you may want to build it as part of your camp. The area facing the city is open playa and you are welcome to install art in this space. If you are planning on creating an art installation on the open playa, please visit the Creating Playa Art section of the website.

Q. Are there pre-assigned places for theme camps and art installations?

A. This year, we will place all returning registered theme camps and endeavor to place as many new theme camps as space allows, who will then be mapped and assigned a space prior to arrival on the playa. Art installations that register by the deadline of June 1, 2022 at 12PM will be given placement on the open playa. Therefore, it is best to register your theme camp, village or art installation early. Registration is not a prerequisite for creating an art installation or theme camp — much of the best art is found in unexpected places!

Q. I have some handmade crafts that I'd like to sell in order to cover my travel costs. Where can I set this up?

A. Black Rock City is a decommodified space. Learn more about that here. Other than the sale of ice at Arctica, there is NO VENDING in Black Rock City. Participants who are found vending will be asked to leave.

Q. I'd like to play on the main stage, how can I get there?

A. There is no Main Stage in Black Rock City.

  • We encourage you to create your own stage or performance space, or connect with a project or theme camp who might like to feature your performance art. Post to our eplaya Bulletin Board or on Spark.
  • Theme Camps and Villages who are planning a stage should work with other artists (musicians & performers) as well as their neighbors to fully utilize space.
  • Acoustic music and performances will be at Center Camp, and we are looking for performers and artists of all sorts to contribute their talents.
Q. What about amplified music at Burning Man?

A. Amplified music is a favored method of participation and self-expression at Burning Man, and one that influences a large number of people. If you are planning to bring amplified sound to Black Rock City, read the BRC sound policies here.

  • Amplified music in camps should be kept at a reasonable level.
  • Large-scale sound art/systems MUST register for placement.
  • Large-scale sound systems are restricted to those camps located along the 2:00 and 10:00 axes.
  • Sound systems should be no bigger than 300 watts.
  • Sound levels produced by any electronic system or device should not exceed 90 decibels at 20 feet outside of a camp or village.
  • Sound levels emitted from any camp should not cause serious disruption to adjacent camps.
Q: Where is the rave this year?

A: Black Rock City is not a rave. While the city is home to many individuals from the electronic music community, they are not the majority. Burning Man is an experiment in temporary community, and one that is radically all-inclusive. Yes, this includes ravers.

 

On The Playa

Q. How is the event laid out?

A. Black Rock City is organized as 2/3 of a circle. There are axes on each half hour, from 2:00 to 10:00, intersecting with ten concentric semi-circles. You will be given a map of the city upon your arrival. Center Camp (the center for civic activities) is in the middle of the curve, and the man is a little over 1/4 mile north out from the center. You can usually find the map online in early August. Check out the archive of previous years here.

Q: Can I reserve a campsite?

A: Not in the traditional sense, no. While there are clearly marked roadways, there are no “camping sites,” other than the spaces previously allotted for pre-placed theme camps and art installations. Those awarded placement have applied in advance. Learn about the placement process here.

Q: Is there a quiet place to camp?

A: Like all cities in Nevada, Black Rock City is alive 24 hours a day, and with the extreme heat during the day, much of the activity takes place at night. We ask that each person respect their neighbor. If you are fond of quiet for sleeping, we recommend earplugs. Walk-in camping tends to be more dispersed and further from amplified sound, and therefore a bit quieter.

Q: I heard something about 'walk-in camping.' What's that?

A: The area on the backside of the city will be reserved for those that wish to leave their car and portage belongings away from the outside road. This vehicle-free area will by default become walk-in camping. Cars will be left in a parking area nearby. No moving vehicles will be allowed in this area.

Q. What kind of facilities do you provide for those in a wheelchair?

A. We are wheelchair friendly, and provide several wheelchair accessible bathrooms. Additionally, you can contact wheelchairs@burningman.com with questions.

Title

A. As of 2022, there are American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters available for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Burners in Black Rock City. You can access this service at Playa Info in Center Camp, which is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers from 9 am to 6 pm, unless otherwise posted.

Q. Are there toilets?

A. Yes, we distribute over 1,000 porta-potties around the city for general public use and more in special locations throughout the city (like the Airport, medical facility, etc), in addition to some in Empire and Gerlach. The potties are serviced on a continuous and rotating basis, 24 hours a day during the event. We do our very best to keep them clean and stocked with toilet paper.

NOTHING other than human waste and toilet paper is to be put into a porta-potty. Numerous discarded items in porta-potties have caused tremendous problems and prevented the timely cleaning of the potties. It has also threatened our ability to dump waste locally and in Reno, NV. Please do not discard any trash or any non-human-waste items into the potties.

Q. What about medical emergencies?

A. We encourage participants to practice Radical Self-reliance and bring first aid kits. However, Black Rock City is a challenging event in a harsh desert location, and medical needs do arise. If you have an illness or injury that is more severe than you can manage yourself, get yourself to one of our medical stations at the 3:00+C and 9:00+C. Look for the large red crosses. The main Emergency Services Department (ESD) station and the Rampart Emergency Care Center are co-located at the 5:15 and Esplanade site.  Any Black Rock Ranger (look for the khaki shirts) or ESD (look for the yellow shirts) staff, or really anyone you see with a radio can help you in finding the right care.

For serious medical emergencies, ambulances and helicopter transportation to the hospitals in Reno are on call. It’s worth considering a $50 membership from AirMedCare Network to protect you financially, as emergency medical transport is expensive. Membership application is here.

Q. So what's the deal with open fire at camps?

A. Everyone enjoys a burn barrel 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 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.

Q. What is the policy on taking pictures?

A. All individuals wishing to shoot still or motion pictures in Black Rock City and distribute that imagery publicly, regardless of commercial intent, are required to have their projects reviewed and approved prior to coming to Black Rock City, sign a professional use contract in accordance with Burning Man Project’s media policies, and have their cameras tagged at Media Mecca, Burning Man’s on site press room. These steps are designed to protect the privacy of participants and artists alike. If you are considering filming or videotaping for professional purposes, or if you wish to share your images beyond friends and family, regardless of your intent to make money from your images, you MUST have a commercial agreement on file with the Media Team prior to your arrival onsite. Commercial use of images taken at Black Rock City without permission is subject to cunning legal action. This includes amateurs and professionals who capture images. Click here for further information.

Q. Is there any place to hook up my RV? Can I link into Burning Man's power grid?

A. You will need to use your own power source such as a generator, batteries, or a renewable energy source such as solar panels. If you choose to use a generator, we recommend using it your generator sparingly out of consideration for your neighbors and the environment.

Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: Absolutely, most definitely, not. Leave all pets at home or with a trusted caregiver. Pets are prone to responding adversely to loud noises, huge sound systems, explosions, fireworks and crazy costumed people. The extreme temperatures and harsh conditions of the Black Rock Desert are not suitable for pets. As of 2003 Black Rock City is a NO DOGS event. This is for both the well-being and safety of all participants and their four legged friends. Please read our section on dogs and other pets. Send any questions to dogs@burningman.com.

Q. What's the best way to get around?

A. Black Rock City is a pedestrian-friendly city that is easy to navigate with a bicycle or on foot. We encourage you to decorate your transportation. You may not drive your car at the event. This is a serious safety issue – moving cars create large clouds of dust, reducing visibility dramatically. Please recognize the importance of this rule. The sole exceptions for this are Mutant Vehicles and vehicles for people with disabilities. If you would like to bring your Mutant Vehicle art car to Black Rock City, see the Mutant Vehicle Licensing and Criteria. You will need to apply and then register with the Black Rock City DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles) dmv@burningman.com. If you have a disability and need a vehicle to get around Black Rock City, see the Vehicles for People with Disabilities page. For more information read through the Vehicles at Burning Man section of this web site.

Q: How will I find my friends once I arrive?

A: Ideally, pick a meeting point and time in advance. However, there are several onsite resources for locating friends:

  • If your friends are in a listed camp, its location should be indicated on the BRC Map & Guide you will be given at the Greeters Station.
  • BRC camps and addresses can also be found via the Directory computers, located at Playa Info (our information booth) in Center Camp.
  • You can also leave and retrieve messages in the Directory.
  • You can post a note or flier — right next to hundreds of others! — on the community bulletin boards at Playa Info.
Q: I have a family member that is ill, and I may need to be contacted in the event of an emergency, what can I tell them to do to reach me?

A. Emergency messages should be sent to 911@burningman.org. The message will be passed to the Black Rock Rangers, who will do their best to deliver it. We will also make the message available at Playa Info in Center Camp, so if you’re awaiting news or expecting emergency transmissions, you might want to plan to check in each day. For more information about contacting people at BRC in the case of an emergency, read through this webpage.

Q. What about trash disposal? Will there be a dumpster for me to toss my trash into on the way out of Black Rock City?

A. NO. Nein, negatory, absolutely not under any circumstances. Did we mention that there is NO trash disposal in Black Rock City?