Project Citizenship


A Toolkit for Doing It Right


“The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.”  – Theodore Roosevelt


(Photo by Lukasz Szczepanski)

In 2017, we launched Project Citizenship, a cross-departmental effort to address some problematic trends in Black Rock City and to emphasize the importance of participation.

The overarching theme is to nurture a sense of citizenship in the people who choose to go to Black Rock City, and in members of the global Burning Man Community. Citizenship is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the quality of an individual’s response to membership in a community.”

We’ve assembled this toolkit as go-to source for resources to help you acculturate yourself, your campmates, and people you know, so that Burning Man culture can thrive in the spaces, places, relationships, and communities we are each a part of.

Readings | Videos | Social Media | Other Links


2019 Update on Project Citizenship — Burning Man Journal

Cultural Course Correcting: Black Rock City 2019Burning Man Journal

(Non) Newsflash: Burning Man Is Not a Backdrop for Your Product — Burning Man Journal

I Am Not a Brand, Am I? — Burning Man Journal

How to take the Fyre Out of “Influencers” on Playa — Burning Man Journal

City of Dust — Governing

8 Ways to Make Your City More Like Burning Man — Governing

A Decommodified World: What We Can Learn From Burning ManDeline

The Rise of Burning Man — The Washington Post

Burning Man Is Not a “Music Festival,” or Even a “Festival” — Burning Man Journal

Friends Don’t Let Friends Call Burning Man “a Festival” — Burning Man Journal

Greening Your Burn: Tips, Techniques and ToolsEarth Guardians

From the Desk of Charlie Dolman
Funny pre-event emails sent to participants

All Burning Man Journal posts about Project Citizenship

Consider Your Impact blogpost series

BRC Census 2013–2019 Population Analysis:


















Social Media posts to share

View this post on Instagram

We all know that Black Rock City is a decommodified zone, where advertising is a no-no and selling your product is forbidden. Guess what? The Decommodification principle extends to the time we’re all off the playa too! • It’s very simple, folks: Do NOT use imagery from the Burning Man event to promote your company on Instagram. Do NOT tag a brand in your photos or videos from Black Rock City. That means your furry coats and sparkly tights, your hats and headdresses, your necklaces and glasses, your masks and LED trinkets, your e-bikes and scooters…the list goes on. Do NOT use a photo of someone else’s art to market your ‘thing,’ and don’t use imagery from the playa to market YOURSELF, your personal brand, or your services! • We need your help! If you see a playa photo/video on Instagram with a brand tagged, tell the person to take it down. Is your friend promoting their stuff with images from BRC? Tell ‘em to quit it. • Let’s keep the virtual playa as decommodified as the one in the Black Rock Desert! | Photo by @tremendously.tiny. Design by @tannerboeger | #burningman #blackrockcity #brc #decommodification

A post shared by Burning Man Project (@burningman) on




Other Links

Survival Guide


Sexual Misconduct Awareness, Education and Prevention

John Curley’s Building Black Rock City
Reports from the field as Black Rock City gets built and torn down again each year since 2008.

Larry Harvey: The Mind Under the Hat

Regional Network: Find the Burning Man Near You

Burning Man Project Annual Reports

AfterBurn Reports

Books about Burning Man

Burning Man Timeline