All teams listed here have volunteer activities at the event, with the exception of the San Francisco Office Squad, Web/Tech Team (SF), and Air Playa Info (Reno). Many of these teams have meetings and trainings during the year to prepare volunteers for the event, and you may need to be available by phone or in some cases, in person. Be sure you find out what the expectations are for your particular volunteer role.
Please note that unlike other mainstream festivals and events, first-year Burning Man volunteers do not automatically get a ticket to the event.
Browse the teams from the accordion list below, explore the various opportunities, and sign up to volunteer from your Burner Profile. And to help ensure you have a great Burning Man volunteer experience, read our Burning Man Volunteer’s Keys to Success.
If you’re at the event, and you (or your friends) get the sudden urge to volunteer on the spot, visit the V-Spots in the Portals of Center Camp and the 3:00 and 9:00 Civic plazas. They’ll hook you up with available volunteer opportunities.
- Air Playa Info (Reno Airport)Established in 2008, Air Playa Info is an off-playa bureau of Playa Info. It is an information service provided at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport by Burning Man and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority during the event to assist Burners arriving by airline. The Airport Authority estimates approximately 10,000-15,000 Burners come through the airport during the event. Air Playa Info Oracles greet Burners and answer questions. They provide directions to Black Rock City, local Reno-area resources, rideshare possibilities, and other resources to assist travelers in getting the details they need, so they can move onward toward their playa destination.
- AirportDid you know Black Rock City has its own Municipal Airport named 88NV? You don’t have to be pilot to join in the fun! We partner with Burner Express Air to provide safe passage and welcome thousands of airborne Burners home to Black Rock City each year. We are an extremely busy, totally real Airport with flying contraptions big and small, friendly people, and plenty to do. There’s something for everyone at 88NV. Join us!
Log into your Burner Profile, then on the Volunteer Questionnaire, click Airport. Our Volunteer Coordinators will respond via email, and you’ll be ready for takeoff!
- Arctica (Ice Sales)Located at 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and Center Camp, Arctica sells ice to the Burning Masses, with all proceeds going to benefit local Gerlach-area charities and community groups. The gift economy keeps on giving! Nearly 400 volunteers work three-hour Arctica shifts throughout the entire event.
- ARTery (Artist Services)The ARTery, also known as the Burning Man Art Team, works year round, on and off playa, in support of Burning Man art. The ARTery’s on-playa headquarters are located in Center Camp and function as a check-in center for artists, a hub for information about Burning Man art, and a starting point for art tours. Temple Guardians, Eyes on Art, Man Watch, FAST, and Art Tours volunteers all sign up here. Off playa, the ARTery Team works tirelessly throughout the year, kicking into high gear from February until October, to make sure that artist applications are processed and art-i-facts are catalogued.
- Black Rock City RangersThe Black Rock Rangers are a cross-section of the Burning Man community who volunteer some of their time in the role of non-confrontational community mediators. Responding to the ever-changing environment, Rangers address within our community situations that would otherwise require outside intervention. By encouraging and facilitating communication, the Rangers promote awareness of potential hazards, from sunstroke to tent fires. They are emphatically not the police or a paramilitary organization.
- Box OfficeThe Black Rock City Box Office is devoted to providing a welcoming and friendly first point of contact with Burning Man while striving to be as efficient and accurate in issuing participants their keys to the city. Box Office is responsible for all of the tickets held at Will Call as well as those left for participant’s friends who are arriving later during the week. For a lot of people, the Box Office is the first point of contact they have with Black Rock City, and for many it’s their first contact with Burning Man ever. The Box Office is open 24 hours a day during the event.
- Burn Perimeter Support GroupWe burn a lot of big art at Burning Man. This team sets up and maintains the burn perimeter around each burn to keep the citizens of Black Rock City safe. Help hold the line of safety and keep the Fire Burning.
- Burning Man Information RadioBurning Man Information Radio (94.5 FM) is your nexus for essential information on the playa. Check BMIR for late-breaking event announcements and a melange of music. In the event of an on-site emergency, tune into BMIR for rumor-free updates and advisories to surf the storm to a sane conclusion. BMIR’s daily programming reflects the pragmatic, philosophical, and participatory needs of the community.
- CensusBRC Census is a collaborative research project that started in 2002 with the goal of learning more about the participants who make up Black Rock City. We conduct a random sample of Burners entering the event, then collect online survey responses after the Burn. We combine these two data sources to get more statistically accurate data about the people who attended Burning Man that year. Some Census volunteers work on-playa to help with data collection and data entry for the random sample, while others focus on outreach and education at Census Lab and elsewhere in the city. We also have volunteers who participate off-playa by writing blog posts or assisting with data analysis and data visualization.
- Center Camp CaféCenter Camp Café is the town square of Black Rock City. It’s a 38,000 square-foot space that provides a coffee shop, art and performances, and a place to hang out, catch some shade, and meet people. From pre-playa décor planning and prop-making to on-site construction and coffee shop operation, the heart of the Center Camp Café is its volunteer community of nearly 500 people.
- Cleanup and RestorationStarting the last day of the event and lasting roughly one month, DPW’s Playa Restoration Team works to return the Black Rock Desert to its pre-event condition. The work ranges from removing city structures to picking up large and small bits of escaped trash (onsite and around the desert) and eradicating burn scars (the residue of fired playa sediment and ashes).
- Department of Mutant VehiclesThe Black Rock City Department of Mutant Vehicles licenses motorized mobile works of creative expression otherwise known as Mutant Vehicles. DMV Hotties perform a variety of tasks on and off playa including online pre-registration processing and on-playa inspection, licensing and processing of Mutant Vehicles.
- Department of Public Works
Black Rock City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is the workforce dedicated to building the physical infrastructure of Black Rock City, the place Burning Man calls home in the Black Rock Desert. The DPW works side by side with all of the departments within the Burning Man Project. We also work with Burning Man participants, cooperating agencies, and our worldwide community to ensure that Black Rock City becomes a reality, and then vanishes without a trace.
- Earth GuardiansEarth Guardians are an outreach and communications group whose mission is to educate and inspire Burning Man participants to Leave No Trace (LNT) at the event. It crafts LNT-specific multimedia messages for the Burning Man community and shares its appreciation of the natural beauty of the Black Rock playa. It also advocates for a greener Burning Man event.
- Emergency ServicesBlack Rock City’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) provides Black Rock City with Fire Fighting, Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Emergency and Non-Emergency Medical evaluation and treatment, Mental Health services (including sexual assault response), 911 Dispatch, and provides the two-way radio communications infrastructure for all of Black Rock City.
- Gate, Perimeter and ExodusThe “Gate” department is actually comprised of 3 teams – Gate, Perimeter & Exodus – each with separate but connected functions. Gate staff usher many thousands of people from the blacktop to the dust top, the surly bunch who searches cars and tears tickets. The Perimeter staff patrols the fence line looking for people trying to sneak in, and ensuring the safety of those that have accidentally stumbled out or that are just plain lost. Exodus team helps thousands of Burners get out of Black Rock City and on down the highway as safely and as fairly as possible. “Exiters” control traffic and resolve traffic issues in BRC, and “Flaggers” control and maximize the flow of traffic onto the highway and through the towns of Gerlach and Empire.
- GreetersThe Greeters are the face of the event and form a newcomer’s first impression of Black Rock City. Their mission is to orient and educate arriving citizens while spreading wit, whimsy and infectious enthusiasm to carloads of people. Greeters explain the “Don’t let it hit the ground!” principle, clarify the concept of Community, and answer all questions in offbeat yet helpful ways.
- LamplightersThe Lamplighters have been a familiar sight in Black Rock City since 1993, a solemn group of white-robed individuals with poles slung over their shoulders, wending their way through the city to provide Black Rock City with illumination. They light and place kerosene lanterns atop the wooden spires that line the most heavily trafficked areas of town. The lanterns burn through the night.
- Man WatchMan Watch is a crew of volunteers dedicated to protecting the Man and its pavilion located in the center of the event, enhancing the experience of all who come to see it. Man Watch volunteers are stationed at the Man Pavilion around the clock from before the gates open until early morning Saturday before the burn. They are enthusiasts, guardians, and information givers who enjoy interacting with participants about the Man Pavilion and Burning Man in general.
- Media MeccaMedia Mecca is Black Rock City’s press room. At the Mecca, members of the media can find out what’s going on, recharge batteries and file stories. Media Mecca staff connect journalists with artists and participants from their region and provide tours of the major art installations. Staff do not baby reporters, coddle them, suggest story ideas, or drive them around on a golf cart.
- Playa InfoPlaya Info is a central location for on-playa information located near Center Camp. It offers a camp directory, lost & found, and Oracles for answering both mundane and esoteric questions. Burning Man Information Radio broadcasts from here, and the Volunteer Resources Desk connects willing participants with volunteer opportunities around Black Rock City.
- Pottie ProjectEstablished in the wake of the 2000 POO-Apocalypse Burn, the Pottie Project is one of the longest running and largest art projects on the playa. (Everyone uses a pottie multiple times, meaning that everyone has seen their art.) Their mission is to educate and remind participants of Black Rock City that Leaving No Trace applies to our porta-potties. If it doesn’t come from out of your body, it doesn’t go into the potty. The Pottie Project and its volunteers visit each and every one of the 1,700 porta-potties at Burning Man to educate and remind participants about good pottie etiquette. This is done through creative efforts such as graphic art including porta-pottie posters and signs, performance art, and written and spoken art such as poetry and storytelling.
- Recycle CampRecycle Camp is the hard working group of folks who are as committed to reducing waste as they are to having a good time. Begun in 1998, Recycle Camp is the on-playa place to recycle aluminum cans, and all proceeds are donated to Gerlach schools!
- San Francisco Office SquadBMHQ in San Francisco needs volunteer assistance with all kinds of regular and irregular office tasks. It’s pretty much like working in an office, except it’s a Burning Man office, and all the workers are working on Burning Man.
- Technology TeamsThe Burning Man Technology Teams build and maintain technology solutions for the Burning Man staff and extended community. Its offices in San Francisco and Gerlach, NV have growing networks with file, database, extranet and web servers and a thriving collection of highly skilled folks who contribute to our ongoing development, system administration and website projects. The teams are comprised mostly of rock star volunteers and everyone is committed to ongoing support year-round. The Engineering Team supports web applications including calendars, forums, surveys, questionnaires, and media galleries. The System Administration Team keeps the servers and networks up and running. The Web Team maintains and improves Burning Man’s website.
- Temple GuardiansThe Temple rises apart from Black Rock City, an oasis of calm out in the deep playa that stands resolute, able to bear what participants bring and to be what they need at the moment they call on it. Behind the Temple stands a group that has quietly watched over those structures each year since 2002. The main duty of the Temple Guardians is to protect the Temple and those who visit it. They abide with love for the Temple and everything that it represents. Temple Guardian shifts run 4 hours each, 24 hours a day.
- Theme CampsVolunteering at Burning Man doesn’t stop with the volunteering for the Man. You can also sign up as a volunteer to help theme camps build and serve Black Rock City.