Dept. of Public Works

The Black Rock City Dept. of Public Works is the group that plans, surveys, builds, and takes down the basic infrastructure of our temporary community in the desert. Since the 1997 event the DPW, hand-in-hand with other departments, has instituted the City Plan, through which roads and basic infrastructure throughout the BRC are gridded and built.

The DPW are heroic, determined, hardworking, responsible, creative, interesting, dedicated, unusual individuals, working together for extended periods, in dangerous and hostile conditions, toward a common and vital goal.

The Black Rock City Department of Public Works needs hardy volunteers of all skill levels and famous attitudes. Painters, carpenters, mechanics, truck drivers, plumbers, welders, electricians, riggers, designers, and anybody with a strong back, strong sense of adventure or a strong sense of spirit are invited to participate with us for year round work both in San Francisco and the Black Rock Desert.

Although city planning and managing relationships with the local community, government agencies, and area businesses go on year round, we need the most help from about three weeks before the event to roughly 4 weeks after. Also, we need smaller crews for work weekends throughout the year.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring camping gear, sufficient food and drink, and a basic set of tools (hammer, tape measure, side cutting pliers, gloves, etc.) for long workdays in 90+ degree heat, making Black Rock City appear from nowhere. When night falls, gathered by crackling fires in the desert expanses, among serenading coyotes, mustangs, and jackrabbits, life is good. Owooooooohhh! If you are interested in helping out, indicate your interest on the Volunteer Questionnaire. Email if you have specific details on critical skills and expertise. If you have questions about the building and maintenance of structures onsite, please contact