Recycle Camp

Recycling is very important to Black Rock City (and every city, really). Naturally, there is a theme camp dedicated to this key component of modern waste reduction.

Recycle Camp – Our Mission

  • Collect, Crush and Recycle as many aluminum cans as possible in a week.
  • Encourage the use of aluminum on the playa.
  • Encourage reusable water/beverage containers vs. the single serving plastic bottle.
  • Practice and Promote the 7 Principles of ‘Leave No Trace’.
  • Teach the seething masses the 6 Noble Tenets of Waste Reduction:
  1. The 6 R’s: Respect – Rethink – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Restore
  2. Prepare, leave sorry-ass packaging at home
  3. Sort your recyclables and trash before you discard them!
  4. Never let it hit the ground
  5. Pack It In, Pack It Out
  6. Create! Supposed “garbage” can be transformed into beautiful works of art!

Recycle Camp is located in Center Camp. During the event, we collect as many aluminum cans as possible. Recycle Camp is run completely by volunteers who live to spread the Recycle Camp mantra to all participants, “Show us your Cans!” Volunteers meander through the city every day riding one of our new, improved and patented tandem bicycle powered Recycle-Trucks. The trucks make it possible to collect 10 times as many cans in each trip as the old shopping cart version. We encourage everyone to come by and help with the efforts. We need people to take them out during the event, spreading the word about Recycle Camp and collecting cans. Join us in recruiting new help throughout the day. Crush some cans. Relax, have a cold beverage and enjoy the camp.

Recycle Camp encourages you to help us collect aluminum cans using your own bike and your own basket. If you wish to help while driving your crazy art car, remember to register with the DMV. All participants may bring their aluminum cans to Recycle Camp, Monday through Sunday 9am to 5pm. While there, you will help us crush your cans and join us in creating recycled art or relax and have a beverage and learn about recycling and sustainability.

Recycle Camp does not collect aluminum foil, glass, plastic, tin, paper, cardboard or any garbage. In fact, we discourage bringing plastic and glass to the playa altogether and we get really mad when people leave us their garbage. Accomplishing our recycling goals depends on reducing the waste stream at the source — this starts with you!!! So please, follow these simple steps, reduce what you bring, separate your aluminum cans and bring them to recycle Camp!!! While you’re at it go ahead and separate out all your recyclables from your garbage that you’re packing out. Each should be dealt with separately.

Recycle Camp wants your cans! Show us your cans! Bring them to us! Ride the “Blue/Duck”, Recycle Camp’s State-Of-The-Art bicycle powered can crushing machine.

Some interesting facts about aluminum and aluminum recycling.

Aluminum is an incredibly energy-rich material. Usually its ore is derived from bauxite, though it can be derived from other sources but at a higher price. We have heard that even the playa could be mined for aluminum — fortunately for us, this would not be cost-effective.

  • Discovered in the 1820s, aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth.
  • In 1954, Olympia, Washington is the first place to offer a deposit on aluminum cans.
  • The U.S. Aluminum Industry begins recycling in 1968, the same year mr.blue was born.
  • In 1972, 24,000 metric tons of aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs) were recycled. In 1998, the amount increased to over 879,000 metric tons.
  • In 1972, it took about 22 empty, aluminum cans to weigh one pound. Due to advanced technology to use less material and increase durability of aluminum cans, since 2002 it takes about 32 empty aluminum cans to weigh one pound.
  • Nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
  • Nearly 60% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
  • Every new aluminum can contains more than 50% post consumer recycled aluminum.
  • Every minute of every day, an average of 120,000 aluminum cans are recycled.
  • A used aluminum can will be recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!
  • It takes 90% less energy to manufacture an aluminum can from recycled aluminum.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on an iPhone.
  • In 2005, 54 billion cans were recycled saving energy equivalent to 15 million barrels of crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day.
  • Tossing away one aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline.
  • Even though aluminum is the most valuable recyclable material, aluminum cans still make it to the landfill. Americans throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans each year.
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

One reason aluminum is so widely recycled is that the energy required to recycle it is only a tiny fraction of the energy required to obtain it from ore. Every time you recycle 30 aluminum cans, you have saved the equivalent energy of a gallon of gasoline. In 2019 we collected over 300,000 cans. That’s the equivalent of over 10,000 gallons of gasoline. The market value of those cans was only around $3,000.00, but that is a lot to the Gerlach School.

Recycle Camp History

Recycle Camp was born out of a red-hot desire to curb the large clean-up effort on the playa. During their first visit to Black Rock City in 1995, two participants, Simon and Diane, were hanging around during clean up and asked the inevitable question, “Why isn’t there any recycling around here?”

An old-timer just looked at them and smiled as he said, “If you want to see recycling here, then why don’t you volunteer to do it yourself?” They set out that very day to pull aluminum cans out of a pile. By the end of the day they had made a serious dent in the pile, and felt they had actually made a dent in what participants had left behind. There was no Org.

Two years later, Simon aka Cap’n Crush and Diane aka Agent Orange, came equipped with one shopping cart vehicle. They managed to collect a few hundred cans the night of the opera and the burn, and later during clean up met Harley Bierman-Dubois, Burning Man’s Human Resources Amazon. Harley was beginning to build the Community Services Department, she knew this would be a good addition. Recycle Camp was born in November 1997, and in Black Rock City 1998, became an official Burning Man Theme Camp. Their methods were crude yet effective and they collected some 20,000 cans that year. 

Recycle Camp joined forces with the Earth Guardians in 1999 to further the efforts of educating Black Rock citizens to Leave No Trace. Over 75,000 cans were collected. The cans were delivered to the Gerlach School Principal and the money generated went to the Gerlach School.

Recycle Camp was back in full force in 2000 and set an amazing goal to reach 200,000 cans. We actually collected over 100,000 cans that year, our best effort yet.

In 2001, with seven new and returning Volunteers, we collected over 100,000 cans and helped to fund student activities at the Gerlach School once again.

In 2002, Recycle Camp came under new management. Mr. Blue, a first time volunteer in 2001, took the lead role. With the guidance of Cap’n Crush and the help of a record number of Recyclonauts, 100,000+ cans were collected, crushed, bagged and delivered to Gerlach to be recycled.

In 2003, Recycle Camp took on a new look. The tents were replaced with geodesic domes, one for the kitchen and another for a chill space. We took responsibility for our own shade structure/work space and built an amazing A-Frame structure that was a welcome addition to Center Camp. We had a fantastic group of core Recyclonauts and managed to deliver another 100,000+ cans to Gerlach.

From 2004 to today Recycle Camp continues to be a sustainability leader in Black Rock City, energized by the same participant/volunteer driven hard work that has proven year after year to be able to wrangle a field of burlap bags, to a sea of super sacks, to a dumpster full, make that 4, of aluminum cans from the citizens and get them recycled. Since the beginning, Recycle Camp has collected, crushed and recycled over 3 million cans. We’re going to hit 4 million soon, you can bet on that. What? It’s OK, we’re in Nevada.

Questions or comments? Or if you would like to volunteer, email us at recycle@burningman.org.

Sanitation

Porta-Potties

For your convenience and sheer relief, there are a plethora of porta-potties distributed throughout Black Rock City. They can be found on radial streets, off the 2:00 and 10:00 arms, and out in the open playa. They’re emptied round-the-clock by a fleet of trucks who make a continuous 24/7 circuit once the city fills up. Please be considerate of other BRC residents and their porta-potty needs by keeping the lid down, and not dumping garbage in the potties. The rule of thumb is “if it didn’t come out of your body, it doesn’t go in the potty!” And that includes baby wipes!

If you have specific questions regarding porta-potties, please contact sanitation@burningman.org.

Sanitation for RVs

You are welcome to bring a recreational vehicle. Be aware, however, that there is no dumping station on-site, and you will not be allowed to dump on the playa – the BLM does issue citations for the dumping of gray or black water. RV servicing will be available for a $50 fee for trailers up to 24′ in length and $60 for one gray and one black tank for RVs that are 25′-35′ in length. Each additional tank is $30.

There is no location for scheduling RV servicing appointments. We’ve tried to have a sign-up booth at Playa Info in the past and it was horribly inefficient and wasted a lot of people’s time. Keeping that in mind, feel free to stop by Playa Info between the hours of 11am and 1pm for more information.

Just flag ’em down!

The trucks that service RV’s make their rounds between 9am and 9pm, and they have an amber flashing light on the top and a big “RV ONLY” sign on the side. The trucks patrol their “zones” in the city all day, and you can flag them down for service as they roam their quadrants, or stop them while they’re in the broader neighborhood and request a local visit. In case of dire emergency/missed opportunity, you can also pedal out to Fire & Services, where you will find a Help Desk and make an appointment (out past the outer road and 6:30).

Make sure that there is someone at your camp to show the driver where to pump AND to pay for the servicing. Keep in mind that the sanitation vendor only accepts cash so plan accordingly. Also, if they can’t get to your rig they’re not going to be able to service it. Leave a space for the service truck to get to your RV; pump hoses cannot reach beyond 30 feet.

Lamplighters

With the extremely hot temperatures on the playa during the day, it’s no wonder the majority of activity takes place after dark.

Each evening, as darkness approaches, you will spy a solemn group of white-robed individuals with poles slung over their shoulders, wending their way through the city to provide us with illumination.

The Lamplighters have been a familiar sight in Black Rock City since 1993. 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, and light up Black Rock City in a silent and beautiful fashion, without draining the power grid.

For more information on volunteering for the Lamplighters, click here.

Emergency Services Department

Black Rock City’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) is available before the event officially starts, and is on duty until the last participant leaves. ESD provides fire protection, medical evaluation and treatment, mental health services, an Emergency 911 Dispatch facility, and the communications infrastructure for Black Rock City.

The ESD is a separate department from the Black Rock Rangers, who are Burning Man’s non-confrontational mediating entities.

In Black Rock City you can find ESD stations on 3:00 and 9:00 at the intersection just beyond the plazas, and at Center Camp at 6:00.

For more information, please email 911(at)burningman(dot)com.

Health and Safety

Stay healthy and safe while you camp and explore the many opportunities for participation at Burning Man! This section will give you the information you need to keep yourself healthy, and tell you where to find emergency services, should you need them.

Consent is sexy! Visit the Bureau of Erotic Discourse to learn more.

Remember radical self-reliance! Bring a first aid kit and any medications you may need (the closest pharmacies are in Fernley or Reno, and there is no clinic in Gerlach).

Should your illness or injury be more severe than you can manage without help, there are Emergency Services medical stations on the 3:00 and 5:00 plazas, and on the Esplanade at 5:15. All stations are identifiable by a red cross on top of the buildings. The stations are staffed by emergency health care providers (doctors, nurses, medics, etc.) who donate their time and medical expertise to the city as their gift to us all.

Bringing fuel or other hazardous materials? Read the guidelines for fuel and hazmat storage.

If you require a higher level of care than can be provided on the playa, you will need to visit a hospital in Reno, either by getting a ride from a friend, or being transported by an ambulance, plane, or helicopter (depending on your condition). If you are able, request to sign a “Consent to Release Information” form so we can tell your friends and family where you are and what happened (by law, we can’t provide information about you without your consent). Bring your ID, insurance card, cell phone, and wallet when you go. If you get transported by ambulance, plane, or helicopter, you’ll need to arrange for a friend to pick you up after your care. There are no shuttles from the hospitals back to the playa.

Theme Camps

Volunteering at Burning Man doesn’t stop with the volunteering for the Man. Volunteering can take on many forms. From helping your neighbor to tie down his testy shade structure, to lending a hand (and a hammer) to that artist gal down the street putting the finishing touches on her masterpiece, it’s all volunteering at Burning Man!

We want to take this time to bring to your attention to the many wonderful people working hard to build theme camps, art cars, and art installations for the Burning Man event. These folks need volunteers (volunteers like you!), and the best way to learn about the needs of different Theme Camps is to go to the Theme Camp ePlaya.

Questions? Email volunteers@burningman.org. A volunteer would love to help direct you.

Temple Guardians

 

TGGroupByGaryDraluck-2015

Photo credit: Gary Draluck

The 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 we need at the moment we 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. We abide with love for the Temple and everything that it represents.

Temple Guardian shifts run 4 hours each, 24 hours a day.

During your shift, there are a number of duties you may be asked to perform. Guardians keep watch for injuries and unsafe conditions, including fire, climbing, vehicle traffic, and problems with the structure. We do not make rules, nor are we enforcers; we watch quietly and act skillfully when necessary to protect the safety and sacred space of the Temple.

Most of all we provide the Temple with grounding and love. From our humble beginnings, we have always followed a philosophy that calls for using small pushes from a great distance. Sometimes your look, your soft words, or even just your presence is all that is required to hold the sacred space of the Temple. When we do interact with participants, we do so with love and respect. We carry in our hearts the sacred space of the Temple with us into every interaction, using our connection with the grounded, serene space to guide and shape our interactions with participants.

On Sunday, we help maintain the safety perimeter with the Black Rock Rangers and Temple crew for the Temple burn.

If the Temple has a special place in your heart, join us and help hold the space so that others might experience the wonder that brings us back.

To join our team, please fill out the Burning Man Volunteer Questionnaire and mark down “Temple Guardians” as your department of interest.

For more information about the Temple Guardians team, contact us at templeguardians@burningman.org.

Recycle Camp

Do you really want to give something back to this community?

VOLUNTEER!!!

Recycle Camp is a hard working group of folks who are as committed to reducing waste as they are to having a good time. Founded in 1998, Recycle Camp is the place to take your aluminum cans on the Playa. Each year, the proceeds are donated to the Gerlach school! With volunteer opportunities pre-event to post-event, you can get your Recycle Camp-fu on all year long!

Pre-Event: Get involved by connecting with the key players at Recycle Camp. Things actually begin in December with budgets and camp plans. Any new ideas for the coming year need to be discussed early. We encourage everyone who is curious about Recycle Camp to contact us and find out what’s going on.

During the Event: Recycle Camp is one of the best and most rewarding places to volunteer in Black Rock City. This year we are pushing for more drop-in volunteers. Our core team needs you to help us to keep up with the growing population of Black Rock City. We need a ton of help to deal with the more than six tons of aluminum we collect and crush. We typically run two daily 4-hour shifts, Monday through Sunday, 9am to 1pm and 1pm to 5pm. Shift leads will be on hand to coordinate drop-in volunteers. If you’re thinking about volunteering at Recycle Camp please be prepared to get your hands a little dirty, yes, it’s juicy! Join us and put in some fun time making Black Rock City sustainable.

Post-Event: After the Temple burns, it’s time to break down camp and leave no trace. This is a rewarding process that sets an example to the rest of the community. It takes several days to reduce Recycle Camp to nothing, and pack it up so that we can reuse it next year. Care to lend a hand? We’d love to have you! Stop by!

If you’re up to the challenge, or if you have any questions about any of this, email recyclecamp@burningman.org or fill out a Volunteer Questionnaire and sign up today.

Playa Info

Do you like helping people? Do you like being in the center of the action? Do you like knowing what’s really happening in the City? Come join us under our cool shade structure at 6:00 and Center Camp.

We’ve combined many of the information services into one, easy-to-find, location in Center Camp.

You’ll find:

  • Directory – You can register your campsite or theme camp here. Let your friends know your exact Black Rock City Address. Directory information is available at any PlayaNet kiosk and through terminals at Playa Info.
  • Our Famous Oracles – They will help answer your questions, hook you up with volunteer opportunities, help you recover found items, locate a locksmith, and answer your more esoteric questions.
  • Found Items – Lost something and want to find it? Found something and want to lose it? Turn in found items to be reunited with their owners.
  • Volunteer Resources. If you’re looking to volunteer on the Playa, sign up at the Volunteer Resource Desk and help serve the Black Rock City community.

No matter what your level of experience is with Burning Man, we have a job for you. Check out details below on each of our playa information areas or email playainfo@burningman.org if you would like more information.

Directory

The Directory is a database listing theme camps and individual camps and their placement on the playa. No prior Burning Man experience is necessary to volunteer for the Directory.

Volunteering with the Directory includes:

  • Helping people to register — a great way to find out about theme camps and meet people.
  • Inputting data to update the new arrivals and locations of personal campsites. This is also a great way to familiarize yourself to find all the cool theme camps.
  • Helping people find their friends, family, or theme camps.

Responsibilities can be varied. Shifts are 4 hours, although shift times can be varied. The Directory is staffed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the event.

If you’d like to volunteer with the Digital Directory, please indicate this by checking Playa Info under “Volunteer Interests” of our Volunteer Questionnaire, or contact playainfo@burningman.org for more information.

Oracles

Know all the latest news. Amaze and dazzle your friends. Do you like helping people? Does answering questions while relaxing in the shade appeal to you? If you’ve been to Burning Man at least once and have a sense of humor, then the Oracles need you!

Oracles are located in our cool shade structure at Center Camp. Oracles answer questions, help with directions, and locate found items. We have the latest information on where to find bike repair stations, theme camps, rangers, medical services, and more. We also pride ourselves in answering esoteric questions with equally esoteric answers. It’s a great way to meet participants from around the world.

If you’ve got a bit of Oracle in your blood (and we’re not talking software here), then consider volunteering with Playa Info. Please indicate this on question #14 of our Volunteer Questionnaire or contact playainfo@burningman.org for more information.

Found Items

Playa Info is where we help reunite owners with their prized possessions. If someone has found a camera, wallet, backpack, sunglasses, set of keys, or something else that doesn’t belong to them, Playa Info is where those Found Items are turned in. As an Oracle, you’ll help receive and catalog Found Items and reunite them with their happy owners.

We need people willing to commit to 4 hour shifts, although shift times can be varied. Hours of operation are 9 am to 6 p.m. throughout the event.

Media Mecca

The Media Team is composed of a daring, dedicated, professional, fun-loving and largely well-behaved set of volunteers. Since 1997, our motley group of journalists, marketers, flacks, sociologists, technical writers, filmmakers, artists, anthropologists, IT professionals, art experts, budding rock stars, freaks, geeks, and ne’erdowells have helped members of the media plug in to the event, participate, and hopefully come away with a good story.

Media Mecca is Black Rock City’s press room. Open from 10 a.m. (ish) to 5 p.m. (ish), Media Mecca is the landing zone for all press covering Burning Man. At the Mecca, members of the media can find out what’s going on, recharge batteries and file stories. Media Team members point press in the direction of participants from their region, connect them with artists and take them on a tour of the major art installations. We do not baby the press, coddle them, suggest story ideas or drive folks around on a golf cart.

The Media Team is always on the lookout for new talent. Currently, we’re especially interested in meeting new folks with a background in press and journalism, or experience in film, communications, the arts, PR, politics, or IP law. You’re not a media expert? No problem! We can also use your two hands if you’d just like to help support people who are.

If you’re interested in being part of the team, check “Media Mecca” on the Volunteer Questionnaire. If you have any questions, email mediavolunteers@burningman.org.

Lamplighters

A community is defined, largely, by its traditions. Black Rock City is a place rich in tradition, and participants looking to take an active role in the community have many choices before them. The Lamplighters have been an important part of Burning Man almost as long as Burning Man has been held in the desert. More than a public utility, the Lamplighters are a symbol of community, of participation, and clear sign that the day has passed, and that evening magic will soon be upon us.

The Lamplighters began in 1993, with a small group of participants placing a dozen or so kerosene lanterns on the ground each evening, illuminating a pathway towards The Man. In the intervening years, Black Rock City has grown, and while many things have changed, the Lamplighters remain, though few at the time could have imagined how the Lamplighters would develop, and rise to the challenge of an expanding city.

The Lamplighters are more than a handful of volunteers; they are a team of well over 100 participants every evening of the festival. And the dozen or so lanterns from 1993 have grown to nearly 1000. To accomplish this considerable task, we ask for your help, and we invite you to be a part of this community, this event, and our tradition. Before the event closes, after The Man burns, more than 1000 people will have helped the Lamplighters accomplish their important work.

The Lamplighters begin EVERY EVENING of the event in their center camp workspace at around 5pm. The ceremony begins around 6, and soon the work is done. No experience is required. We welcome virgin and seasoned burners alike. One thing is certain though. We can’t do it without YOU.

If you’d like to be a Lamplighter, please take the time to fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire, and be sure to mark ‘Lamplighters’ as the group with which you want to volunteer.

Email us at lamplighters@burningman.org

Lamplighters FAQ

Q. I know the Lamplighters have several work meetings in San Francisco before Burning Man. I live in [any city anywhere in the world not near SF], and can’t make the meetings. Can I still be a Lamplighter?

A. Absolutely. The work meetings are attended by local and some not-so-local volunteers who represent a small percentage of the total number of folks we will need to pull off our job at the event. We do want you to try to attend, and usually there are a variety of Burning Man-related events to make it more enticing, but we certainly understand that everyone won’t be able to attend meetings. The most important aspect of our job takes place at the event. There will be plenty to do there.

Q. What do Lamplighters do?

A. Search for “lamplighters” in the website’s image gallery. We parade along the main pedestrian ways of Black Rock City every night hanging lanterns. Each night we need 150 volunteers to maintain and place nearly 1000 kerosene lanterns. We do everything involved in lighting the streets at night at Burning Man. If you’ve been to Burning Man before, you’ve seen our lanterns, and if you haven’t been to the event, suffice to say there are A LOT of lanterns. Lamplighting has been a part of Burning Man since 1993, a time-honored tradition.

Q. Do I have to sign up for a shift? (interesting question…greeters, rangers, and lots of other groups do have advance sign up)

A. No. Just be aware that we do Lamplighting before, after, and every day of Burning Man and we start around 5, or after the hot part of the day. When you arrive at Lamplighters Workspace, in center camp, there will be a daily sign up for which area of the city you go to, but you don’t have to sign up in advance. You are welcome to help us one night or many. We’ll take what you have to offer. If your theme camp is wanting to come light as a group please email us and tell us what day and about how many from your camp you think you’ll have so we can try to arrange your lighting together. (Note, Lamplighter Villagers are expected to light (most) every night they are at the burn.)

Q. What time do you start? Where?

A. We start around 5, at the Lamplighters Workspace in Center Camp. Look for the lanterns and the crowd.

Q. How long does it take?

A. The entire Lamplighting process takes around two to three hours. You will be done before it gets dark.

Q. Do I have to make my own robe?

A. No, we have robes and sashes for you to borrow and then please bring them back.

Q. What do I have to bring?

A. You don’t have to bring anything but yourself, but we love contributions of sharp scissors, turkey basters, and fancy BBQ lighters… even better if they constantly re-light themselves… those are the best.

Q. If I promise to work at Lamplighters, can I get a free ticket?

A. Nope. But what you’ll get in return will far exceed your expectations.

Q. Do I need to reserve a camp space?

A. Yes! Our camp has limited space and there is a maximum number of people we can fit into it. We begin reserving spots in our Village each spring. The Lamplighter Village is just off Center Camp so wherever you stay in the Village you are still right in the middle of Black Rock City. That’s an awesome place to be.

Q. What should I do when I get to Burning Man?

A. Find us on the map BEFORE you drive in. The Greeters and most of the people you come across will be able to help you find Center Camp and/or the Lamplighters. The location of Lamplighters Village and the Lamplighters Workspace are on the map of Black Rock City. When you find us in the city, come check in at the Lounge and we will walk with you around the Village and show you a number of places that would be good for your camp. Then RELAX. You’ve been driving for hours. Sit down, and think about where you want to camp. You may decide that you don’t want to camp with us. You’ve already seen what we have to offer. This is your experience, and it won’t hurt our feelings. After you’ve calmed down, set up your living space. Now acclimate, and remind yourself that this is where you decided to spend your vacation.

Burning Man Information Radio

BMIR – 94.5 FM (aka Burning Man Information Radio) is the official radio station of Burning Man. Broadcasting on the playa and can be listened to during the event utilizing the I Heart Radio app. BMIR broadcasts an eclectic mix of music, playa news, burn information, playa weather reports, interviews with participants and artists, theme camp and event promos and much more.

BMIR starts broadcasting from the playa 24/7 the Wednesday before the gates open to the public. Many people tune in to the internet stream from home while they are doing their last minute packing as well as stream BMIR on their smartphones while they travel to Black Rock City for info on how the city is coming together, updates on playa and traffic conditions and late breaking important information about the event.

It takes a whole lot of people to make a radio station run and there are many roles to be filled both on and off air. We are a highly interactive department with lots of public contact. Previous radio experience is not necessary. What’s important is desire and commitment to our mission of being the guardians of the airwaves for the citizens of Black Rock City.

If you’re interested in joining our team please send an email to BMIRVolunteers@gmail.com. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you see yourself contributing to the team. We look forward to hearing from you!

Black Rock Rangers

Who are the Black Rock Rangers?

The Black Rock Rangers are veteran burners who help participants and staff work through problems and make everyone’s Burn awesomer.

Rangers only assist the community when needed. Our ideal outcome is to have people solve their own problems with a gentle nudge in the right direction, and then fade into the background when we’re not needed.

What do Black Rock Rangers do?

Rangers are Burning Man’s “first response” team. We are out in the city, connecting with participants and keeping an eye out for situations that need attention. Things we do include:

  • Providing information to participants and staff
  • Helping new people “get” Burning Man culture
  • Maintaining burn perimeters and doing crowd control
  • Providing support for participants or staff members in psychological distress
  • Mediating conflict between participants and between camps
  • Supporting emergency services on medical and fire calls
  • Identifying and mitigating safety hazards, including unsafe driving
  • Providing support for sexual assault and domestic violence victims and their campmates
  • Facilitating positive interactions between law enforcement and participants or staff
  • Finding lost children
  • Supporting Leave No Trace (LNT) compliance
  • Being first on scene and calling in additional resources as needed for issues ranging from medical to hazmat spills, to found chickens – and more! You have a weird issue, we have a radio to help.

When do we get involved?

Rangers only intervene in a situation in two instances:

  1. When someone specifically asks for help, or…
  2. When someone’s behavior is impacting (or likely to impact) someone else’s experience.

We are emphatically not law enforcement or a paramilitary organization. We do not:

  • Enforce rules, unless there’s an obvious safety-related reason to do so
  • Protect property or art against theft or vandalism
  • Act as lost and found (that’s Playa Info!)

How can I volunteer with the Rangers?

In order to apply to volunteer with the Black Rock Rangers, you must be at least eighteen years old, and:

  • Have attended Burning Man at least twice (at least once in the last ten years), OR
  • Have attended Burning Man at least once in the last ten years, as well as have participated as a Ranger at a sanctioned Burning Man regional event at least once in the last three years (or will have by April 7th of this year).
  • Complete the Ranger application process.
  • Attend a full day of Ranger training
  • Pass an on-playa mentoring/evaluation shift

Want more info? Visit our website or email rangers@burningman.org.

ARTery (Artist Services)

The ARTery is the on-playa home of the Burning Man Art Team, and as such the volunteer team is called the ARTerians. The ARTery is the check-in and service center for artists as well as a hub of information about Burning Man art.

ARTerians perform a variety of tasks on playa including checking in artists, placing them at their installation location, and offering art discovery experiences to participants, all with an attitude of appreciation for artists and one another.

Along with the ARTerians, other teams within the ARTery include the Fire Art Safety Team (FAST), Art Support Services (ASS), and Eyes on Art.

The ARTery is located at Esplanade & 6:30 and is open one week before the event begins through event closure everyday from 9am-1pm and from 2pm-6pm.

Mission Statement

The mission of the ARTery is to serve and defend artistic expression at Burning Man. The ARTery facilitates the placement and display of art on the playa during the Burning Man event.

Be an ARTerian Volunteer

Interested in joining us on playa? We’re a full-service department dedicated to helping Burning Man artists in any way we can. We recruit new volunteers from September through March since the team meets regularly in the months leading up to the event.

 

Benefits

  • Insight into the art of Burning Man—early “insider’s” knowledge of what is being created
  • Working with the artists, learning about their process, their drives and their passions
  • Helping support the art of Black Rock City—handling the on-playa placement of art pieces, sharing of information with participants, enjoying interactions with folks who recognize Burning Man as a premier art event
  • Belonging to a community, having fun, and making new friends. ARTerians are a close group of dedicated volunteers within the larger organization.

Here are some of the ARTerian roles that we staff for:

Greeter
Best traits: friendly, social, calm, able to interact well with other Burners. We’re looking for the ultimate people person! The Greeters are the first point of contact at the ARTery and are able to direct the flow of artists during the registration and placement process, and also help direct participants during the event.

Concierge
Best traits: 
Process-oriented, attention to detail, good querying skills, problem-solving ability, good with an iPad. We’re looking for the ultimate playa consultant! Those at the Concierge desk review a detailed checklist with the artist regarding their installation. During this process, we ensure that the artist is informed and understands our requirements.

Mapinatrix
Best traits: Detail-oriented, organized, logical, multi-tasker. The Mapinatrix gets necessary information from the Concierge and then confirms the location of the art piece with the artist. 

Field Ops
Best traits:
Sturdy constitution, able to work in the elements for long stretches of time, good with directions, and technologically savvy. Field Ops ensures that all the art is placed and logged via GPS by taking the artist to their location on the playa.

Art Discovery Team
Best traits:
Facilitation skills, able to engage participants in discussions about art, willingness to learn basic info about current year’s art installations, some roles required ability to walk or bike for long distances on playa, navigation skills.
The Art Discovery Program offers a range of experiences to help participants to interact and engage with the art. One way is through Art Discovery Tours, where AD-Libbers (Art Discovery Librarians) lead groups of participants on adventures to discover playa art. AD-Libbers are not tour guides; instead they facilitate discussions about the art installations which allows participants to have their own experience in discovering the art.

Appreciation Team (A-Team)
Best traits:
People skills, creative, flexible, enthusiastic, appreciative, multi-tasker, organized. We’re looking for cheerleaders for all the art teams and artists. A-Team members express appreciation for all the work the artists and those who support them do to bring art to the playa. This team also hosts the annual ARTery Party, which is a celebration for ALL the artists and ARTery volunteers, and they offer a variety of fun ways to celebrate and show gratitude to BRC artists.

Requirements:

  • You must have attended Burning Man at least once in order to join the team.
  • We request regular attendance (in-person at headquarters or via conference call) at the monthly ARTery meetings held on the third Tuesday of every month from May through August, with a debrief in October.
  • A minimum of three 4-hour shifts during the event.

To apply to join the team, please fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire and select Art as your preferred area of interest.

Have a question about the ARTery? Send us a message via the Contact Form.