Ways to Participate

In 2020, Burning Man took place in the Multiverse! During a time when many were unable to gather in person, something truly wondrous emerged — dozens of imaginative Universe creators built an ever-expanding virtual Burning Man Multiverse comprising eight Universes, a virtual Temple, and a globally distributed Man Burn.

Thousands from around the world visited us during Burn Week, August 30 to September 6, 2020.

People who go to Burning Man are no mere “attendees” but rather active participants in every sense of the word: They create the city, the interaction, the art, the performance and ultimately the experience. Participation is at the very core of Burning Man, and there are many ways to participate. Here are just a few to start with.

Make Something

YOU are Burning Man. Create your own form of participation! Create an art installation, a Theme Camp, a Mutant Vehicle, or performance. You can connect with an existing project through Spark.


Volunteer to help build the infrastructure of Black Rock City. First-time Burners can learn the ropes here.

Get Inspired

Browse the Art of Burning Man and our historical timeline and get yourself inspired!

Participation Videos

These videos are designed to entertain, enlighten and educate about our culture.


“Whether you make a cup of coffee for the folks camped next door or help someone you hardly know unzip the back of their costume in preparation to use the port-a-potty, you can be a participant of Burning Man. If you reach inside yourself and figure out that part of you that can be shared with others around you, chances are you will enjoy Burning Man. The only way to avoid having fun is to bring nothing of yourself to the event. If you just try to take everything in, you won’t ‘get’ anything.”

— Anonymous

Vehicles at Burning Man

Black Rock City is huge, and it grows larger each year. How does one navigate such an expanse? It’s daunting. Human (foot and bike) power is the standard mode of transportation in Black Rock City, but as Burning Man continues to grow, and BRC expands to accommodate its population, more people are tempted to fall back on their attachment to driving to get around.

NSS Triton at Sunrise (Photo by Pmatt Freedman)


Want to learn what it takes to bring a Mutant Vehicle to Black Rock City? Go here.

With a city of tens of thousands of people, and the problems inherent in human-vehicle interaction (over the years, we have seen severe injuries and even death due to vehicle-related accidents), it is critical that Burning Man remain primarily a city for pedestrians and bicyclists. The only vehicles that may be driven at Burning Man are staff and service vehicles, vehicles for people with a physical disability, and Mutant Vehicles.

The Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV) was created in 1997 to address the very real challenges of non-human powered driving at Burning Man. It was the alternative to banning the movement of vehicles at the event altogether. Black Rock City can only accommodate a small number of vehicles being driven. If you wish to bring your Mutant Vehicle to Black Rock City or require accommodation due to a disability, you must go through the DMV licensing process.

Public Infrastructure

Welcome Home (Photo by Hank EspressoBuzz)


…If you need info or want to leave a message you might wander over to Playa Information, in Center Camp Plaza. While you’re there you could meet up with friends and catch a performance at Center Camp, or buy ice at Arctica. If you get lost on the way back to your camp, and can’t recall the name of the street you live on, you might run into a Ranger who can give you the shortcut for remembering street names. If you fall off your bike and get hurt on your way back to your camp, you’ll find professional volunteers of the Emergency Services Department ready to care for you. As the sun sets, you’ll notice the Lamplighters appearing to illuminate the city. Need to go potty? Learn how from Sanitation. (Remember, though, there is NO garbage pickup at Burning Man.)

When you’ve finally had a chance to take it all in, you can thank the Department of Public Works (DPW) and Nevada Operations (NVO)! These two departments together prepare and repair the essential infrastructure of BRC and then converge in a feat of logistics and heart to build our beloved city each summer.

Trash and Recycling

Except for tire tracks and footprints, our policy is to leave the desert as the profoundly barren and empty corner of the world that it is. All Black Rock City citizens are expected to participate in our clean-up effort.

There are no trash cans at Burning Man. All participants are required to remove their trash and  from the playa.  Moreover, Leave No Trace should extend beyond the playa, all the way to your home.

And most importantly: “If it wasn’t in your body, don’t put it in the potty.”

Recycling On Playa

Recycling is cheap, easy, and the benefits are immeasurable. We encourage everyone to separate and recycle their garbage as much as possible, and to dispose of the trash and recyclable material appropriately.

You can drop off aluminum cans at Recycle Camp located on the Center Camp circle, or look out for one of their funky collection mobiles (shopping carts towed by bikes) wending their way throughout the city.

Recycling and Garbage Disposal After the Event

Do NOT discard refuse along the highway or in neighboring towns. Not only is littering irresponsible and costly in terms of energy, time, and money for others, it is also illegal and reflects very badly on Burning Man. If you have to carry garbage on top of your vehicle, make sure it is double-bagged and strapped down securely.

Many communities along the routes from Black Rock City have Recycling centers and trash disposal locations, and many of those are open 24 hours a day.  You can find a list of them in the Leave Nevada Beautiful section of the Survival Guide.



So you’re coming to Burning Man and you’re in a chair. It is critical that you read the Survival Guide, and take its advice seriously. If you are an experienced camper or adventurer, it should give you enough information to know what you will be facing at Burning Man and what you need to do to prepare for multiple days in the desert. If you haven’t spent much time camping or roughing it, here are a few more tips that will help make your experience at Burning Man more trouble-free.

It is important that you understand that Burning Man is not for the faint-hearted or beginning camper. It is based on personal preparedness and participation. Before you can participate, you must make sure that you have taken care of your own needs and are truly prepared for the desert environment. Being prepared will not only allow you to participate but will also allow others to participate because they won’t need to be worried about you.

Burning Man is a community and embraces everyone. There will be a limited number of wheelchair accessible porta-potties. These are clearly indicated on the map distributed as you enter the event. These are the only special accommodations that you should expect.

Here are some other helpful tips:


There are some serious advantages to having powered mobility. Powered chairs will get you around the event faster and with less fatigue. The sun is hot, the days are long, the city never sleeps and it is well over a mile from end to end. The event has grown so large, with so many wonderful things to see, that some kind of powered transportation is almost imperative. However, there are some disadvantages to a powered chair. How do you charge your chair? The alkali dust and harsh environment can wreak havoc on your equipment. If your power chair breaks down and you can’t fix it, you’re finished. It’s best not to bring your everyday chair; if you have a spare chair, you should bring it.


When the weather is good the playa is packed hard and lends itself beautifully to wheeled transport. The playa surface is alkali and corrosive on skin. Gloves are advised. You will be tempted to bring out your big rough knobby tires for the wild terrain, but as soon as you hit someone’s emptied sun shower puddle (or worse, it rains) you will quickly gather more mud in those treads than you believed possible. The best bet is a mild tread. The wider your tires, the better. This also goes for your front caster wheels. If you plan on only using your arm strength to get you around, you’ll wish you hadn’t. The event is vast, and you really will want to use a powered vehicle at some point like an art car, golf cart, or some other creative mode of transportation (friends towing you with bikes.) Be advised that no motorcycles or ATV’s will be allowed. Be prepared to clean your chair, manual or powered. Bring a patch kit and pump and any tools you might need for adjustments or repairs.


If it rains, you are STUCK! Plan ahead for weather. You’d better get to know your neighbors, because if it rains or there a high winds you will probably need some assistance securing your camp or getting to a dry place. Have some type of emergency plan with those your camping with if one of the big storms hits. Carrying a portable radio with you to listen to one of the many Black Rock City radio stations will keep you advised of incoming storms. All of this is important because once the rain hits no mode of transportation, other than feet, can get very far in 4 to 6 inches of wet sticky clay. If the day is hot, things will dry up quickly, but if the rain keeps up, it will be a while before anything moves: most importantly, you.


You should plan to come completely self-sufficient. Even better, come with a support group of friends that you can camp with. Depending on your disability, you will need different kinds of assistance. It would be useful to keep a good group of friends near by. Also get to know your neighbors and your immediate surroundings. Know where the Ranger outposts are, where the medical tent is, where the accessible porta-potties are and where YOU are as you travel through the city. Remember to always pick out landmarks when you head out of your camp on adventures.


Water is key in the desert. Bring lots of it and drink lots of it. Remember that many people with disabilities are more prone to urinary tract infections. If this is true for you, it will only be multiplied in the desert. Pack based on the assumption that you will get a UTI. Bring any supplies or medication you might need. Dehydration is the most frequent medical emergency at Burning Man. It sets on quickly and relief is far, far, away. You will also need water for washing and keeping yourself and some of your stuff clean. Bring at least 2 gallons per person per day.


Probably the most difficult part of being on the playa is using the porta-potties. As much as the project encourages respect for the accessible porta-potties, people are not always considerate. Porta-potties are dirty by nature, and they are going to be scorching hot inside. Be prepared to get in and out of them quickly and efficiently. Bring extra supplies for your porta-potty needs, like handi-wipes, water, antibacterial soap and a hand towel. There is the possibility of using locks on these facilities. If that is the case, you will need to check in at Playa Info in center camp, for access keys.


If you can, try to bring something you can relax in aside from your chair. A thick sleeping pad will be invaluable.

If you have any further questions please email us at wheelchairs@burningman.com. We’ll see you out there!

Criteria for Camp Placement & Good Standing

This page contains 2 main topics: 

  1. Criteria for Camp Placement which is what the Placement team reviews for to select camps for placement in Black Rock City
  2. Criteria for Good Standing which is what the Placement team assesses post-event to determine if camps have successfully burned and eligible to return. 

These were last updated in Spring 2020 through the Cultural Direction Setting Project in the spirit of greater clarity, transparency, and to help meet our Cultural Vision for Residential Black Rock City.

Table of Contents

Theme Camp Definition

Criteria for Camp Placement

Criteria #1-3 apply only to theme camps. If your camp is placed as any other type of camp, Criteria #4-8 apply in addition to the criteria for your specific camp type which can be found here.

Theme Camp Criteria:

1. Interactivity
2. Visual Impact
3. Uniqueness of Offering

Criteria for All Placed Camps:

4. Good Neighbors and Citizens of Black Rock City
5. Culture and Values
6. Safety, Protocols and Procedures
8. Self-reliance/Strain on Resources


Camps organize and bring their gifts in many ways in Black Rock City and can find space in open camping to set up independently. The criteria and expectations set forth are guidelines for camps to receive reserved placement in BRC, though we hope that all camps strive to embody these criteria regardless of whether or not they are placed.

The Camp Placement Criteria is upheld by BRC’s Placement Team as stewards of the city and the placement process. Each criterion listed includes a detailed explanation of what we encourage camps to strive for to receive placement, as well as the things we consider when determining camp standing. We also practice shared accountability by providing direct feedback to camps that are not meeting the criteria and shared principles.

While the top level criteria are important, we do not expect camps to implement every bullet point within each criterion. We suggest that camps prioritize and tailor their approach to meet the overall spirit of each criterion. Please note where the words “all,” “must,” “should,” and “never” appear throughout the criteria, they are intended as requirements rather than as suggestions.

Theme Camp Definition

Theme camps are groups of participants who, together, contribute a service, engagement, art, or other creative interactive experience available for citizens of Black Rock City (BRC) without an expectation of anything in return. As a community, we create Black Rock City every year because we all believe there is value in having an entirely different kind of experience — one grounded in what you have to contribute, say, make, do, and share. Theme camps think beyond typical exchanges, and apply their creativity, resourcefulness, and their unique expression of our culture, toward creating experiences that encourage participants to share their expression with the Burning Man community. 

“Culture is our collective lived experience. It’s not something you are, but rather something you do. When we create, contribute, and participate in Black Rock City, it inspires others to do the same. When one approaches Black Rock City as a consumer or a spectator, it discourages others from contributing and devalues the experience. The success of Burning Man culture and Black Rock City will always rest on our community’s embrace of our shared cultural values.” – From the Cultural Vision for Residential Black Rock City published in the Burning Man Journal on July 2019 

The criteria to receive camp placement connect the 10 Principles of Burning Man to direct action camps can take in Black Rock City. The lived culture of Black Rock City doesn’t come from reading a vision document or thinking of the criteria for placement as a checklist. Culture comes from you, your camp, from our community, and how we all collectively show up in Black Rock City. Burning Man Project and BRC’s Placement Team encourage you to imagine how your camp can manifest these criteria each year in your own way. The reality of each year’s cultural direction is up to all of us. 

Criteria for Camp Placement


(Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Communal Effort, Participation)

Interactivity is the primary offering a theme camp uses to express the 10 Principles. It is the basis for why theme camps come together and the focus of how they engage with the larger community. Interactivity connects people, entertains people, provides services and spaces people need, and helps people learn and grow. Interactivity can be scheduled or spontaneous, but generally means providing activities, happenings, or offerings within your camp.

Consider also that camp interactivity is a gift to the people of Black Rock City and is shaped by our Gifting culture. Gifting culture is based on the unconditional act of gift-giving rather than the material gift itself.

Here’s What Interactivity Looks Like:

  • Aligning interactivity with the 10 Principles – it is Decommodified, Radically Inclusive, and creates experiences that prioritize connection, Participation and Immediacy.
  • Providing experiences that are available to the entire community and clearly open to people who are not part of your camp to participate (including consideration for various levels of accessibility).
  • Matching your interactivity and offerings proportionally to your camp size and square footage, especially if a camp grows year to year. There’s no magic formula here, but each member of a camp should spend a meaningful amount of their time contributing to camp interactivity. Large camps should especially aim to bring something (or a combination of things) to playa that only a camp of their population size could accomplish.
  • Doing something well and not simply going bigger or brighter to get more attention. Big visions can be multi-year projects.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Is it obvious that your camp’s interactivity is available for the community and that there is something about it that would draw people in to engage?
  • If asked, could you clearly explain how the total population of your camp contributes to the scale of interactivity and experiences you’re planning to bring to Black Rock City?
  • Were your camp’s interactivity levels comparable to other camps of your same size?
  • Did your camp’s interactivity on playa match what you said you were going to do on your Camp Placement Questionnaire (even if it didn’t go exactly how you wanted)? If something big changed, did you let us know about it?

Visual Impact

(Radical Self-expression)

Black Rock City is a model for active and engaging streets with camps that have welcoming street fronts that invite exploration. Theme camps can be works of art and experiments in city design created with themed environments or visually-stimulating frontages, not just where people park their cars and build infrastructure to survive in the desert.

Here Is What Visual Impact Looks Like:

  • An open, inviting, and dynamic frontage that is available to the public and appropriate for the prominence of the street type requested.
  • Participation in making your neighborhood an inviting, warm and safe place to explore by including visual elements in your camp, for example camp signage, night lighting, illumination along your borders, ornamentation, art, fire, seating, etc.
  • Consideration and experimentation with hiding, beautifying, or otherwise integrating RVs, vehicles, and infrastructure into the streetscape.
  • Camps placed on the Esplanade, Portals, Plazas, and Avenues maintaining their primary frontage through Man burn.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Did you make effective use of all the frontage provided to your camp? 
  • Did you have a balanced amount of public and private space relative to the size of your camp? 
  • Did you have an obvious way to enter your camp’s public space, and was it available to the community? 
  • Did you consider the look and feel of your camp’s frontage even when you’re not actively doing your interactivity?

Uniqueness of Offering

(Radical Self-expression, Immediacy, Radical Inclusion)

More than a thousand theme camps request placement every year and the best ones stand out for their unique, inventive, and original offerings. Theme camps are an expression of its members’ creativity, skills, and talents. They offer distinct spins that evoke imagination and curiosity even among commonly found amenities in Black Rock City. Whatever it is — polished or janky, big or small — camps should boldly celebrate their unique gifts and perspectives they bring to the playa.

Here’s What Unique Offerings Look Like:

  • Interactivity that is anchored in something that feels organic to your group. It doesn’t have to appeal to everyone, but it should be something that feels authentically yours. 
  • Interactivity that is playful, whimsical, meaningful, themed, or adds a twist to your core experience (a great playa bar isn’t about the free drinks, it’s about the experience that you create). 
  • Trying something new or changing up your offerings or theme from time to time. Choices like this are celebrated, even if they fail. 
  • Camps that welcome, support and create interactivity for under-represented groups or people at Burning Man.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Did your camp have a theme, experience, or unique story that was easy for the reviewing team to discern and would distinguish it from others? 
  • Did your camp create an experience that a participant would want to tell a story about later? 
  • Was your camp providing an offering, service, or experience that’s less commonly found on the playa? Greater weight is given to camps providing more uncommon experiences.

Good Neighbors and Citizens of BRC

(Radical Inclusion, Civic Responsibility, Communal Effort)

People from all walks of life are valued and respected in Black Rock City. As citizens of this temporary city and as part of a large whole, camps and individuals contribute to a culture which allows room for Radical Self-expression without coming at the cost of Radical Inclusion. As good neighbors, camps embody Communal Effort in all their interactions, are mindful of the people around them, and are open to learning and compromise in conflict.

Here’s What Being a Good Neighbor and Citizen of Black Rock City Looks Like:

  • Keep sound within set limits and check in with your neighbors about volume levels if you are using amplified sound.
  • Provide sound abatement for generators and control where they vent exhaust.
  • Where possible, work together with your neighbors to coordinate layouts, share resources, organize events, and take ownership of your streets. 
  • Demonstrate accountability to one another. When there are issues within the neighborhood, work together to solve problems and mediate differences. When you see your peers “doing it right,” celebrate each other and offer positive reinforcement.
  • If you encounter a camp with a potential problem, approach them with an attitude of curiosity and not with assumptions about what arrangements a camp has within its borders. Engage, inquire, seek to understand, and be neighborly. Focus on the behavior at hand rather than any preconceptions or identifiers such as class, race, or geographic origin.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • What did your neighbors have to say about you in their end of year self-evaluation report?
  • Did noise from your camp cause significant problems with your neighbors that could have been avoided? 
  • Was it clear that you made a sincere good faith effort to successfully resolve any disputes that arose, whether self-mediated or by contacting Placement or the Black Rock Rangers?

Culture and Values

(Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Inclusion)

Camps should reflect the culture and values of our community as outlined in the 10 Principles. As citizens of Black Rock City, we embody Radical Self-reliance and Civic Responsibility — we don’t expect things to be done for us (this is convenience culture) or dictated for us (at Burning Man, we take responsibility for our culture).

Radical Self-reliance and Participation cannot be outsourced, especially not through financial or transactional means. While it is normal in the default world to pay for ideas to be created, Burning Man is based on a Gifting economy. All camp members are expected to engage in Gifting through meaningful and immediate contributions to both camp interactivity and operations according to their skills and abilities.

Please also read our positions on “Payticipation and Paying People” and “Commodification, Gifting, Decommodification, and Participation.” These topics have emerged from an ongoing cultural conversation initiated through Burning Man Project’s Cultural Direction Setting project. They are likely to evolve and iterate over time, but reflect our current thinking on these important issues.

Here’s What Strong Culture and Values Look Like:

  • Serving and enhancing gifting culture, and avoiding the types of transactional exchanges most of us experience in the default world. Transactional exchanges with an expectation of return are the problem. 
  • Allocating your camp’s collective focus, time, and resources primarily toward your public contributions rather than the personal comfort and convenience of your campers. Any conveniences should be used in service of your camp’s contribution, which adds to the vibrancy of Black Rock City.
  • Providing clear ways for participants to opt in to engage with your interactivity. No one should feel coerced into participating, and informed consent should be given freely. Meaningful consent is also revocable at any time, and boundaries expressed by participants should be honored.
  • Offering thoughtful and/or researched interactivity that benefit your visitors and adding to their experience, regardless of their background, race, income level, gender, physical ability, etc.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Was your camp offering inclusive and welcoming to diverse audiences? Camp activities may be controversial or even uncomfortable, but should never make any person feel unsafe. 
  • Did you incorporate clear ways to ask for and receive enthusiastic consent from participants in your interactivity? Did your camp have predetermined ways for participants to easily opt in (or out) of any activity you offered? 
  • Did your actions serve and enhance our Gifting culture? Some people have considered financial contribution a way to gift; we explore the problems that simply offering payment as the only form of one’s contribution to the community causes here.
  • Did you or your camp pay someone to do something for you while on playa? All camps must read the guidance and follow the policies regarding PAYticipation and paying people here.
  • Did your camp act as or work with a concierge company that sells packages to attend the Burning Man event and/or make a profit? This is never permitted.
  • Did anyone in your camp sell or advertise goods and/or services during the Burning Man event? Did someone in your camp tag a brand or product on social media? This is never permitted.
  • If you weren’t sure about something, did you contact placement@burningman.org to ask your question up front? Note that we may also reach out to you to ask questions as this landscape is constantly changing. 

Safety, Protocols and Procedures 

(Civic Responsibility)

Civic responsibility – doing the right thing for the greater community – is one of Burning Man’s Principles and safety is at its core. Camps are expected to abide by all policies and regulations applied by government entities and Burning Man departments in the interest of caring for one another. Safety regulations create a safer event for everyone, and enable each citizen in Black Rock City to get the most out of the Burn.

Here’s What Following Safety, Protocols and Procedures Looks Like:

  • Showing up on time to claim your reserved spot before Gates open.
  • Using only the space allotted to your camp.
  • Providing enough space to support bike parking and crowd management to keep streets clear for emergency vehicles. 
  • Following the proper regulations stated and posted by Burning Man operational departments such as Placement, Fuel, OSS, HEaT, BLM, Black Rock Rangers.
  • Using Stewards Sale tickets and Setup Access Pass allocations in a responsible manner and as outlined in the rules and conditions for these programs.
  • Being responsible during build week and not getting the party started early.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Did we receive a negative report about your camp from any of the operational entities at the Burning Man event? 
  • Did you claim your reserved spot before the start of the event? If you couldn’t, did you reach out to us ahead of time to let us know why? All camps must claim their reserved spot before Gates open.  
  • Did your camp (or someone associated with your camp) participate in land grabbing?  Examples include moving blue flags marking your camp’s borders, or taking additional space from the open camping area without pre-approval from Placement. This is never allowed. 
  • At any point during the event did you not have adequate bike parking or crowd management plans and it became an issue that you did not help to solve?


(Matter Out of Place, Leave No Trace)

Camps must be good stewards of the land and respect the privilege we have to build our temporary city in the Black Rock Desert. Camps should understand best practices to Leave No Trace (LNT), consider their impact on playa and in surrounding communities, and implement viable MOOP sweeps and a LNT plan. Camps aim for Green on the MOOP Map and are willing to take responsibility if they aren’t.

Here’s What a Good MOOP-Managed Camp Looks Like:

  • Designating a member of your camp as the LNT lead. Consider making it someone other than your camp lead to improve accountability.
  • Writing a thorough LNT plan that covers not just MOOPing during strike, but also during build and the operation of your camp.
  • Teaching your campers — especially those new to Burning Man — about your specific LNT plan, as well as general techniques for MOOPing and restoring the playa.
  • Stocking your camp with the proper tools to execute your LNT plan, such as rakes, shovels, and magnet sweepers.
  • Taking a little extra time to pick up MOOP in the common areas near your camp such as streets and plazas. MOOPing doesn’t end at your doorstep!

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Was your camp location green or mostly green on the MOOP Map? If not, did your camp leadership and LNT lead engage with Placement and Playa Restoration to evaluate where you can improve, and collaborate on a plan for future LNT success?
  • Were all your campers and infrastructure off playa in a timely fashion? For most camps this means completing your final LNT effort and leaving Black Rock City post event by Tuesday at 12pm. If you need more time to strike, do you have a thorough strike plan that was approved by Placement?
  • Did you have adequate participation from your campers compared to the size of your camp? For example, a 100-person camp should have far more than 1-2 people doing final MOOP line sweeps.

Self-reliance / Strain on Resources

(Radical Self-reliance)

Planning and building a camp at Burning Man can be difficult, but resources abound to help camps figure out how to be successful. Radical self-reliance     and personal resourcefulness by camps can lead to interesting and inspiring results, and some of the best solutions to problems camps face in the desert. Burning Man Project’s Departments are here to assist, but cannot substitute for a camp’s own ability to execute on a viable vision.

Here’s What Self-reliance and Not Being a Strain on Resources Looks Like:

  • Being realistic with your goals and not biting off more than you can chew. You know what it will actually take to bring your vision to life on playa and prepare the proper resources in advance to make it happen. 
  • Asking for what you need through the right channels, honor the answers you receive, and always have a contingency plan in place. 
  • Doing your best to find an answer from online resources such as the Camp Resource Guide and Camp Support Team before contacting other departments.
  • Submitting an on time Camp Placement Questionnaire before the deadline, which is the last Thursday in March at 12:00pm Pacific Time.
  • Submitting the Post-playa Report that opens after the event and is due in October.

Here’s What We’ll Look For:

  • Were you courteous, patient, and concise with Burning Man Project departments if/when you interacted with them? 
  • Did departments like Placement, Fuel, Container, or DPW have to spend an inordinate amount of time supporting your camp pre or on playa? 
  • Were you overly reliant on using Outside Services or Heavy Equipment rather than your own resources?

Criteria to Be in Good Standing

After Black Rock City has become dust once again, the Placement Team collects feedback about all camps (including mutant vehicle camps and art support camps) and determines their standing. Camps are either in good standing, limited standing, or not in good standing each year.

This is a guide for how to be and stay in good standing. When camps are in good standing, it makes Black Rock City the place we know and love. We support your efforts to be in good standing, and we also honor the community by giving feedback to camps that are not in good standing.

We have a great community — the vast, vast, vast majority of Burning Man camps are in good standing after the event!

For placed theme camps to receive access to Stewards tickets the following year, their camp must be in good standing. If a camp is not in good standing, they will not be invited to the Stewards ticket sale and may not receive future placement. If a camp is in limited standing, they may receive between 25-75% of their otherwise allotted Stewards tickets. If a Mutant Vehicle Camp or Art Support Camp is in limited or not in good standing with the Placement Team based on the below criteria, Placement will share the camp’s standing and their Stewards recommendation (if eligible) to the DMV or Art Department.

We use the below criteria to evaluate camp standing. This is not black or white. Self-evaluate and think about how your camp can be in good standing this year!

1.  Did your camp show up and use your reserved space?

  • If something goes wrong and you need to cancel your camp’s reserved placement, let us know by emailing placement@burningman.org as early as possible. If you let us know sufficiently in advance, your camp’s standing will not be affected. If you have unforeseen problems getting to playa before our deadline to claim your reserved space, please email us so we’re aware.
  • If you do not show up without informing us, your camp is not in good standing
  • If you do show up, but do not use your reserved space, your camp is not in good standing

2.  Did your camp do the interactivity you said you were going to do?

  • This criteria only applies to Theme Camps.
  • We understand that stuff happens, sometimes stuff that is truly out of our control. If something prevented you from doing what you said you were going to do in your questionnaire, let us know ideally by talking to one of your sector Placers while at Burning Man or afterward emailing placement@burningman.org.
  • If you didn’t follow through on the primary interactivity and frontage per your questionnaire, your camp may not be in good standing

3.  Did your camp uphold our community’s principles and cultural norms?

Examples of citizenship for theme camps include:

  • Are you hosting interactivity in your camp that is open to all citizens of Black Rock City?
  • Are you being neighborly (e.g. following the sound policy and considerate of the impact of generator sound and/or exhaust)?
  • Are you being respectful of the camp boundaries of your neighbors?
  • Are you a healthy balance of public versus private space?
  • Are you an obvious theme camp?
  • Is your camp’s design welcoming and open?
  • Are you being radically inclusive?

If we received community feedback to suggest your camp’s behavior was symptomatic of a lack of citizenship or did not uphold our community’s principles and cultural norms, you may not be in good standing.

4.  Did your camp honor our Decommodification Principle?

  • If you’re not sure what this means, watch this 10 minute video explanation from legal, fundraising and IP and read this article in the Burning Man Journal about how not to commodify Burning Man. You should also read “Payticipation and Paying People” and “Commodification, Gifting, Decommodification, and Participation.”
  • If your camp advertised or engaged in commodification, your camp is not in good standing.
  • If your camp collaborates with concierge companies selling Burning Man packages, your camp is not in good standing. If your camp places clients of concierge companies in your camp, your camp is not in good standing. If your camp creates your own Burning Man packages, your camp is not in good standing.
  • If we received feedback from other Burning Man departments or the community that anyone in your camp sold or advertised goods or services during Burning Man, your camp is not in good standing.

Note: Starting in 2019 we ask all camps registering for placement to make a Decommodification Commitment that they will acculturate their campmates about the Decommodification principle and that their camp and campmates will keep Black Rock City a decommodified zone.

5.  Was your camp a strain on Burning Man’s organizational resources?

  • If you are repeatedly asked to address something by Burning Man staff or volunteers and are unresponsive in addressing it, your camp is not in good standing.
  • If your camp attracted negative attention from Placement or other Burning Man departments, that may be deemed as a strain on resources and your camp may not be in good standing.

6.  How was your camp’s MOOP score?

  • If your camp was black, red, or mostly red on the MOOP Map, your camp may not be in good standing
  • See the archive of MOOP Maps
  • The MOOP Map is released in the fall after the event; watch for it in the Jackrabbit Speaks

7.  Did your camp abide by the terms of your Setup Access Passes?

  • Setup Access Passes (SAPs) for theme camps are approved on the basis that the participants are working and staying at the camp they received their SAP from.
  • If a participant is found camping outside of reserved Theme Camp space or camping in another camp other than where their SAP came from, the camp has either sold or given away SAPs. SAPs should only be used for the camp they were approved for. Any other use will mean the cancellation of all unused SAPs for the Theme Camp and the camp is no longer in good standing.
  • Holding space in open camping for anyone not present or without their own SAP (a.k.a. landgrabbing), selling a SAP, or distributing a SAP outside of your camp is an abuse of our SAP policy. Doing so will result in your camp not being in good standing and all unused SAPs will be cancelled.

As we said in the beginning, this isn’t black and white, so this list is not exhaustive. However, this will give you as a camp leader a good idea of what it takes to remain in good standing. And like we said, the vast, vast, vast majority of Burning Man camps are in good standing after the event each year. Keep showing up and being interactive, culturally aligned, neighbourly, responsive, amazing citizens of Black Rock City who leave no trace! Thank you to everyone who has been and continues to do it oh-so right.

Creating Playa Art

All participants are welcome to create art for the playa! This section will tell you everything you need to know to create art for Burning Man, register it with us, place it on playa, and remove it at the end of the event – all without leaving a trace.

Understanding the Basics

If you want to bring art to the playa, please read:

  • Our Art Installation Guidelines, which include your responsibilities as the artist, challenges and limitations of building on playa, and details on what qualifies as “playa art”
  • Our flowchart to further help you understand what can be registered as art.
  • Our guide to Building Safe Structures
  • Our Criteria for Artist Good Standing outlines expectations for artists to represent the 10 principles through artist and artwork integrity, project implementation, working relationship, and culture and values.  
  • Our detailed Fire Art Guidelines if you’ll be incorporating fire in your project

We encourage you to include an interactive element in your artwork, allowing participants to fully engage with the piece instead of just viewing it. Participants who explore and interact with the art may well find that they may need to perform a task in order to activate your art. Touching, climbing, entering, spinning, engaging and exploring are encouraged.

Apply for a Grant

Every year, Burning Man issues a small number of grants for the purpose of partially funding specific art projects in BRC. Learn about applying to the Black Rock City Honoraria Program if you need financial assistance with your project. Please note that the BRC art grant application period is typically open from mid-October through mid-November. All Burning Man Project art grant opportunities can be found here.

Register Your Art

Fill out and submit our art registration questionnaire (typically open from late February through late May). Remember, the earlier you register, the better service and resources we can provide to you: we have time to answer your questions; you have time to make any course corrections needed for safety, materials, lighting, or Leave No Trace; and you have access to our immense wealth of knowledge! We’re nice. We’re here to help you. We know stuff you might want to know. Please, REGISTER YOUR ART EARLY.

Missed the art installation questionnaire deadline? After the Art Installation Questionnaire closes, you may still be able to bring your art project with you to BRC and register it as a  walk-in at the ARTery. However, there are limitations for walk-in projects:

  • They cannot exceed 10 feet in height
  • They cannot be burned or contain pyrotechnics
  • They must be unloaded / assembled / disassembled by human power
  • We are not able to provide Art Support Services or heavy equipment assistance for late/walk-in projects

This means if you have a large or complex art piece, or an art piece that you’re not 100% sure falls under our art guidelines for safety or allowed materials, REGISTER YOUR ART EARLY.

If you are interested in creating art for the Central Plaza see their guidelines.

City Plaza Art

Most art at Burning Man is placed on the open playa, but there are also 9 unique opportunities to have your art placed in a plaza within the city/camping area. Black Rock City plazas are neighborhood hubs, located at B and G streets at 3:00, 4:30, 7:30, and 9:00, and 6:00 & I. They offer a variety of interactivity across day and night, and have art placed in the centers. If you would like your project to be considered for placement in one of Black Rock City’s city plazas, please visit the City Plaza Art page for more information – then indicate your desire for plaza placement on your art registration questionnaire. Interested in submitting your art for possible inclusion in The Central Plaza Canopy? Fill out this form.

Check out the Artist Resources Page

We are here to support you with the information you need to bring your art to Black Rock City! Check out our Artist Resources page to peruse helpful FAQs, discover art installations from past years, connect with your community for help and resources, and learn about the volunteer teams at the ARTery who will assist you in placing and building your art on playa.

Gate (Community Access)

Like the cities of old, Black Rock City is secured by a perimeter fence, and participants enter through a gate. You must have a ticket to enter Black Rock City. The Gate opens in early August for pre-event traffic (only people with early entry passes are allowed in prior to the first day of the event), then opens for all participants at 12:01 am on the Sunday prior to the Man Burn, and is open 24 hours a day throughout the event.

What To Expect At The Gate

Here’s a summary of the process:

  1. On your way to Burning Man, please drive safely and be considerate while passing through local towns. Speeding, parking on highway shoulders, and unsafe driving are safety hazards and could threaten the future of the event. We are guests in their community, so be extra courteous and obey the law.
  2. Plan your arrival so that you show up at the Gate after opening. We cannot allow people who show up early to wait in town (see #1 above).
  3. During peak traffic periods we will be controlling traffic with highway flaggers along Hwy 447 before the Gerlach gas station. Past experience has shown that long lines at the gas station have caused unsafe conditions. Watch for signs and flaggers on the road; they are fellow Burning Man volunteers helping to make your arrival safer! Please fill up in Fernley/Wadsworth (or other areas) and help reduce the traffic backup in Gerlach.
  4. As you approach the Burning Man entrance from the highway, tune your radio to 95.1 FM for Gate Advisory Radio Station! We will be broadcasting up to date info about the entry process. Not sure why there is a backup or how to get to will call? Tune in!
  5. Drive no more than 5-10mph on Gate Road! We have volunteers working out there and the dust can make it hard for you to see them. Speeding also causes ruts in the road, and that’s a bummer for your suspension.
  6. We place signs along your approach to the Gate. They have helpful information, please read them.
  7. Stay in your vehicle. We cannot emphasize that enough. Don’t wander along the road looking for will call or exploring the desert. If you need to go to will call, your entire vehicle should go with you. Don’t risk losing your friends.
  8. About 1/4 mile before you reach the Gate you will come to a set of small kiosks we call the “Apex”. During busy times there will be Gate staff here to direct you. There is an empty zone just after the Apex that will allow vehicles in any lane to turn into the Will Call lot.
  9. Upon reaching the Gate your tickets will be torn and your car searched. Plan ahead for the search and know what items are prohibited.
  10. After completing the Gate process we will send you down the road to the Greeters, who will give you a map, answer your questions, and give you a hug if you’re lucky.

In-and-Out Passes

In-and-out passes are available at the gate (per person). You must have your pass, and your ticket stub, to return to the event.

What happens if you show up at the Gate with no ticket?

There will be no tickets sold at the event. In light of that, it’s more important than ever that our community knows and understands Burning Man’s Gate policy. Here’s what you need to know:

  • There are no tickets for sale at the Gate. You will be turned away and not allowed entry if you show up without a ticket.
  • If you are giving someone a ride to Burning Man, including ride shares and hitchhikers, please be sure they have a ticket or you may end up driving back to Reno to drop them off. Leaving them at the Gate or in Gerlach is not an option. Washoe County Sheriff will be watching out for people loitering in or around Gerlach.
  • Harboring stowaways or assisting people sneaking in is as bad as sneaking in yourself. Any vehicle with stowaways or assisting people sneaking in will have the whole vehicle refused entry with no refund of tickets.
  • Anyone caught trying to sneak in to the event or causing a disruption at the Gate or Box Office is subject to citation, fine, and arrest by the BLM.

Finally, we expect long lines coming into the event and going out during Exodus, so arriving or leaving at non-peak times — and exercising patience — is advised.

Volunteer For The Gate

To find out more about volunteering for the gate, click here.

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 2024 the dates will be August 25 through September 2.

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 2024 is Curiouser & Curiouser. 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, Waking Dreams, and ANIMALIA.



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, September 5 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, September 5 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.



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.



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. Theme camps are groups of participants who, together, contribute a service, engagement, art, or other creative interactive experience available for citizens of Black Rock City (BRC) without an expectation of anything in return. As a community, we create Black Rock City every year because we all believe there is value in having an entirely different kind of experience — one grounded in what you have to contribute, say, make, do, and share. Theme camps think beyond typical exchanges, and apply their creativity, resourcefulness, and their unique expression of our culture, toward creating experiences that encourage participants to share their expression with the Burning Man community.

More information can be found in the Camps & Placement 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 Placement Process & Timeline.

Q: How do I register my theme camp?
A: The Placed Camp Questionnaire is accessed through Burner Profiles and generally opens in mid-February of each year.
Q: Should I join a registered theme camp ahead of time, or when I arrive?

A: It is not at all necessary that you join a registered theme camp to attend Burning Man in Black Rock City. Individual campers or groups can show up and find a spot to camp in open camping. Just ask Greeters when you arrive where which part of the city have open spots and they can advise you.   We encourage all campers to find a way to participate, even if just you or your friends camping in open camping.

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 will be given placement on the open playa. Therefore, it is best to register your theme camp 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 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 in the Central Plaza, 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 avenues.
  • Sound levels produced by any electronic system or device should not exceed 60 decibels at the border of a neighboring camp or at the center point of a street, whichever is nearest to the source of the sound.
  • 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: 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.

Q: What kind of facilities do you provide for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Burners?

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?

Playa Weddings

For many couples who attend Burning Man together, Black Rock City is the obvious choice when they choose to tie the knot. While the unpredictable desert can be an unusual venue for a couple’s big day, the couples who have wedded in BRC reflect on their ceremonies with fondness, and most of them emphatically insist that it was the perfect spot for their matrimony.

Since regulations and guidelines in Nevada are very specific, it’s a good idea to write to us at weddings@burningman.org. We’ll give you the skinny on what you need to know to plan your playa wedding.

Below, you’ll find some basic suggestions to help you on your way to wedded bliss.

Arrange at least a few weeks in advance of Burning Man for a religious official or judge to marry you. Plenty of wedding officiants attend Burning Man; ask around, send a message to weddings@burningman.org, or post a message on the e-playa to find someone.

It’s possible for a friend to officiate at your wedding instead. At least a few weeks before your wedding, your friend can get ordained at the Universal Life Church website — as they boast, it takes just three minutes! Then s/he should follow the instructions for ministers below. (If anyone knows of other religious organizations that ordain anyone for the asking, please tell us.)

If your officiant lives outside Nevada, you and your fiancé(e) will need to give that person both your full names and address(es) so that s/he can obtain written permission to marry you. It will probably take your officiant a few weeks to secure this permission. The County Clerk *might* give your officiant last-minute permission to perform your wedding, but why make extra work for her?

Before Burning Man, go to the Pershing County Clerk’s office to get a marriage license. The County Clerk will issue your license on the spot, so you can stop there on the way to Burning Man. You need to bring $60 (per couple) for the license and you both need a driver’s license or some other reliable form of ID. (If you’re NOT a citizen of the U.S. you’ll need a passport.) Nevada does not require a blood test to get a marriage license. The County Clerk’s office is in Lovelock (east of the Burning Man site on I-80) at 398 Main St. It’s open normal office hours Monday through Friday.

There are no legal requirements concerning what you must do or say at your wedding. Create any sort of ritual, game, or party you like. Your minister or friends might want to take charge of the creation of your ceremony.

Don’t forget to get your marriage license signed by your officiant and two witnesses after your wedding. The officiant is legally responsible for sending your certificate to the County Recorder’s office after leaving the playa.

Best wishes!

Volunteer FAQ

Q: What makes Burning Man happen?

A: You.

Q: How many volunteers does it take to put on Burning Man?

A: While the entire population of Black Rock City participants can be considered co-creators and volunteers, it takes conservatively over 10,000 departmental infrastructure volunteers to build, run, and clean up the city. For more information on this massive effort, how it happens, and the intricate details of the magic of Burning Man volunteerism, please take time to read about each group under the Volunteering section of the web site. You can also peruse the Public Infrastructure section. If you have any questions, please write to the dedicated souls who answer volunteers@burningman.org.

Q: What can I do to help make Burning Man happen?

A: There are many ways for you to participate at Burning Man. Please read through the Ways to Participate section of the web site to see what strikes your fancy. Many people prefer to contribute their time in more than one way! Some people prefer to volunteer year-round; others only help out during the event. If you would like to volunteer with the infrastructure of Burning Man, you should read the Volunteering section. If you already know where you would like to volunteer, please fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire. Once we have received your questionnaire, you will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinators from any departments that you expressed interest in. We also maintain a database (made up of questionnaires), so that as our needs change throughout the year, we can quickly identify people who might be interested in helping out.

Q: Do I get a free ticket if I volunteer?

A: That’s perhaps the most common question. Here is the scoop: receiving a ticket in exchange for volunteering is incredibly rare. If it does occur it usually applies to people who work with-in the organization year-round as volunteers and are highly accountable. These are not roles that are easy to jump into. Generally a person will volunteer with a group for a while, sometimes years. Then they become a team leader or more involved. Ticket sales are Burning Man’s primary source of revenue. There is no corporate sponsorship of the event. Ticket sale dollars help pay for fixed costs of putting on the event, including porta-potties, emergency services, land-use permit fees, and building materials. It is best not to expect a free ticket for any volunteer work you do. Ask around, most people feel that volunteering only brings you closer to the Burning Man community, it enhances your experience there, and that alone is enough of a reward.

Q: Where can I learn more about the different departments and areas to volunteer in?

A: To find a brief description of each department and their volunteer needs, check out the Volunteers section. Each group has contact information posted on their pages, so you can email them directly with any questions that you may have.

Q: Can I volunteer even though I have never been to Burning Man?

A: Yes, first timers are welcome to volunteer. There is plenty of work to do both on and off the playa. Be aware, first time burners can find themselves completely overwhelmed by their experiences and don’t always fulfill their onsite volunteer commitments (even though they mean well and want to). You may want to consider volunteering your time before or after the event if it is to be your first Burn. If you do decide to lend a hand during the event, please make sure to schedule some relaxation and play time into your day. Depending on the length of your stay in Black Rock City, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is Do Not Sign Up for More than Three “Shifts” if this is to be your first Burning Man experience. If you fulfill your three shifts and love it, you can always sign up for more.

Q: Where do I go to volunteer during the Burning Man event?

A: Even if you have not chosen a group to volunteer with or committed to helping a particular department, we recommend that you fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire. Upon arriving in Black Rock City, if you aren’t sure where to report for volunteering with your chosen group or are just not sure where to volunteer in general, stop by and visit the happy crews of the V-Spots in the Portals of Center Camp and the 3:00 and 9:00 Civic plazas. They will do their best to guide you in the right direction. Although many people commit to volunteering before the event, some people also decide to volunteer once the event has started. Visit the folks at the V-Spots to learn about volunteer opportunities and any critical needs there are for that particular day.

Q: Can I volunteer for more than one department?

A: Yes! You may volunteer in as many different departments as you wish. We need volunteers year-round, on and off the playa. Each department hits their “busy season” at different times of the year. When volunteering during the event, please be careful to not double-book yourself or spread yourself too thin. Remember to schedule some relaxation and play time into your day. First-time burners tend to suffer from a condition known as the “Ack! Factor” and find themselves over-stimulated. Be careful not to over-extend yourself. If you volunteer and really enjoy it, you can always offer to come back and fill in for more shifts.

Q: How much time does volunteering take; do I have to volunteer everyday?

A: Only you can decide how much time you would like to spend volunteering. Each volunteer department varies as to how much time they need, expect, or ask of their volunteers. There are a wide variety of commitment levels available. For some departments, such as: Lamplighters, Greeters, Bus Depot, Earth Guardians, you are welcome to volunteer as often as you would like, be it one day or the whole week. Other areas such as Café, Rangers, and Gate have a more structured schedule that they follow. A few groups have a required training session (Rangers, Greeters) that you should plan on attending. Some groups (Café, Rangers, Greeters, and the Gate) ask their volunteers to sign up for “shifts” during the event, others (Recycle, Lamplighters) encourage “walk-up” volunteering. If you have an abundance of time and like physical labor, DPW might be the place for you. Plan carefully, try not to commit yourself to something that you will not do or follow through on. If you sign up for one “shift” and then show up for it, everyone is happier than if you signed up for 10 shifts and made it to none.

Q: Is there a volunteer information briefing that I should attend?

A: There is no informational briefing for volunteers to attend, however most departments have pre-event meetings and training sessions. If you expressed interest in any groups when filling out the Volunteer Questionnaire, you will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinator of that department with any pertinent information that you may need. Once you have signed up to volunteer, you will be signed up for a list-serve called the Volunteers-Announce. We will periodically post information about volunteering as well as information concerning events for volunteers. Sometime in March, we host a Town Hall meeting where potential volunteers can meet with representatives from each department. In April and July, we host volunteer bar-b-ques to help facilitate connecting people with volunteer opportunities.

Q: Can I still volunteer even if I am unable to attend pre-event meetings?

A: Yes! We need your help! A great deal of work takes place during the event. All groups maintain an announcement list. If there is any important information discussed in pre-event meetings it will be passed along via the announcement list for all to read. There are also several web-based and computer oriented groups that require volunteers year-round. Since these teams operate mostly via computer, it is a great way for anyone with that knowledge to volunteer, no matter where they may live.

Q: Is there a way for me to participate locally year-round?

A: Our Web and Tech teams work throughout the year, from many different locations. They maintain our fabulous web site and create new programs and software to help the Burning Man community. Our Art Installations Team and SF Office Squad are always in need of volunteers as well. Other departments generally have organizational meetings to plan what they will contribute on the playa. If you are interested in participating year-round, please check the box on question # 10 of the Volunteer Questionnaire. If you do not live in the Bay Area, check out the ePlaya and the Regional Contacts page to find other burners and activities in your area. If you don’t find something in your area, start you own group or event and post it to the ePlaya.

Q: What should I do if I have a specialized interest or skill to contribute (such as rigging, pyrotechnics, medical, legal, computer knowledge)?

A: Please indicate any special interests or skills that you may have when filling out the Volunteer Questionnaire and we will try to connect you to the right person, place, or group. If you have checked off a special skill, that information will be stored in our database and quite possibly used to contact you for other volunteer needs in the future.

Q: Can I volunteer with an art project?

A: To learn more about the various art installations and how to hook up with artists who are in need of extra hands please visit the Art and Performance section and click the link for this year’s theme. You can also browse the ePlaya for art projects looking for help.

Q: How do I volunteer as a medical, fire, communications or mental health/crisis volunteer?

A: When filling out the Volunteer Questionnaire, please indicate any of these special skills that you may have, you may also want to indicate that you are interested in volunteering for the Emergency Services Department. If you indicate Emergency Services Department (Professional Medical, Fire/Rescue, Crisis Intervention, and Dispatch), you will also be prompted to fill out an Emergency Services Questionnaire. You may also email Emergency Services with any specific questions you may have about their special needs at 911@burningman.org.

Q: How can I find a stage to perform on, or offer my stage for performance?

A: There is no official “main stage” with a schedule at Burning Man. Rather, individual theme camps often build their own stages and then invite performers to come and fill them with entertainment for the masses. If you would like to get in touch with either performers for your stage or stages for your performers, visit the E-Playa. Look for discussion groups that say “stages looking for performers” and vice versa. If you do not find what you are looking for, start your own discussion and see what happens. You can also scan the listing of theme camps by clicking the link for this year’s theme camps on this year’s Theme Camps page in the Event section for any willing venues.

Q: How can I volunteer with a theme camp?

A: Check out this year’s theme camp listings, which can be found in the Event section. If you find a theme camp that you think you may like to help. Send them an email (their contact info should be listed) introducing yourself and letting them know you would like to help. If you decide that you would like to lend a hand once the event has started, stop by the camp of your choice and ask somebody in it if there is anything you can do to help.

Q: Do I have to wear a uniform if I volunteer?

A: While most departments do not ask their volunteers to wear uniforms, there are a few exceptions. The Black Rock Rangers wear khaki, DPW wears T-Shirts, Media Mecca volunteers don silver cowboy hats when on duty, the Lamplighters wear robes during the nightly Lighting Ceremony, and the people who volunteer at the Gate wear T-shirts.

Q: Is volunteering fun?

A: Yes!!! Volunteering allows you to participate, meet new people, learn new things and will add to your and everyone else’s overall experiences.

Preparation Videos

Welcome to the Preparation Video Channel. Watch, Enjoy and Know: this channel is a work in progress. If you’ve got or know of great videos that fit within this theme, please upload to share the work! To see other video channels that have been created, visit our main Video Gallery

Safety (Third) Videos

Desert Survival


Packing and Prep


Etiquette and Ethos


Getting In, Out and Around


Leaving No Trace Videos

Wood Chips


Tent Stake Removal


Rakes and Cleanup

Gerlach and Empire

Gerlach welcome sign, 2012 (Photo by Gary Geer)

Our Neighbors

If you’re driving to Burning Man, you’ll likely travel through Empire and Gerlach, gateway to the Black Rock Desert, and center of the known universe.

Here is some basic info about these small and neighborly towns and resources and directions.

Gerlach is a small town filled with small wonders. Although established by the Western Pacific Railroad as late as 1905, the town’s historical significance dates to prehistory. For centuries early humans settled in this region, finding it plentiful in spring water, food and natural shelter. In more recent history, triangle-shaped Black Rock Mountain served as a compass point for pioneers en route to Oregon and California’s gold country. These hardy emigrants traveled from spring to spring, stopping in Gerlach along the Nobles Trail, or traveling to Soldier Meadows before passing through High Rock Canyon along the Applegate-Lassen Trail, where you can still find their names carved into barren rock as testimony to their ordeals.

Empire was established with the founding of the gypsum mine in 1923, and U.S. Gypsum owned and supported the town since 1946.  90% of the drywall produced in the United States came from materials mined here.

Since the Empire mine closed a few years ago, the economic impact has been enormous on both Empire and Gerlach, and the combined population of both towns has fallen nearly 80% to around 100. The railroad that passes through and tourism provide economic activity to the towns year-round. However, the economic impact of Burning Man has to helped keep both towns afloat, and many of the residents themselves have been to the event over its long history on the playa just to the north.

Gerlach, Empire and the surrounding environs are a great place to visit the rest of the year.  A truly remarkable community and beautiful place. Check out the Friends of Black Rock High Rock for further info, and the legendary Bruno’s Country Club is the most popular spot in town year-round and serves as meeting place with hospitable conversation and information about the region and history.

However, Bruno’s (or any other place in town) is not the place to inquire about the Fly Geyser (which is closed year-round) or other hot springs in the region. Don’t ask. In fact, during Burning Man, much of the surrounding environs is closed, and there are some important things for everyone to be mindful about on their way to and from Burning Man:

Some Important Reminders Passing Through

  • Respect that Gerlach and Empire are a very small rural and agricultural community with some conservative roots. Conduct yourself appropriately and with courtesy and you will be very welcome.
  • During Burning Man, do not come to the event, Gerlach or Empire if you do not have a ticket. No tickets are sold at the event or in Gerlach or Empire.
  • Respect all Closures – most of the playa and the hot springs in the region are closed during Burning Man. If you’re interested in visiting them the rest of the year, visit the Friends of Black Rock High Rock office in Gerlach (see info further below).
  • Speed limit is 25 mph in Gerlach, and obey the speed limit in Empire and traffic directions in both towns.
  • The road south and north of and through Gerlach/Empire is only one lane. If traffic is backed up, do not try to bypass it by veering into the other lane.
  • Unless you are a customer at any of the businesses in Gerlach or Empire, keep moving through town.
  • No general parking allowed throughout Gerlach and Empire and observe the No Parking signs.
  • Respect all public and private property.
  • No loitering.
  • No hitchiking.
  • No nudity – you must be fully clothed.
  • No drugs.
  • As pets are not allowed at Burning Man, you cannot leave them in Gerlach or Empire, so don’t bring them.
  • The Gerlach Park is closed during Burning Man.
  • Finally, Leave No Trace – do not leave it on the playa, and do not leave your garbage in business or citizens’ dumpsters, in their yards or along the side of the road. Go here for disposal locations in the region, while you’ll also likely see entrepreneurs on the side of the road with dumpsters charging for trash disposal.

Groceries, Water, Merchandise and Information

Empire Distributing General Store, Deli and Gas
Mile Marker 69 State Route 447 – 775-557-2311

Owned and operated by long-time Burners, they are very supportive of our community. Cash only but ATM is available. The year-round grocery store, and one of the last places to get gas. You can get all sorts of food, water, ice, booze and beer, sodas, coffee and espresso, firewood, cigarettes, toiletries, hats, clothing, glasses, goggles, tarps and other camping supplies, dust masks, batteries, and some auto supplies. They also have a deli with sandwiches, and you can get some Burning Man calendars and posters, and books and films on Burning Man. During Burning Man, outside food and merchandize vendors will also be set up.

Gerlach General Improvement District
330 Short Drive – 775-557-2601

2018 hours:
Mon. 8/20 – Wed. 8/22 9am-6pm
Thurs. 8/23 9am-8pm
Fri. 8/24-Sun. 8/26 8am-12am
Mon. 8/27 & Tues. 8/28 9am-8pm
Wed. 8/29 & Thurs. 8/30 9am-4pm
Water is $.50/gallon for the first 100 gallons.

5 gallon containers 2 for $35
6 gallon container $20
7 gallon container $25
15 gallon containers $50
Container price includes water to fill them

The Gerlach GID (the local governing body of Gerlach) will be selling potable water to fill up RVs and water tanks of any size, with the funds going to support the town of Gerlach. Look out for directional signs just as you enter town on Main Street, the station is located in front of the town’s Community Center. Rates are 50 cents per gallon up to 100 gallons, 45 cents per gallon between 100 and 200 gallons, and 40 cents per gallon for above 200 gallons. Water container are also available (free water with purchase of container) 5 gallon @ $20, 7 gallon @ $25 and 15-gallon @ $45. Cash only, but ATM is onsite. Orders can be placed in advance and waiting for you upon your arrival.

Trash Collection:
Location: GGID Transfer Station 205 Transfer Rd.
Saturday 9/1 8am-5pm
Sunday 9/2 8am until the dumpsters are full
Price is $5/30 gallon trash bad or equivalent

Burning Man Carwash

The Gerlach Lions PCO will be doing the Burning Man Carwash this year! The carwash is on Sunday, September 2. Car wash is at the Gerlach School. Follow the signs. They will be using this money for field trips and helping with other extracurricular activities.

Wanna see what’s going on in Gerlach right now? Check out the webcam.

Pyramid Lake

The Final Stretch to Black Rock City — In the heart of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation and America’s Solar Highway

Pyramid Lake is a beautiful ancient lake located in the heart of the Paiute tribal reservation 35 miles northeast of Reno, midway between Reno and the Black Rock Desert. Most people traveling to Burning Man from the south, east, and west via State Routes 445, 446, and 447 will pass by this wonderful lake and northwards through Nixon on their way to the playa.

The Pyramid Lake community — which includes the towns of Nixon and Sutcliffe, and Wadsworth to the south — has always been supportive of Burning Man over its history, and the traveler will find the community very hospitable and happy to see them.

Picture of the Pyramid, and Anaho Island. View on top of a hill on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo by Scott Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

Picture of the Pyramid, and Anaho Island. View on top of a hill on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo by Scott Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

Coming into Nixon, the traveler will find The Nixon Store with gas and last-minute supplies, as well as the breath-taking Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitor’s Center nearby filled with tribe, land, and lake history. Additionally, there will be several road-side shops in Nixon very accommodating with native food and crafts, last-minute supplies, services, and very warm hospitality. The Tribe encourages people to only buy food from vendors with a Food Handlers Permit from HIS (Indian Health Service), and to only dump their trash with vendors who have a trash permit from the Tribe.

It is highly recommended to check out Pyramid Lake, itself, if you have the time. Guaranteed to be a moving experience, whether you spend a few hours or camp overnight, especially after a week on the playa. BUT DO NOT LEAVE ANY OF YOUR TRASH THERE!

Day-use recreational activities and overnight camping around and upon the lake require a permit. Permits can be purchased at various locations in Nixon, Sutcliffe, Wadsworth, and in Reno/Sparks. Proceeds from the sale of permits help support the Tribal Government and the water quality and environmental programs that protect the unique eco-system of Pyramid Lake year round.

Two seagulls waiting by the beach on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo courtesy of Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

Two seagulls waiting by the beach on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo courtesy of Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

You can purchase permits online here. Information on local businesses and other resources can also be found below. For further information about Pyramid Lake and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, check here.

It is also important to note that, due to vandalism, graffiti, and theft over the years, the east side of the lake, Anajo Island, The Pyramid, and The Needles on the north side of the lake, are off-limits to everyone but tribe members. Moreover, please do not do any artifact or souvenir hunting.  Not only is it illegal. It is disrespectful of the tribe, their heritage, and the land and lake. AND AGAIN, DO NOT LEAVE ANY OF YOUR TRASH! In short: Leave No Trace.

Finally, also found cropping up all over the place in Nixon are various, phenomenal solar arrays. As of 2012, the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe has over 301 kW in solar panels on their public and government buildings. If you are in Nixon and like solar, check out the Pyramid Lake Museum array–it is in the shape of an arrowhead and was designed in part by Konch Blindman, a member of the Black Rock Solar crew and Paiute tribe. Finally, in 2010, the Governor of Nevada declared Highway 447 America’s Solar Highway, thanks in part to the efforts of Black Rock Solar, which has led to 447 kW of solar installed in the past three years along 75 miles of the highway.

A Final Note to Travelers

PLEASE drive the posted speed limit, and keep an appropriate distance between you and the car in front of you, while traveling throughout the reservation. Please also SLOW DOWN (speed limit is 25mph) on your way through Wadsworth, Nixon, and Sutcliffe, while being cautious and mindful of children at-play and considerate of the townspeople that are trying to access their homes, businesses, tribal services, or crossing the road. Finally, throughout this last stretch of your journey to Burning Man, please keep a steady hand on the wheel and a careful eye out ahead for wandering cows, horses, jackrabbits, and other creatures along the road, as this is wide-open country. AND LEAVE NO TRACE!


100 Miles to Black Rock City – Northwards! The beginning of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal reservation and America’s Solar Highway

Wadsworth, one of the last small towns before heading north off into the desert to Black Rock City, is on the southern end of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal reservation, nestled along the big bend of the Truckee River. This community and Nixon, 17 miles up north at Pyramid Lake, have been very supportive of Burning Man over its history and are happy to see us. Some final opportunities for supplies, medical care, car repair, and camping can be found here or in Nixon, as well as in nearby sister-city Fernley. Also found here are the beginning installations of what has come to be known as America’s Solar Highway, thanks in part to the efforts of Black Rock Solar.

Taking exit # 43 off of the interstate, I-80 Smoke Shop & Campground will soon be on your right with food, ice, gas, food, plenty of last-minute supplies, and RV & camping opportunities.

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

Further down the road you’ll be entering the heart of town, and you’ll want to turn left on Highway 447 in order to get to Burning Man. Or if you are coming from the east from Fernley (I-80 Exit #46), you’ll turn right onto Highway 447. Here or near this junction you will find Hoya Deli and the Big Bend RV Park. Additionally, there will be several road-side shops in Nixon very accommodating with native food and crafts, last-minute supplies, services, and very warm hospitality. The Tribe encourages people to only buy food and goods from vendors with a Food Handlers Permit from HIS (Indian Health Service), and to only dump their trash with vendors who have a trash permit from the Tribe.

For further information on Wadsworth and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe check here.

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

A Final Announcement to All Travelers

PLEASE drive the posted speed limit and keep an appropriate distance between you and the car in front of you while traveling throughout the reservation. SLOW DOWN (speed limit is 25mph) on your way through Wadsworth, Nixon, and Sutcliffe, while also being cautious and mindful of children at-play and considerate of the townspeople that trying to access their homes, businesses, tribal services, and crossing the road. Finally, throughout this last stretch of your journey to Burning Man, please keep a steady hand on the wheel and a careful eye out ahead for wandering cows, horses, jackrabbits, and other creatures along the road, as this is wide open country.