First-Timer’s Guide

Burning Man is not a festival. Burning Man is a community and global cultural movement guided by 10 practical Principles. Together, we build Black Rock City, a participatory, temporary city in Nevada, USA. The global Burning Man community also co-creates Regional Events in more than 35 countries around the world.

We don’t book acts or provide entertainment. What happens here is up to you! There is no corporate sponsorship. You are entering a “decommodified” space where participants value who you are, not what you have. There are no spectators! You are expected to participate, collaborate, be inclusive, creative, connective and clean up after yourself.

Wondering where to begin? Here are some resources to help you get started.

Get Involved

The power of every Burning Man experience is held by each member of the community. It requires everyone to do their part.

Trojan Horse; pull (Photo by Andy Pischalnikoff)

Ways to Participate

Burning Man is the sum total of the activities of its participants. How you participate is as unlimited as your imagination.

Connect with Spark!
Working on a project and looking for help? Got skills and resources and want to work on a project? Connect through Spark, our online system facilitating creative collaborations in our community.\

Connect in Burning Man Hive!

Burning Man Hive is a new virtual space for the Burning Man community and the Burner-curious to share their skills and knowledge, to learn from one another, and to support each other’s work in the world. Join from your Burner Profile and start connecting with other Burners now. Join for free using your Burner Profile! Some great places to start are the interactive orientation Touching Down Course, the Virgin Burner Guide created by a fellow newbie RayC, the Matchmaker Group to connect new Burners with existing camps, and Ask a Burner to seek guidance from seasoned Burners. There is also the Black Rock City 2022 Topic for all-things related to BRC 2022.

Survive and Thrive

Burning Man sets a high bar for creating community under extreme conditions. Learn how to meet it — or even raise it.

Burning Man Survival Guide

Mandatory reading for all Burning Man participants, this guide tells you everything you need to know about how to survive and enjoy the event. Read up and be prepared.

Marque Cornblatt’s WaterBoy project, 2005

Staying Informed

Subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter so you don’t miss out. The JRS is Burning Man Project’s official newsletter. In addition to year-round information about the growing community and culture of Burning Man, it includes important up-to-date information about preparing for Black Rock City.

You can also subscribe to the Burning Man Journal, which is the digital “paper record” for all of Burning Man culture. Beyond Burning Man is a collection of community musings on creative culture, impact, and innovation on Medium.

Leaving No Trace

Leaving No Trace and care for the environment are fundamental values of the Burning Man community. We have always believed deeply in leaving a place in better condition than we found it in.

  • Greening Your Burn
    Learn how to reduce your environmental impact at Black Rock City and beyond.

Explore the Culture

Our values and principles set Burning Man apart from other events and communities.

10 Principles — Radical Inclusion (Photo by Mario Covic)

The 10 Principles

The ten core guiding tenents of Burning Man.

Event FAQ

Important answers to frequently asked questions.

The Regional Network

Looking to get involved with your local Burning Man community? Explore the global Burning Man Regional Network and find out what’s going on in-person and virtually right near you all year round. Your local community may host Burner meet-ups or newbie events that can help you learn the ropes.

Volunteer Teams

All teams listed here have volunteer activities at the event, with the exception of the San Francisco Office Squad, Web/Tech Team (SF), Burning Man Hive (virtual team), and Air Playa Info (Reno). Many of these teams have meetings and trainings during the year to prepare volunteers for the event, and you may need to be available by phone or in some cases, in person. Be sure you find out what the expectations are for your particular volunteer role.

Please note that unlike other mainstream festivals and events, first-year Burning Man volunteers do not automatically get a ticket to the event.

Browse the teams from the accordion list below, explore the various opportunities, and sign up to volunteer from your Burner Profile. And to help ensure you have a great Burning Man volunteer experience, read our Burning Man Volunteer’s Keys to Success.

If you’re at the event, and you (or your friends) get the sudden urge to volunteer on the spot, visit the V-Spot in the Portal of Center Camp. They’ll hook you up with available volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Opportunities

Air Playa Info (Reno Airport)
Established in 2008, Air Playa Info is an off-playa bureau of Playa Info. It is an information service provided at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport by Burning Man and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority during the event to assist Burners arriving by airline. The Airport Authority estimates approximately 10,000-15,000 Burners come through the airport during the event. Air Playa Info Oracles greet Burners and answer questions. They provide directions to Black Rock City, local Reno-area resources, rideshare possibilities, and other resources to assist travelers in getting the details they need, so they can move onward toward their playa destination.

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Did you know Black Rock City has its own Municipal Airport named 88NV? You don’t have to be pilot to join in the fun! We partner with Burner Express Air to provide safe passage and welcome thousands of airborne Burners home to Black Rock City each year. We are an extremely busy, totally real Airport with flying contraptions big and small, friendly people, and plenty to do. There’s something for everyone at 88NV. Join us!

Log into your Burner Profile, then on the Volunteer Questionnaire, click Airport. Our Volunteer Coordinators will respond via email, and you’ll be ready for takeoff!

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Arctica (Ice Sales)
Located at 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and Center Camp, Arctica sells ice to the Burning Masses, with all proceeds going to benefit local Gerlach-area charities and community groups. The gift economy keeps on giving! Nearly 400 volunteers work three-hour Arctica shifts throughout the entire event.

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ARTery (Artist Services)
The ARTery, also known as the Burning Man Art Team, works year round, on and off playa, in support of Burning Man art. The ARTery’s on-playa headquarters are located at 6:30 and Esplanade, and function as a check-in center for artists, a hub for information about Burning Man art, and a starting point for art tours. Temple Guardians, Eyes on Art, Man Watch, FAST, and Art Tours volunteers all sign up here. Off playa, the ARTery Team works tirelessly throughout the year, kicking into high gear from February until October, to make sure that artist applications are processed and art-i-facts are catalogued.

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Black Rock City Rangers
The Black Rock Rangers are a cross-section of the Burning Man community who volunteer some of their time in the role of non-confrontational community mediators. Responding to the ever-changing environment, Rangers address within our community situations that would otherwise require outside intervention. By encouraging and facilitating communication, the Rangers promote awareness of potential hazards, from sunstroke to tent fires. They are emphatically not the police or a paramilitary organization.

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Box Office
The Black Rock City Box Office is devoted to providing a welcoming and friendly first point of contact with Burning Man while striving to be as efficient and accurate in issuing participants their keys to the city. Box Office is responsible for all of the tickets held at Will Call as well as those left for participant’s friends who are arriving later during the week. For a lot of people, the Box Office is the first point of contact they have with Black Rock City, and for many it’s their first contact with Burning Man ever. The Box Office is open 24 hours a day during the event.

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Burn Perimeter Support Group
We burn a lot of big art at Burning Man. This team sets up and maintains the burn perimeter around each burn to keep the citizens of Black Rock City safe. Help hold the line of safety and keep the Fire Burning.

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Burner Express Bus
Are you interested in volunteering for the Burner Express Bus?! We are so excited to have you!

The Burner Express Bus team is committed to providing a welcoming, friendly, easy and safe way for participants to travel to and from San Francisco and Reno to Black Rock City. For many riders the Burning Man experience begins once they’ve boarded the bus. When they’ve arrived in Black Rock City, we get them to where they are going and home again at the end of the week. We do everything from check in to greeting to luggage assistance to city orientation as well as having fun activities at the Bus Depot on Playa.

Log into your Burner Profile, and on the Volunteer Questionnaire click Burner Express Bus. Our Volunteer Coordinators will respond to you via email with an orientation letter and sign up instructions for shifts via Shiftboard.

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Burning Man Hive (virtual team)
Burning Man Hive is the online hub for community, learning, and teaching the philosophy, principles, practice, and experience of Burning Man culture around the world. Burners and Burning Man Project Staff utilize Hive to create and share learning content for the greater Burning Man Community. If you love creating online content and want to help others create it, if you have mad community engagement skills, if you are good at helping people navigate the technical, or want to meet other Burners online, the Hive Volunteer Team – known as The Swarm – just may be the place for you.

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Burning Man Information Radio
Burning Man Information Radio (94.5 FM) is your nexus for essential information on the playa. Check BMIR for late-breaking event announcements and a melange of music. In the event of an on-site emergency, tune into BMIR for rumor-free updates and advisories to surf the storm to a sane conclusion. BMIR’s daily programming reflects the pragmatic, philosophical, and participatory needs of the community.

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BRC Census is a collaborative research project that started in 2002 with the goal of learning more about the participants who make up Black Rock City. We conduct a random sample of Burners entering the event, then collect online survey responses after the Burn. We combine these two data sources to get more statistically accurate data about the people who attended Burning Man that year. Some Census volunteers work on-playa to help with data collection and data entry for the random sample, while others focus on outreach and education at Census Lab and elsewhere in the city. We also have volunteers who participate off-playa by writing blog posts or assisting with data analysis and data visualization.

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Center Camp
Center Camp is the town square of Black Rock City. It’s a 38,000 square-foot space that provides an art gallery, performance stages, and a place to hang out, catch some shade, and meet people. From pre-playa décor planning and prop-making to on-site construction and stage management. The heart of Center Camp is its volunteer community.

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Cleanup and Restoration
Starting the last day of the event and lasting roughly one month, DPW’s Playa Restoration Team works to return the Black Rock Desert to its pre-event condition. The work ranges from removing city structures to picking up large and small bits of escaped trash (onsite and around the desert) and eradicating burn scars (the residue of fired playa sediment and ashes).

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Department of Mutant Vehicles
The Black Rock City Department of Mutant Vehicles licenses motorized mobile works of creative expression otherwise known as Mutant Vehicles. DMV Hotties perform a variety of tasks on and off playa including online pre-registration processing and on-playa inspection, licensing and processing of Mutant Vehicles.

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Department of Public Works

Black Rock City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is the workforce dedicated to building the physical infrastructure of Black Rock City, the place Burning Man calls home in the Black Rock Desert. The DPW works side by side with all of the departments within the Burning Man Project. We also work with Burning Man participants, cooperating agencies, and our worldwide community to ensure that Black Rock City becomes a reality, and then vanishes without a trace.

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Documentation Team

The “Doc Team” is an international group of award-winning photojournalists, filmmakers and artists. We’re always on the lookout for talent. We cover Black Rock City from start to finish, and we help at headquarters and events such as Symposiums, Decompressions and Regionals around the world.


Earth Guardians
Earth Guardians are an outreach and communications group whose mission is to educate and inspire Burning Man participants to Leave No Trace (LNT) at the event. It crafts LNT-specific multimedia messages for the Burning Man community and shares its appreciation of the natural beauty of the Black Rock playa. It also advocates for a greener Burning Man event.

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Emergency Services
Black Rock City’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) provides Black Rock City with Fire Fighting, Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Emergency and Non-Emergency Medical evaluation and treatment, Mental Health services (including sexual assault response), 911 Dispatch, and provides the two-way radio communications infrastructure for all of Black Rock City.

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Gate, Perimeter and Exodus
The “Gate” department is actually comprised of 3 teams – Gate, Perimeter & Exodus – each with separate but connected functions. Gate staff usher many thousands of people from the blacktop to the dust top, the surly bunch who searches cars and tears tickets. The Perimeter staff patrols the fence line looking for people trying to sneak in, and ensuring the safety of those that have accidentally stumbled out or that are just plain lost. Exodus team helps thousands of Burners get out of Black Rock City and on down the highway as safely and as fairly as possible. “Exiters” control traffic and resolve traffic issues in BRC, and “Flaggers” control and maximize the flow of traffic onto the highway and through the towns of Gerlach and Empire.

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The Greeters are the face of the event and form a newcomer’s first impression of Black Rock City. Their mission is to orient and educate arriving citizens while spreading wit, whimsy and infectious enthusiasm to carloads of people. Greeters explain the “Don’t let it hit the ground!” principle, clarify the concept of Community, and answer all questions in offbeat yet helpful ways.

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The Lamplighters have been a familiar sight in Black Rock City since 1993, a solemn group of white-robed individuals with poles slung over their shoulders, wending their way through the city to provide Black Rock City with illumination. They light and place kerosene lanterns atop the wooden spires that line the most heavily trafficked areas of town. The lanterns burn through the night.

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Man Watch
Man Watch is a crew of volunteers dedicated to protecting the Man and its pavilion located in the center of the event, enhancing the experience of all who come to see it. Man Watch volunteers are stationed at the Man Pavilion around the clock from before the gates open until early morning Saturday before the burn. They are enthusiasts, guardians, and information givers who enjoy interacting with participants about the Man Pavilion and Burning Man in general.

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Media Mecca
Media Mecca is Black Rock City’s press room. At the Mecca, members of the media can find out what’s going on, recharge batteries and file stories. Media Mecca staff connect journalists with artists and participants from their region and provide tours of the major art installations. Staff do not baby reporters, coddle them, suggest story ideas, or drive them around on a golf cart.

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Placement, Camp Support, and PEERS
The Placement Team, Camp Support Team, and PEERS are here to support the success of theme camps and camping in Black Rock City. The Placement Team is made up of volunteers who facilitate the complex city planning and camp placement process to layout the neighborhoods of Black Rock City. The Camp Support Team advises, supports, and develops the theme camp community to share tips and tricks for successful interactivity and logistics, to reach goals, and to support leadership and growth among theme camp leaders. PEERS interviews theme camp leads on playa, gathers information about camps and neighborhoods in real-time, and showcases camps that are doing great things.

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Playa Info
Playa Info is a central location for on-playa information located near Center Camp. It offers a camp directory, lost & found, and Oracles for answering both mundane and esoteric questions. Burning Man Information Radio broadcasts from here, and the Volunteer Resources Desk connects willing participants with volunteer opportunities around Black Rock City.

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Pottie Project
Established in the wake of the 2000 POO-Apocalypse Burn, the Pottie Project is one of the longest running and largest art projects on the playa. (Everyone uses a pottie multiple times, meaning that everyone has seen their art.) Their mission is to educate and remind participants of Black Rock City that Leaving No Trace applies to our porta-potties. If it doesn’t come from out of your body, it doesn’t go into the potty. The Pottie Project and its volunteers visit each and every one of the 1,700 porta-potties at Burning Man to educate and remind participants about good pottie etiquette. This is done through creative efforts such as graphic art including porta-pottie posters and signs, performance art, and written and spoken art such as poetry and storytelling.

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Recycle Camp
Recycle Camp is the hard working group of folks who are as committed to reducing waste as they are to having a good time. Begun in 1998, Recycle Camp is the on-playa place to recycle aluminum cans, and all proceeds are donated to Gerlach schools!

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San Francisco Office Squad
BMHQ in San Francisco needs volunteer assistance with all kinds of regular and irregular office tasks. It’s pretty much like working in an office, except it’s a Burning Man office, and all the workers are working on Burning Man.
Technology Teams
The Burning Man Technology Teams build and maintain technology solutions for the Burning Man staff and extended community. Its offices in San Francisco and Gerlach, NV have growing networks with file, database, extranet and web servers and a thriving collection of highly skilled folks who contribute to our ongoing development, system administration and website projects. The teams are comprised mostly of rock star volunteers and everyone is committed to ongoing support year-round. The Engineering Team supports web applications including calendars, forums, surveys, questionnaires, and media galleries. The System Administration Team keeps the servers and networks up and running. The Web Team maintains and improves Burning Man’s website.
Temple Guardians
The Temple rises apart from Black Rock City, an oasis of calm out in the deep playa that stands resolute, able to bear what participants bring and to be what they need at the moment they call on it. Behind the Temple stands a group that has quietly watched over those structures each year since 2002. The main duty of the Temple Guardians is to protect the Temple and those who visit it. They abide with love for the Temple and everything that it represents. Temple Guardian shifts run 4 hours each, 24 hours a day.

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Theme Camps
Volunteering at Burning Man doesn’t stop with the volunteering for the Man. You can also sign up as a volunteer to help theme camps build and serve Black Rock City.

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Keys to Success

The experience of volunteering for Burning Man is as unique as the experience of the event itself. To help you navigate these waters, we’ve compiled this list of tips. They’re the keys to success for any Burning Man volunteer.


When choosing your preferred volunteer role, consider your desired time commitment (short term, long term, two hours, four weeks?), your interests (which are not necessarily the same as your skills), and the type of work you want to be doing (physical vs. mental, for instance). State these things accurately when you fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire, and be sure you know the requirements for your role, so that everybody’s expectations will be well met.

Patience & Perseverance

It sometimes takes new volunteers time to find and settle into their ideal role. Sometimes that role isn’t available, we didn’t realize it should exist, or the right person wasn’t around to do the job! Allow time for things to shake out and don’t be afraid to knock on a few doors to find your fit. Also, in many teams, it’s necessary to start off in an entry-level position, and once you learn the ropes, you’ll likely be offered increasing levels of responsibility. Be patient, stick with it, and you’re sure to find just the right fit for your skills and interests.

Pro-activity & Participation

Burning Man is a “do-ocracy”, and volunteers who take initiative on projects — and see them through — tend to get the most satisfaction out of participation. Keeping in contact with your Volunteer Coordinator and attending team-building events are good ways to stay active in the game. Your experience is ultimately going to be what YOU make of it, so share ideas, raise your hand, contribute, and participate!


While volunteering is a great way to be a part of the city and meet new friends, if this is going to be your first time at Burning Man, you might want to consider NOT volunteering too much of your first year at the event. Burning Man is an incredibly intense experience, taking place in one of the most extreme physical environments you may ever encounter. It will take a physical, mental and emotional toll, and adding a volunteer commitment on top of that can be taxing, resulting in disappointment for you as well as your teammates. Consider taking it slow your first year to get your bearings, and make sure you spend lots of time just exploring the event.

Finally — and most importantly — volunteering is fun when we make it that way, so take it upon yourself to HAVE FUN!!

Playa Info / Lost and Found

Everyone needs a little help sometimes. Maybe you’re looking for your best friend’s camp. Or you’ve got a flat tire and need to find a pump. Or you’re just curious to know what time the Opera starts on Friday night. Fret no more! Head straight for the hub of Black Rock City and you’ll find a helpful crew and a wealth of resources.

Playa Info is located at Esplanade & 5:45, and is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm throughout the event. (Unless otherwise posted)

At Playa Info you’ll find:

  • Oracles who will help answer questions about theme camp placement, events, and volunteering, enlighten you with their profound wisdom, and help you locate just about anything you need within the vast resources of Black Rock City
  • Directory. You can use the Playa Info computers to register yourself and your camp location or to look up your friend’s exact Black Rock City address. Via the online Directory, you can leave messages for friends to let them know where you’re camped and even find and post event schedules, ride shares, and other services. Sorry, no Internet access
  • Found items. Lost something and want to find it? Found something and want to lose it? Turn in found items to Playa Info to be reunited with their owners.
  • Burning Man Information Radio. Tune in throughout the event for public service announcements, event info, and other news.
  • Playa Bulletin Boards. Bulletin Boards are always available for artful posting of events, messages and general information.
  • Volunteer Resources. Want to volunteer your time and energy for Black Rock City? Sign up at the Volunteer Resources desk and contribute to your community.


Our Oracles are well-versed on any topic relating to Black Rock City or Burning Man events. We offer answers and advice to those seekers who need the most up-to-date info on where to find such things as bike repair stations, theme camps, porta-potties, and medical services. If your quest is of a less practical nature, your esoteric questions will be met with equally esoteric answers. So be prepared for some noble discourse with BRC citizens from around the world.


The Directory is a computerized, organized listing of theme camps, individual camps, individuals, and their location on the playa. Maybe you’re looking for directions to The Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro or you sort of heard about this cool camp that started with a “V”. Stop by and use the Directory to consult the official map of Black Rock City. Our friendly crew can also give you ideas of where to visit next. Or equally important, they can help you register your own camp so the Burning Man community knows where to find you.

The Directory is also the place to leave messages for those friends who you haven’t seen in a year, or that guy or gal you met last night. Let your friends know where you are camped, specify your plans for the night, arrange a rendezvous, or report on your latest adventure.

You can also post messages for Ride Shares on the directory, whether you’re looking for a ride or offering one and need some companionship and gas money for the drive home.

Volunteer Resources

Should you feel the call to participate during the event, Playa Info is also the center for volunteer opportunities in Black Rock City. Just stop by our Volunteer Resources Desk and sign up to help with your community.

Volunteer for Playa Info

Playa Info volunteers wanted! If you enjoy guiding the wayward and enlightening the perplexed, then consider volunteering for Playa Info. For details, check out our Volunteer page or email

Black Rock City Rangers

The Black Rock Rangers are the core infrastructure for the community during the event. Their strength comes from the diversity of backgrounds and experiences; they are communicators, medics, firefighters and concerned citizens. Rangers are the mediators of public safety and providers of information.

The Black Rock Rangers were founded by Danger Ranger in 1992, and are modeled after the Texas Rangers. The key to the organization’s success is that the Rangers are not the “other” guys: they are the participants, and work throughout the city and its perimeters to ensure the collective survival of the community. They respond to the ever-changing environment, and address situations within our community that would otherwise require outside intervention. By encouraging and facilitating communication, the Rangers promote awareness of potential hazards, from sunstroke to tent fires to bad weather.

For more information on this unique organization, visit or email

To learn more about what sorts of skills and requirements are needed to volunteer as a ranger, visit the Volunteer page.

Center Camp Plaza ~ The Heart of the City

Contribute Your Skills and Playfulness to The Canopy!

Calling all Volunteers, Contributors & Artists

The heart of Black Rock City comes to life each year thanks to the teamwork of many dedicated volunteers who plan, create, install decor, and support other Black Rock Citizens in bringing their vivid visions, immersive shticks, and interactive antics to life. While the Temple and the Man invite a release as they burn, the heart asks us what we wish to cherish, nourish, and bring with us on our quest. The heart of the city will ignite, distill, define, and cultivate the very essence of Black Rock City. 


We are looking for volunteers to support this vibrant community space. The vibe of this tribe has always had its special kind of cohesion. The culture of The Canopy Volunteer teams is one of family and community. It’s a great place to find your place amongst other creative, fun, and hard-working humans who will likely become dear friends before you know it.

To get in on this amazing experience of Communal Effort fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire, accessible via your Burner Profile.

Building Center Camp (Photo by John Curley)

What Are the Teams that Create The Canopy?

SWIFT (aka Shenanigans Wrangling & Instigation Facilitation Team)

If you enjoy helping Black Rock Citizens bring their weird and wacky activations into the space, SWIFT (aka Shenanigans Wrangling & Instigation Facilitation Team) may be your dream team. SWIFT supports all the wonders that await the participants under the Central Canopy.


Calling all designers, builders, carpenters, crochet artists, stitchers, furniture builders, painters, and multi-talented hands-on creators! Work with the skilled decor team to transform The Canopy into a magical, whimsical environment to house raucous and relaxing activities throughout Burn Week. Most of the work is done during Build Week before the Gate opens and after the event when we pack up all the pretty things and Leave No Trace. 

Center Camp during Build Week (Photo by Mark Mennie)

Stage Crew

Make sure the show goes on! From stage building, lighting, and amplifying the new, larger, Canopy stage before the gates open, this crew supports the myriad merrymakers by MCing, mixing sound, and stage managing during Burn Week. Bring your stagehand experience to The Canopy and work with some of the most skilled and interesting humans and support the incredible talent to grace the stage!

Center Camp Guardians

During Build Week, Strike, and overnight during Burn Week, Guardians wander The Canopy enjoying the offerings, chatting with the people, and making sure things are safe and sound. 

*Note: All volunteers get involved in The Canopy space because they are committed to a shared collaborative project that ignites the cultural heart of Black Rock City. First-year volunteers do not get free tickets in exchange for volunteering — but if you get involved and kick ass, you may gain access to future tickets and opportunities to contribute more deeply to The Canopy team.

To get in on this amazing experience of Communal Effort fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire, accessible via your Burner Profile.


Musicians, Magicians, and Marching Bands. Soothsayers, Shtick players, and Side-Show Acts. Flow Artists, Freestylists, and Fantastic Fabricators. Comedians, Cacophonists, Curators of Experience. The Canopy hosts special immersive takeover events, has one central stage for scheduled performances, and features an art gallery, crafternoon sessions, a 24/7 tea party, guest bar service, and several curiosity nooks. Participants are invited to scratch below the surface; there may even be some meta-shenanigans at play — think scavenger hunts, side quests, riddles, and mythic lore galore — ‘cause who doesn’t love a little live-action role-playing in their day? You might end up donning a character that sticks!

Please fill out the Collaboration Interest Form to share your offering!

The stage hosts an eclectic mix of offerings such as improvisational comedy, jazz, DJ throwdowns, and world-music performances, and encourages community gathering, engagement, connection, and relaxation. At night, the stage will come alive with epic musical sets paired with a different themed party every night of the week: maximum cohesion and complementary synergy!

Alcove spaces can host micro experiences designed for 2 to 5 people ranging from bad advice booths to healing arts, board games, or intellectually stimulating conversations. 

The Canopy space also hosts large participatory and performance groups, dancers, orchestras, and jugglers. The Canopy is open 24/7 for Event Week. Performers interested in showing off their talents under The Canopy should arrange for a pre-scheduled performance slot during the event. But HOW?

Start by filling out this Collaboration Interest Form! There is a tremendous team of volunteers ready to help get your performance booked. 

  • ****Note to Booking Agents – All artists are required to be radically self reliant, which means purchasing their own ticket to the event as well as providing all necessities to survive in Black Rock City. The team does not work with Booking Agents, have your clients contact us directly.

Performance Musts

Your performance must be all original work. Cover bands, cover songs, or samples subject to licensing cannot be played. This is the space to celebrate YOUR music, YOUR words, YOUR art.

If you want to perform copyrighted material, you MUST secure the rights yourself by contacting the copyright holder/agent and providing written permission to perform such material to the performance coordinator IN ADVANCE of landing on-playa.

Something Else?

There are a plethora of performance styles that aren’t listed here. Got something a little different? Use THIS FORM to let us know what you have in mind.

No Fire under The Canopy!

The Canopy structure is not a safe space for performances that include fire. Lots of things get burned on playa, but not The Canopy. 


This artist paid tribute to her deceased father by employing his paint brushes

The Center Camp Plaza and The Canopy host many of Black Rock City’s diverse artists. The Canopy is one of the most visited locations on playa and it’s a great place for YOU to display your art for the community to interact with and enjoy throughout the event. There is a curated gallery space for hangable artwork and plenty of space — slightly more protected than the open playa — for all types of installations and expressions.

  • Please read ALL the guidelines CAREFULLY. Only submissions adhering to the guidelines will be accepted. Any submissions that fall outside the guidelines or are incomplete cannot be considered.
  • Submit your art project here.

We can’t wait to see how your magic contributes to The Canopy!



The greeters are the face of the event and form a newcomer’s first impression of Black Rock City. Their mission is to orient and educate arriving citizens while spreading wit, whimsy and infectious enthusiasm to carloads of people.

Greeters explain the “Don’t let it hit the ground!” principle, clarify the concept of Community, and answer all questions in offbeat yet helpful (or endearingly hostile) ways. Enlightening new and returning participants alike is a vital role.

If you are interested in volunteering to be a greeter, click here to find out what we need.

Arctica (Ice Sales)

What’s more precious than gold in the desert? Ice, of course!

Arctica and the Ice Caps are the only source for ice in Black Rock City. Arctica and the Ice Caps have what it takes to keep your food, beverages, and heads cool during the long hot desert days, as well as putting an icy tinkle in your evening cocktails. Expanded to the 3 o’clock portal (Ice Cubed) and 9 o’clock portal (Ice-9) and our original spot in Center Camp, we offer ice to Burning Man participants from 9am to 6pm Monday through Sunday of the event, and from 9am until Noon on Labor Day.

Pre-event, ice is available at two locations. Center Camp Arctica: Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6 pm. Ice 9 (9:00 & G): Saturday and Sunday pre-event from noon to 6 pm.

If you’re up for staying cool during the day, while working toward a good cause, check out Arctica’s volunteering opportunities.

Media Mecca

Media Mecca is Black Rock City’s press room. At the Mecca, members of the media can find out what’s going on, recharge batteries and file stories. We can point you in the direction of participants from your region, connect you with artists and take you on a tour of the major art installations. We will not baby you, coddle you, suggest story ideas or drive you around on a golf cart.

Media Mecca, conveniently located next to the ARTery at Esplanade & 6:30, is open daily from 10 a.m. (ish) to 5 p.m (ish).

When you arrive, tell the greeters you’re looking for Media Mecca. We’re conveniently located next to the ARTery at Esplanade & 6:30. We’ll get your oriented, give you a cold beverage (if you’re nice to us) and provide a place to hang out when the temperature tops 100 degrees.

Please note: If you are a member of the press, you must visit the Press & Media section and register in advance of the event. Reporters, photographers and video crews who do not connect with us prior to the event will be taken into the desert, staked to the ground and left to fry in the sun.

If you are interested in wearing the coveted silver cowboy hat for the Media Team, check out our volunteer page.