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.

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 Center Camp and 1:00, 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

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, in Center Camp, 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 in Center Camp. 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.



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.

Center Camp ~ the Playa’s Living Room

Center Camp rises each year as the largest public social space in Black Rock City. It offers an acre of beautifully designed, shaded space that welcomes one and all to bring and share their gifts, wild ideas, shenanigans and experimental happenings with one and all. 

Center Camp is YOUR space, to bring and experience whatever it is you love to do: tarot readings, marching bands, wild acrobatic shenanigans, participatory art, yoga… bring it, share it, and meet your playa neighbors!

Center Camp, 2019 (Photo by Kate Beale)

Located in the middle of Ring Road, Center Camp is the largest temporary freestanding tensile shade structure in Black Rock City. With almost an acre of shade, two stages, a community-use area for pop-up events, and interactive art installations, this beautifully lit communal space is a round-the-clock hive of dusty activity.

Whether you’re in free camping with friends, or part of a theme camp, you are welcome to create and participate in the random happenings and communal activities and experiments that come to life in our city center. There’s art — bring your own, or enjoy the creations already installed. There are alcoves where you can share your gifts, and two stages that host musicians, contortionists, poets, and showpeople of all kinds.

Monkey Chant at Center Camp, 2017 (Photo by Susan Becker)

Center Camp has one of the most dynamic volunteer communities on the playa. The construction, event production, clean up, art, decor and lighting of this amazing space rely on the devoted efforts from hundreds of volunteers. Take a look at the many Center Camp volunteer opportunities to find out how you can participate before, during, or after the event and get involved in this diverse community. If you already know what you want to do, please fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire in your Burner Profile.

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.