COVID-19 Task Force

The world has changed dramatically since the last time we gathered together in the Nevada desert. Vigilantly guarding the health and safety of our event now, like never before, will directly affect the well-being of every member of our global community (as well as those we may come into contact with before and after the event) — participants, artists, staff, volunteers, founders, and visitors alike. COVID-19 is a vicious pathogen that cuts across every demographic, regardless of age, gender, orientation, race, income level, nationality, or faith.

As of this writing, COVID-19 has infected over 95,000,000 people globally (24,000,000 in the U.S. alone) according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, and killed over 2,000,000 people worldwide (more than 400,000 in the U.S.). This pandemic is — to use a word that became all-too-familiar to us in 2020 — unprecedented.

So, how do we proceed?


Simply put: together, and with great care. We have gathered the best experts in science, medicine, and public health policy and followed their advice. We created a COVID-19 Task Force composed of experts in epidemiology, pre-hospital care and transport, hospital care and treatment, and public health. As is typical of our amazing community, members of this COVID-19 Task Force are also Burners and members of our Emergency Services Department (ESD), so they already know all about us, our event, and our culture.

The mission of this Task Force is to review the latest science, medicine, and policy to make the best and safest recommendations to Burning Man Project about building Black Rock City in 2021 and beyond. It’s a mighty task, for sure, and this team is up to the challenge.

Listed below are the members of our COVID-19 Task Force, along with their educational credentials, professional background, and on-playa experience.

Meet the Task Force


(Photo by Mike Muench)

(Photo by Mike Muench)

In response to the growing popularity of remote controlled aircraft, helicopters and multi-copters (aka UAV or drones), Burning Man has established regulations under the Black Rock City Safety Team, and updated its guidelines for registering, and the terms and conditions for flying RC aircraft in Black Rock City.

Like mutant vehicles, BRC regulates all RC aircraft and requires that they be operated responsibly, and are subject to restricted fly zones and other rules of operation. The goal is to streamline the registration process, have all RC pilots be familiar with flying in the city, and make it safer for all Burning Man participants.

The FAA requires all pilots of RC aircraft flying within 5 miles of an airport to notify that airport of their operations. Virtually all of Black Rock City is within 5 miles of 88NV, Black Rock City Municipal Airport, and completing the on-line registration and on-playa briefing meets this requirement.

2019 Drone Information:

  1. For the 2019 event registration has closed and all persons selected to fly at this years event have been notified. Please check back on May 15, 2020 to register for Burning Man 2020. 
  2. Please familiarize yourself with the policies for 2019. See Below.
  3. RC pilots must receive an on-playa briefing, and operators will be required to wear designated safety vests while operating their aircraft. Registration and briefings will take place from 12:00 AM – 4:00 PM, through Wednesday of the event at Media Mecca.
  4. RC pilots are financially responsible for any harm or damage caused during the event.
  5. Drones are included in the BLM Closure Order, and only those permitted to operate during the event will be allowed to fly. RC equipment will be confiscated for unsafe flying or violation of BRC regulations, AMA, and FAA rules.
  6. Confiscated RC equipment will be held until the end of the event or when the participant departs Black Rock City. Confiscated RC equipment with video footage will not be released back to the participant at the end of the event.
  7. When possible, use a spotter to control onlookers.
  8. No First Person View (FPV) flying.
  9. Flying limited to a maximum altitude of 400 ft.
  10. Flying over crowds is prohibited. Maintain at least 25 ft. horizontal separation from people.
  11. Flying near emergency, police and fire personnel is prohibited.
  12. No flying near the Man beginning Friday night and continuing through the Man Burn, and no flying during the Temple burn.
  13. Flying is prohibited in the City, Center Camp, along the Esplanade, near the airport, and near the BLM Incident Command area.

For general questions, email

Please do not email asking for a permit to fly at Burning Man 2019.

Burning Man’s 2019 Drone Policy