Fatal Accident Occurs at Burning Man Event

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UPDATE
Pershing County Sheriff’s Office has made contact with the victim’s next of kin and will publicly release additional information soon.

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A woman died at Burning Man early Thursday morning after reportedly falling under a bus carrying participants, according to law enforcement officials. The woman has not been identified pending notification of her next of kin.

Burning Man organizers are working with law enforcement investigators from the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office and will provide more information as it becomes available. The Pershing County Sheriff will release information after the conclusion of family notification and investigation.

“This is a terrible accident,” said Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected.”

Burning Man Traffic Updates — Every Hour on the Hour

No, not *quite* like this.
No, not *quite* like this.

Want to know what the traffic situation is on Highway 447 or the wait time at the Gate? Beginning Sunday, August 24, we will begin broadcasting hourly traffic reports on BMIR 94.5 at the top of the hour. We’re aggregating real-time traffic information from Nevada Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Transportation and our eye in the sky (ok, an IP traffic-cam on Poito Peak) to give you up-to-the-minute details on the drive to the event.

BMIR will be streaming via iHeartRadio again this year beginning Aug. 21. You can download the app here, and tune in on your mobile device before entering the communications dead zones north of Wadsworth and south of Cedarville for a no-snark traffic update. Long wait time? Consider sitting tight until the back-up lessens.

Wait? You want more? We’ll also be providing real-time traffic updates 24/7 via Twitter. Just follow @BManTraffic.

BMIR will also begin providing Exodus wait times and highway traffic reports on Saturday, Sept. 1 through Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Burning Man 2014 Rules and Regulations

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.48.03 pm
Hint: download the PDF, it’s much easier to read.

Is my medical marijuana card valid in Black Rock City? Can I have an open container on an art car? Can I bring fireworks? What’s the speed limit? Is it cool if I pee on the playa?

These questions and more are answered in this handy 2-page infographic PDF containing all the key rules and regulations that are enforced in Black Rock City.

Download the PDF, print it (if you need to) and make sure your friends and campmates know what’s in there … before you head to Black Rock City.

Why, here it is now.

 

Want to Avoid Getting Pulled Over at Burning Man? Obey the Law

policecar
Cue that sinking feeling.

Law Enforcement Officers in (and on the way to and from) Black Rock City are sworn to uphold the law. Just like in the real world, it’s up to Burning Man participants to know those laws and to follow them. Note that if you are stopped, the officer may choose to have a dog sniff the outside of your vehicle looking for contraband.  

Here are the laws that you should be aware of to avoid being pulled over. LEOs particularly watch for the following in and around Black Rock City:

  1. Speeding: drive the speed limit at all times … the speed limit on Gate Road is 10mph and within BRC (after the Greeters station) is 5mph.
  2. Safe driving: drive carefully and safely, wear your seatbelt, don’t drive erratically, ride on the roof of your vehicle or hang off the side, or drink and drive … and use your turn signals.
  3. Obscured license plates: make sure your rear license plate isn’t blocked by your bike, bike rack, dirt or anything else (you might consider attaching your license plate to your bike so it’s clearly visible, but if you do, make sure it’s illuminated with a clip-on LED).
  4. Registration tags: have up-to-date valid registration tags on your vehicle AND trailer.
  5. Non-functioning lights: make sure your license plate lights, tail lights, running lights, turn signals and headlights are all working.
  6. Open container: don’t have an open alcohol container in your vehicle.
  7. Load & littering: make sure your load is safely and reasonably attached, and don’t toss anything out the window.
  8. Non-permitted driving: once you enter BRC and park your vehicle at your campsite, you cannot drive it in Black Rock City without a BRC Department of Mutant Vehicles-issued permit sticker.

Of course, always carry a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Lastly, being nice if you do get pulled over makes things go much smoother.

Harley K. DuBois to Speak at BOOM Festival

BOOM artwork by Android Jones.
BOOM artwork by Android Jones.

Burning Man Co-Founder Harley K. DuBois will be speaking on a panel tomorrow at BOOM Festival 2014 in Portugal, as part of their Futurological Symposium on Free Cultural Spaces in Liminal Village.

BOOM is sold out, but if you’ll be attending, check it out! Here are the details:

Event: BOOM Festival 2014
Where: Idanha-A-Nova Lake, Portugal
When: 8/4 – 8/11
Symposium: Saturday 8/9 from 5-7pm

Panel: BOOM, Fusion, Burning Man
Panelists: Diogo Ruivo / BOOM Festival & Good Mood Co-Founder, Eule / Fusion Festival Director of Production & Kulturkosmos Co-Founder, and Harley Dubois / Burning Man Co-Founder & City Mgr of BRC
Moderator: Chris Dekker / Founder of Earthdance and Uplift Festival

Weapons: Don’t Bring Them to the Playa

Nope.
Nope.

There was a time (20 years ago) when participants brought guns to Burning Man. That time has passed and growth of Black Rock City and concern for everyone’s safety led organizers to ban weapons from the event. That ban continues with the 2014 event and we are again asking participants to leave their weapons at home.

Each year Burning Man negotiates a Closure Order with the Bureau of Land Management that encompasses the event site and some of the surrounding playa. You can view the Closure Order area in the image below. The Closure Order is a public announcement that the Bureau of Land Management issues in collaboration with the Burning Man organization and includes temporary restrictions to protect public safety and resources on public lands.

Staff and participants are forbidden to possess, carry or hold weapons on their person, in their camp, vehicle or dwelling in any area included in the closure order.  Anyone found with a weapon will be immediately removed from the event site.

From the Closure Order:

Weapon means a firearm, compressed gas or spring powered pistol or rifle, bow and arrow, cross bow, blowgun, spear gun, hand-thrown spear, sling shot, irritant gas device, electric stunning or immobilization device, explosive device, any implement designed to expel a projectile, switch-blade knife, any blade which is greater than 10 inches in length from the tip of the blade to the edge of the hilt or finger guard nearest the blade (e.g., swords, dirks, daggers, machetes), or any other weapon the possession of which is prohibited by state law.

“Firearm” means any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, or other device which is designed to, or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the ignition of a propellant.

Please do not threaten the future of the event – do not bring weapons to the Event Site for any reason!

You can read the entire closure order here.

For the record, pants cannons are still allowed.

2014_closure_order

Big Art for Small Towns Opening Reception – August 7

Bottlecap Gazebo
Bottlecap Gazebo

Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), Burning Man Project and the City of Fernley will unveil three art pieces in Main Street Park on Thursday August 7, including Desert Tortoise, a new, permanent piece by local artist Pan Pantoja using mosaics created by local students and community members.

The opening reception is from 6-8 p.m. at the park at 610 Main Street in Fernley and will include live music, speakers and arts activities for children and adults.

The park and artwork are the latest effort by BRAF and Burning Man Project as part of their Big Art For Small Towns program, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Several thousand participants pass through Fernley each year on their way to Burning Man and we felt compelled to share the cultural and economic benefits with the surrounding communities,” said BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe. “We’re tremendously grateful for the community’s enthusiastic participation and contributions to the project, without which it couldn’t have happened.” (more…)

The Ten Principles: What Do Kids Know?

Rebecca Gasca recently spent an evening with some kids who have not been to Burning Man, discovering how the Ten Principles might impact their lives:

Are you still looking for the fountain of youth? After an evening talking with The Squaw Valley Kids’ Institute about Burning Man and the Ten Principles, I am pretty sure that, at least for me, this proverbial oasis is actually a fire hydrant of intuition surging somewhere between all the pages of the “What Where When” guide and my own cesspool of fears.

Trampoline fun! Photo by Garry Geer, 2011
Trampoline fun! Photo by Garry Geer, 2011

Truthfully, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from these undoubtedly bright kids. With a discussion topic as complex as “Creativity and Statistics vs. the Depths of Expression and Experience at Burning Man: THERE IS NOTHING AS POWERFUL AS AN IDEA!” where could I even begin? So I did what my mom did when I was a child—I brought out my box of costumes so that we could begin on an even playing field. While dressed in a business suit that hid my Burning Man regalia underneath, I watched them lasso the unknown, adorning themselves in whatever they fancied from my selection of playa treasures.

Once creatively situated in leather chaps, faux fur vests, wigs, goggles, sarongs, bandanas, and sufficiently playafied boots, they sat back to discuss their own creative experiences and relate them to the Ten Principles at Burning Man. Though none of them had actually attended a single Burn, it was enlightening how easily all of them, ranging from age 8 to 14, discussed each of these core values as ordinances that Black Rock City has grown up with. Some imagined that a world without logos would be colorful and perhaps quite confusing, admitting not knowing how to assign tangible or relatable value to an object, interaction, or experience. (Yes, that is Decommodification at its finest!)

Collectively, they grasped how important self-reliance would be in the Black Rock Desert. These kids understood immediately that surviving on the playa and in life means that we must work together; each individual would have to show initiative. They also reminded themselves that self-reliance can also mean asking questions. Perhaps most importantly, they pointed out that you are less likely to thrive if you don’t participate. Together we conceptualized a Burning Man lesson plan so that kids could receive school credit for attending the event, but these students struggled with making dramatic and surreal personal experiences “count” by fitting them into boxes of educational requirements. Why was it so difficult? It struck me that our educational system is hammering down on creativity and spontaneity with its one-ply exams and two-toned templates of pass or fail.

Indeed, “We don’t grow into education, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it,” Sir Ken Robinson, who was to speak at the Squaw Valley Institute shortly after that evening, has profoundly noted. With a bit more conversation and context, these creativity enthusiasts churned out ideas for a Kidsville curriculum: writing assignments that might muse over what participant’s lives are actually like in the default world; inventing a prayer or mantra to share at the temple or as a gift; and science experiments involving fire, weather, or water usage at Black Rock City. One participant opined that kids should bring their schoolwork to burn it with the Man.

While I went that night prepared, in a state of default, to “teach” these kids about Burning Man, I learned instead that not only did they already have the spirit of Burning Man pulsing through them, but in some ways, they understood how to apply the principles better than I did. It makes too much sense that this type of primal wisdom comes naturally to us in our youth, but too little sense that it must be re-learned with intention and purpose as we age.

By the end of the evening, I was received with smiles by my costumed comrades as I shed my business attire and revealed to them the crazy legging, funky dress-wearing Burner that I really am.  As I left, I couldn’t help but think that it is in Nevada’s biggest little desert where we can become reacquainted with the fountain of youthful wisdom in all of us. I also realized that if I ever have the hope of raising a child who can intuitively rock hop between the “choose your own adventure” pages of life, regardless of their fears, I’ve got to make damn sure that they don’t have to be re-wired with the Ten Principles as an adult. What a gift that night was.

Rebecca Gasca went native on the playa when, as the lobbyist for the ACLU of Nevada, she taught Burners how to lovingly interact with law enforcement at Burning Man while refusing consent to searches. She has since founded her own community and government relations firm, Pistil and Stigma, where she practices her favorite of life’s twenty seven thousand principles, Civic Engagement, on a daily basis. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Friends of Black Rock High Rock although they, nor Burning Man, nor anyone else for that matter, endorse these or any other Hansel and Gretel-related thoughts about children that she may have.