“This is Burning Man” Event Explores Burning Man’s Past & Future

Larry Harvey (photo by Scott London)
Larry Harvey (photo by Scott London)

Burning Man co-founders Larry Harvey and Michael Mikel (aka Danger Ranger) join “This is Burning Man” author Brian Doherty for an evening exploring the past, present and future of Burning Man, July 24 at Z Space Theater in San Francisco.

Burning Man started with a handful of people on Baker Beach, and over 27 years has grown to become a cultural phenomenon that attracts 60,000 participants to the Nevada Desert each summer. Now organizers are expanding beyond the desert to ignite a cultural, technological and artistic evolution on a global scale.

Danger Ranger and friends, 2001 (photo by Julian Cash)
Danger Ranger and friends, 2001 (photo by Julian Cash)

Ticket sales benefit the nonprofit Burning Man Project, dedicated to extending Burning Man culture into the world. Pricing is “pay what you can” to benefit the Project: $20, $30 or $50. Premium seating at $125 includes “This is Burning Man” hard cover book signed by the presenters. $100 of this is tax deductible.

Z Space Theater is at 450 Florida Street in San Francisco. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m. A reception and book signing will take place immediately following the discussion.

For more information and to reserve tickets, click here.

For more about the Burning Man Project: burningmanproject.org

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signs AB374 – Streamlining permitting process for Burning Man event

Governor Sandoval signing AB374 into law
Governor Sandoval signing AB374 into law. Seated: Gov. Brian Sandoval
Standing from left to right: Adam Belsky, Counsel for BRC LLC; Robert Shirley; Tom Clark, Lobbyist for BRC LLC; Shannon Hogan, Lobbyist for BRC LLC; Jim Shirley, District Attorney for Pershing County; Sen. David Parks; Assemblyman & bill sponsor David Bobzien; Marian Goodell, Founder, BRC LLC; Raymond Allen, Government Affairs Representative for BRC LLC

CARSON CITY, NEV., June 5, 2013 — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval today signed AB374 into law, a bill sponsored by Assemblyman David Bobzien that streamlines the permitting process for events like Burning Man held on federal lands.

“This is a huge victory for the Burning Man event,” said Raymond Allen, Government Affairs Representative for Black Rock City, LLC. “The law ensures local permitting requirements won’t infringe upon the First Amendment rights of Burning Man participants. It also ensures the continued right of assembly for the entire event.”

The new law gives counties the right to opt out of state permitting requirements for events held on federal land that already undergo a comprehensive federal permitting process. As a result of collaborative negotiations involving Burning Man representatives, Pershing County officials and the Nevada Association of Counties, Pershing County commissioners already passed a resolution exempting Burning Man from county permitting requirements in perpetuity.

“It’s a win-win for everyone and a testament to the benefit of collaboration,” Allen said. “Our goal has always been to adequately compensate Pershing County for the services it provides to our event. This law ensures compensation occurs through a contract with the County per the requirements of our Bureau of Land Management permit.”

The bill passed unanimously in the Nevada Assembly and Senate, and goes into effect on July 1st.

 

BMHQ Seeks Interns for 2013 Event Cycle

This could be you!

Greetings! We’re excited to announce three Internships in our San Francisco office.

INTERNSHIP SUMMARY:

Three unpaid internships will provide the right candidates with opportunities to engage with the pre-event preparations of Burning Man’s Communications Department, Regional Network and/or the Art Department during the busy pre-event production cycle (June-August) and on site in Black Rock City during the 2013 Burning Man event (August 25th – September 2nd).  Internships require a high level of organization, acute attention to detail and deadlines, top-notch written and verbal communication skills, and a keen ability to think quickly and function well in a high-pressure, creative environment that is often chaotic but always a lot of fun.

Interns will be required to attend the Burning Man event, and must be prepared to be radically self-reliant for up to two weeks in that environment, one of few resources and intensely harsh conditions. Work leading up to the event will be conducted in a professional office environment in downtown San Francisco. The number of hours per week is flexible depending upon candidates’ needs, schedule, and experience. Candidates who are available to continue their internship post-event (through the end of September) are encouraged to apply.

Internships will provide invaluable experience for someone wishing to learn about media relations, event production, and Burning Man arts and culture.  Interns will have opportunities to attend high level meetings, participate in planning processes, draft communications, and work alongside many accomplished professionals in the field of communications and arts management.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to be eligible, interns MUST receive official school credit for their internship.  Prior to beginning an internship with Burning Man, candidates must provide written proof that credit will be received from the relevant educational institution. (more…)

Black Rock City 2012 Population Update

This guy does NOT work for us.

When the peak population for Black Rock City 2012 was announced at noon on Friday of the event, the preliminary tally was 52,385, which seemed a bit low. We suspected there were more people in Black Rock City at its peak (which was actually Friday at 6am this year, by the way). So after the event, we went back and conducted a full and comprehensive audit …

After doing some pretty significant accounting and recounting, we determined that the actual peak population at the 2012 event was in fact 56,149. (Now, that’s not everybody who went to Burning Man, it’s just the peak population … a lot of people came late and/or left early this year, having planned ahead to avoid high-traffic ingress and egress times — did you notice the shorter wait times?)

Due to some new processes that were put in place in 2012, the count released on playa was low.  For fifteen years we’ve had a great record of recording accurate population tallies, and we place a high premium on capturing and reporting this important data.  We keep count because a) it’s really important for us to know how many people are out there (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is production planning), and b) it’s required by our BLM permit requirement, as you’ve probably heard by now. Our population cap for 2012 was 60,900, and happily our peak population didn’t come close to bumping up against that total.

So there you are … we’re happy to be able to report the final population count for 2012 … and we’re glad we’ve worked out some kinks in our system to ensure proper reporting in the future.

 

Sexual Assault in Black Rock City

Black Rock City is a community of thousands of well-meaning people. But like any metropolitan area, there will always be a handful of individuals with criminal intent.

Each year there are a few reports of sexual assault on the playa, and this year is no different. In light of the community’s concern regarding public safety, we would like to share our procedure for addressing these situations and outline plans to increase education and prevention efforts for the future.

Specifically, we’ve recently received a few inquiries as to why Burning Man does not conduct sexual assault forensic exams (commonly referred to as “rape kits”) on site. Organizers have examined this several times, each time facing the reality that this type of exam requires specialized training and equipment not designed to operate in desert conditions, and which could produce legally questionable results if not performed in an appropriate facility. There are only three designated facilities in the entire state of Nevada that regularly perform these exams. The closest to Burning Man is the Northern Nevada Medical Center in Reno. (more…)

Taking the High Road with Pershing County

Pershing County Courthouse, Lovelock, NV, Photo by Nathan Aaron Heller

Last week, Burning Man filed a lawsuit against Pershing County, Nev., to stop the county’s attempt to impose drastic fee increases on our event.

Many of you have been very vocal about your support for the legal actions we’ve taken in response to Pershing County’s unreasonable fee hikes and attempts at regulating our event.  Others have generated lots of ideas and suggestions, which we appreciate and will continue to read and listen to.

We are tremendously grateful for your support and our intention is to work through the legal system to reach a satisfactory outcome for our event and our community. As we do, we’d like to remind our fellow Burners that while the actions taken by Pershing County officials might ignite passionate responses, and we’re grateful for your engagement in the community, it’s important to remain civil and respectful as this process plays out – this goes for online communications as well as participants right here at Burning Man.

Importantly, the Pershing County deputies patrolling the event are not party to this lawsuit, and are also completely independent and different from the BLM officers onsite. These are the same deputies who worked the event last year, and Black Rock City staff members are very pleased with the service and professionalism of the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office. We ask that you please treat these officers with the respect and kindness they’ve earned.  Pershing County deputies are a trusted and valuable component of our community – they contribute daily to the safety and well-being of all citzens of Black Rock City!

Just as your actions reflect on our entire community as you make your way through nearby towns en route to and from Black Rock City, your response to this situation reflects on Burning Man as well. Let’s keep to the high road as this lawsuit works its way through the judicial system. Please set the vitriol aside and help us demonstrate that Burning Man is home to a community of givers and doers, with the best of intentions and a lot to offer our neighbors in Pershing, Washoe and Humboldt Counties.

For more information about the Pershing lawsuit, please visit: http://www.brcvpc.com.

Thanks all, and if you’re en route to BRC, we’ll see you very soon!

 

 

 

 

What’s That? A PUA You Say?

Photo by Karie Henderson, 2002

Burning Man was built on freedom of expression, and participants shouldn’t have to worry that photos or videos of their on-playa activities might appear online (or elsewhere) without their permission.

Going way back (pre-2000), Burning Man has requested that participants intending to record video on playa sign a Personal Use Agreement (PUA) to protect participants’ privacy in Black Rock City. In fact, it was this policy that allowed us to stop Voyeur Video from broadcasting illicit videos they’d recorded of unwitting Burning Man participants in 2002.

Burning Man’s photo policy is spelled out in the online terms and conditions applicable to all tickets: any participant is free to disseminate photos for personal use only, and cannot use them for any other purpose without the written permission of Burning Man.  The PUA simply provides another mechanism to make participants aware of the limitations on photo use, and the distribution of the PUA at Playa Info also assists in this process.

Of course, technology is evolving quickly. Back when video cameras were big and bulky and rare, we asked that each be tagged so people could identify the person taking their picture. Flash forward to 2012, and now just about everybody has a video camera on their person in the form of a smart phone or handheld video camera — so while collecting PUAs has become more logistically challenging, protecting the privacy of our participants is more important than ever. (more…)

Burning Man Files Lawsuit Against Pershing County, NV

Fee Increases Violate Federal Law, Threaten Ability To Do Business In State

For more information, please visit www.brcvpc.com.

RENO, Nev. — Today the organizers of Burning Man filed a lawsuit against Pershing County, Nev., to stop the county’s attempt to impose a drastic increase in fees on the annual weeklong event, which is held on public land managed by the U.S. government. This action will not affect the 2012 event.

“For more than 20 years, the Burning Man community has proudly made northern Nevada its home, providing millions of dollars annually to the local economy,” said Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man. “We love Nevada. Unfortunately, Pershing County is making it difficult to continue doing business here. We intend to resolve this matter through reasonable means and work collaboratively with Nevadans to keep our business in the state.”

Black Rock City, LLC, is the company that organizes the Burning Man event each year in the Black Rock Desert. Pursuant to requirements of the Bureau of Land Management, which manages federal land, BRC has annually compensated Pershing County for all documented, event-related costs since 2005. As part of a separate agreement negotiated with Pershing County over disagreements about the applicability of the county’s festival ordinance, BRC has additionally contributed a total of $395,600 to Pershing County and local charitable organizations that serve its residents. (more…)