Larry Harvey Speaks at the Commonwealth Club, July 31

Larry Harvey (photo by Jim Urquhart, c/o Reuters)
Larry Harvey (photo by Jim Urquhart, c/o Reuters)

On July 31st, INFORUM at the Commonwealth Club is hosting an amazing event that gives its attendees unique insight into the founding of Burning Man and inspiration for Black Rock City.

Burning Man: The Story Behind Black Rock City is a one-on-one interview with the founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey, as he speaks on the effect Burning Man has had on society today, the inspirations for this year’s theme, Cargo Cult, how being headquartered in San Francisco has influenced the event, and plans for the non-profit Burning Man Project to extend Burning Man culture worldwide. The program will begin at 6:30pm, followed by a reception for audience members to mingle with Larry in attendance.

This is a great opportunity for Burners to learn more about Burning Man’s genesis as they prepare for the event itself!

Click for tickets and more info, and to RSVP on Facebook.

“To Flame” Buses Not Authorized to Enter Black Rock City in 2013

Photo by by Rick Egan
Photo by by Rick Egan

Burning Man organizers want participants to know the To Flame bus operated by Rally Bus will not be granted access to Black Rock City in 2013.

Companies providing bus service to the Burning Man event are required to secure permits from Burning Man and the Bureau of Land Management. To Flame and Rally Bus have not secured these permits.

Additionally, Burning Man issued a Request for Proposals for a bus service to the event earlier this year. To Flame submitted a proposal, but was not selected based on gaps in their operational plan to support the event, previous track record and negative feedback about their bus service from operators and participants.

During the RFP process Burning Man advised To Flame to not sell any additional tickets. To Flame was not selected as the bus service vendor, but continued to advertise bus service during and after the RFP process. On June 26 Burning Man issued a Cease & Desist letter to the company.

Participants have a few options for public transportation to the playa, including the new BRC-supported Burner Express bus service operating from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. For more information on options, visit http://www.burningman.com/travel/.

Black Rock City LLC Awarded 4-Year Event Permit

Black Rock City 2011, Photo by Luke Szczepanski
Black Rock City 2011, Photo by Luke Szczepanski

The Bureau of Land Management has issued Black Rock City, LLC a 4-year Special Recreation Permit (SRP) to host the Burning Man event on the Black Rock Desert, with a maximum population limit of 68,000 participants for the 2013 event.

Being awarded a 4-year SRP is a testament to our community’s longstanding practice of Leave No Trace, enabling us to achieve and surpass the environmental compliance requirements of our event permit’s stipulations. So thank YOU for helping make this possible.

The BLM press release reads:

BLM Approves Permit for Burning Man Event

Winnemucca, Nev.–The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office, has issued a multi-year Special Recreation Permit (SRP) to Black Rock City (BRC), LLC authorizing the annual Burning Man event through 2016, contingent upon annual reviews showing BRC’s compliance with the terms and stipulations of the permit. This year the Burning Man event will be held on the Black Rock Playa from Aug. 26 through Sept. 2.

This year, the BRC is required to keep the maximum population from exceeding 68,000 people during the event. The BLM is also requiring BRC to comply with 13 standard stipulations, which are common to all SRPs, and 48 special stipulations specific to the Burning Man event. The special stipulations relate to matters such as event set-up, signage, security, public safety, resource management, debris removal, fee calculation and payment, and event take-down and clean-up.

“Our priorities in managing this permit continue to be the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources, as well as the safety for all participants and staffs,” said BLM’s Winnemucca District Manager, Gene Seidlitz. “I feel confident the permit addresses these priorities.”

The “Burning Man 2012-2016 Special Recreation Permit Environmental Assessment” (EA) analyzes a participant population level from 58,000 to 70,000 as well as public access, traffic control, resource management, dust abatement, fire management, event security and public safety, event setup and signage, runway and aircraft, sanitary facilities, and event take down and clean-up.

The Burning Man event has taken place on public lands on the Black Rock Desert Playa every year but one since 1990. Last year more than 53,000 people traveled to the remote desert location to participate. The operations associated with the event occupy about 4,400 acres of public land for a seven week period starting with fencing the site perimeter the second week of August and concluding in late September with the final site cleanup. The major activities are confined to several weeks in late August and early September associated with final setup, the actual event, and the initial phases of cleanup. During this period, Black Rock City becomes one of the largest cities in Nevada.

The SRP Decision and associated National Environmental Policy Act documents are available for viewing at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/nepa0.html and upon request from the BLM Winnemucca District Office, 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921, during regular business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.

 

Burner Express Offers Bus Service to and from Black Rock City

No, not this bus. (Photo by Brian Erzen, 2010)
No, not this bus. (Photo by Brian Erzen, 2010)

In an effort to reduce traffic and limit the environmental impact of our event, Burning Man organizers are offering the Burner Express bus service with pickups in San Francisco and the Reno airport to Black Rock City and back. This service offers early arrival, speedier entrance, ticket pick up, reserved camping and quicker departures.

Burner Express is ideal for participants flying into the event and for Burners involved in art projects and theme camps having their gear hauled in by campmates. Tickets start at $60 one way from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and $95 one way from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Additional charges apply for extra luggage or for a stop at a grocery store in Reno. Departures begin from both locations Saturday, August 24 and return trips begin Friday, August 30.

Not this one either. (Photo by Scott Kentros, 2010)
Not this one either. (Photo by Scott Kentros, 2010)

Large motor coach buses will take Burners to Gerlach, where they will hop on smaller buses for the ride into Black Rock City. There will be a “bus only” lane to sidestep traffic backups at Gate and Greeters, and bus passengers will have their own Will Call station for speedier ticket pick up. (Please note: ONLY Burner Express and Green Tortoise buses are permitted in the bus lane.)

Once inside BRC, bus riders have the option of camping in a reserved camping section on the 6 o’clock access road or taking shuttles out to 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock along G Street.

For more information, see the FAQ on our Burner Express page.

To purchase tickets, visit the Burner Express website.

BRC Drone Summit for Droners & UAV Operators

Bzzzzzzzz! (photo via Wired UK)
Bzzzzzzzz! (photo via Wired UK)

You may have noticed a proliferation of drones (those zippy little helicopter gizmos) humming around the skies of Black Rock City in recent years … or you’ve enjoyed the amazing photos and video footage they’ve shot over our fair city. Well, now that there’s so many of them, let’s make sure we’re all droning safely and in a coordinated way to avoid any mishaps, shall we? Right.

So … are you a drone or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) operator? Or are you thinking about becoming one? Are you planning to bring one (or several) to Black Rock City? Will you be using a camera mounted on a UAV to take images in BRC? Are you looking to connect with drone operators for a playa project? Are you just interested in learning more about those flying things?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are invited to join us for the first ever Black Rock City Drone Summit. This will be an opportunity to share information about your projects and to help make Black Rock City an innovative, educational and fun Drone Zone.

WHEN: July 17th, 2013 @ 6:30PM
WHERE: BMHQ and via web-conference
RSVP: http://goo.gl/k5Z4x

Can’t make it? Please send a summary of your project and ideas to dronesummit here: dronesummit (at) burningman.com and we’ll get you connected to summit notes and future discussions.

Larry Harvey Speaks at LeWeb Conference

Larry Harvey in conversation with Loic Le Meur at LeWeb 2013
Larry Harvey in conversation with Loic Le Meur at LeWeb 2013

Burning Man Co-Founder Larry Harvey was invited to speak at the LeWeb conference in London on the topic of the Sharing Economy. While he was there, he had the opportunity to interview with a few different news outlets, and each conversation bubbled up interesting ideas and thoughts about Burning Man as a gift economy, the tech culture’s relationship to Burning Man, and what that all means in terms of societal potential. We’ve collected them for you here.

Here’s video of Larry’s full talk at LeWeb, in conversation with LeWeb organizer Loic Le Meur.

TechCrunch‘s Mike Butcher interviewed Larry together with Grateful Dead lyricist, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) founder (and Burner) John Perry Barlow.

Larry also sat down with Bloomberg TV to talk about the spark that created the Burning Man Festival, followed by an interview on Bloomberg Radio.

Finally, Julian Blake of Tech City Insider interviewed Larry on the subject of how Burners and technology come together.

BurnerHack at FreeSpace SF

Cool logo, BurnerHack.
Cool logo, BurnerHack.

Burners will be gathering at FreeSpace — a 14,000 sq ft warehouse in San Francisco’s SOMA district hosting a month-long pop-up community center focused on hacking the civic experience — this weekend for BurnerHack. BurnerHack is an opportunity to learn, share and teach a wide variety of skills to help one prepare for the playa (or wherever you want to take them!).

The offerings include such things as hacking arduino software, working with LEDs, making costumes, soldering el-wire, building shelters, Mutant Vehicle modifications and more. Take a look at the full listing of projects so far, and add yours into the mix on the BurnerHack website.

Burning Blogger Jon Mitchell will be attending and will report on both BurnerHack and the FreeSpace concept for us after the weekend. If you plan to attend, and would like to hook up with him while you’re there, ping him on Twitter at @ablaze.

FreeSpace is located at 1131 Mission Street, San Francisco.

Stanford Lecture: Burning Man at Google

In a lecture at Stanford University on January 14, 2011, Fred Turner (Associate Professor of Communication) discussed his opinions on the social phenomenon of Burning Man and how he thinks the ideals of the festival apply to the marketplace that is evolving in our society, specifically in the Silicon Valley.

It’s a fascinating talk, filled with interesting insights … watch for yourself, and share your thoughts in the comments below: