Posts for category News


July 22nd, 2014  |  Filed under News

Black Rock City Fuel Program

Flaming Lotus Girls' MASSIVE propane tanks, 2009 (Photo by Caroline Miller)

Flaming Lotus Girls’ MASSIVE propane tanks, 2009 (Photo by Caroline Miller)

Tired of hauling gallons upon gallons of fuel to the Black Rock Desert? Concerned about keeping a large amount of fuel in your camp? Want to power your Theme Camp or Mutant Vehicle without having to worry about how? We have news for you! Black Rock City now offers a fueling program for Theme Camps and Mutant Vehicles at Burning Man!

In order to participate in the program please see the Fuel Program page on our website.

Chalk this one up to Communal Effort outweighing Radical Self-Reliance in Ye Olde Ten Principles … because y’know, there are just efficiencies to be had when we share resources. And sometimes that just. Makes. Sense.

July 22nd, 2014  |  Filed under News

RC / UAV at BRC – So You Want to Fly Your Drone at Burning Man

Dronetastic! (photo via Wired UK)

Dronetastic! (photo via Wired UK)

In response to the growing popularity of remote controlled aircraft, helicopters and multicopters (aka UAV or drones), Burning Man has formed a new team: Remote Control Black Rock City (RCBRC) under the Black Rock City Municipal Airport management, 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 with RCBRC meets this requirement.

Burning Man hosted a Drone Summit in 2013 to bring together RC pilots, who crowd-sourced the first set of community guidelines for flying in BRC. While the aircraft captured some great imagery of the event in 2013, we also encountered problems, including at least four instances where RC multicopters nearly hit participants.

You can read the new policy and register here, but these are the highlights:

  1. Registration on-line is limited to 200 pilots and closes August 15.
  2. RC pilots must receive an on-playa briefing, after which their RC aircraft and transmitters will be tagged and the pilots issued wristbands. Registration and briefings will be at 5 p.m. sharp, Monday through Saturday at the Artery in Center Camp.
  3. RC pilots are financially responsible for any harm or damage caused during the event.
  4. RC equipment can be confiscated for unsafe flying or violation of RCBRC, AMA, and FAA rules.
  5. Confiscated RC equipment will be held until the end of the event or when the participant departs Black Rock City.
  6. In addition to independent flying, registered RC pilots will have the opportunity to come together, share ideas, and fly from a protected RC Landing Zone. This will be set up at different art installations including near the Man. The changing locations will be posted at the Artery and announced on BMIR 94.5FM.

As in 2013, some guidelines remain the same, including:

  1. When possible, use a spotter to control onlookers.
  2. No First Person View (FPV) flying.
  3. Flying limited to a maximum altitude of 400 ft.
  4. Avoid flying over crowds. Maintain at least 25 ft. horizontal separation from people.
  5. Avoid flying near emergency, police and fire personnel.
  6. No flying near the Man beginning Friday night (during pyrotechnic set-up), and during the Temple burn.
  7. Flying is prohibited in Center Camp, along the Esplanade, near the airport, and near the BLM Incident Command area.

Support your love of RC flight and volunteer! You do not need to be a RC pilot to volunteer. To get involved, fill out a Burner Profile and Volunteer Questionnaire on the Burning Man website and specify airport for volunteer team.

For RCBRC scheduling issues, email milehigh here: milehigh (at) burningman.com.

For more information regarding duties, email firefly here: firefly (at) burningman.com.

Review the complete RC aircraft, drone and UAV policy.

July 17th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Update on STEP for Burning Man 2014

Ticket cuddle puddle!

Ticket cuddle puddle!

Here’s a quick update on the state of the STEP … the Secure Ticket Exchange Program.

Good news! The system is working! Over 2,500 tickets have been sold back through STEP, snapped up by eager Burners yearning for the playa.

Right around now lots of folks start deciding – for real – if they are or are not going to the playa this year. This means we expect a lot of tickets to change hands in the next few weeks. If you have an unneeded ticket to sell, get it into STEP (through your Burner Profile) before Friday, July 25 at 12pm (noon) PDT … that’s the deadline for submissions.

If you’re still looking for a ticket, we encourage you to exhaust all of your options. The best way, we’ve found, is to beat the bushes and shake the trees in your Burner community. Friday, July 25 is the last day ticket offer links will be sent out through STEP. Links are good for 72 hours from the time they are sent.

Keep at it, don’t lose faith, and we hope to see you on the playa!

More info on our ticket page  and in our help desk. Still have a question? Email ticketsupport here: ticketsupport (at) burningman.com.

July 15th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Scaling Infrastructure: Lessons Learned in a Pizza Oven

If you’ve created art or built a theme camp at Burning Man, you know that it’s all about trial, error, complex planning and a fair amount of flying by the seat of your pants. In 2006, my camp, Random Pizza Experience (RPE), was placed on the Esplanade for the first time. For two years, we’d been cooking homemade pizzas in camp and making random deliveries across the playa.

Temple Portrait, 2013. Photo by Mark Hammon.

Temple Portrait, 2013. Photo by Mark Hammon.

We were unprepared for the impact of thousands of Burners flowing through our camp on the Esplanade. We were asked questions small and large all day. Why do you make the dough from scratch? Is this pizza the right size? May I give you a kiss? Why aren’t you open?

What did we know? Enough to get into trouble and not enough to avert small disasters. We simply were not prepared for the crush of Burners that came with Esplanade placement. I’m embarrassed to say that at one time, the Nevada Health Department featured our camp in a presentation on what not to do! But, we were thrilled to see people making music, art and performance together while they were waiting in line for pizza. We tried to focus on our strengths, like connecting people, and not our weaknesses (according to the Health Department).

Scalability is an issue for nearly every aspect of Burning Man. In 1990, the first year in the desert, roughly 90 people showed up. This year we’ll have 70,000. And Burners have taken what they’ve learned in the desert into the world in awe-inspiring ways. We now have more than 220 Regional representatives worldwide, with more than 40 official Burning Man affiliated events on six continents. From artists to civic activists, the world is changing every day because of Burning Man.

Man at SF Decompression, 2011. Photo by Waldemar Horwat.

Man at SF Decompression, 2011. Photo by Waldemar Horwat.

Burning Man Project is facing scaling challenges of its own. Staff and volunteers are working days, nights and weekends to serve a growing community that is active around the world every day and every hour.

Burning Man Project is fundraising to build out an infrastructure to support the worldwide culture of Burning Man. Some Burners are addressing social and environmental problems (Burners Without Borders and Black Rock Solar) while others are bringing civic art to the public (Black Rock Arts Foundation) and some are inventing things that none of us have imagined.

I started volunteering for Burning Man Project in 2012 at BMHQ in San Francisco. Today, I’m in a leadership position helping create infrastructure to support the year-round culture.  We’re creating systems and processes for building and tracking our events, programs and activities in the world. We’re also exploring collaborations with like-minded organizations like [freespace] and Maker Faire -  groups that are teaching us what they’ve learned along the way.

Spire of Fire in Downtown Reno, 2011. Photo by Bill Kositzky.

Spire of Fire in Downtown Reno, 2011. Photo by Bill Kositzky.

We’re a public benefit corporation because our purpose and mission is to support the Burning Man culture out in the world. Income from Burning Man tickets supports the event in the desert but that income isn’t sufficient to support the infrastructure needed for a global movement founded on Burning Man’s Ten Principles. Burning Man staff and volunteers are running fast to keep up with  the growth of this culture year-round and we don’t yet have the resources we need to sustain this level of growth.

Just as the questions of Random Pizza Experience helped us understand our strengths and challenges, we welcome your questions about the future of Burning Man in the world.  Please keep them coming. Each one helps us learn more.

Making pizza dough from scratch takes a little longer but I’m convinced that it tastes better.  And making better pizza is actually scalable – just teach more friends how to do it.

Please join me and Carmen Mauk, Executive Director of Burners Without Borders, for “From the Playa to the Planet,” a conversation about social change at Everywhere (6:15 and Esplanade), on Monday, August 25th, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.  This is an opportunity for crowd-sourcing solutions to social change challenges and we’d love to see you there!

July 14th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Tragedy at Utah’s Element 11 Regional Burn

bm_logoThis past Saturday, a person lost his life at the Element 11 Arts Festival in Grantsville, Utah. Element 11 is part of the Burning Man Regional Network, a group of organizations officially affiliated with Burning Man. A version of the event, which culminates with the burning of a large wooden effigy, has been held each year since 1998. The victim, who has been identified as a Salt Lake City resident in his thirties, broke through an established safety perimeter and entered the flames of the burning art piece.

This is obviously a terribly difficult and sad event for the global Burning Man community, the dedicated organizers of Element 11, and most especially for those who witnessed it. Our thoughts and prayers today are with the victim’s family and the Utah Burner community.

Many people came together to create a safe and enjoyable event celebrating community, art and creativity. While this is a heavy blow, we’re heartened by the fact that we’ve already seen the Burning Man community reaching out to those affected with offers of support.

For our part, our leadership has been in touch with the leadership of the Utah Regional, and we will be doing everything we can to support the community through this difficult time.

An investigation is currently underway by local law enforcement, and more information will be made available in the coming days and weeks.

Here’s some news coverage of the event:

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=30702034&nid=148
http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12550.shtml

And here’s the official statement from the event’s organizers (released Sunday, July 13):

“We acknowledge there was indeed a fatality last night at Element 11 (Utah’s regional). This is a deeply upsetting event with tragic results. Our hearts go out to the Utah community and to the attendees of Element 11. This is a tragic event, and we struggle to respond to it. We ask for your patience while we find the appropriate resources, but please know that we are committed to supporting those affected by this event in the best way we can.”

UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Chris Wallace. His family has set up an online donation campaign, if you’d like to make a contribution to help pay for his funeral and end of life costs.

July 8th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Professional Media Proposals Due July 10

click!

click!

Are you a professional photographer or videographer coming to Burning Man? The deadline for Professional Media Project Proposals is July 10. Proposals can be submitted here, and you must submit a project proposal, be approved, AND check-in at Media Mecca on site in order to distribute any media from the event beyond social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr.

As a reminder: all participants with cameras, regardless of whether they are for personal or professional use agree to abide by the ticketholders terms and conditions for media. This includes always asking for consent to film and giving credit for the art that you capture. Don’t be a creepster!

For more information on our Media Policy, please read our Press Rights & Responsibilities page of our website.

July 2nd, 2014  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Event Health Department Permits & Deadlines for 2014

If you are planning to make and give away food or drinks to the public on the playa including fresh squeezed juice, coffee with dairy, or even snow cones, you need a permit. Here’s the scoop from Ellen Kunz, Environmental Health Specialist with the Nevada State Health Divisions Public Health and Clinical Services Environmental Health Program:

“In order to fight the threat of food-borne illness on the playa, the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) has requirements for camps preparing food including the need of a health permit and an inspection. You must apply for and be permitted as a Temporary Food Establishment by the NSHD if:

You will be cooking or serving food to large groups of more than 125 FELLOW CAMPERS of your camp on a consistent basis. (If you have a communal kitchen shared by 125 or more campers, but meals are prepared individually, or in smaller quantities than for 125 persons, a permit is not required, however we highly recommend you research and review safe food handling practices, starting with the Nevada State Division of Health information.)
You wish to share, cook or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages to the general Burning Man population (gifting food).
Here are the permit procedures and deadlines:

Complete the ‘Food Permit Application for Burning Man’ found here. (Look for the flame icon at the bottom of the page for the application and other food safety information and guidelines regarding Burning Man.)

If you have already applied for a permit, you should be receiving instructions in the mail soon.

DEADLINES:

Via Mail: We must have sufficient time to be able to process the application and send back a letter of confirmation. So they need to be received at Ellen Kunz’s office in Winnemucca no later than one week before the event – August 15, 2014.

Don’t wait until the last minute. It would be a shame to have to cancel your plans, or even risk being closed at the event. The mailing address is  NSHD – PHCS 475 West Haskell Street Suite 38, Winnemucca, NV 89445.

In Person: No later than THURSDAY AUGUST 22. 4150 Technology Way Suite 100, Carson City, NV. Phone: (775) 687-7550 or 475 West Haskell Street Suite 38 Winnemucca, NV.  Phone (775) 623-6588.

On the application, the event coordinator is ‘Burning Man’. Leave the location blank, unless you know what street and intersection you’ll be at during the event. After mailing the application and $50 USD payment, you must come and pick up your permit at Playa Info in Center Camp from Sunday August 24 through Saturday August 30 (specific hours to be determined and announced).

We do this so that we can get an accurate camp location to do inspections. We are NOT issuing new permits at Playa Info.

IMPORTANT: A number of camps last year did not complete the permit process by picking up their permit at Playa Info and receiving their inspection. Not completing the process is the same as not being permitted. Don’t be shut down. You must pick up your permit and be inspected to be in compliance.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: Please contact Ellen Kunz (775) 623-6588 or email her here: %20ekunz (at) health.nv.gov at ekunz here: ekunz (at) health.nv.gov.”

June 30th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Feathers are MOOP, Right? Well, That Depends on YOU.

Dancer at Sunrise, 2013. Photo by Paulius Musteikis.

Dancer at Sunrise, 2013. Photo by Paulius Musteikis.

You may have heard that Radical Self-Reliance is one of Burning Man’s Ten Principles. And so is Leaving No Trace. When you put them together, it means that whether it’s a costume, or a vehicle, or an art installation, your food, your camp, your bike, your trinkets, or whatever, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE YOUR STUFF DOESN’T BECOME MOOP (aka Matter Out of Place).

And that brings us to the subject of feathers on playa.

Back in the day, folks would show up at Burning Man with cheap feather boas, and they’d inevitably fall to pieces, blow all over the playa, get stuck on the trash fence, blow past it, and generally create a super MOOPy headache for everybody.

Boas still suck, don't bring 'em.

Boas still suck, don’t bring ‘em.

So, to prevent a MOOPocalypse, we’ve long had a warning in the Survival Guide to not bring feathers (primarily this was directed at those cheap boas, since it predates when the headdress and fedora fads kicked in), and even had the Gate crew prohibit them from being brought into Black Rock City.

Now here’s the thing … some feathers are super MOOPy and others, well, aren’t. What we’re saying is this: if you want to wear feathers, that’s fine … but make sure they’re attached in ways that won’t fail, and if you can’t then don’t wear them, because it’s on YOU if they become MOOP. (And that goes for anything you bring to Black Rock City.)

So be smart, use good judgment, and be careful about what you do and don’t bring to (and wear on) the playa. In order to help you make sound judgments, here’s a list of things that are known to be especially MOOPy:

  • wood chips, splinters and sawdust
  • pistachio shells
  • cigarette butts
  • live plants
  • burn barrel ashes
  • feather boas
  • sequins
  • mylar (once it dries out and cracks)
  • firecrackers and fireworks
  • anything that may dry out, break up and/or blow away in the wind
  • loose glitter
  • Astroturf
  • styrofoam coolers
  • plastic bags
  • sheets of paper
  • string
  • disposable drink cups
  • hay bales
  • straw
  • gravel
  • confetti (duh)
  • swimming pools (soaked playa = moop)
  • glass containers (they can shatter)

One last thing … we’re keeping our eye on this ball. If feathers prove to be a MOOP problem in the future, we may be forced to ban them.