Hey, did you notice us while you drove up to the Black Rock City gate? We were the ones wearing white lab coats, asking you questions, and having tons of fun. One of us had a fox face, one of us had glowing green Medusa hair, and several of us had bunny ears and fishnet stockings. On some days, we were all coated in a thick layer of dust.
If you met us out there, then you already know what this year’s Census sampling team was up to. We recited our informed consent scripts, and let you know that your participation was completely voluntary and anonymous. We explained how our volunteer researchers would use a few tidbits of data about you to get a sense of who, exactly, comes to Burning Man. And then you took four or five minutes to answer eight questions on a paper form, and voila!, you had given your first gift to Burning Man. The gift of data.
The backbone of this sampling effort, naturally, was our extraordinary volunteers! We had five sampling teams that covered five sampling shifts, some of them pre-dawn (we got to watch the sun rise together!) and some of them in the full blast of midday dust. We welcomed you home, and most of you were happy to help us out. Thanks! Then our datatypistas set to work digitizing your survey responses, so we could analyze the data.
But why did we do this? This year we expanded our Census project to include data collection from a randomized sample, which was a first for us. Why you ask? Read more »
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.
[Jennifer Raiser is an avid long-time Burner, Burning Man Project board member, theme camp leader, and Black Rock Ranger. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Nob Hill Gazette and most often for her publication, SFWire.]
“How was Burning Man?” they inquire as I ascend the shallow red-carpeted stairs leading up to the Opera House. It is five days after Exodus, and I am reluctantly back in San Francisco, Center Camp of the default domain. I am here to mark the festive highlight of another tribe, the ninetieth annual Opening Night at the Opera. To some, this happy occasion commands the same kind of importance that we associate with Burn night. Tonight’s task is to write about the grand gesture of opera and the people who are its patrons. I am charged with distilling and interpreting the evening into an article to be read by those who attend, and those who do not. The dual role as enthusiast and observer is familiar. On playa, I am a passionate participant, a Ranger, a theme camp leader, a volunteer and an author; here, I am a friendly alien who comes from that arid planet near Gerlach and happens to pen a social column.
Acquaintances here are polite and prodding about the desert. They indulgently inquire about Burning Man in the same way you might bring up a shared alma mater, or a mutual love of licorice, knowing it is a certain conversation starter. Some truly want to know, some want me to know that they know, or think they know, about my annual retreat to my happiest (and saddest, and most demanding) place on earth. I try to disarm their suspicion with the comparisons between tonight and the burning of the Man. In both places, I remind them, like-minded spirits gather to share a communal dinner, enthusiastic dancing, and well-stocked bars openly coursing with goodwill. We are corseted and costumed in ensembles carefully curated for the occasion. We mark this artistic triumph with the biggest party of the year. Read more »
When I arrived home and started to miss Burning Man I saw this amazing video that I wanted to share with you.
And here is some information that Experimental Airlines wanted to share about the video:
The most huge thanks to my spotter and ground crew T.R. “Deluxe” – I could not have done it without you!
“Ready To Fly” by Clayton Joseph Scott, from his album “More Love”, gifted to me by the artist himself on the playa. Listening to this song on the way back to the default world I realized that the lyrics encompass the Burning Man experience quite perfectly. The flying reference also made it great for this video. Clayton has kindly allowed me to use his song. Read more »
An Aspen Environment researcher talks at the Burning Nerds Party/Ashram Galactica/2011 photo by Cesar Cortes
Fertility for the Burning Nerds this year means more, More, and MORE! More workshops, symposiums, activities and parties! We even have a totem that you’ll see out and about (an abstract Ivory Tower thanks to Captain Goldstar) and a whole bunch of soap boxes for you (and us) to stand on. Check the back page of the What Where When guide for the full listing of nerdy activities!
Annual Burning Nerds Party-Mixer – ON PLAYA
LOCATION: Ashram Galactica (8:15 and Edelweiss)
DATE & TIME: Friday, August 31, 2012. 2:30-5:00 PM
WHAT: Enjoy a cocktail while we reflect on the big academic questions at the finest Hotel in Black Rock City.
Please Join us and RSVP to academics here: academics (at) burningman.com
Nerds bonding @ the Burning Nerds Party/Ashram Galactica 2011. Photo credit Cesar Cortes
RSVP FOR THE BURNING NERDS PARTY: academics here: academics (at) burningman.com
The first fence crews started gathering well before dawn Monday morning, even as the smoke from nearby forest fires still lingered in the desert air. Spoono and his group would have chow and coffee for everyone who would be spending the next ten hours or so working in the desert heat.
There were stakes to pound and a fence to put up. Trucks would be rumbling from the highway to the playa, dropping containers and generators and all manner of stuff all over the desert floor. The Man Base crew would be hauling gear and the pieces they’d been working on at the ranch for the last three weeks. The vendor’s Commissary tents would be going up, and the Artica and Power teams would be staking out their turf and counting their inventory.
It was the first big day in the building of Black Rock City for 2012, and it was going off big time, everywhere and all at once. Read more »
And now for some ticket news. At this point, ALL tickets have been mailed out to those who purchased them — or they’re being tucked safely away at Will Call, if that’s what you specified. (If you have not received your tickets and are expecting them, contact our ticket support folks for help.)
Thanks to the fact that the BLM increased our population cap to 60,900 this year, we’ve got one more limited open sale of 1,000 tickets coming up this Friday August 3 at 12 noon PST. You must sign up beforehand to have access to the limited sale, and you can ONLY sign up during a twelve hour window on August 1 from 10am to 10pm PST — that’s TOMORROW– so, get ready! These tickets are non-transferrable, Will Call only, and yes, they will go FAST. More information and sign up on our tickets page. Read more »
On June 12 we announced that the BLM awarded Black Rock City LLC a one-year permit to hold Burning Man on the Black Rock Desert in 2012. We’re happy to report that in response to growing interest in the event, we were able to work with the BLM to increase the maximum population of Black Rock City to 60,900 participants in 2012.
Shiny Happy People, 2006. Photo by Jared Mechaber
Counter to misleading media coverage of this announcement, this does not mean that there will be 10,000 additional tickets available. In preparing for this year’s event we were working with a peak population of 58,000. Through the pre-sale last December, the main sale in February, the low-income ticket program, and the Directed Ticket Distribution process, we have officially allocated 57,000 tickets.
And now that we have a permit that allows for a maximum population of 60,900, it leaves us with a little bit of breathing room and a welcome opportunity to get more tickets out into our community, while thwarting scalpers who hope to capitalize off of the popularity of our event (to the detriment of our participants). Read more »