The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Black Rock City, LLC (BRC) have stated that the 2013 Burning Man event peak population was 69,613. BLM will be reviewing the peak population number in association with the special recreation permit stipulations for the 2013 event.
Prior to reaching the peak population number during the event, BLM and BRC coordinated and implemented contingency plans, which included collaborative managing of the gate entrance, opening additional camping areas and streets within the city, deploying additional porta-potties, pumper trucks and medical vehicles. This coordination and the contingency actions were to further facilitate a safe and healthy event and city.
What if you dreamed up the most impossibly beautiful and perfectly timed thing you could summon your heart and mind to imagine? And what if you labored all year to pull the strings and find the money and overcome the forces who would defeat you? And what if somehow, once again, you persuaded all your friends to help?
And then what if you actually watched it all taking shape, agonizingly slowly and with great effort, rising in the bright white heat of the desert?
And then what if it finally stood there, appearing and disappearing majestically between whiteouts, and in the evenings glowing with a mesmerizing tranquility against the purple of the hills?
And then what if in that moment of triumph of will and sweat, of tears and blood, what if you said, ok, that’s it. That’s enough. We are done with this. We dreamed it and we did it and now it is time to be done with it. So you lit the torch and set fire to the thing, and you watched the flames consume that which had consumed you.
That was our Saturday night, and we wish you were here.
And if you were here, thank you very much, nothing more to see here; time to move on.
Oh yes, there is still a Temple to burn tonight, but the apex of Burning Man has been reached, and just like that, it is time to get back to the present, and to the immediate future, and then maybe, some time later, to think about what will come next. But for now, strike the tent, literally pull up the stakes, sort your trash and get the hell out of Dodge. It is time to get back into the moment.
Weather reports Sunday morning were scaring the general population, and we secretly thought that this wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. People being in a hurry to leave was ok with us. We don’t mean to be harsh, and we mean this in the most loving way possible, but we are tired of your face and it’s time for you to go.
This giant Burning Man has almost come to a close, and it is going to take a long time to get everyone out of boomtown Black Rock City, and the sooner some people hit the road, the better for all concerned. So here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?
Burning Man and the Bureau of Land Management have begun tighter management of the entrance gate to the Burning Man event. Measures are being taken to ensure camping is occurring in designated areas and to manage overall population of the event.
The new entrance controls will likely result in increased wait times at the Main Gate, participants who are not part of existing camps will be directed to camp on the outer fringes of Black Rock City between 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock. Additional streets have been constructed (the streets of M & N, from 7:00 to 10:00) to assist in these efforts.
The changes were agreed to by Burning Man and BLM to protect the health and safety of participants.
This comes from our intrepid Black Rock City Census team.
The only thing constant is change …
Over time, the data gathering methods of the Census have progressed from an exclusively paper survey that was distributed on playa and required manual input of responses to the combination of a paper survey, a random sampling of Burners and online surveys. In 2013, the Census team will be gathering data via a random sampling at the Gate during ingress and exodus and a post-event online survey.
The Census is online …
The Census will be available online on Tuesday after the Burn (September 3, 2013) at http://census.burningman.com. We would love to receive your responses and welcome your input. The online Census fosters the immediacy principle of Burning Man and enables BRC citizens to access the Census independently of their preferences in terms of Burning Man experiences. It also allows the Census to be more eco-conscious by reducing the need for printed forms. Further, eliminating the paper form means removing the need for data entry and drastically reducing the data errors due to manual entry. (more…)
Participants flying unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones, RC airplanes, etc.) have developed a set of best practices for flying at Black Rock City this year.
The best practices came out of a July 17 “Drone Summit” at Burning Man headquarters that had 40 in attendance and an estimated 100 on a teleconference. Burning Man organizers arranged the summit following participant complaints from BM2012 that included UAVs flying over crowds at the Man burn, one UAV flying at the Temple burn, and a concern that UAVs with cameras were invading peoples’ privacy.
The best practices developed by participants were modeled on safety guidelines adopted by the Academy of Model Aeronautics and updated to address the unique environment of Black Rock City. The entire list of guidelines is here, but the highlights include:
All UAVs carrying cameras will register with Media Mecca and each UAV will carry a unique registration number on a small decal on the vehicle.
Operators will avoid flying over crowds and populated areas.
Operators will avoid flying during the Temple burn.
No flying near the Black Rock City airport or helipads.
No flying near the Man any time Saturday the day of the burn.
Anyone with a concern or question can report it at Media Mecca in Center Camp. If the concern is regarding a specific vehicle, it will help to get the vehicle’s identification number (UAVs typically have very short flight times). Burning Man organizers will be assessing how well the guidelines were followed and participants’ concerns as part of a post-event review.
[Kristy Evans is Burning Man’s Gate, Perimeter & Exodus Manager … she knows whereof she speaks, so listen up.]
The most common question I received after the 2012 event: what did you guys do to make Exodus so much better? The short answer is that YOU were a major part of the solution. You spread out your departures over enough days and times, and did it in a fairly balanced way. That is the most effective solution to reducing Exodus wait times. Let’s do that again, shall we?
Now, here’s the thing … we can’t get complacent! Because if everybody thinks, “Well 2012 was a breeze, clearly the problem is solved and I can leave anytime!”, we’ll find ourselves right back in long Exodus lines again. What we need to do is make a plan for Exodus. All of us. (more…)
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 wish to share, cook or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages to the general Burning Man population (gifting food).
* You will be cooking or serving food to large groups of more than 125* FELLOW CAMPERS of your theme 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 Division of Health information).
Here are the permit procedures and deadlines: (more…)
There was a howling wind on the Black Rock Desert on Sunday, and there had been driving rain the night before in Gerlach. But now the sun was blazing and the sky was magnificent as about 75 people gathered to drive the Golden Spike into the desert floor, the first official act of Burning Man.
It doesn’t just happen, you know. Many things must come together, many sacrifices must be made, for Black Rock City to rise. Jobs must be quit, leavings must be taken, and sweat will coat many faces before the festivities begin.
But this, this vast empty timeless place, this is what draws us first. This is the blank canvas. This is where it starts.
Like so many things about Burning Man, it wasn’t always like this. The desert is the only thing that hasn’t changed. Everything else has grown, become more ornate, become layered in ritual and remembrance. The first time a spike was put in the ground to mark the place where the Man would be built, there were only four people around. But now there were words to be said and liquor to be shared. There was a consciousness and intention about the work that was about to start, and the moments did not go unremarked on.
“Are we back here already?” Crimson Rose asked. “Did we ever leave?”
As the years seem to hurtle one into the next, it seemed indeed like we had never left. But again, just as there is sameness, there is difference, too. Last year there heavy hearts, the weight of sadness and loss everywhere. But this year, you could sense acceptance. Time has passed. Distance has been gained. Perspective, and maybe some wisdom, has been achieved.
“You are my friends 365 days a year,” Makeout Queen proclaimed as she held the sledgehammer above her head.
And even though there were laughs and hijinx, there was also a somber gratefulness that those who were out here had made it through another year. “I want to thank you all for staying alive,” someone said. “This year I dedicate this to the people who are here.”
And with that another hammer blow drove the stake a little deeper into the ground. One by one, people stepped up and said what they had to say. Some people were profound, some were sad, some were funny. But everyone seemed to respect the moment, and they were grateful. “I’ve been here a month,” Miss Stress said, “and I still look like this,” she said, pointing to her hugely smiling face.