MOOP MAP LIVE, Day 4: Blazing Sun, Biting Flies

Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where our brave DPW Playa Restoration team is really starting to feel the burn. Burning sun, that is — over 100 degrees of it, beating down on the barren desert.

Samazon catches a moment's rest

Yes, Day Four was a tough one for your Black Rock City home team. The sun rose all red and yellow, and so did the city blocks. Our MOOP line was held up by huge messes in the 2:00 zone — and when they prayed for a cool breeze, they only got biting flies. The insects were so thick that the Restoration team could barely stop to rest — and so they pressed on, making their way through 21 blocks. A very respectable gain by what may be the strongest team this playa has ever known.

Darth Yoda is ready for any challenge.

Despite the many challenges our team faced, today’s score isn’t so bad. Take a look:

MOOP MAP LIVE: Share Your Opinion! Theme Camps, Big Messes and the Dirty Thirty

Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, interrupting our ongoing coverage of the 2011 MOOP Map with a special report on THEME CAMPS.

Disorient's geodesic temple. Photo (c) James Addison.

Theme camps are a huge and central part of what makes Black Rock City a participatory community. And, it can be argued, theme camp members are the most dedicated Burners of all. Often working throughout the year to build and fund their camps, theme camp members continue working through the event itself, serving hundreds and even thousands of participants with music, food and other gifts.

Art cars like the Dust City Diner function as mobile theme camps, creating parties wherever they go. Dust City is a great example of a roving party that picks up after itself and Leaves No Trace. Photo (c) Mer Keen.

The result: an excellent experience, tens of thousands of happy Burners… and a whole lot of MOOP. Of the thousands who come to dance and play, how many leave tiny bits of themselves behind? How many glowsticks, cigarette butts and earrings fall unnoticed in the midst of an epic rave? Theme camps must then clean up after their guests, or risk being marked Red on the MOOP Map. Red comes with consequences, including a possible change in camp placement for the next year.

This year, the DPW Playa Restoration team performed a “MOOP Audit” of two major sound camps: Rites of Zion and Disorient, which occupied the 10:00 and 2:00 corners of the Esplanade respectively. Here’s what we found:


MOOP MAP LIVE, Day 3: Esplanade and the Big Black Spot

Hello sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where things are starting to get VERY exciting for the DPW Playa Restoration team.

MOOP flees in fear from the intrepid team of Bad Ash, Drink Water and Deadpan.

On Day Three of Line Sweeps, your Black Rock City home team swept through the remainder of the back blocks, then made a daring rush up the 10:00 edge and onto the Esplanade. Now in peak condition and thoroughly trained for the task, our Restoration MOOPers were eager to tackle the double-wide blocks of Esplanade and Anniversary, the very center of Burning Man’s epic antics.

What will our brave Restoration team find on 10:00 and Esplanade? Will those heavily-trafficked blocks be Go-Go-Go Green, or Full Stop Red? Read on to find out…

MOOP MAP LIVE, Day 2: It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where the DPW Playa Restoration team is in fine form.

Vaughn Solo, in full regalia.

In their second day of Line Sweeps, the team marched through the remaining blocks between Liminal, Kindergarten and Journey. Then, with barely a break for water, they continued through most of Initiation and Hajj, setting an all-time record of 62 blocks!

Those of you who know how the MOOP Map is made will immediately recognize that a record-setting day translates to a lot of green, MOOP-free areas. So without further ado, here’s your MOOP Map as of Day Two:


Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach with your first set of SCORES!

And what a great start your DPW Playa Restoration team is off to. The front line kicked off at 10:00 and Liminal, and marched through block after dusty block — passing through the entire area of Liminal, Kindergarten and Journey! Talk about a “rite of passage” for our intrepid DPW team.

Now I’m proud to announce the results of that march:

MOOP MAP LIVE: How the Map is Made

Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where the DPW Playa Restoration team is off and running. We’re all getting excited to find out how Black Rock City did on the 2011 MOOP Map — but before the scores start coming in, let’s talk about how they’re set.

What is MOOP?

This is MOOP.

MOOP  1. (noun)
An acronym for Matter Out Of Place, meaning any thing or impact not native to the immediate environment, especially as it applies to the citizens of Black Rock City and the greater Burning Man community in regards to the founding principle of Leave No Trace.

  1. Examples: trash, bottles, cans, cigarette butts, fireworks, glow sticks, bottle caps, but can also be in the form of debris from camp fires, wood, plastic, metal, glass, and plants.
  2. Sentence: “I’m glad that everyone had a wonderful time but your camp sure did leave a whole lot of moop behind!”
  3. Moop can also be a condition not natural to the environment: burn scars, grey water, and dunes.
This oil spill is also MOOP.



Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire. The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where Burning Man is entering its final inning.

Though the festival ended weeks ago for most, the brave men and women of the DPW Playa Restoration crew have stayed behind to make sure this epic year ends in an epic win. To do that, they’re picking up every single piece of MOOP in town, making sure Burning Man honors its commitment to Leaving No Trace.

This is the crew that makes sure Black Rock City passes its annual inspection by the Bureau of Land Management, so we can do it all again next year. The stakes are high, and the standards are higher — but your Restoration team is strong and experienced, and they haven’t lost a game yet.

Like I said, this is the final inning and that inspection date is less than three weeks away. The Restoration team’s success depends on all the people who came before, all those valiant Burners who picked up errant water bottles and tucked their cigarette butts into their socks, who stayed an extra hour to MOOP their campsites.

And oh yes, the people of Black Rock City are just as dedicated to Leaving No Trace as the Restoration crew is. For proof, we turn to the MOOP Map, an annual chart showing the cleanliness of the city as DPW Playa Restoration found it.

Here’s how it looked in 2010: (more…)