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Burning Man 2013 - "Cargo Cult"

Learn Before You Burn


Sunset at Burning Man

Sunset at Burning Man.

Photo © Stan White

Prep for Burning Man 2013

Burning Man 2013, with the art theme of Cargo Cult, is from August 26 through September 2. If you plan on going or are just thinking about becoming a Burner (resident of Black Rock City), it isn't too early to start getting ready. This is especially true if you've never been to Burning Man.

The Black Rock Desert playa is harsh and remote; don't show up without reading through the Burning Man website to get an understanding of what's involved. Pay particular attention to the "Burning Man Survival Guide" and, if you are a virgin (never been to Burning Man), the "First - Timer's Guide." These recommendations are not made to discourage you, but to help you enjoy the unique experience Burning Man has to offer.

In Burning Man lingo, virgins are first-time Burners, and Burners are those who have been there before. However, virgin status seems to go away as soon as you enter Black Rock City, at which time you become a Burner. At least I think that's how it works. As I recall, my rite of passage occured the first time I passed through the portal from the real world into Black Rock City. I rang the bell as directed by the greeter, yelled "I'm not a virgin!" and became a burner right there. Anyone can do it.

About Getting Tickets for Burning Man

After the Burning Man 2012 ticket debacle, the system was changed to make things more fair and reduce the opportunities for ticket scalpers and outright fraudsters.

Veteran Burners know that tickets go fast. You can, however register to get tickets through the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) if you do so by July 31, 2013. Otherwise, 1000+ last - minute tickets will be available through the OMG Sale, which requires you to have an online Burner Profile and to preregister between August 2 and August 5, 2013. The actual sale will be on August 7.

Learn all the details (and there are a lot of them) from Burning Man 2013 Ticket Information. This is must reading if you are thinking about buying tickets from a third party, outside the Burning Man ticket sales system. You don't want to spend lots of money on perfectly good looking tickets, then get turned away at Black Rock City because they are counterfeit. Pay particular attention to the section titled "Fraud Prevention & Third Party Buyer Info", and also read through the tickets FAQ.

As has been the case for a few years now, there will be no ticket sales on the playa at Black Rock City and no ticket sales at walk-in outlets. It's real simple - if you don't have a legitimate ticket when you get to Burning Man, you won't get in.

Read the Burning Man Blogs, Get the Burning Man Newsletter, Connect on Facebook, See the latest Burning Man News

Good sources for information from those who have been there are the Burning Man Blogs. You can talk to veteran burners, ask questions, or just lurk and see what you find.

The Jack Rabbit Speaks is the official Burning Man newsletter. I think it's a good idea to subscribe so you can keep up on any Burning Man news without much effort. Get on the mailing list at The Jack Rabbit Speaks email list page.

Burning Man on Facebook and the ePlaya forum are other ways to hook up with Burners and learn more about the Burning Man festival.

Check out Burning Man in the news from Nevada and around the world.

Learn More - Get the Burning Book, A Visual History of Burning Man

The Burning Book, A Visual History of Burning Man by Jessica Bruder, is a great source for learning about Burning Man. The book covers the story in text and pictures from the beginning in 1986.
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About the Burning Man Location

Burning Man creates Black Rock City a few miles north of the town of Gerlach, on the playa of the Black Rock Desert. This is over 100 miles north of Reno and gives tangible meaning to the phrase "middle of nowhere." During Burning Man, Black Rock City magically emerges from the playa dust to become one of Nevada's largest cities for a week with a population approaching 60,000. It continues to amaze me how this appears and disappears in such a harsh and remote place. Get a grip on just where it is with Burning Man Nevada Maps.

Burning Man is held on public land under a permit from the Bureau of Land Management. The area is officially called the Black Rock Desert / High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. For obvious reasons, local desert rats just call it the NCA or the Black Rock. Learn more about this unique and beautiful area from the Friends of Black Rock / High Rock.

Want to see what Gerlach looks like? Check out the Burning Man Gerlach Live Webcam. Sometimes it's inside the office and sometimes it's on top of the building. If the wind hasn't blown it askew, you'll get a view of beautiful downtown Gerlach and the Black Rock playa beyond.

After the Burn - Recycling in Reno and Sparks

After a week on the playa, you will accumulate a ton of trash, much of which can and should be recycled. Aluminum cans (nothing else) can be easily disposed of at Recycle Camp at Center Camp in the middle of Black Rock City. These are donated to Gerlach School. Recycle Camp does not accept or collect foil, glass, plastic, tin, paper, cardboard, or any garbage.

Back in Reno and Sparks, there are a number of free places to leave recycleables, and some low-cost sites for depositing the real garbage. Go to the Burning Man website for a list of recycling centers, dumps, and greywater disposal sites. If you hauled it out to the playa, it's your responsibility to take it with you on leaving and to dispose of it properly.

Sources: Burning Man, Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

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