[Please note we’ve changed the nomenclature for these types of camps from “Plug & Play” to “Turnkey” to better reflect the way they function.]
Groups of people who set up a camp at Burning Man – or hire help to set up a camp – with the explicit intention of having things ready to go in advance of the arrival of others, are engaging in what we’ve termed “Turnkey camping” (see previous posts on this topic here and here).
In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in Turnkey camping services, and the Burning Man organization has decided to address the issue by providing guidelines for these camps and their organizers. We thought you’d like to see them.
We welcome your feedback on this topic in the comments section below.
Guidelines For Turnkey Camping
If you are a group of people who set up a camp – or hire help to set up a camp – with the explicit intention of having things ready to go in advance of the arrival of others, you are probably producing what we’ve termed “Turnkey camping”. In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in Turnkey camping services, and the Burning Man organization has decided to address the issue by providing guidelines for these camps and their organizers.
Turnkey camps generally utilize outside service providers (better known as “vendors” outside our decommodified event). These services include deliveries, camp operations crews, and the organization of resources at campsites. Although camps have coordinated and pooled resources throughout Burning Man’s history, those resources and services are now more sophisticated and extensive than ever. It is now necessary that Turnkey camps be made aware of the impact they can have on Black Rock City.
We have established Ten Principles (below) that describe the ethos of our culture, and we have enacted certain rules that regulate civic life.
These new guidelines for Turnkey camps are an extension of this regulation. They are especially intended as advice concerning the customs and mores of our city that will help your camp to better contribute to our community.
We appreciate your participation in Burning Man!
Turnkey Camping Guidelines
As the camp organizer, you are the ultimate responsible party that must ensure that the Ten Principles are honored and these Turnkey Camping Guidelines are followed by your camp and your service providers. Each person is expected to adhere to these as responsible citizens of Black Rock City. Please review these with each of your providers and/or operations teams.
- Anybody requesting reserved placement as an interactive theme camp is responsible for reading and understanding the Theme Camp Resource Guide (this information is valuable for any camp, whether placed or not).
- In planning your camp’s layout, avoid creating large, blank and anonymous walls of RVs that immediately front public thoroughfares. Instead, endeavour to provide passersby with some form of public ammenity, especially at intersections, which are traditionally highly interactive gathering places. Everyone desires privacy, but providing others with attractive public space is considered good etiquette in Black Rock City.
Managing Outside Service Providers
- If you hire or make an agreement with outside service providers, you are responsible for their activities, behavior, work conditions, and job performance within our event. If there is more than one Theme Camp utilizing a vendor, the responsibility will rest with each Theme Camp.
- Experience counts. If your providers are experienced with the event, please heed their advice. Allow them to educate you and explain best practices that the event and its participants follow. For example, using a large central water supply from a certified source with reusable bottles is much more aligned with Leave No Trace practices than purchasing palettes of plastic water bottles.
- You are responsible for ensuring proper management of the Early Arrivals for your providers, operations team, and their equipment.
- You are responsible for ensuring proper delivery credentials for your providers. If the provider is servicing more than one camp, they are responsible for securing their own delivery credentials.
- You are responsible for making sure that no money is exchanged for private services in Black Rock City. Only pre-arranged plans and off-site pre-purchasing of goods and services are allowed at Burning Man.
- You are responsible for knowing your providers and that they are in good standing with our event. Ask for references, and please report any problems to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to ensure that others are well served.
- You are responsible for timely work being done after the event. If you have post-event crew, they are expected to complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- You are responsible for the proper use of your rental equipment. Insist that service providers walk you through proper equipment use. For example, improper equipment use can result in illegal dumping of gray- or black-water (sewage) on the playa, leading to citations for violations of Bureau of Land Management stipulations.
- You are expected to work with the Placement team, DPW and the Burning Man organization to provide feedback about your camp experience and the effectiveness of your providers and operations teams, as this information helps ensure a consistency of quality over time.
Burning Man Culture
- No branding is allowed. Theme Camps many not promote a business as part of their camp name, or in the course of interacting with fellow participants.
- You (not your providers) are ultimately responsible for creating and executing a Leave No Trace clean-up plan. Leave No Trace applies to all parties involved, including service providers. Review the information from the Playa Restoration Team here.
- If your camp includes a Mutant Vehicle, the registrant and owner are responsible for the vehicle and its actions whether they are driving or not. All vehicle registrants must understand and abide by the driving rules of Black Rock City.
- Read and understand Burning Man’s Ten Principles, below, as these are the underpinnings of Burning Man’s culture. Make sure your campmates and service providers do as well.
Burning Man’s Ten Principles
Radical Inclusion — Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Gifting— Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
Decommodification— In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Radical Self-reliance — Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical Self-expression — Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Communal Effort — Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
Civic Responsibility — We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
Leaving No Trace — Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
Participation— Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
Immediacy— Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.