August 3rd: Supplying the Burn

Supplying the Burn
Hazmatt is Burning Man’s Purchasing Manager. He’s a dot-com refugee who now oversees acquisitions and requisitions for everything needed to erect, maintain, and dismantle Black Rock City. Think about it. From zip ties to chain saws. (40,000 zip ties actually. And not just any zip ties, not the crummy little multi-colored ones you get at Big Lots. These have to be the right zip ties. Manly zip ties.) Shade cloths, ground anchors, survey flags, and trash fence. Orange cones, truckloads of lumber, t-stake pullers, and laser range finders. The nuts and bolts of the city, literally.

Hazmatt & Jalapena Hazmatt and Jalapeña keep track of heavy equipment rentals, port-a-potties, generators, movable buildings, water trucks, and all the rental contracts, including deliveries and pick-ups. And this year they’re expecting around 45,000 people. That means 1,000 port-a-potties and 8 miles of trash fence. Eight miles! That’s 500 rolls at 100 feet each, along with all the stakes and pounders that you need to stand them up. So quit whining about how much grocery shopping you need to do before you get out here.

Sign Language
Sign Shop GalsThis afternoon I went out to the ranch for the first time and checked out the sign shop. This is where all the intersection signs are produced. You know, the ones on the posts that say 5:30 and Destiny. But that’s not all. The four women in this shop make almost two thousand signs for our fair city.

Check it out as you’re wandering around the playa. All those signs along the dirt road as you come in, the signs at the intersections and Greeter’s stations. Center Camp signs, gate signs, and all the informational signs about different services. It’s a ton of work.

Mel painting the street signs Degenerate, Hormel, After 5, and Beer Abby are responsible for designing the signs, making the stencils, cutting the wood, painting, and a bunch of other stuff I’m gonna learn about when I work with them next Tuesday. They also have to mount all the signs on signposts and manage installation and removal. Plus, they have to cover all those t-stakes with noodles.

Wait until you see the street signs this year. They’re beautiful! Each one painted by hand with lots of gorgeous colors. The bar has officially been raised. Props to the sign shop. Oh, and they also do some custom jobs… (Heather, thanks for my Awesome banner.)


About the author: Marnee Benson

Marnee Benson

Marnee is Burning Man Project’s Associate Director of Government Affairs. Her work focuses on permitting and relationships with the Nevada Legislature, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Pershing County, and multiple other Nevada agencies. She helps Burning Man navigate Nevada politics and federal issues affecting the Burning Man event. Marnee’s first trip to Black Rock City was 2001, and in 2007 she worked with the Department of Public Works and the Communications team, writing and photographing content for the Burning Blog “Building Black Rock City”. From 2009 to 2013, she served as the Deputy Director at Black Rock Solar. She loves the way Burning Man expands her world and flips ideas upside down.