Moop Map 2015: Day Three – and have you seen this flaming flying piano?

Hello out there, you moop maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m back with the information you’ve all been waiting for: the results of Day 3’s mad march through the streets of BRC, and the first glimpse of this year’s ESPLANADE scores.

But first! A flying piano!

If you were lucky enough to be in just the right place at just the right time this year, you saw a very rare spectacle: the DPW’s infamous trebuchet, being cocked, loaded, lit and LOOSED with a flaming piano flying through the air and smashing into smithereens onto the playa.

Photo by Andrew at AwesomePhotography.ca
Photo by Andrew at AwesomePhotography.ca

“WHAT!!??” I can hear all of you screaming in unison. “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MOOP??”

And now, prepare to have your mind blown: the flaming piano trebuchet launch was, in fact, a demonstration of Leaving No Trace.

Watch this video, and pay special attention around the 40-second mark:


No, I don’t know why this video is tiny and no, I can’t fix it.
Click the lower right corner to make it bigger.

 

That’s right, ladies and germs! What you’re seeing is a truckload of DPW, fully expressing the true spirit of Leaving No Trace at Burning Man: Make a mess first, THEN clean it up.

You may be surprised to hear this, but we DPW absolutely love to make big noisy messes. The trebuchet itself, originally created by Johny Amerika for a car commercial, is an item of local lore that last launched a flaming piano at Burning Man 2007 (The Green Man!). When it returned to the playa this year, it was a collective effort that many DPW wanted to lend a hand for (too many people to list here, but you know who you are and we LOVE you). From procuring pianos, to tuning up the trebuchet, to transporting it, to loading and cocking it, and then wielding rakes, shovels, buckets and of course the fire extinguisher – we brought it, and then we made it go away.

Education is a great excuse to make a mess, and a flaming piano makes a great mess. It took the crew just seven minutes to clean that bad boy up and restore the playa as if nothing ever happened. Think you could beat that record? Good luck trying.

And now, where were we?

Oh yes: The Moop Map.

Day Three is when we really start to hit our stride, folks. The DPW Playa Restoration line sweeps completed their tour of BRC’s back blocks, then swung a wide loop and began to work their magic on the Esplanade.

Click to see it bigger, but not full size, because we're still working on it!
Click to see it bigger, but not full size, because we’re still working on it!

If you were following along in 2014, you might recall that last year was the greenest Esplanade ever. Not so this year. In fact, last year may have been a fluke, as the extraordinary weather left us a hard-packed playa surface that was easy to keep clean. This year, we’re back to normal, and probably worse than normal: sidewinder sand dunes snake across every square foot of the city this year, after massive dust storms that sent Burners into hiding, and cold nights that petrified even the furriest of furries.

And so, the Esplanade this year looks a little more like what we’ve come to expect over these ten years of Moop Mapping: the high-traffic frontage zones were the moopiest, while the back-of-the-block camping areas are actually pretty clean.

“This looks like people were really trying,” says DA, Playa Resto manager. “It looks busy, because people were busy.”

That is to say: none of these camps are fully red. Clearly, they all had LNT plans in place, and they made the effort to clean up. What’s left was buried under dunes, hidden in the dust of a week-long party. Sure, it could be better. But it could be a LOT worse.

The Resto crew salutes all the Esplanade camps and their ongoing commitment to Leaving No Trace. Did you visit an Esplanade camp this year? How can you help them keep their frontages even cleaner and greener next year?

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a ten-year commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching the Man burn on Monday night during a full lunar eclipse. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

42 Comments on “Moop Map 2015: Day Three – and have you seen this flaming flying piano?

  • Durbalicious says:

    We have been a green camp for 4 years. Now we are marked with all yellow and a solid red center. I personally was there till wed morning and this can’t be right…we were spotless when the last 3 trucks left. Is it possible we someone mooped our camp after we left?

    Report comment

    • The Hun says:

      ANYTHING is possible. If you hang on for a few months (sorry, it takes us a while) your Placement representative can give you details on what we found, and that should help you figure out what might have happened.

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    • Ryan says:

      This DOES happen. Even as early as Monday afternoon people were leaving trash (bikes, mostly) in our camp (stuff that obviously didn’t originate there).

      We ended up taking it all home with us.

      Report comment

    • load says:

      This is why the system sucks. If you leave and your camp gets dumped on you get blamed for it and denied good placement next year. Many people can’t wait until Friday after the burn to leave to guard their space. Thats if they don’t get kicked out before then. The better solution is like when you move out of a rental. The manager walks the whole space with you noting problems. Then you both sign the form swearing thats how it was and thats all youre responsible for. Not late night trash dumping.

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      • adam says:

        but that still wouldnt prevent the practice of leaving moop on someone’s unguarded campsite.

        Report comment

      • The Hun says:

        Hey, you guys are spreading some inaccurate information here. When there’s a bad score on a placed camp, the information goes to the Placement team, who will then get in touch with camp representatives for a very fair-minded conversation about what actually happened.

        Trust me, we know how it goes. This ain’t our first rodeo. There’s also a big, obvious difference between, say, bags of trash left in a camp, and widespread moopiness.

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  • Jered says:

    Yikes! As the primary contact for The Hive (8:00 & Esplanade), this makes me sad. :-( I know our LNT crew stayed an extra day than planned, through Wednesday, and put in a lot of work. I look forward to hearing more from Placement in the future.

    We are a village with 9 camps with interactivity along the entire perimeter (including on 8:00 and on A), so there’s more to this than just the theory that interactivity had MOOP and camping didn’t. Our Esplanade side with the sad yellow was the face of 3 of these camps, and it’s surprising that the depth is so consistent. Perhaps this had more to do with the prevailing wind direction being more effective at covering MOOP?

    Regardless, we’ll try harder next year!

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    • The Hun says:

      Hey Jered, thanks for all you do!! We just report what we find, all theories aside – you undoubtedly know much more about how it really went down than I do. In general, though, it looks like the entire Esplanade is moopy, and you know how moop loves to travel. Thanks for having an LNT crew and putting in all that work!

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  • Ariel Garatoni says:

    This is the first year that FANDANGO (9 and K) had some terrible neighbors. The red dot on our map was a metal pipe that they had driven in our camp and left, along with scattered rice and astroturf MOOP. We stayed till Tuesday night mooping the entire day Tuesday and am really frustrated that Bad Ass Buddah made us still show yellow and red. How does wind and shitty neighbors show on the map? If placement is based off of previous years moop maps, how to we go about accounting for that? And THANK YOU for all your hard work!! <3 DPW!!

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    • The Hun says:

      The entire neighborhood at 9&K did such a great job of keeping things clean this year. Don’t forget to congratulate all your other neighbors who obviously busted ass to get green …

      Report comment

    • Jered says:

      Don’t panic! Based on past experience, next year Placement will be in touch to politely discuss your LNT plan for last year and the coming year. You can discuss your past work, challenges and plans at that time.

      MOOP blows around a lot less than you think, but dust definitely does. Sorry to hear you had a bad neighbor! I think the map reflects much more poorly on them than you.

      Report comment

    • The Hun says:

      Yes! Exactly what Jered said. You’ll get more information, and it will definitely be fine.

      Report comment

    • mister says:

      I blame the a$$hole at Fandango from Vermont for the MOOP. Plus he drives slow in the fast lane and doesn’t yield to traffic behind him.

      Report comment

  • anon says:

    Apart from the Moop issues, this is such a great map. Why can’t a map like this, with all the relevant camp names, be made available prior to the start of the burn so that people can find and locate camps/places that they want to visit? It would seemingly be so helpful to have in advance of one’s (or at least my) arrival on the playa.

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    • The Hun says:

      I’d love to have such a map, too. I’m not sure why it isn’t made available, but the rumor (RUMOR) I’ve heard is that there are some camps that don’t want their location to be common knowledge.

      Report comment

      • Jered says:

        Yup; some camps are unlisted. Although a huge print of this very map is up on a big board at Everywhere Pavilion every year… so perhaps the real reason is “tradition”.

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      • anon says:

        I was a virgin Burner (and thank you everyone for making it so soft and lovely while I lost my virginity) so I’m new to the traditions. Other than privacy, which seems a rather odd issue at Burning Man, why wouldn’t a camp wouldn’t want their camp to be known? Even Something Freaky This Way Foams was listed in the WWW book. Is their stuff that I missed, or goings on that are hidden from general view (and if so, what stuff–details are good, but a general description and understanding would be helpful because I really don’t know–everything and everyone seemed so open and friendly).

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      • Firetiger says:

        There are actually TWO versions of this map – a private version with everything, and a “public after the event opens” version with most things shown that’s posted in many places, such as the plazas, Center Camp, etc.

        Yeah, it would be great if the “public after the event opens” version was public before the event too.

        Report comment

    • Suz Kaufman says:

      https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zkszwyFJ-h7E.kaxgaF8gR5Sw

      This online accessible, interactive Unofficial Map of BRC 2015 was available this year pre-burn, and perhaps will be again next year. Individual camps put themselves on it so you will know who wants company and will welcome your visit, rather than stumbling into a camp that prefers privacy unknowlingly.

      Report comment

    • Firetiger says:

      According to placement (when I asked a few years ago) the reason this map is secret until the event opens is to prevent camps from trying to place themselves rather than waiting for their placer when they arrive.

      Personally I’d like to see it made public too – as a theme camp organizer, it would make our lives easier to know how our camp fits in with the rest of the neighborhood before we arrive.

      Report comment

    • The Hun says:

      I found out the answer! The map isn’t available before the event, because camps don’t get their precise placement before the event either. They know their intersection, for example, but not which corner they’ll be on.

      Report comment

      • anon says:

        Thank you all for your responses and explanation of the map. I understand that camps can’t place themselves, and while the Google map is helpful, the official Moop post burn map locations is so much more helpful. Thank you again for you for your post-burn work–I hope our camp goes green (or at least yellow since this seems to be a bad year for Moop). Signed, a very happy no longer virgin

        Report comment

    • andry lady says:

      they can make the map with numbers and tell each camp what number they are, no info on names needed.

      Report comment

  • eggchairsteve says:

    First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH to the entire resto team… we are ALL in this together, and we all thank you.

    but for years I’ve had a slight issue with this map (which is for the most part awesome)

    We see all the red and yellow patches and understand fully what they represent…

    what I do fail to understand is how a yellow or red patch can possibly begin and end preciscly on the exact border of any camp (green on on side, yellow on the other)
    -Just something to think about.

    Report comment

    • The Hun says:

      Totally, and in reality there’s no clear lines of demarcation around anything but concentrated hot spots. We draw the borders based on what we find, and our scribes will often look at a camp as a whole. They have GPS coordinates to tell them when one camp ends and another begins, so they can look at a camp and say “yes that was pretty much all green” and so on. Sometimes they’ll ask the line sweepers to make the call as well. And of course we stop at the beginning and end of every block, so it’s easy to make demarcations there. “What score should that last block get?” is a very common conversation.

      And then sometimes there really are very clear zones. You can tell because half the line is moving fast, and the other half is quite a ways behind them.

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  • Tiahaar says:

    Best line up there: “and cold nights that petrified even the furriest of furries.” heheheh! that’s for sure, had my snowboarding stuffs on ferheavensakes. And yes, a wide metal landscape rake for next year. Dang dunes. Yard rake was OK, forgot the rolling magnet rake. Next year for that too.

    Report comment

  • Campmaster says:

    Camp organizer for 7 Sins Lounge here (8:30 and Arcade). Our cleanup crew stayed until Monday and we have pictures of our cleaned up site – but now we have a red spot? We’ve had green for 15 years! Can we find out what was left?

    Report comment

  • gryme says:

    Plug and play garbage everywhere

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  • The Kazbah says:

    Hi, is there a point of contact for these amazing souls who keep the playa tan and MOOP free for us? I would like to make it very clear that the yellow spot that bleeds over from The Kazbah (10 & A) and into Pile Palace is purely our bad. This was the area where we had some issues with our water pumps and shower. We love our Pile Palace neighbors and they were 110% spotless. Thanks for shifting that yellow just a tad if possible into our plot (Which we thought was ours based on the flags). We take our moop seriously and I know they do too and these maps are a source of pride for many to share.

    Thanks for all you do!

    We had a blast and pulled it off against all odds this year.

    Sincerely,
    -The Kazbah

    Report comment

  • Bobbie says:

    Thank you to those who tirelessly clean up our desert playground post event. It is thanks to you that we can continue to burn. As a long time Esplanade camp leader this map is very frustrating to me. I have never had such a bad moop report for my camp. Each year I work harder to leave things as clean as possible. There were no dunes in our camp space that was hiding moop when we left. It had been cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Any loose soil was raked to ensure it wasn’t hiding moop. My last remaining camper was a retired DPW worker that stayed to put in an extra day of raking and demooping to ensure that every last speck of moop was gone. I personally saw the effort put in by one of our yellow neighbor camps as well. I understand that what is being reported is what was found but I have to question if the criteria has changed. I have to question what happened after we all left. I spend a tremendous amount of time in educating my campers to not let anything hit the ground. Seriously based on this map I should have been finding an abundance of moop in my camp on a daily basis and that was not the case. I take my civic responsibility very seriously and, like many other camp leaders, I am crushed by this report. We all know the score. We are assigned space and we are responsible for the condition that we leave it in. Something does not add up here. I have to disagree with the person that commented that dust blows around but moop doesn’t. Large pieces of moop may move little but those tiny pieces of tinsel, feathers, plastic, paper, etc. does blow around. I have had people gift their moop such as bikes and mattresses that we had to haul away in the past. That is not what the map is indicating. What the map is showing is almost defined lines of mass small moop in areas of the Esplanade camps. I don’t believe that someone drove around our camp spaces blanketing small pieces of moop. It will be a very long wait to find out what was found. One of my campers texted the map to me at 1:00am and I was so upset I couldn’t sleep.

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    • The Hun says:

      I’m sorry for the distress, but we just report what we find, and the #1 most common response I get is “we didn’t leave it that way, the moop must have blown into our camp.” Unfortunately you will have to wait a bit, but your Placement rep will have more information for you, and I’m sure it will all be sorted out!

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  • Hooman says:

    We did a full moop lineup with all hands and de-mooped with a fine toothed comb. We also took pics and videos afterwards as we got hit last year despite the fact that it was also clean as well. This year, we found remnants of camps prior to us and cleaned that as well but we still got yellow. We left on Sunday so there is a possibility someone mooped after us which is why we have all the pics to defend our position. Camp Love It – 8:30 & A.

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  • T.T. says:

    Thank you for all your hard work !!! Without all you, BRC couldn’t continue!! Thank you!!

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  • Gay Chiappetta says:

    Any new updates to the moop map? I’m anxiously awaiting our results 8:15 & D because I raked that space till I was ready to pass out and then we used a magnetic rake as well.

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  • Raza says:

    Our camp was at 4:45 and g this year which hasn’t been mapped yet. I had an RV this year and helped to create a corner border for our camp and what I will say is this: every single day, throughout the whole day we would pick up trash that would blow into our corner OR large trash (including bags and misc. camping materials) would just show up… as if someone rode their bike by and just tossed it into our camp. I don’t know what was going on with people this year but there was a TON of garbage that people just did not seem concerned with. We had good neighbors but it is still a fairly trafficked area so who knows who is responsible for what. All I know is that our camp busted our butts all week (and well past the actual end date) as well as take home every bit of trash we could fit into our cars. Every early departure took bags of trash with them! It’s frustrating to be so concerned and yet witness a complete lack of concern from others.

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  • Teddy says:

    Is the red spot in the center of the map a MOOP hot spot from the man?

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