The Secret to Art Success? Register Early

The Art Department is lonely. 

But only for a while, and then we’re buried under a pile of you all at once. This feast-or-famine dynamic is giving us whiplash, and we want to provide you with the best assistance we can, so we have a request:


Tick tock, no time like the present (Photo by Sean Brownlee)

Our Art Installation Questionnaire (“AIQ”) to register your art for Black Rock City is open from February 20 until June 4. Traditionally, more than half of playa art is registered in the last few days  — and hours —  before the deadline. People also miss the firm deadline and panic. 

Our project managers do our best to speak to everyone during the AIQ registration period, but we’re a small team and people who register on the last day are the last to be contacted. When you wait until the last minute to register, you also join a big wave of last-minuters. This means our inboxes are flooded, and our time and ability to assist narrows — and, more importantly, your options with us narrow too. 

The earlier you register, the better service we can provide you: we have time to answer your questions; you have time to make any course corrections needed for safety, materials, lighting, or Leave No Trace; and you have access to the immense wealth of knowledge that exists in our brains to help you! We’re nice. We know stuff you might want to know. 


But What If?

  • You register early, but then there are changes to your art. Cool. Contact us. We can change your registration.
  • You want to register early, but you’re worried that your project sketch is in crayon on a napkin. We won’t judge. Register early, and we can swap your image later.
  • You register early, but then change your mind and don’t want to bring art, or aren’t coming to playa after all. Ok! We can cancel your registration, no harm no foul.

We would rather you register early and then contact us for changes, than register at the last minute.

The Art Department loves to help (Photo by Gary Geer)

Changes to Late and Walk-in Art Registration

It’s important to us that anyone can display art at Burning Man, so even once the event has started there are still options for bringing your art. Radically art inclusive! However, we have made some important changes to ensure that we are able to provide you with the best possible support.

When our art installation questionnaire closes on June 4 at noon, we then open the automated “late registration/walk-in” process. You can either fill out the Late Registration form online before you arrive on playa, or you can fill out the Walk-In Registration form when you walk into the ARTery on playa.

The little man on the clock says… (Photo by Philip Safarik)

However, last year we had several extremely large and complex walk-in projects that needed detailed safety and engineering reviews, which we weren’t able to provide at that point in the year due to limited time. 

To ensure that we don’t disappoint any future walk-in artists, we are establishing boundaries on the size and scope of late/walk-in projects: 

  • They cannot exceed 10 feet in height.
  • They cannot be burned or contain pyrotechnics
  • They must be unloaded / assembled / disassembled by human power.
  • We are not able to provide Art Support Services or Heavy Equipment assistance for late/walk-in projects.

This means if you have a large or complex art piece, or an art piece that you’re not 100% sure falls under our art guidelines for safety or allowed materials, REGISTER YOUR ART EARLY.

We had a record number of art projects at Burning Man last year and only so many resources. Some of these resources are first-come, first-served, including access to our time and knowledge. There is, of course, a bunch of information on our website about how to bring art, but we still believe in the personal touch.

We like having the time to answer your questions and hear about the cool project you want to bring to playa this year. Help us help you. Thanks! 


(Top photo by Steven Fritz)


About the author: Brody Scotland

Brody Scotland is a native Californian and recovering shy person who enjoys hugs and snacks. Brody first attended Burning Man in 2004, found out that she doesn't actually know how to “go to Burning Man,” and started volunteering in 2005. Her mission in life is to increase the amount of happiness in the world, and she would like someone to teach her how to carve a wooden bear with a chainsaw. These two things are not necessarily related.

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