Introducing a More Dynamic and Transparent Placement Process for 2022

In a typical year, many theme camps go quiet and hibernate in November. But this is no typical year as we slowly thaw from a two-year freeze brought on by the global pandemic. This post about Black Rock City’s 2022 Placement Process is coming earlier in the event-planning cycle because it’s going to take more time and effort to get our band back together again.

The Placement team faces the annual challenge of balancing old with new, big with small, and weaving together the technicolor quilt that is Black Rock City. We’ve spent time over the past two years rethinking and fine-tuning how to improve what we do, and we’ll begin rolling out some changes in 2022 that will impact the shape of things to come. This piece summarizes what you can expect from Placement this year. Our new-and-improved process aims to:

  • Make placement decisions earlier with more transparency
  • Emphasize Decommodification within theme camps and villages
  • Offer a higher touch by the Placement team to better understand each of BRC’s 1,200+ theme camps
  • Support resource sharing among camps to improve our collective impact on the environment
  • Adapt to the increasing demand for placement and Directed Group Sales (DGS) for theme camps and villages

How Did We Get Here?

When we all last built Black Rock City in 2019, placement had reached a saturation point, with the highest number of theme camps seeking placement in the event’s history. That year, approximately 90% of BRC’s city blocks were reserved for placed camps, leaving only the last two blocks free for open camping. The demand for placement stressed our ability to maintain space for Burners who prefer finding a spot on their own. The freedom, serendipity and interdependence that are facilitated by open camping have real value that we need to maintain.

In 2019 we were also deep in the Cultural Direction Setting work that brought together theme camp leaders, staff across Black Rock City, and the Placement team to set a 10-year Cultural Vision for Residential BRC, address pinch-points in the placement process, and revise expectations of theme camps. The plan was to shift our process and update our guidelines to better sustain the culture and growing global community we all love.

(Photo by John Curley)

What’s the Plan for DGS in 2022?

First, let’s all take a collective deep breath because Placement will be honoring our DGS commitments to theme camps and villages from 2020, as we had promised in 2021. We also guaranteed placement for all theme camps and villages in good standing, and this commitment extends to 2022 (or 2023 if you take this year off).

The Placement team wants this return home to be easeful, and not have lack of placement be an obstacle for your homecoming. We stated in the 2021 Placement Newsletter #2, “The pandemic has rattled all of our lives in many ways; if we can make it to Burn this year, it will be enough of a feat.” We know the same applies at this very moment as groups, communities, and camps assess whether 2022 is a real possibility.

We also recognize that 2022 might not be the year for your theme camp or village to return, and if so, we highly encourage you to consider deferring this year. If your camp chooses to defer in 2022, Placement will guarantee your DGS and placement for 2023. We hope extending this offer to 2023 encourages your camp to feel comfortable postponing their return for a year if that is the right decision for your group. 

We also anticipate the demand for placement and DGS to continue growing, as interest in Burning Man and BRC has not waned. We will use the next 12 months to rethink and redesign a DGS process that can fairly and equitably respond to that growth. 

What Can Camps Expect in 2022?

A few new pieces to the placement process will be piloted this year in the spirit of making Placement more dynamic and transparent. We’ve also been looking beyond 2022 to future iterations of Black Rock City and designing new elements that will be beneficial down the line. Here are important changes you can expect in 2022:

  1. Introducing a Statement of Intent
  2. Moving Up the Placement Timeline
  3. Providing Neighbor Contacts
  4. Closing the Loop: Post-Playa Report
  5. Inter-Camp Resource Sharing
  6. A Process for New Camps

Introducing a Statement of Intent (SOI): We are initiating a new form called the “Statement of Intent” that will launch through Burner Profiles. All returning theme camps and villages in good standing who wish to access DGS and be placed in BRC 2022 must complete this form by January 13, 2022 for Placement to confirm 2022 DGS allocations by February. If you’re an existing camp, look out for more instructions by email from Placement. Future years will follow a similar timeframe for SOI submissions to help plan for the coming year. 

Moving Up the Placement Timeline: We’ve heard repeatedly that Placement announcements need to happen earlier so that camps can make use of this information sooner. This year, we are aiming to let you know placement decisions by early June. In order to do so, we expect all returning camps to complete the Placed Camp Questionnaire by Thursday, March 31, 2022 a month sooner than in past years. New camps will still be allowed to apply for placement by the previous deadline of the last Thursday in April (the 28th).

Providing Neighbor Contacts: Aside from earlier notification about placement decisions, our most requested process improvement has been for camps to know who their neighbors are in advance of arriving on playa. We are happy to say we will be accommodating this request starting this year! Camps can now opt into sharing their names and contacts with their neighbors. This info will be added to the “You’ve Been Placed” notification that previously only included camp dimensions and approximate addresses. We hope this will help build stronger neighborhoods and better coordination among neighbors.

(Photo by Philippe Glade)

Closing the Loop with a “Post-Playa Report”: In an effort to learn more about how the event went for all of you, after the 2022 event, we will ask each placed camp to complete a Post-Playa Report. What went well? What didn’t? How did everyone cope with that dust storm? Did anyone else find that hidden treasure of a camp? How many camps are in good standing? What’s the most common interactivity found on the playa? We’ll use this for internal assessments and will also share reports about the storied tableau of Black Rock City’s camps and villages so that we can all learn from our collective playa experiences. 

Inter-Camp Resource Sharing: In the spring of 2022, we’ll facilitate a process for camps to connect with each other and form resource-sharing hubs to support Burning Man Project’s goal  to become carbon negative by 2030. Rather than rely on Placement to determine your neighbors, this gives camps a chance to request placement together. More information will come about this in the new year via the Placement Newsletter. If you’re interested in helping to design this process, please email us at placement@burningman.org with [HUBS] in the subject line.

Building camp (Photo by Susan C. Becker)

A Process for New Camps to be Placed: New camps sprout up all the time and help keep Black Rock City fresh and alive. This year we are creating a better path for new camps that wish to apply to be placed. Remember, new camps are not required to be placed and many set up in open camping by finding a spot once they enter the gates of BRC.

For new camps seeking placement, the Placed Camp Questionnaire will be due the last Thursday in April (a month later than our March deadline for returning camps). It’s timed after the main sale for tickets so that these camps can have a better headcount and plan accordingly. 

Next, we’re creating a small pool of DGS tickets to offer to new theme camps once they have been selected for placement. A limited quantity will be available, and new camps are still advised to seek tickets through other sales. This pool will give us a chance to supplement what new camps receive in those sales. More information will be shared in the spring about how this process will work, so sign up for the Placement Newsletter to keep track if you aren’t already subscribed.

That’s a lot! What else can we expect from Placement?

While we’re working hard to pull all these new pieces together, we remain committed to improving other elements of placement and other camping in Black Rock City. That includes further advancing Cultural Direction Setting, updating BRC’s Outside Services (OSS) policies (stay tuned to the Burning Man Journal for more on OSS), refining our approach to eliminate convenience/turnkey/plug-and-play camps, improving the open camping experience, and finding more ways to support Burning Man’s goals around Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (R.I.D.E.) and Sustainability. Subscribe to the Burning Man Journal and the Jackrabbit Speaks to be kept in the loop.

Our sister team, the Camp Support team, also remains active with their projects to support the theme camp community, including monthly Campfire Talks, the Camp Advisory and Mentorship Program, the annual Camp Symposium, and a help desk that can be reached at campsupport@burningman.org

None of this happens without the help of volunteers, so if you’re interested in pitching in with the Placement team, please fill out this volunteer interest form. If you love BRC’s theme camps, supporting them, and building communities — you might be a great fit!

We’re excited to see these new pieces of the Placement process come together. As always, if you have any questions, you can email us at placement@burningman.org with the name of your camp in the subject line.


Cover image of Placement banner over aerial photo of Black Rock City, 2015 (Photo by Scott London)

About the author: Bryant Tan

Bryant Tan

Level, Burning Man Project's Placement Manager, started burning in 2009 and joined the Placement Team in 2014 after several years as a theme camp lead for Dilated Peoples Eye Spa. The Placement Team is a vibrant volunteer crew responsible for reviewing, mapping, flagging, and placing theme camps and other groups in Black Rock City. Prior to joining Burning Man Project's year-round staff, he worked for the City and County of San Francisco. He also worked for several community-based organizations in youth and community development, transportation planning, affordable housing development, program design and evaluation, public finance, and Asian Pacific Islander and LGBTQ communities. In his free time, Level enjoys playing Sim City and Tetris, doing anti-oppression work, hiking around the Bay Area, and serves as an Urban Planning Representative on the SF Entertainment Commission. He holds a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UCLA.

57 Comments on “Introducing a More Dynamic and Transparent Placement Process for 2022

  • Burning Man Project Communications says:

    Reminder: Burning Man Project has a responsibility to maintain this space for the benefit of all participants, to ensure that comments serve to enhance the experience of our visitors, rather than cause harm. While spirited conversation is welcome, unruly and rude behavior is not. Posts that are harmful to others or run counter to the spirit of civil discourse may be removed.

    Please review our COMMENT POLICY here, then comment with care: https://journal.burningman.org/comment-policy/

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  • Spag says:

    Usually I have something to gripe and snark about but these all seem like meaningful changes that will have a positive effect on the event and community. Now… maybe stop by our camp for that drink we keep offering you folks?

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  • Steven Queen (Doctor Steve) says:

    Very interested in “Inter-Camp Resource Sharing” to be available for a longer period before the Burn, to aid in potential areas of common-use infrastructure, such as power and biowaste collection along with inter camp GW evap systems. Can you not identify neighbors without their consent? Even without contact info, it is helpful to know who’s going to be next door? Sharing interactivity can also be discussed…

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  • John says:

    “The demand for placement stressed our ability to maintain space for Burners who prefer finding a spot on their own. The freedom, serendipity and interdependence that are facilitated by open camping have real value that we need to maintain.”

    Did I miss it or does the stated changes/plan not address this AT ALL?

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    • Cranston Snord says:

      Thought the same thing. They highlighted this as a major finding, but are not addressing it. Weird

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    • Level says:

      Hi John. We are looking into different options about how to make more square footage available for open camping in BRC like adding more streets and placing fewer camps. Nothing’s set yet, but I wanted to give a nod in this story that we’re thinking about it and will say more when we have a clear plan. If you have ideas, feel free to email them to placement@burningman.org.

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      • Steph says:

        Level I’m very glad you guys are thinking about this. 10% of spots available to open camping is completely anti-inclusivity. Free up tickets to new people or non-placed camps if you want to allow for radical inclusivity. Now it’s only inclusive to returning burners or those lucky enough to know people in camps that aren’t already oversubscribed on their ticket allotment. (Or rich insiders who join turnkey camps). Just because we are new doesn’t mean we don’t educate ourselves on the values of BM or have creative ideas of ways to contribute to the community. But if we can’t get in at all then we are always going to be locked out. Fewer placed camps, (both new and returning) or fewer tickets allocated to these camps, seems the obvious solution. Half and half placed and non-placed tickets seems most inclusive and fair.

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  • CANDICE FRANKLIN says:

    what does this mean for new people trying to go in 2022?

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  • Duskrider says:

    You say…
    “…refining our approach to eliminate convenience/turnkey/plug-and-play camps”
    Refining your approach? How about this approach, “No more.”
    Wait a minute, let me refine that even more, “No”.

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  • Artifex Felix says:

    I like everything about this; I just wish there was more about DGS. I remember last year there was sone discussion about increasing DGS allotments for camps. Naturally, this is controversial, but imho it’s important. Noobs have a role to play, but massive swarms of noobs with no real concept of the background and culture of this event (yes, it really exists) are less than ideal. Long live DGS. Long live Burning Man.

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    • AC says:

      10 time burner checking in, no placement, no DGS. We have a small camp we run with friends with lots of interactivity and strict adherence to the principles. Providing fewer general tickets to allow for more DGS tickets doesn’t only restrict “noob” participation.

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  • Jules says:

    Maybe we should hold off on the ‘Dynamic and Transparent Placement’ celebration until we know if BM is ever going to happen again. I think it’s best to stay in the metaverse where it’s safe and AWESOME!

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  • Dax says:

    Great changes! Full support on this direction.

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  • Pablo Extraball says:

    Really excited for 2022! Sounds like solid improvements. I hope we also see interactivity increase across all placed camps too.

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  • Charles F Tucker says:

    Bryant Tan – you have great qualifications for the job – I was a city planner and lawyer before retirement. My three Burns were with an established camp which is no more, so, I expect to be a solo, provided I get a ticket! Pleae make sure the camps do not crowd out the solo’s (or groups of 4 or so). And do try to put the camps that allow or feature under 18 participants together. And finally, push FEMA to look at what ‘we’ do, a city for 40,000 in a month, which could model what they do in disaster areas without disbursing the population to the winds and losing the community. Water trucks and porta potties until water and sewer service are restored, so people can start to rebuild, even if they sleep in tents and RV’s.

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  • Jennie Kay says:

    Good stuff all, love seeing this. Great work.

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  • Timjim Bear says:

    Glad to see the process evolving to reflect the feedback that TCO’s have contributed! Thanks, as always, to the placement team for all that you do!

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  • TnT says:

    Very pleased that the ‘thinkers in charge’ are considering and, more importantly, valuing the importance of GDI camps. Our informal group has been burning since 1998 and all of us (~3them5 +/-) have felt pressure to do something we have no interest in becoming….a theme camp….we love the theme camps, but we enjoy our independence far more. One thing we believe is too many theme camps has served to take away (sorry, but that is our view) from creating a highly interactive neighborhood community on a personal level. One of the things that makes the theme camps ‘successful’ is they are well organized and programmed throughout the burn……that is the same thing that often does not make them good ‘small neighborhood neighbors’. All this said to please increase extended city spaces for us GDI Burners….looking forward to our 22nd Burn. Thank you all for the committed hard work.

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  • Diogenes says:

    I remain unconvinced that every single Cancelled camp (with zero explanation or method of improving , changing , conforming) disappears , …..just disappears!……..with all the energy , planning , people , good will……leaves a bad taste …..radical inclusion?……no , rather a sudden « Out!! » without discussion……this attitude to burners who may have and/or could have contributed much …….

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  • Tras Berg says:

    So is the Burning Man Org just going to ignore what a smashing success the Renegade Burn was and instead crash headlong in the direction they were going without taking time to consider what a remarkable experience it was to have Burning Man without the Org? I believe a good deal of reflection and integration of the realization that Burning Man can be a much better experience when it is not micro-managed down to the very last detail is warranted. Yay to all the effort placement is making to make the Burn the best possible. As the Dude says, New Shit has come to light…

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    • K9 or Rain says:

      Thank you for mentioning 2021’s burn Tras. Reading the comments above I was beginning to think that I had hallucinated that marvelous gathering sans SO much about the organized event that drives SO many of us SO crazy. There were organized camps with fun stuff at the renegade burn that just appeared. And lots of ordinary people camping here there and everywhere (although everyone respected the boundary that the esplanade represented). There was an extraordinary feeling of community that I have not felt at Burning Man for years – at least not in an event-wide community sense. In talking after 2021’s little shindig, we realized that much as everyone enjoys a big camp with something spectacular to show, too many of these (and there are now) make for a Disneyland – not a BRC. And we did not miss them at the renegade event. I mean we DID have the spectacular display of hundreds of synchronized lit-up drones creating patterns and ridiculously huge Man representations in the sky – one got a crick in the neck looking up that far. And that was ENOUGH! In a Disneyland packed with huge things, nothing is really that exciting anymore. The most impressive things I ever saw at Burning Man were the El-Wire fish and the flaming cyclist. Nothing in recent years has really bettered that – but now El-wire is all but invisible in the modern city and a flaming cyclist would be shut down immediately for health and safety reasons! As Tras says serious reflection on the way things have been done recently IS required by the Borg powers that be. I mean, come on, some of you BM big bosses were AT the renegade burn. You were spotted. Smiling.

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    • John Gilmore says:

      It’s time to make cooperating with the Org and donating to the Org voluntary. The community already proved that it can self-organize when the Org was too busy processing BLM paperwork to show up in 2021. We love the art, we love the roads, and the potties, we’re happy to donate for them.

      If we the Burners eliminate tickets and Placement then that will cut out a big pile of bureacracy. Shall we? Or will the Org collaborate with BLM to build a fence to keep us “trash” out of their supposedly-non-commodified-but-you-have-to-pay-the-Org-and-agree-to-all-the-rules-it-imposes event? If so, we could always make a second event in a nearby section of desert at about the same time. BLM already demonstrated in 2021 that they have no way to kick 10,000 peaceful people out. Especially in a year when the Org is not paying the cops millions of dollars to bring in reinforcements from all over to search and harass all the Burners. Let me guess — the Org will censor this comment.

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  • Patrick Gleason (Sanitized) says:

    Thank you for this, Bryant. Seems like a smart plan.

    Also, I’m so happy to see you’re still at the borg.

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  • I might have missed it, but what is the announced vax policy? If not announced yet, when will it be made public?

    As we all know, we have camp members making participation decisions solely based on the vax requirement. Thanks

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    • The Backwoodsman says:

      As well they should. People are leaving 6 figure jobs over this, do you think anyones gonna say, “oh, gee, I put it off, but I guess I’ll go get my three shots of whatever-the-fuck-they-put-in-it so that I can do drugs in the desert with people who think the government loves them.” The Bmorg, I think, is out of good options. Mandate vaccines and whole theme camps will walk away (and don’t let them fool you, there are some theme camps that are mission critical). And if all they did the last three years is expand the beaurocracy and double-down on their self-righteousness, they will be unable to approach their broken community with the humility and contrition that we Renegades deserve for how we have been slandered by them for doing what the Bmorg has failed to do for 2 years: party hard and burn things. So, and with much enthusiasm, I say to the Bmorg, fuck your ‘burn’. There will be an event, whether they want to be a part of it is up to them.

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    • Terry T says:

      My guess is they’re waiting to see where things are. They don’t set vaccine policies for large events in Pershing County or Nevada state policy, of course. Lots up in the air, especially with the new variant.

      I’m hoping they maintain the planned vaccination requirement they seemed to want to implement before having to cancel this year (even if Michael Mikel disagrees.)

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  • Rich says:

    It looks like some great progress is being made! I’m excited to see this in action. Thank you!

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  • tony says:

    Eeeww it’s so over thought

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  • Scorpion says:

    This might not be necessarily related to the placement team but could you look into upgrading public porta potties to something more sustainable and cleaner like the Ecozoic bathrooms?

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  • Mucho Love says:

    Great idea about sharing information about neighbors and the concept of sharing resources with them.

    For example, renting a finger lift between 2-3 camps to share and help with all the heavy loading and unloading would be great!

    Kudos

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  • P. Johnson says:

    There is no mention of helping people who are unable to be in a camp have a place except on the fringes. This is not radical inclusiveness. EVERY block should have some spaces for individuals who come. Some live where there really aren’t any camping groups or perhaps the camps dont want them. Plus, most camps charge a lot of money, which seems to be anti-burning man, and cannot be afforded. Please.!!

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    • The Backwoodsman says:

      Every block? Esplanade and A are high traffic areas, and, frankly, not entirely safe at night. We’ve had some wierd stuff happen on Esplanade, and thank goodness we’re a big camp who can look out for each other. I think the central placement of theme camps is a good thing, especially the first blocks. Perhaps the underlying issue here is the capacity of the event and the consolidation of campers into theme camps to guarantee some degree of continuity for high-service camps in the face of population limits?

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  • Visionary says:

    Camp “Gifting Booze and Noise” here we come!

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  • Memphis says:

    I’m with them… “refining our approach to !!! ELIMINATE !!! convenience/turnkey/plug-and-play camps” and adding space for GDI. As seasons have ebbed and flowed at BRC – the advancing plug-and-play does not appear to provide additive desert experience. Defies the most basic principle of “Radical Self Reliance”. These camps are placed in advance by outside vendors, often have chefs, housekeeping, bikes staged in waiting at the airport after private plane fly in’s… vehicle pick up and drop off…. seems to be the furthest from building BM community and principles. There may be a financial component that isn’t transparent but would like to understand how it is justified to begin with. DGS-Theme and GDI camps provide opportunities for creation and building of camp and community essential for the success of BM. Break down the walls and make room for those committed to the long term health of BRC.

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  • Adam says:

    One of the largest complaints I know from long time TCOs is that the bureaucratic labor of working with the org is already way too high, however this policy seems to be going in the wrong direction in that regard by adding both another pre-application “Letter on Intent” plus a required post-event report. How about going to greater effort to reduce the already ridiculous paperwork burden put on theme camps?

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  • elven says:

    I think more considerations should be made 1) for smaller camps [30 people and fewer]… it was that way in my camp in my first year, and we all fell in love with each other because we all got to know one another… and 2) for people who want to find unassigned neighborhoods/areas where camping can be found, first come first serve. Also, as a planner, can you please come up with a way to make camp areas more easy to identify instead of by using those flimsy wire-bound flags? Thank you.

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  • LYSA J MORGAN says:

    so, I’m hearing “more transparancy” and I’m hearing “let you know who your neighbors are” but what I’m NOT HEARING is we are actually going to tell you where you are placed….. I know this is scary for the powers that be in placement, but trust us, if we learned anything at renegade man, its that we can adapt to knowing our exact placement in advance. C’mon placement…. let go of that control…. maybe just one block at a time?

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    • wizard says:

      Some of us remember when the BMORG released everybody’s placed address via an emailed spreadsheet. And it caused absolutely no drama 99.9% of the time. Then one camp complained about another camp (geez, grow up!) and suddenly nobody is trustworthy any more and placement information is “need to know” only. SMH.

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  • The mayor of Funville says:

    I’m for the dart board approach. Having a preset burn camp on the map was just something the Org thought up for those with too much time on there hands and others with too much money.
    The gold rush of staking your claim system , bares challenges of making it work for each camp . This what makes the dream work! When inner camp ideas happen that makes happiness. Not how big is the neighbors penis. Having a huge infrastructure clearly this non burn proved some is needed but not as much as the established ways shown. Burners will build the show, It’s is about letting your mind explore not ownership of something that’s not really yours to begin with. I believe stretching the map out of those need large spaces a outer ring esplanade might be a thing? On a dart board there with 3 points! Org does not needing to share masses amounts of data. Next all burners will be a marketable database and I don’t think anyone going to burn wants to share this community that way with the rest of the world or governments. This mapped out meta verse works in the digital world and isn’t necessarily needed for the mind to explore the unknown of the real world Burning man map. Big camps are a by product not a requirement for a great week experience. Stop the tracking & over thought. Remove the strings because the wild horses are running and they’ve found out fences aren’t what they like. So maybe removing some old ways and replacing it with a simple dart board gives radical inclusion a fighting chance.

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  • Daniel says:

    Hello, I didn’t see when the Letter of Intent needed to be sent in for new theme camps? What is the deadline for that?

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    • Level says:

      Hey Daniel. It’s because a Statement of Intent (not Letter of Intent) is only for returning theme camps. New theme camps seeking placement need to fill out a Placed Camp Questionnaire. And as it states in this story, “For new camps seeking placement, the Placed Camp Questionnaire will be due the last Thursday in April (a month later than our March deadline for returning camps). It’s timed after the main sale for tickets so that these camps can have a better headcount and plan accordingly.”

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    • aFein says:

      only for returning camps

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  • aFein says:

    Do we have a timeline for Art Installation intent?

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  • Jennifer Minkema says:

    I have always wanted to attend a burning man fest since it started. Every year though it seemed I couldn’t make it until I finally put my foot down and said ‘enough.’ No more excuses because I am running out of time. With this newfound self discipline I looked into attending 2022s event, but after discovering all the governing rules, the micromanagement, the cost of tickets and the lack of thought for those of us that don’t belong to a ‘camp’ and just want to be solo and bring a friend, you all have ruined a 20+ year bucket list dream for me. Guess it’s come down to who you know and how much you can afford to attend any future burns.

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    • Java says:

      Especially if you’re going solo, the rules are basically “don’t bring weapons” and “pick up after yourself.” What do you think is being micromanaged? And as a solo camper, you just go, pick a spot, and enjoy! There’s really not a lot of thought necessary, unless you’re thinking that there should also be placement for non-theme camps? And while I admit that the ticket cost isn’t pocket change, you get a week of incredible experiences for a little more than the cost of a normal festival. Plus! You could look into eligibility for low income. Sure, it’s not a free for all, but contrary to many people’s dreams, stuff costs money to put on.

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  • Lucifine says:

    I wanna add my voice for Solo Burners having equal access to quality locations, not pushed to the fringes or shoved in tight cracks. I’ve attended 5 times across 10 years never with more than 4 in my group. Only in 2019 did we link with a mutant vehicle camp, which was great fun, but I’m a true Independentist and love camping as ‘The Droplet’ with just a few friends.

    I like to shoot for 3&D-ish, but finding somewhere decent in that zone became more and more of a Joseph and Mary scenario over time. “This is for parking our cars”, “We have more people coming later” meaning Saturday night, “We need more space for our camp” as they re-place flags further out, “This [quarter block] is for our camp” then guy disappeared and area never got used !!

    Maybe a Use-It-Or-Lose-It policy by day 2, actual parking lots away from camping areas for large camps, and leave ample open space with street front access for clusters of Soloists, cause we do like to group up and naturally do our own resource sharing with neighbors. There’s an art to finding the perfect little spot in relation to amenities, thoroughfares, and strangers who will watch out for one another, I hope someone in planning has personal knowledge of our plight.

    We don’t need much room, but equally don’t like to be crammed or blocked in by sprawling theme camps. Clusters of theme camps on the outer edges will draw folks to explore more of the city. They don’t have to be all concentrated near Esplanade or 2, 6 and 10 o’clock. Us Han Solos should get to enjoy life on B-street if that’s our thing too, ya know ?

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  • Jason says:

    There are real, valid reasons why camps should get exact locations well before the Burn. I come out every year weeks before opening, to work GATE and build the temple. I always have to set up camp at temple or black hole and then rebuild my yurt once our camp finally gets placed. This is ridiculous. Is there really any reason placement can’t have things nailed down by August 1? Also, is anyone in the org willing to say openly why they still give ANY support to plug and play? Is it anything other than money? Don’t supply tickets to these leaches and the problem goes away.

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  • John R. Snow jr. says:

    The 2021 Burn was the first burn to be close to the two burns I attended in 88 & 89. The Burns today are nothing more than an obvious splurge by the wealthy Burners and the exclusion of the true Burners that only want camp and socialize with never met peoples in an non descript way. I can no longer afford to attend the Burn due to the ticket and vehicle costs. Antioch Ca. was not far from the nude beach but my new home is now close to 1000 miles away and the $ 1400 ticket cost shows the organizers are now corporate nasties ruining everything the Burn has stood for by being too lazy to procure the funds to take care of the Burn with donations from the general public. I believe us old Burners should gather our hearts & souls and find fund raisers and start a true Burning man as close to the corporate burn as BLM will allow or find private land owners who would allow us real burners to use their property. The soul of Burning Man has been skewered to the almighty dollar and now caters to the far upper class and wealthy at the cost of the GDI. I do not want to exclude anyone even the Billionaires but the single & less affluent Burners have been priced out of attending the event. If there is a group who wish to start a real Burn I will volunteer as much time as physically possible for an disabled person can to raise funds even if I have never done so . I still believe in the principals of Burning Man even if the Burn organizers do not. Long live the true Burners!

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  • Danegerous says:

    Love ya work Level. Understanding of each camp culture and an open collaborative placement process helps camps identify their neighbors and neighborhoods. Giving camps a chance to wiggle keeps everyone happy. Encouraging resource and schedule sharing amongst neighbors, new and old, builds cross-cultural bonds before the event to make for a pleasant arrival and ongoing relationship between communities.

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  • wizard says:

    If camps are now going to be told who their neighbors are, then what possible reason is there for continuing to only give them an approximate address in their placement letter? The Placement team has detailed maps that show exactly where the camps are, and they also have the GPS coordinates for each camp. Why not share all of that, and reduce the amount of on-playa drama each year as people wander the neighborhood looking for the first people who get sherpa’d by the placers? Why does placement continue to insist on this outdated system that’s been around longer than most placers have been attending? Isn’t “it’s always been done that way” a pretty lame excuse for 2022?

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  • Godzilla says:

    I read this as, “If you are not in a theme camp or turn-key camp”, you are a low priority and will continue to be relegated to the outer limits of the playa.

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