Burner Karma

Your Burner Karma begins long before the event; be keenly aware of how your interactions impact it. Our camp has an unwaivering core of wonderful people who joined us because they support our vision, projects and activities. Good Burners make a commitment and stick with it, expecting nothing and savor everything experienced and received as the wonderful gifts they are.

We receive a lot of questions that suggest that a sense of entitlement exists from default worlders who don’t understand how many sacrifices are made to bring projects to fruition. This is ALL volunteer. Last year we had 32 new people signed up for camp and then changed their mind without informing us, greatly strains our resources. As soon as we accept someone to camp, we adjust the camp plan and resources to accommodate them. Wasted communication robs time from activities necessary to bring camp to fruition and diverts attention from someone who will actually show up. Being demanding and inconsistent is a sad way to initiate the Burning Man experience. Simply put, it is very BAD burner karma. We shouldn’t have to say this: don’t keep shopping for a different camp after you’ve been accepted to one!

The camp and the Burn belong to all of us. It is a challenge for everyone to get there. Every physical item hauled to the desert arrives at great cost. Understand where this place is: smack in the middle of nowhere in a hostile environment. If you think it is a challenge to get yourself and your basic necessities there, ponder deeply how anything else arrives. There’s no government handout, no mysterious organization that magically provides for all your needs. Electricity can be generated onsite only by participants who buy generators running expensive fuel. Power is precious and earnestly applied to illuminate artwork, not to run appliances. Tthe only supplies are in Reno, several hours away. Burning Man is focused on dealing with government and creating temporary city infrastructure, establishing a foundation for everything to happen, relying on volunteers and the participants themselves to do everything else.

Burning Man pays for and coordinates emergency services and only supplies septic service in the form of portable outhouses, the contents of which are constantly emptied and hauled to Reno for disposal. There are no wells or running water. No garbage service. Everything you bring in must be taken out.

Everyone is responsible for themselves, pooling a few meager resources to exist. Camps always run a deficit that rests on the shoulders of a few. If you think dues are excessive, you aren’t thinking it through. Nobody is making money here, in fact, many go into debt to implement it. A camp’s main purpose is to deliver art and interactivity to the event. Creature comforts are a bonus, and we offer more than most. There’s no surplus.

Everyone has a long journey. If closer, their journey is saddled with hauling gear, material costs and building things to expand our collective experience. Be grateful for anything a camp can do to make your stay more tolerable. Anything beyond what you are able to do for yourself is a precious gift brought to you by others who understand the Burning Man ethos and make many personal sacrifices.

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