Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Carrying The Light At Burning Man
Lamp lighters at Burning Man. Burning Man requires 2000 volunteers — almost all of whom also buy tickets and pay their own expenses — to run Black Rock City.

Black Rock City LLC is the company that organizes the annual week-long Burning Man festival ending on Labor Day, on the dry lake of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada. Although the organization is largely volunteer-driven, it has a for-profit form. Its mission states that its efforts are, and its primary goal is, to establish community.

Headed by a board of 6 LLC members, the company coordinates the year-round, behind-the-scenes work needed to build and remove a temporary city of more than 50,000 participants.

Event ticket sales provide a multi-million dollar budget for the organization. These revenues help the organization obtain required permits from the Bureau of Land Management, rent portable toilets and equipment, secure medical, fire, and law enforcement services, and cover other organizational expenses. The organization also holds a title to the nearby ranch used as a staging area.

Black Rock City Ranch

In 2001, the LLC purchased a ranch in Hualapai Valley, Washoe County, Nevada, for $70,000 to use as a staging area.

In 2003, permits to operate a permanent staging area on the ranch were denied according to numerous news stories. A lawsuit was filed with the effect that the 2003 event proceeded. (Apparently LLC employees and volunteers were not able to camp on the ranch but stayed elsewhere.) The resolution of the dispute was apparently not considered newsworthy, but it seems that in 2004 the LLC spent approximately $800,000 on improvements to the ranch.


When you disappear,
a ghost fading into night,
a flame too far from
the lantern's lacing,
when you turn from me like that,
I find flakes of me
come off and rise with
the perfume you leave behind,
ash of my burnt soul.

June 7, 2010 5:40 PM


  1. My niece has been to Burning Man, it sounds unbelievably terrific. There are millions of photos on-line from it, just amazing constructions. The sense of fire and destruction so apparently wild and potentially terrifying yet clearly so carefully contained and choreographed is dizzying. Fire, large and small, is like nothing else to our spirit, I think.

    Lovely sharp little poem.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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