Everyone who comes into contact with Burning Man is already creating it. It’s like the observer effect; it’s a paradox. You can’t observe without affecting the experiment. That’s what we mean when we say, “No spectators!”
Everyone involved with Black Rock City is contributing to the greater whole — just by being who they are — but for thousands of people, that’s just the beginning of their participation. After the effect of Burning Man starts to set in, many people feel called to volunteer dedicated work and many hours to make it happen and to keep it going.
In 2015, the Volunteer Resource Team saw 2,299 visitors to the on-playa volunteer center fondly referred to as the “V-Spot” in Black Rock City’s Center Camp, and worked to connect them with new volunteering opportunities while on playa. 794 participants joined Black Rock City departments, 155 helped Theme Camps, 158 got engaged on art projects, and countless people on the never-ending mission to pick up matter out of place (MOOP).
Gifting is also one of the primary ways people participate in our community, and has long been an effective tool for participants to make meaningful connection with others.
Participation in all of its forms is welcome, and an essential part of the Burning Man ecosystem.