Black Rock City comes to life each year through a collaboration between the Burning Man organization and thousands of dedicated participants. Burning Man Project builds just enough civic infrastructure out in the desert to get things started, and then the rest of the participants fill in the outline. We’re getting good at this — ”we” being the more than 75,000 people who build Black Rock City together.
But that doesn’t mean it happens automatically. Each iteration of Black Rock City is the culmination of thousands of projects that took months or even years of hard work to come to fruition. The temporary city we build in the desert is the cumulative expression of thousands of ideas, hundreds of thousands of of human ingenuity at its finest.
It reveals the breadth and depth of our community’s incredible creativity, with Burning Man Arts awarding over $1 million in honoraria art grants for the first time in 2015. With the Reno Airport Authority reporting some 17,000 people flying in from more than 30 countries to join us, it tells the tale of long journeys and international efforts to return to Black Rock City.
The richness of Black Rock City’s population also shows in the way it lives, works and plays:
- The Placement team placed 1,150 theme camps offering a vast array of experiences to Black Rock City’s denizens.
- The Burner Express bus program brought 3,884 people into BRC, and 3,334 used it for Exodus.
- Our airport saw a 30% increase in passenger traffic over 2014, bringing in 2,330 Burners through the Airport gate (taking pressure off the two-lane road, 447).
- At the main gate, 850 Greeters welcomed participants with seemingly endless amounts of good cheer.
To support all this vibrant city life, various arms of Burning Man Project provide on-playa services, many of which are supported by volunteers.
- 210 distinguished lamplighters lit Black Rock City’s 319 lamp spires with 792 lanterns each night. Illuminating additional locations such as art projects, the Airport and the Lamplighters village brought our city’s lit lantern count up to 917.
- The Yellow Bikes fleet of shared community bikes expanded by 180 donated Huffy Cranbrooks in 2015, reaching a total of 631.
- Recycle Camp filled two 30-yard dumpsters with crushed aluminum cans, which is around 170,000 cans and more than 5,000 pounds. From the proceeds, Recycle Camp was able to donate $1,500 to the local Gerlach School.
All this is just a slice of what happened in Black Rock City this year. For the complete story, check out the 2015 AfterBurn Report.