Do’s and Don’ts
If It Wasn’t in Your Body, Don’t Put It in the Potty. Portable toilets are provided and emptied regularly. Use these facilities only for their intended purpose, not for dumping garbage or gray water. Putting anything but human waste and one-ply toilet paper (2-ply is a big no-no) in the potties makes pumping nearly impossible. No tampons, trash or wipes! Control odors by putting the lid down. Do not dump gray water in the potties: doing so will fill them up too fast and result in disgusting toilets for everyone. Do not defecate or urinate on the playa; it is illegal and an unpleasant mess for everyone. Finally, if there is a truck servicing a bank of potties, don’t interfere with their job by using one of the potties — wait until they are finished.
Trash in Neighboring Communities
We have good relationships with the neighboring towns and communities, which is critical. Every year the biggest complaint about Burning Man is the trash that flies off of vehicles in surrounding areas. Make sure you cover and secure your load to your car really well so nothing flies off as you drive the highways, and DO NOT dump your trash or recycling in our neighboring communities except in a designated dumping area. We’ve compiled a list in the Pack it out! section. Leave No Trace doesn’t end when you hit the pavement. If you see somebody dumping their waste somewhere they shouldn’t, let them know. You can be fined up to $1000 for illegal dumping.
Noise Control & Sound Policy
Sound travels easily on the playa and not everyone will want to sleep when you do. Bring ear plugs! Audio systems must be held to a maximum power amplification of 300 watts, generating 90 decibels at 20 feet. Speakers must be elevated off the playa surface and be backed by a truck, RV, or anything large and solid enough to prevent the sound from traveling backwards. If a problem with sound levels continues after sufficient requests and warnings, the source of power for such device or system will be disabled. Mutant Vehicles are subject to the Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy, and must cut their sound when approaching art installations and performances. The hum of generators becomes annoying over a long period of time. Please keep your neighbors in mind. We recommend generators that are sound insulated, and/or enclosed in a wooden box. DO NOT dig a trench to sound-insulate your generator. More information about generators on our website.
The terms of our BLM permit forbid participants from using the local hot springs during the event. Some are lethally hot! A collaborative team of Earth Guardians and BLM patrol and protect these fragile resources. For more information email earthguardiansburningmanorg (earthguardiansburningmanorg) .
Gifting food or fresh juices to the public, or running a kitchen serving 125 persons or more (whether public or private) requires a permit from the Nevada State Health Division. Visit health.nv.gov/BFHS_EHS.htm, and see “Temporary Food Information for Burning Man.” You don’t need a permit for bar ice, but your ice must come from a source approved by the Health Division, like local stores or our ice sales. If you have questions on playa, representatives from the Nevada State Health Division are available at Playa Info during limited hours — ask at Playa Info for their schedule.
Respect Our Neighbors
With nearly 70,000 people traveling through these normally quiet rural towns, we have a significant impact on the communities surrounding the Black Rock Desert. Drive slowly. Be courteous and patient, dress appropriately, and be respectful. We are guests here. Be polite and friendly to all local residents and remember to Leave No Trace.
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
Traveling from the West, South, or East to Burning Man on Hwy 447, you will drive through the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal reservation. Please be respectful and supportive of the Pyramid Lake Community. Speed limits are strictly enforced. Be courteous of tribal members as they cross the road or try to access Tribal businesses and services or their homes. Be respectful of the lake and land — they are considered sacred, the lake is home to two types of endangered fish, and artifact hunting and graffiti are prohibited. Leave No Trace!
You must obtain a permit to swim in or camp around Pyramid Lake. Day-use permits are only $6 and camping permits are $9 per day. Permits may be purchased at the I-80 Smoke Shop in Wadsworth, Nixon Store in Nixon, Ranger Station in Sutcliffe, or at several locations in Reno, Sparks, or Fernley (see below). You can also purchase gas and last-minute supplies at the Wadsworth and Nixon stores. They will be open 24 hours just before and just after Burning Man. Tribal members also offer services to along the road such as car washes, Indian tacos, food drives, and trash collection. Note, all vendors are required to register with the tribal government. To learn more about the Paiute tribe, including permit info and locations, visit plpt.nsn.us and the Local Towns section of the Burning Man website.
Gerlach & Empire
The citizens of Gerlach and Empire welcome us. Please be considerate of them in return. Drive slowly. Don’t block driveways or streets. There are two gas stations, a market, water store, restaurant, and several street vendors. If you pull over to patronize these businesses, please avoid causing traffic issues. Remember, regular traffic laws apply, and you may be ticketed for obstructing traffic or creating a nuisance. Do not replenish your water supply from a private local spigot. Water is precious in the desert, and this water belongs to local residents. And Leave No Trace! For more info go to the Local Towns section of the website.