How To Playa

The 10 Principles of Burning Man at Black Rock City

The Burning Man event and its affiliated communities are guided by 10 principles that are meant to evoke the cultural ethos that has emerged from the event. They were originally written by Larry Harvey in 2004 as guidelines for regional organizing, then later became a universal criterion of the general culture of the multifaceted movement.

They are:

Radical Self-Reliance

“Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.” The event’s harsh environment and remote location require participants to be responsible for their own subsistence. Since the LLC forbids most commerce, participants must be prepared and bring all their own supplies with the exception of the items stated in Decommodification.

Burning Man Tutorial: Living in a tent in the desert

Burning Man principle: Radical Self-reliance Is it noisy? Can you sleep? Is it dirty? Where do you keep your stuff? Part of the fun of Burning Man, for me, is finding ways to out-organize my own damn self every year. -Ebony Qualls

Radical Self-Expression

Participants at the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert are encouraged to express themselves in a number of ways through various art forms and projects. The event is clothing-optional and public nudity is common, though not practiced by the majority. “Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.”

The Crazy World of Burning Man Festival 2018

Burning Man 2018, The Craziest Festival In The World. Burning Man is an annual week-long experiment in temporary community. Dedicated to anti-consumerism and self-expression, the Burning Man art festival, which attracted more than 35,000 participants in 2005, traditionally culminates with the burning of a large wooden sculpture of a man. - Must See Media

Communal Effort

“Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.” Participants at the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert are encouraged to work with and help fellow participants.

Live from Burning Man build!!

I’m in the middle of the desert at Burning Man working on building camp an entire week before it begins!! I did it live because you just cannot bring your electronics out here without them being eaten by the playa! - Living On a One Way

Civic Responsibility

“We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.”

Burning Man 2016 - Civic Responsibility

A beautiful Burner Coco from France was cleaning the porta potty area at 4:00 & C/D! Very inspiring. Be like Coco! - Jet Burns

Leave No Trace

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2015 – attendees carry MOOP (matter out of place) sticks and buckets and walk to pick up discarded materials, as part of the ‘leave no trace’ policy. “Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.”

Leave No Trace: MOOP Is on the Rise!

Leaving No Trace is one of the easiest things to understand about Black Rock City’s culture, but that doesn’t mean we can take it for granted. On the contrary, MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) is on the rise, and if we don’t get a handle on it, it could threaten the continuation of the event.

D.A., manager of Playa Restoration, made this video to educate and rally the troops (read: that’s all of us) on the nature of the MOOP problem and how we can stop it. Watch, learn, and share it far and wide. - Burning Man Org.


“Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.” People are encouraged to participate, rather than observe.

Burning Man, de Paris à Black Rock City : art & participation !

The most important and impressive thing to know is that ALL THIS is done by guys like you or me. People, who have their daily life, their job, as many tunes as you do but who do, offer you, create, organize stuff that shapes Burning Man every year … and that make the experience never be the same ! It is everyone who participates in the magic of the festival so contribute to it too: create a great animation with your camp, contribute to a project, create a work etc … Launch! -Le Pauline


“Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.”

“Immediacy, Smart Phones, and the Death of Magic”

What is the “Immediacy” Burning Man Principle and why does it matter? And how do smartphones and cameras put the Principle at risk? - Hug Nation

Source: Wikipedia, Youtube