Burning Man Responses From 2023

Placement Good standing notification :

Email I sent one week after the 2023 burn to placement!

Dear Whatit and Placement Teams,

I trust this message finds you safe and sound. I wanted to touch base with you and gather some feedback regarding Illumination Village and provide a summary of our activities during this year’s Burning Man event.

Firstly, I am thrilled to report that our village was illuminated and bustling with activity every night until sunrise, right up until the unexpected storm hit. We maintained daily engagement across all three sides of the village, resulting in a 24-hour experience for our participants. Given the challenging circumstances, I am eager to hear your team’s thoughts on our efforts, though please understand there’s no rush on this – we are all still recuperating from the event, and I can imagine you have been especially busy, especially following the storm.

Despite the challenges posed by the storm, I’m pleased to say that Illumination Village ran smoothly throughout Burning Man week. We encountered only one notable issue when an individual at Hadley Bar physically assaulted the Nova operator in the afternoon due to noise from the fire art. This incident required law enforcement involvement.

During the natural disaster, our generators went down, and we used the remaining propane to provide heat and warmth by lighting up fire art in the carnival on Espande, as many burners were cold and in need of shelter. We also extended invitations to stranded burners to join us in the village, where we offered soup, shelter, and designated fire chill areas with blankets. In response to our depleted water reserves, we ceased all water-intensive activities and provided water to those who had run out of resources.

Additionally, we opened our private porta-potties to the Hive Village next door, as they were dealing with a COVID outbreak and other illnesses. We made every effort to adhere to the “Leave No Trace” principle during our strike, although we acknowledge that we had challenges. Our hearts go out to the dedicated Burning Man “Leave No Trace Teams” who are working tirelessly in the aftermath of the storm.

In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude for your support and guidance throughout this year’s Burning Man experience. We are committed to learning from our experiences and continuously improving our village. If you have any feedback or suggestions for us, please don’t hesitate to share them. We look forward to collaborating with you in the future and contributing to the vibrant Burning Man community.

Best Regards,

Wicked Truth

Mayor Illumination Village

Hello Wicked Truth,
Illumination Village WAS DEFINITELY bustling with activity and light all through the event (even during the No-Drive) as I walked around making sure folks were okay, your village was definitely doing fine.

Your perimeter lights were marvelous, as were the Portal-side village-camps open at various times throughout the day.  It was a remarkable and vibrant change from future years, and I’m delighted you were able to get your village on board to return to Esplanade and the Portal.

The work you all did as a village was exemplary and I look forward to seeing Illumination Village return in 2023-2024. 

Placement Lead )'(

Placement Good Standing Notification

We’re pleased to inform you that Illumination Village is in Good Standing with the Placement Team for the Village you brought to Burning Man 2023: Animalia. This means you met all or most of the criteria listed below to be in Good Standing. Detailed descriptions of the Criteria to be in Good Standing can be found here

Criteria to be in Good Standing

  1. Did your camp show up and use your reserved space?
  2. Did your camp do what you said you were going to do on your questionnaire? This criteria only applies to Theme Camps and Villages. (Interactivity & frontage available to the entire Burning Man community) 
  3. Did your camp uphold our community’s principles and cultural norms? (including neighborliness, keeping sound within set limits, easily resolving any boundary disputes that arise, and being public and inclusive)
  4. Did your camp honor our Decommodification principle?
  5. Was your camp a strain on Burning Man’s organizational resources? (requiring extra attention or energy from Rangers, DPW, the Playa Restoration team, and others)
  6. How was your camp’s MOOP score?
  7. Did your camp abide by the terms of your Work Access Passes?

How did we arrive at your standing?

After each event, the Placement Team collects and reviews feedback from the community and other Burning Man Departments. Feedback comes through various sources including direct communication from participants, notes from Placement’s Exploration & Engagement Research Squad (PEERS), the public feedback from the Feedback Loop Internal Process (FLIP), and Placement’s Neighborhood Interactivity Feedback Form. As you know, the very important  “Post-playa Report” expected from all camps is where you share your experiences and point of view. All of these are compiled together to weigh the camp’s standings.

In our effort to be more transparent, we are offering snapshots at the end of this email compiling feedback we’ve received to all placed theme camps and villages (which excludes all support camps) from those sources. We hope this information helps you receive the kudos you deserve and allows you to reflect on the things you could improve upon. We know that running a successful camp is complex and influenced by multiple variables which may or may not have been fully in your control. We also acknowledge limitations in the information we collect to make our assessments and strive to get a holistic picture of how your camp showed up in Black Rock City rather than rely on any single source.

If your Village had MOOP discovered by the Playa Restoration Team, details can be found in an email sent on December 12 with the subject, “Leave No Trace Results for Illumination Village.”

What does your Good Standing mean?

Good Standing is required to be eligible for Stewards Sale tickets and future placement as a returning theme camp. In order to remain in Good Standing, your camp must attend Black Rock City again as your camp sometime in the next three years. That means your camp can take this year and next year off and retain your Good Standing if you wish, and we do encourage breaks so you can rest and make space for other Burners.

Given the increased demand for Placement and capacity limitations, Placement can no longer guarantee a set number of Stewards Sale tickets to theme camps for simply being in good standing. Theme camps must also plan on being placed at the forthcoming event and ticket allocation quantities may vary year to year. If your camp accesses Stewards Sale tickets without returning as a theme camp, your standing may be impacted for future placement and eligibility for Stewards tickets.

What should you do if your camp WILL NOT RETURN in 2024?

Nothing! Please do not reply to this email or complete a SOI. We will assume you are skipping this year’s burn if we do not see a SOI for your camp.

What should you do if your camp WILL RETURN in 2024?

To declare your intention of returning to Black Rock City in 2024 and be allocated Stewards Sale tickets, you must fill out Placement’s Statement of Intent (SOI) by Wednesday, January 17, 2024 before 12pm (noon) Pacific Time.

The SOI can be found in your Burner Profile under the BRC Participation page. More information on the SOI can be found in our FAQ

Note: Completing the SOI will give you access to tickets, but you must still complete the Placed Camp Questionnaire that opens in February for your camp to be placed in BRC. 

Thank you for all you have contributed to Black Rock City in 2023! 

The BRC Placement Team


Illumination Village’s 2023 Snapshots

Post-Playa Report 

Placed camps are required to complete a Post-playa Report (PPR), where camp leads provide the Placement Team with valuable feedback on their camp’s experience in Black Rock City. The PPR is your chance to let us know how things went from your point of view, especially if they didn’t go as planned. 

  • The following self-reported ratings DO NOT factor into Final Standing for 2023. This information is shared back solely for your camp’s benefit. 
  • The camp’s self-reported ratings are compared to averages across all placed theme camps to help you identify potential areas of focus and to reflect where you might fall among your peers.
  • If your camp did not submit a PPR, the scores will be blank. 
  • The PPR is required, but we are not penalizing any incomplete PPRs in 2023. Starting in 2024, failure to submit the PPR may affect a camp’s standing. 

Did you submit a  PPR? Yes


Citywide Average Self Rating: 4.1  —  Your Self Rating: 5


Citywide Average Self Rating: 4.1  Your Self Rating: 5

[Campmate Participation]   

Citywide Average Self Rating: 4.3  Your Self Rating: 5


Citywide Average Self Rating: 3.8 — Your Self Rating: 5

[Night Lighting]   

Citywide Average Self Rating: 3.6 — Your Self Rating: 5

[Foot/Bike Traffic]   

Citywide Average Self Rating: 3.8 — Your Self Rating: 5


Citywide Average Self Rating: 4.2 — Your Self Rating: 4

[Strike/Tear Down]   

Citywide Average Self Rating: 4.1 — Your Self Rating: 5

[Leave No Trace/MOOP]   

Citywide Average Self Rating: 4.4 — Your Self Rating: 5

Neighborhood Feedback 

Placement collects neighbor feedback through the annual Neighborhood Interactivity Feedback Form that we send out to all camp leaders in September, your self -submitted Post-playa Report, and from direct contact on playa or by email. The responses are aggregated from these sources. 

Favorite Camp

Not all camps received a shoutout as a favorite camp. If your camp has no data in the table below, no survey respondents cited your camp as a favorite. Being named a favorite or not does NOT affect your standing, but kudos to you if you were named.

  • The Neighborhood Interactivity Feedback Form is an open survey to all Burners who could name up to 3 of their favorite camps. We do not view the results as representative of every participant. Some camps had many campers respond and others had none. Multiple shoutouts from the same camp were tallied as one favorite.
  • While the Placement Team tried its best to identify all camps that were named as favorites, not all responses had enough information to definitively link to a particular camp. Having clear signage is an easy way for visiting Burners to identify a camp name

[Number of times your camp was mentioned as a favorite camp]: 6 mentions

[What aspects of your camp’s interactivity were appreciated?]

(All text responses are included, separated by a vertical bar. Not all survey respondents chose to elaborate.) 

Self care , sauna | Lots of interactive fire | Awesome interactivity with fire and light art. A great place to play, but also to meet friends and hang out since you can find people easily while playing in the park. | Fire art | FIRE, fire pit, so much art. Camps all collaborating and using resources. We provide a lot. | They provided multiple opportunities to interact with fire in one location. |

Non-Interactive and Un-neighborly Camps

People could notify us if there were any camps that appeared to not provide interactivity or behaved in an un-neighborly fashion. Multiple complaints from the same camp were tallied as one. Most camps will have no data in the table below as only 6% of camps were reported as non-interactive and 12% as exhibiting un-neighborly behavior.

[Number of times your camp was mentioned as…]

  • “non-interactive”:  No mentions
  • “un-neighborly behavior”: 2 mentions

[What specific behaviors were cited as un-neighborly?]

(Survey respondents could choose from a multi-select list. All responses were tallied and included. Not all survey respondents chose to pick from the list.): N/A

[Number of complaints for]

  • “Music/sound too loud (i.e. so loud that you can’t have a conversation if you were standing in the middle of the street in front of the camp)”: N/A

Placement’s Exploration and Engagement Research Squad (PEERS)

Placement’s Exploration and Engagement Research Squad (PEERS) is made up of volunteer Burners from all over Black Rock City who visit theme camps and neighborhoods to help the Placement Team have more direct contact with camps. Many are theme camp leads themselves and contribute their time to this project because they love getting to know other camps. Approximately 85% of Black Rock City’s placed theme camps and villages were visited by a PEERS member in 2023. If you or any of your campers would like to visit camps as a PEERS member in the future.

  • PEERS members are participants working with Placement who report their observations. They are not evaluators and do not provide ratings for camps during their visit.
  • PEERS feedback captures a snapshot in time and is not necessarily representative of the entire camp. PEERS feedback is not used directly in determining a camp’s standing, though may prompt a deeper look from Placement.

[Number of other camps that named your camp as a favorite to PEERS?] 0 mentions

[Did PEERS volunteers rate your camp as…] 

  • “open and inviting”: No Data
  • “friendly and welcoming to all”: No Data
  • “having obvious frontage”: No Data
  • “being lit at night”: No Data

Leave No Trace

Placement and Playa Restoration have partnered to distribute information about the MOOP found at Illumination Village by the 2023 Playa Restoration team. The data that we collected at your camp location is included at the bottom of this email. This data can vary from broad to granular and may also include photos of specific items.

We are sharing with you in the interest of transparency and to support your camp in continuing to improve on your LNT efforts for future years. Please note, this is not a complete list of what may have been collected in your area and is intended for informational purposes.

Camps who need to take action in response to this information have already received email communication from Placement. If your camp hasn’t heard from us yet, then you don’t need to take any action – this email is for information purposes only and will not impact your camp standing in the future.

Thank you!

Muppet, Placement Production Coordinator and Placement-Resto Liaison

Level, Associate Director of City Planning

DA, Playa Restoration Manager

GPS Location:40.78080857968025, -119.1966801222331
Date Collected:10/07/2023 
Area MOOP Score:Red
MOOP Category:
MOOP Details:Burn scars 
Additional Info:2 small burn scars
Related Photos:
GPS Location:40.78113131228907, -119.19692664418294
Date Collected:09/22/2023 
Area MOOP Score:Red
MOOP Category:Single Item
MOOP Details:Tent stake/rebar/cement stakes/lag bolts 
Additional Info:
Related Photos:https://web.fulcrumapp.com/shares/841c1ad81fb5122c/photos/view?photos=431494b0-f856-4219-a58f-7d4f8035a29e
GPS Location:40.78026556858458, -119.1970014294997
Date Collected:09/22/2023 
Area MOOP Score:Red
MOOP Category:Single Item
MOOP Details:Tent stake/rebar/cement stakes/lag bolts 
Additional Info:
Related Photos:https://web.fulcrumapp.com/shares/841c1ad81fb5122c/photos/view?photos=03ff1707-bc21-467b-95f3-a697a99dfa6a
GPS Location:40.780593822748195, -119.19719964276923
Date Collected:09/22/2023 
Area MOOP Score:Red
MOOP Category:Single Item
MOOP Details:Tent stake/rebar/cement stakes/lag bolts 
Additional Info:
Related Photos:https://web.fulcrumapp.com/shares/841c1ad81fb5122c/photos/view?photos=08fae3a1-edfa-4dee-bd4d-2ffac67914a8
GPS Location:40.78041737894793, -119.19660822126453
Date Collected:09/22/2023 
Area MOOP Score:Yellow
MOOP Category:Moopy Area
MOOP Details:Assorted Matter Out of Place 
Additional Info:Slow walkers
Related Photos: