TRAVEL GUIDE TO BLACK ROCK CITY by Jocelyn L.
Jocelyn is an Urban Explorer, Foodie, and Music Lover. She loves architecture, history, music, art, fashion, and food. If you are into these, her travel diary will help you decide where to stay, eat, hang out, and play.
It's safe to say I'm a Burning Man veteran: my first burn was 11 years ago and I have been 8 times. I have traveled into the playa in various ways -- driving in with a car, driving in with an RV, and flying in with a small jet; they are all fun and unique adventures with different friends.
Over the years, Burning Man has evolved. It used to be a lot easier to get tickets and travel in, and there were fewer sound camps. I planned my first burn only 24 hours before and packed just one carry-on (I had no idea what to pack besides fun rave clothes). People were still buying tickets at the door. Now, it's a process to get a ticket, reserve an (always overpriced) RV, and prepare your outfits. I went from one carry-on to a big suitcase and a carry-on. I do enjoy dressing up, but I sometimes feel Burning Man has become a fashion show competition.
The music scene at Burning Man has definitely blossomed, and it has enhanced my experience. Regardless of the evolution, Black Rock is still one of the best cities on Earth, allowing you to unplug, express yourself through fashion, art, dance, words or hugs, absorb and discover music from the hottest established and upcoming DJs, free your mind, be open, let go, be radical, be whoever you want, and meet your soulmates, best mates or partners.
Facts about Black Rock City
It only exists for one week at the end of August
The population is now 65,000
The first Burning Man took place 33 years ago on Baker Beach in San Francisco
Burning Man principles are: radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leave no trace
Black Rock City is a half circle. The city diameter from 3 &L to 9&L is 2.1 miles, 43mins to walk across, and 13mins to bike across. The inner city diameter from 3 & esplanade to 9 & esplanade is 0.9 miles, 19mins to walk, and 6 mins to bike across.
Center Camp is located at 6pm on the circle; you can get ice and coffee there
Send a letter or postcard from the Black Rock City Post Office
Bring something to remember someone you love, or something you want to let go of to the Temple
Never ever miss sunrise and sunset
Fastest way to bike across the playa is from inner circle - Esplanade
Deep playa is around 10 & L
The man is always in the center of the inner circle, it can help you to navigate when you are lost. Look for the man!
Make sure you pimp out your bike with lights for night-time cycling
Bring gifts for strangers and friends (my playa gift is always Polaroids)
Always be open
Take a day to just explore by yourself. It's a great way to free your mind, encounter interesting situations or things, and learn about yourself.
Check out this amazing Packing List by Googlers
Where to stay
There are so many theme camps and they are all very different. If you're a first timer, I recommend going with friends that have been before. The quiet side is usually the 1-3PM side; I usually stay on the 9-10PM side (the fun and music side). You can camp with a tent, RV, trailer, or yurt.
Where to play
So many places to explore! These are some of the camps I recommend with amazing music or an interesting theme.
Deep Playa - The Robot Heart bus or Mayan Warrior art car usually station here from late night to sunrise with DJs like Lee Burridge, Damian Lazarus, or Mira spinning from the bus. Check out the ICBRKR app for schedules.
Sacbe Camp (3:15 & H) - This camp provides ancestral rituals and ceremonies and authentic wellness events.
Dr. Bronner's Camp - The human car wash shower. It's the quintessential Burning Man experience.
Kazbah, Discoknight, Bubble & Bass, Ibiza Camps - These camps are famous for their after-sunrise parties. Ibiza has the best Sunday after-Temple burn party.
Art cars - Try to catch some of the fun art cars like Maxa's Xaman, Miami Advice (it's a speed boat in neon colors, and they play 90s music), and the cloud.
PlayAlchemist (10 & G) - This camp is a pyramid and you can't miss this impressive structure. They have a great music lineup, with The Gardens of Babylon curating the music this year. Hint: Jan Blomqvist will be playing!
Distrikt - Day time/sunset party
Tierra Bomba (9:15 & F) - Super fun Colombian camp
spa and steam
Can't-miss 2019 events
Mayan Warrior x Robot Heart Tie-Up - Damian Lazarus will be playing the sunrise set
Mardeleva at Mayan Warrior on Monday sunset
Maxa x Katerblau on Wednesday night at Fragments
Sacbe x Mayan Warrior Sunset Ecstatic Prayer on Friday
Parallells x Jan Blomqvist - Mayan Warrior sunset on Wednesday
PSYCHEDELIC BREATH x Carlita @ Maxa Xaman on Thursday
Maxa x Tierra Bomba night at Tierra Bomba
Black Rock Philharmonic - Temple on Friday
Rufus du Sol at Robot Heart on Sunday morning
2019 art installations
Here's a full list of the installations you can expect to find this year. Below are some of the ones I'll be looking out for:
by Rob Leifheit & the Enchanted Booty Forest
by Squidsoupfrom: Yanworth, Gloucestershire, UK
by Marc Ippon de Ronda
by Benjamin Newman
by Chris Carnabuci
See you on the playa, ICBRKR! Don't forget to RSVP and connect on our Burning Man 2019 event listing in the app. ⚡️
Find your next best friend or travel buddy in the ICBRKR app, available on iOS and Android, and share your adventurous soul with like-minded people. If you have your own travel tips you'd like to share on the ICBRKR blog, let us know! We'd be delighted to feature you.
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