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Good lord, it takes all afternoon to get through the amazing things you guys are doing - and that's just sitting in front of my computer! It's going to be a truly mind-blowing year, I can tell. You may have heard that our early ticket sales this spring were higher than ever before. Well, not surprisingly, you people have used the extra time you bought yourselves to put together some amazing camps, art installations, theme projects, and lists of tips to help each other get the most out of our little event.

We have so much stuff to share with you today that it's coming out on two different emails. In this issue, read all the BLACK ROCK CITY NEWS that's fit to print: how to register with the BurnDir Walkie Talkie Directory Service (you know that's your cute little radio you use to keep track of your friends movements), our last installments of BIKE and LEAVE NO TRACE tips, Theme Art information, Theme Camp information, and MORE!

In just a few minutes, we'll blast out part two of this infopack: all the juicy ways your fellow burners would like you to PARTICIPATE this year.

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========BLACK ROCK CITY NEWS=======

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Forget the days of frustration knowing your friends are running around on the Playa but not knowing how to find them! BurnDir is back, to let you both publicize your walkie-talkie channels before you get to BRC and look up all your friends' channels too. BurnDir is a web-based directory service that allows searching for Talkabout channels, camps and addresses. Burners can register their contact info and have BurnDir automatically notify their friends by email. Sign up on BurnDir at:

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-Clean As You Go and Grid Your Camp at the End! Don't wait until the end of the week to pick stuff up, CLEAN AS YOU GO. This will help you from getting overwhelmed by the mess and help keep trash from blowing out of reach. Then, when you pack up and load everything (including trash) into your vehicle, do a line sweep across your camp. Give everyone a ziplock bag, line them up along one edge of camp, look down and slowly walk to the other side. Cover your entire area looking for those last bits of trash- every twist tie, cigarette butt, food scrap, carpet fiber, match, nut shell, scrap of plastic, everything.

-A Buried Stake Doesn't Disappear. Instead, its hazard is magnified. Even when pounded below the surface, a stake will slowly, inevitably, emerge from the playa. Then it might be found during the BLM's Spring inspection, producing a black mark against permit renewal; or it might not be found until it tears a tire or gashes a foot- maybe during next year's event, maybe to a windsurfer or another group that, like us, uses the playa.

-Vise-grips will almost always remove a stuck stake. First, clamp on the vise-grips and rotate the stake back and forth, to break the playa's grip. Then continue rotating and also pull upwards. Still stuck? Ask a neighbor for help. As a last resort, make the stake highly visible by fastening something to it. Someone else with heftier tools will be able to get it out. Water will sometimes help.

-Devote Two Hours to General Cleanup in Black Rock City. On your ticket, you're asked to contribute two hours to community cleanup before departure. This means the streets, public spaces, and open playa where stuff may have been left behind. Stop by the Earth Guardian camp on Sunday and Monday and we'll direct you to the areas of the city that need the most attention.

-Consider joining the DPW post-event clean-up crews. Help us get it out of here, so that we can all return again. The Bureau of Land Management, the agency that writes our Special Recreation Use permit, must agree that we've left no trace. They inspect random samples of the city, in the Fall and in the Spring, and if we haven't left 99.99997% empty playa, our future is in trouble. So far we've done even better, and we keep improving.

Let's keep our playa clean! See the EG LNT pages for more:

See you (but not your MOOP!) out there!

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Looking for your favorite theme camp?


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Oh, my! Time is indeed ticking and bike-related tips for Burners are starting to wear thin. Just a few final suggestions as we kick into high gear, rapidly approaching the wonderful week of The Burn (yay!):

- Appoint one person in your posse to be THE bike mechanic for minor repairs like flats so you always have someone on the scene to keep everyone moving. (Don't forget the essential pieces of the Burner's Bike Repair Kit! (See JRS V7:#39:07.11.03 or

- We've said it before (recall our first JRS contribution this year?), but we'll say it again: Get a lock! More importantly, use it! Even when you're camped in your own little corner of the desert, lock it up.

. In a theme camp? Provide a bike rack for visitors. There are many simple and cheap designs, and your guests will love you for it.
. Consider communal bikes for your camp to share. You reduce both the number of bikes you bring and your chances of having some go missing.
. Be a conscientious rider. Pay attention to where you pedal, particularly along the Esplanade where people are en masse.
. Glow, bike, glow! In case you haven't read the news 5,000 times already, we've got that moonless thing working against us this year. Even your dazzling smile and scintillating personality won't be enough, so be sure to light up that bike with your bike light, best blinkies, el wire, or what-have-you.
. Bring your bike back to the mundane world! Bikes are not an exception to our "leave no trace" mantra. DPW and the project cannot use them; plus, it's just plain sad to see bikes literally go to waste (playa dust isn't easy on 'em).
. If your bike is missing, check with Playa Information in Center Camp on Monday before you leave BRC. That will be your last chance for recovery.

Wondering where you'll find your local BRC Bike Experts when you arrive on the playa? In Center camp, give Nigel a shout-out in BRC Bike Repair and Divinity School ( . Then, wave "hola, senor" to Christopher (a.k.a. CTP) at Borrachos Y Bicicletas ( when you pedal past the three o'clock outpost.

We wish you a wonderful week and can't wait to see you all! Hopefully, you found our bike information a helpful addition to your Burning Man preparation. Take great care and pedal on, playa babies!

P.S. Special thanks to Christopher, Nigel, Da Rat, Sean, Brian D., and Riley who shared their wealth of bicycle know-how for these here several many Jack Rabbit Speaks over the last few months. Shanaynay's just the girlie-girl who, in fact, had her bike "go missing" at Burning Man last year (and while she was working at Camp Arctica!) and was inspired to transcribe their intelligence so that all Burners could benefit.

P.P.S. Don't worry, the bike crew doesn't disappear after they get back from the playa. Stay tuned after the event for tips on how to rehab your rusty dusty playa bike to make it safe for the real world!

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Yes, it's true, the information from the Playa Calendar has gone to press for the WhatWhereWhen (WWW) guide. Entries made after 7/28/03 16:20 PDT will not make it into the printed WWW guide. You may still submit your event to the Calendar for inclusion in the online version which is used on as well as in the Playa Information Digital Directory, available on-playa at Playa Info and on PlayaNet. (Rabbit note: Thank you for all your wonderful event submissions - I'll be at ALL of them.)

The good news is that all of the locations of the events have been updated from the Themecamp Placement database! Now when you look at an event in the calendar, the street address of the hosting themecamp is shown and you'll know where to go.

In case you haven't been there, the playa calendar lives at:

If you're really insistent to print your own copy of events, go here:

[RANT: There are those in the world that feel an event listing guide at Burning Man is a farce and totally lame. I understand, (like anybody ever knows what time it is), but I also stand strongly in support of those who worked hard all year to build their camps, get all of the materials together to host a large public event and host hundreds of people all week long at their camp. These people want you to know what they've built and planned, and where you can go find them and most of all, they want you come by and receive their gift and participate in their thing. The WhatWhereWhen is not a roadmap, but an offering. So, if you're not one to plan to be anywhere ever, drop your WhatWhereWhen guide into the nearest burn barrel with a flick of the finger, and have a blast flitting about the playa on a whim. As for me, I want to know EXACTLY where and when the Bi-Babes Banquet is being held...]

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There is always a part two.

Jon writes, in response to the suggestion of keeping your car interior cool by taping silver mylar blankets to the windows:
"Rockman from Black Rock City Post Office turned me onto using heavy duty aluminum foil on the INSIDE of vehicle windows. I fold it to fit rather than scissoring it. Less MOOP potential. Use 2" blue masking tape. Works very well to keep the heat down and at the end of the week the foil can be balled up to take home to the aluminum recycler. Cheap and available at every supermarket."

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Not just an exhortation to keep your van clean - an actual tip!

"One killer thing I learned from last year is for RV's and other applications, it is great to lay down "Stretch Film" over the carpet/floors/furniture to keep the dust off of it. Then when you return the RV/vehicle, you just peel off the plastic film and they won't have to steam clean the carpet (unless you have a wet spot BEFORE you lay down the film, BIG no-no!). Stretch film is so priceless on the Playa."

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The Beyond Belief theme has inspired 116 theme art projects, more than in any previous years by nearly half. Read about them here:

This year we've added a new Promenade that extends from the Real (9:00) plaza to the Man and on to the Absurd (3:00) plaza, with lamp posts. We always place the theme art along the Promenade from center camp to David Best's temples. Funny how things work - just as we get a new Promenade to fill, we get nearly forty more theme art projects than before. Thanks to all for such a great response to the theme!


Here's a schedule for some of the theme art performances and burns. Times, of course, are in Playa not Default World time. Use your pull-out maps!

Wednesday 9 pm: John Ricker's TearDrop - performance and burn, on the walkway to the Temple of Honor

Friday: 7 pm: Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir final performance at the Man, followed by the Fabulous Monster's Hanumanville performance
Friday Midnight: New Orleans' Mystic Krewe of Satyrs Mardi-Gras style parade from center camp out into the Wholly Other, where the golden ram will be sacrificed

Saturday - Fire performers will lead us out to Lewis Zaumeyer's Temple of Chance in the Wholly Other for a performance and burn.

Sunday - Sacrifice your customized GreyMan at Dadara's Burning GreyMan shrine, on the walkway to the Man, starting at dusk. David Best's Temple of Honor burn, around 9 PM.
Sunday Midnight: Johnny on the Spot will burn, out in the Wholly Other behind the Temple of Honor.


This year the Art Team will be conducting tours of selected theme art projects, which are indicated with an asterisk on the pull-out map in the What Where When, our playa guide given out on site. The tours will leave from the Artery in center camp. Schedule:

Day tours: M-F 3-5 pm
Night tours: Wed-Fri 8-10. Friday night's tour, by Dave X, will focus on fire art.

Some limited space on an art vehicle is available. First come first serve. Ride along on your bike if there isn't room on the vehicle.

Please join us if you want to learn more about the installations on site.


And a little nudge: I still get emails from people looking for contact information about various artists who have done installations at our event. The history of art at Burning Man is available in our website back to 1992. You can find contact information for the artists by going to the What is Burning Man section under the Event Archives Or visit the Theme Camps/Art Installations or under the Related Links sidebar find the year of interest. Even if you don't know the name of the project, you can find it by viewing the images - nearly every listing has one. And by scrolling through any year of art listings you'll see the wonderful array of projects done - even if you're not looking for a specific project it's great fun to cruise around the archives.

And, don't forget to bring copies of your gifts to the Artery for us to put into the Burning Man Archive. Someday, you'll see your playa-gifts, (which we also call our "material culture") in a traveling show someday!


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Just some hints regarding gray water disposal, from our bus, H.M.S. Desert Queen, a purple 35 foot 1955 converted bus out of Reno, now getting ready for it's fifth year at BRC. In our first years we got rid of the gray water by stringing a 50 foot black soaker hose under the bus. It slowly evaporated all the water and trapped the particulates too, this worked very well but wasting all that water seemed too bad so last year we used a 6 foot piece of 3 inch pvc pipe filled with one third sand, charcoal and ammonia sorb (for fish tank filters). Using a diastolic pump this is fed into a swamp cooler that had in previous years used over 80 gallons of water. It worked very well, absolutely no odor and we got rid of ALL our gray water and cooled the bus at the same time. Although having a good filter is VERY important, other wise your vehicle will began to take on a distinctive strong gym sock odor. Best of luck, Bill

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The PARTICIPATE section forthcoming in an upcoming (like, about fifteen minutes) issue!

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