ABOUT MEDIA MECCA
The members of the Media Team volunteer to assist press, filmmakers, photographers and other members of the visiting media in the endeavor to document the cultural story of the Burning Man event.
Our motley band of reporters, marketers, sociologists, technical writers, artists, anthropologists, clowns, film geeks, and rock stars help prepare journalists for the Burning Man experience, and uphold registration and acculturation processes designed to make visiting media-makers’ impact on Black Rock City and its citizens a positive one.
WHAT WE DO
We stay busy year-round, as well as at the event -- providing education on the history, culture and general information about Burning Man, and introducing these storytellers at the event to the people and the stories that they’re after. Post-event, we assist with the review process required prior to commercial use of imagery - and we hunt down and deep-fat fry those who violate Burning Man’s copyright and photographic restrictions. Much more routinely, we spend our time explaining the nuances of Burning Man’s unique cultural prohibitions regarding the commodification of the event, and the expectations for the utmost respect for our participants’ self-expression and privacy.
Burning Man does not engage in proactive public relations; the Media Team doesn’t pitch ideas to media outlets covering the event. The Burning Man culture grows by word-of-mouth, and by nurturing the interests of individuals who find themselves drawn to the event, rather than by outward-facing efforts to attract publicity.
Pre-playa, the Media Team educates and registers media outlets, even turning some projects away, in order to limit the number of cameras in Black Rock City, something which negatively affects the experience of Burning Man participants. On playa, the Team runs Media Mecca, Black Rock City’s "press room in the desert", a space which serves to connect media with artists, organizers and participants.
MEDIA MECCA: THE PLAYA’S PRESS ROOM
At Mecca, registered Media can plug into story leads, find out what’s going on around town, charge up camera batteries, have a cool drink, ask questions, and connect with organizers and fellow filmmakers, shooters, and writers also covering Burning Man. Our friendly Media Team volunteers can point you in the direction of participants who might be from your region, for example, or connect you with artists whose profile fits your story's angle. Sometimes, we can even verify whether that playa rumor you heard is actually true.
What we don't do: baby you, coddle you, pitch you canned story ideas, or drive you around Black Rock City on a golf cart.
HOURS OF OPERATION AND LOCATION
Media Mecca is open daily from 9AM (ish) to 5PM (ish), beginning on Monday, the event’s opening day. Though we occasionally host some casual hours in the evening for those who need a little help or a spot to chill after the sun’s gone down, there are no guarantees. We can only process registrations/contracts during the daytime, so please, don’t arrive after 5PM expecting to check your camera in. This must be done between 9 AM and 5 PM.
When you arrive at Black Rock City’s Greeter’s Station, which is just past the Gate, tell your Greeters you're a member of the media. They'll give you directions to Media Mecca. Remember, you MUST come to Media Mecca to turn in your contract and have your cameras tagged BEFORE you begin filming any portion of your project at the event.
Media Mecca is conveniently located in Center Camp, on the 9 o’clock side of the Center Camp Ring. Once at Media Mecca, we'll gladly give you an orientation about life in Black Rock City, a cold beverage to cool you down and a shaded place to chill out when the temperature tops 100 degrees.
Happy Hour, which runs from 4:30PM to 6PM, is the perfect time to swing by to meet organizers, staff, volunteers, and artists who might be interested in talking to you about your story, or to check in about your interview requests & let us know how you’re doing on your project. If you pack an extra bottle of libations to help us keep Media Mecca’s bar stocked, you will be heralded as a Playa Press hero.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED
Please note, if you plan to cover Burning Man, you must visit our Press Here section and pre-register before the event - video projects are approved on a limited basis and must register by the third Wednesday in July each year; still cameras must register by the first Wednesday in August to receive approval. Members of the press who do not connect with us prior to the event will be taken into the desert, staked to the ground and left to fry in the sun - but, maybe more importantly, you’ll miss out on valuable information and you’ll be very unlikely to receive permission to shoot your project on the spot.
Ready to register? Visit the online press registration form to get started!