There are perks! If you commit to joining the Galley, Build or Strike Teams – despite all the hard work you’ve signed-up for – there are incentives to consider:
- This Team is absolutely Guaranteed Tickets and Vehicle Passes! The Choir participates in the early Stewards Sale (formerly DGS), and will resell them to you at face value if you make this commitment (restrictions may apply). You won’t have to make that mad scramble during the General Sale – set your mind at ease. We got you.
- Early Entry to Burning Man – breezy easy peasy!
- First choice of available campsites within the Compound.
Without our Fluff Bunnies, neither Build nor Strike would happen smoothly! No joke! This is a crucial piece of our Camp organization, and if you decide to join remember we need you for Build and Strike. The Choir provides all the foodstuffs for those six days. We just need your help with preparation, serving, and cleanup (and eating of course) – three scheduled meals for each of those six days (four days of Build, Thur – Sun; two days of Strike, Mon & Tues, which is actually a half day).
After the Gate opens, you are then free as a bird for the entirety of Burn Week, with no further obligations to Choir Camp other than calling us Home. You don’t even need to sing with the Choir, though we hope you do. Just be sure to return for your Strike shift please.
- Guaranteed Access to Tickets and Vehicle Passes! The Choir participates in the early Stewards Sale (formerly DGS), and will resell them to you at face value if you make this commitment (restrictions may apply). You won’t have to make that mad scramble during the General Sale – set your mind at ease. We got you.
- Early Entry to Burning Man – no long waits at the Gate!
- First choice of available campsites within the Compound.
- You are well fed for the 3-4 days you’ll be working – you don’t need to bring extra food! (You should still bring extra water to share at the Hydration Station, and for showers if you want one).
- Exodus on Tuesday is sooo much easier than Monday! While the traffic builds up and the logjams occur, we are taking our time, being thorough, still busy – but nothing frantic, knowing we’re not sitting in our vehicles confined and motionless for hours. Once we exit off our lot on Tuesday, however (around noon), it’s normally about an easy hour or less to the pavement (5mph!). The traffic is almost non-existent.
- You are well fed for the 2 days you’ll be working (actually one and a half) – you don’t have to plan on bringing and preserving extra food! And there’s usually plenty of water left over so everyone can stay hydrated. But remember to wear a hat ’cause we’ve taken down all the shade structures by early Tuesday morning.
- You’re free to head home straight from the Playa – some folks head to Reno for luxuriating. But if you come to Iveson Ranch with us to help store the Bus, we’ll finally let off some steam after a hot shower and we break into the liquor cabinet and fire up the BBQs. A night at the Ranch will do you good. It’s a wonderful, hidden Oasis in the Northern Nevada desert.
About the work…
There is sooooo much more going on behind the scenes and before the Burn to make this possible. One of the critical parts of the camp is the physical location itself. Not only is there a 44′ Diameter 5/8V Dome to build, there is the sizeable infrastructure of the Camp to build as well. Each of these structures must be constructed, maintained and properly stowed away to use the following year.
Our Amazing Build Team lead by Guthrie, begins arriving on site usually on Wednesday of Build Week. All members of the Build Team have WAPs (Work Access Pass) and are allowed on the Playa early. This is not an excuse to party! This is all business. All of our equipment and infrastructure are stored inside the Cool Bus. The first wave of the team meets with the Burning Man Placement team to map the footprint of the camp and prepare the bus to arrive on Playa. Once the bus is on Playa, we start building the Kitchen.
The Kitchen is crucial for Build Week, as our Early Entry Team works extremely hard in the heat and must be fed and kept hydrated. During Build and Strike, meals are prepared by the Galley Team (the Fabulous Fluff Bunnies!). It’s undeniable what a difference they make. As family, you know how shared meals are important in creating a safe and friendly place in which to bond together. Burning Man is intense, so these rituals are meaningful and comforting, spiritual and rewarding. It’s a special experience like no other. The complete menu, shopping and planning are all done over the summer in preparation for this week. Many meals are prepared and then frozen for on-playa preparation.
Once the kitchen is built, work on the Dome and the Choir Compound begins. There are two teams that work during Build Week: the Construction Team and the Detail Team. Building is heavy work, requiring climbing ability and the use of power tools. These are the guys who arrive Wednesday through Friday. The Detail team is less physical and more creative, arriving Thursday-ish through Sunday before Gate opens, and their focus is on making our spaces attractive and livable.
After the Dome Performance on Burn Sunday, Strike begins almost immediately and many folks stay after the Service to help out. The Dome must be cleared out entirely to prepare for the Crane, which HEAT provides around 3:00pm, and helps us take down the Dome. And it comes down fast, ’bout 45 minutes. And we need hands to sort and bundle the color-coded tubes. Then we chill, eat, drink, and ride out for the Temple Burn.
Real “Strike” for us begins on Exodus Monday. Everything must be inventoried and checked before it is loaded on the Bus. We have to know what needs to be replaced for the following year. The Camp is taken down, sorted and packed away in bins and stored on the bus. The Galley Team again goes into service to feed the Strike Team as they work to pack everything up. Everyone is exhausted by this time of the trip, so the work is hard but doable. We eat well that night.
When everything is packed up and all vehicles moved off the lot, the final Leave No Trace/MOOP session begins. And we break out the leaf blowers. Experience taught us that most Red spots on the MOOP map are caused by Sand Dunes! You have to rake them out, or blow them away. While we try to be considerate of any neighbors still in the vicinity, we can’t control which way the wind blows. But hey, after almost two weeks on that lake bed, everyone’s dusted up anyway. Get over it.
Arm in arm our team goes over the footprint with a fine tooth comb, picking up every single fleck of glitter, loose sequin or stray eyelash until our spot is returned to how we found it, with only footprints to show we were there.
We then return to the Ranch to store the Bus for the off season, and have the propane and gas tanks refilled. Then we hit the showers, break into the liquor cabinet and fire-up the BBQs. It’s Pit fires and Party time! Everyone is back on the road returning to their Grand Playa by Wednesday.