Who Are We? Your Posties! Through Rain or Sleet or Lust or Dust!
Did you know that Burning Man has a fully-functioning postal service?>
The Playa Post is a collaboration between two individual theme-camps, BRC3PO and PO9, which act together to provide an unofficial, volunteer-powered postal system right in the heart of Black Rock City. We are the team that lets you send mail to and from Burning Man.
Through our locations in the 9 O'Clock (PO9) and 3 O'Clock (BRC3PO) plazas, we offer every participant the opportunity to deliver incoming mail and create and send mail destined for the default world. It's like your Post Office back home only run by volunteers and much, much weirder.
Get Personal, Go Postal!
This year we’ve decided to offer something really extraordinary. Possibly the most ambitious, universally participatory and postal-y aggressive project attempted at Burning Man yet.
Our goal is to make it possible for every participant on the playa to gift a free postcard to anyone, anywhere in the world.
This will entail printing and providing postage for 70,000 postcards!
This will be a huge undertaking. Do you know how much space 70,000 postcards takes up? Never mind the postage, 70,000 post cards weigh roughly 656 pounds. Stacked, they would be 93 feet tall, 3 feet higher than The Man. They could cover the exterior of 2.9 luxury RVs (or 6.2 RVs that aren’t quite so luxurious.) At 6 inches long (standard post card size), laid end-to-end they would stretch 6.63 miles. That’s the 4.4 times the diameter of the playa.
But you know what’s even more impressive than that? Ensuring that 70,000 people out in the default world get a beautiful, dusty postcard from Burning Man. 70,000 dots on a global map, each one a person holding a bit of the burn in their hands.
So what can 70,000 postcards do? They can do more than carpet 1/3 of Black Rock City; they can reach past the trash fence and open the world to Burning Man.
Postcards: Personal gifts that embody the principles
The ethos of Burning Man is hard to define without being there. We believe that postcards and mail as a whole help participants and recipients get into the spirit of the 10 Principles of Burning Man.
Each postcard is a handcrafted, tangible gift, embodying a personal expression from one soul to another...and beyond! We believe the simplicity, durability and immediacy of a postcard is a rarity in our increasingly ethereal, digital world.
Our project aims to reverse that trend, in the hopes that many others will discover the dying art of written communication on paper and breathe new life into it.
So... why crowdfunding?
After we gave BRC its own zip code (89412-0149) in 2013, the plaza post offices noticed an distinct uptick in incoming mail and a distinct downward tick in outgoing mail.
It turns out that many first-time (i.e. virgin) participants have never sent a postcard, nor do they know how to write one!
Through this campaign, we hope to raise awareness for the post office, as well as participation and filthy money. We want other Burners, theme camps, and art projects to know about us, as well get more people involved with the mail!
Every Burning Man theme camp is always in need of cash, but this year we’re pushing above and beyond anything we’ve ever attempted before. Plus, unlike the some of the other camps that offer services, like the Airport, Earth Guardians, Greeters, Lamp Lighters, Placement, Playa Info, Recycle Camp, or the Shuttle Bus, our services are entirely self-funded.
So what are you offering?
Our rewards are built primarily around:
- Increasing involvement and interaction among participants on playa
- Creating opportunities for philatelic performance art
- Bringing the joy of a playa gift to those in the default world, one personal interaction at a time, thousands of times over!
How else can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved beyond helping support our efforts!
- SEND MAIL! You can send mail to specific people at Burning Man, or just send a postcard to any random burner you can think of! Delivering your mail is the best way we have of spreading the mission of the Playa Post and getting postcards into the hands of participants. Just use this as the address:
(Default World Name/Playa Name/Description of Random Participant)
(Address as a Time + Letter Street Intersection / Man or Mountain Side)
Black Rock City NV 89412-0149
2:15 + A / Man Side
Black Rock City NV 89412-0149
- Help deliver mail! Come by PO9 or BRC3PO and ask for a stack of mail to deliver. Delivering mail is one of the best ways of getting to know people you might otherwise never meet!
- Bring old stamps and postage! For years, we have relied on folks to gift stamps to the post office.
- Make your own postcards and drop them off at the post office!
So... where is all this money going?
The majority of the money we're raising goes to Postage, like every year. 70,000 postcards at the $0.34 rate is $23,800, more than what we're trying to raise. Fortunately, we have stamps and postcards left over from last year. We also have to account for the costs of the perks. That's the number we arrived at.
What if you don't make your goal?
This project was designed to scale. If we raise $1, we'll send three postcards, and so on. We also know that we may not get word about the Playa Post out to every burner, but neither lust nor dust will prevent us from getting as close to that goal as we can.