Black Rock City, LLC
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Black Rock City LLC is the company that organizes the annual Burning Man event ending on Labor Day, on the dry lake of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada. Although the organization is largely volunteer-driven, it has a for-profit form. Its mission states that its efforts are, and its primary goal is, to establish community.
Headed by a board of 6 LLC members, the company coordinates the year-round, behind-the-scenes work needed to build and remove a temporary city of more than 50,000 participants.
Event ticket sales provide a multi-million dollar budget for the organization. These revenues help the organization obtain required permits from the Bureau of Land Management, rent portable toilets and equipment, secure medical, fire, and law enforcement services, and cover other organizational expenses. The organization also holds a title to the nearby ranch used as a staging area.
Black Rock City ranch
In 2003, permits to operate a permanent staging area on the ranch were denied according to numerous news stories. A lawsuit was filed with the effect that the 2003 event proceeded. (Apparently LLC employees and volunteers were not able to camp on the ranch but stayed elsewhere.) The resolution of the dispute was apparently not considered newsworthy, but it seems that in 2004 the LLC spent approximately $800,000 on improvements to the ranch.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2009. Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, p. 31.
- Mission Statement
- Chen, Katherine K. 2009. Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, p. 37-41.
- Afterburn Report 2010 Financial Chart
- Chen, Katherine. 2005. "Incendiary Incentives: How the Burning Man Organization Motivates and Manages Volunteers." pp. 109–128 in AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man. Eds. Lee Gilmore and Mark Van Proyen. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2009. Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2011. "Lessons for Creative Cities from Burning Man: How Organizations can Sustain and Disseminate a Creative Context." City, Culture and Society 2(2): 93-100.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2012. "Artistic Prosumption: Cocreative Destruction at Burning Man." American Behavioral Scientist 56(4): 570-595.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2012. "Laboring for the Man: Augmenting Authority in a Voluntary Association." Research in the Sociology of Organizations 34:135-164.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2012. "Charismatizing the Routine: Storytelling for Meaning and Agency in the Burning Man Organization." Qualitative Sociology 35(3): 311-334.
- Chen, Katherine K. 2013. ""Storytelling: An Informal Mechanism of Accountability for Voluntary Organizations." Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 42(5): 902-922.
- Chen, Katherine K. and Siobhán O’Mahony. 2009. “Differentiating Organizational Boundaries.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations 26: 183-220.
- The New York Times, "Trouble in Counterculture Utopia", by Bill Werde, Published: September 1, 2003. Copy available here.
- "Burning Man organizers push to use own land for staging", Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazette-Journal, Posted: 5/14/2003
- Before 1998, materials needed for Burning Man were hauled to Black Rock Desert but that’s no longer feasible, Harvey said.
- “To do something so ambitious, a staging area is essential,” Harvey said. “We’re done from being Californians who trucked the entire city over the Sierra.”
- "Washoe commissioners delay Burning Man decision", Jeff DeLong Reno Gazette-Journal, Posted: 7/8/2003
- KRNV TV News, RENO, NV, September 4, "Burning Man organizers seek compromise on staging area" Page does not state the year but it must be 2003.
- Black Rock City, LLC operating agreement
- Press release announcing 2003 lawsuit (pdf)
- www.borg2.org/larry.php3 (archived at archive.org) "This required us to spend approximately $800,000 on improvements to the ranch in Nevada that we use as a staging area for the event," Larry Harvey, "Larry Harvey's Response to the Petition".