Placement Q&A

1. What is a Theme Camp?

Theme Camps are groups who provide an interactive experience that helps to build the texture of our temporary city. Through the activities, venues, and other participatory efforts, Theme Camps form the foundation out of which our fair YOUtopian city comes to life.

To put it simply, a Theme Camp is a gift to the entire community.

Does your camp like to cook for others? Does your camp run a bar? You are a Theme Camp!

Does your camp host a place to dance and party? Then you are absolutely a Theme Camp!

Maybe your camp is a place where YOUtopians can relax and recharge. Yup – still a Theme Camp! Maybe you want to be a place we go to learn and play together. Awesome! You are a Theme Camp!

The idea for Theme Camps draws from the first two Principles of Burning Man: Radical Inclusion and Gifting. As a Theme Camp, you are giving a gift to the entire community without any expectation of a gift in return. We all have people we want to camp with, but just being a large group camp is not the same as being a Theme Camp. That is a large group camp.

2. Do I Need to Apply for Placement?

THEME CAMPS: Registered Theme Camps get a specific spot allocated to them, in the right sound zone, and get included on the map on the website, and in the online event guide. This makes your Camp or Art easy to find! Although you don’t have to register for placement for your Theme Camp, it’s a really good idea to do so as there is no guarantee for space or location if you do not apply for placement.

LARGE GROUP CAMPS: Space fills up fast, particularly for larger groups, so if you are planning a large group camp, please apply for placement using the Large Group Placement application.

ART: Registered art installations and all art that receives a grant will be placed by City Planning, unless you are coordinating your art with a Theme Camp.

If you apply for an Art Grant and do not receive one, or you are bringing art that didn’t need a grant, we encourage you to apply for Art Placement. Not only is it best for you, it also helps make the best Event possible by allowing your contributions to be placed in coordination with the Event as a whole.

Theme Camp Placement Application
Large Group Placement Application
Art Placement Application

3. When Will I Receive a Response about My Placement?

City Planning will notify you within 7 days that your application has been received.  Please remember that placement is not guaranteed.

Be patient with us! We are working to make this the best city ever! However, please note that we unfortunately cannot let you know your specific placement until after the map is completed, which is near the start of the Event.

4. Do I Get to Choose Exactly where my Theme Camp or Art will be Placed? Is Placement Guaranteed?

Certain areas on the mountain have limits on the number of camps and campers that can be placed, and whether or not you have amplified sound.

In short, placement is not guaranteed. City Planning will take into account desired placement as long as it does not interfere with the goals listed above.

Please be aware that circumstances may arise where we need to shift your placement as you arrive on the mountain. Please be open to work with us as we find the best placement for you that works to the benefit of everyone.

In order to be good guests we need everyone who wants to have amplified music to agree to the sound policy for the mountain and provide additional information so that we can place you in an area where the music will not be a bother to the area residents.

We also want to make sure that there is no competition between the Primary Sound Camps and that the sound from these camps isn’t overwhelming the smaller camps who also want to share their music with attendees.

The more information you can give us about your plans for sound on the mountain the better we will be able to place you. Please be as specific as possible when describing what you are bringing, and your setup for sound.

ALL sound on the mountain MUST be pre-approved by the Sound Steward BEFORE being allowed to commence during the Event. Any unapproved sound will be not be allowed to plug in, or will be turned off (regardless if the power is private or municipal).

Please see the YOUtopia Sound Policy HERE

5. I want to have Amplified Music to Entertain People. Will this Affect my Placement?

Yes! The different parts of the mountain have different sound policies so that we can be good neighbors to the locals who so graciously allow us to throw this event.

In order to be good guests we need everyone who wants to have amplified music to agree to the sound policy for the mountain and provide additional information so that we can place you in an area where the music will not be a bother to our neighbors. We also want to make sure that there is not competition between the various large sound camps and that the sound from the larger camps isn’t overwhelming the smaller camps who also want to share their music with attendees.

The more information you can give us about your plans for sound on the mountain the better we will be able to place you.

Read our Sound Policy Here

6. Will I Receive Tickets with my Placement?

Everyone buys a ticket to attend, including the YOUtopia production team and volunteers. It’s an important ethos of our shared event, and also how we fund so much art! If you or any of your crew are in need of financial assistance in purchasing a ticket, please feel free to apply for our Low Income Ticket program.

(There are no guarantees for low income tickets and all applications are pending until approved)

7. Will I Receive Car Camping Passes or In-Camp Car passes with My Placement?

Car Camping and Support Vehicle passes if approved are purchased separately.

More information can be found in Section 7 of the Art Grant Q&A Here

8. What about RV's or Large Trailers? Can I keep One of those in my Camp?

If you need a large trailer or box truck as a support vehicle for your Theme Camp, please submit an RV Special Circumstances Placement Application to City Planning and we will do our best to accommodate you. However, large vehicles will be approved on a limited basis and we cannot guarantee space due to the size and topography of the area.  All support vehicles MUST be tucked away behind your camp frontage.

If you have a special circumstance (medical, disability, small child) and require an RV as your support vehicle, please submit a 2018 RV Special Circumstances application.

Once approved, City Planning with send you a special link to purchase a Placed RV Pass ($225).

IN CAMP RV’S: Please note that there will be NO RV’S allowed in Areas 6 or 7. If you must have an RV as your support vehicle, please understand that it will affect your placement on the mountain.


All decisions regarding approval or placement by City Planning are final.

You can apply for RV/Large trailer in here  

9. What if I Want to Bring an Art Car?

YOUtopia wants your Art Cars!  
Art Cars require approval from our Transpo Department prior to the Event, and will undergo an on-site inspection prior to driving on-site during the Event.

Art Car Application 

Art Car FAQ

10. Can I have Fire or Heat Sources in my Camp?

Fire danger on the mountain is extremely high. All fire and fire related activity is tightly regulated by our Safety Team.  Open fire, fire pits, art with fire elements, “spinning” fire, etc. are NOT permitted anywhere without approval from Fire Safety.  

Seriously, all fire performances are only allowed in several designated areas - don’t even joke about spinning in your camp!

Heating elements, including but not limited to propane heater, cooking equipment, etc., must be accompanied by a fire extinguisher and never, ever, ever, left unattended.

Please review the Fire Safety guidelines and send any related questions to

*Fire Performance Policy

*Fire and Heat Source Policy

11. Will I receive Early Arrival with My Placement?

Depending on the nature and size of your Theme Camp or Art you may be issued Early Arrival ("EA") passes for your build crew if deemed necessary. Please indicate the day and how many passes you will need in your application and once approved, EA passes will be sent to the Camp or Art Grant Lead.  For Safety and Logistical reasons, EA passes are limited to only build teams that need it.  Passes are not guaranteed.


12. Can I Apply for an Art Grant with My Placement?

Certainly! YOUtopia is built on the creative projects it helps fund through the distribution of art grants. Art Grant Applications for YOUtopia 2018 are opening soon!

Art Grant Application

13. Is Power Available with My Placement?

Having access to the YOUtopia grid is not promised nor guaranteed. Please come prepared to not have access to the power grid, as placement can change up to and during the Event as needed. It cannot be stated enough that we cannot guarantee power to anyone.


Please contact the City Planning team.