Storage Container FAQ

Q: Can you describe the service?

A: There are a limited number of 20 foot used shipping containers available for purchase yearly. You will have access to your shipping container while it is at your theme camp on playa.  Access off-playa is not in the current plan due to permitting and zoning restrictions.  To reserve a spot, participants will be required to pre-pay the yearly service fee.  Each group that purchases a container and pre-pays the yearly service & delivery fee will be contacted prior to the event, at which time you will provide your arrival time on playa, primary contact information and any theme camp or placement information (map, camp plan, etc.) that will be used to coordinate the drop of your container.  Please note that theme camp registrations are due earlier in the year and must include a camp plan with your container location shown.

Q: How do I get on the wait list?

A: The wait list is currently closed. It will be re-opening later in 2017. Notice will be posted on this site when the list opens again for sign ups. The wait time is approximately two years currently.

Q: How do I make my annual payment?

A: If you already own a container in our program, before July 1st (the due date), you need to follow the directions below:

To make a payment on the website, use the same login you had last year. When you login to your account at https://storage.burningman.org/my-account/, the page will give you a summary of your purchase last year.

You will see a heading that says My Subscriptions. Below that it should state “You have no active subscriptions.  Find your first subscription in the store.” Click on the word “store” and it will take you to the list of containers.

Please select the container that you own. If you have more than one container, select all the containers that you own. Be sure you have selected the correct container number before you complete the purchase. You will have the option to select Storage and Delivery or Storage only at this time.

Choose the option you are paying for (storage and delivery or storage only), and pay for the upcoming year on the checkout page. If you plan to pay with a check, choose that option and your order will be processed manually and marked as complete after your check is received.

The My Account page will display the status of your existing payments and your personal information that you can update as needed.

Q: How long do I have to sign up when offered a new container?

A: Containers and space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis in the order you are on our wait list, while supplies last. Payment must be received within two weeks of receiving notification that a container is available for you and filling out the application, or your application will be considered abandoned and your spot will be given to the next in line. Remember, Theme Camp Questionnaires and Plans are due by April 27th. If you are registering as a theme camp,you must including your container location in your plans. You must also register with this program as a Container Camp even if not officially requesting placement.

Q: Can you describe the cost associated with the service?

A: There is a one time charge for container purchase, permit-required painting and preparation, an annual fee for storage, and annual round trip delivery fee for getting your container to your camp location. At the end of the event it will be shipped from your camp back to our holding yard. All containers must be loaded, closed, and ready for removal at the close of the event. If you decide to skip a year & don’t need your container to come to BRC, you do not pay for the delivery fee but will still be responsible for the annual storage fee.

Q: Who owns the container?

A: You, the participant, own the container. However, it will need to meet certain criteria to be stored in the yard. Specifically, Washoe county requests all the containers be painted the same “sand tan” color for permitting and zoning reasons. Your container will be prepped accordingly as part of your purchase price. Please do not alter this color by repainting your container or adding any permanent additions to the exterior of the container.

Q: How does the delivery system work?

A: When you pre-pay the delivery fee, your container and storage reservation is confirmed. We will need a detailed camp plan, with the following information on it: Your PC Container number (i.e. PC11), Two (2) measurements to the container including one from the road and one from a side of your camp and the door direction. If you are applying to be a placed theme camp, include this information in your proposed camp plan. If you do not plan to be a placed camp, you can register just for container placement as described below.

To file a placement questionnaire you need to begin by creating a burner profile. (The profile will then pre-populate some of the information in your Placement questionnaire).
1) Create a profile here: http://profiles.burningman.com/
2) After you’ve created a profile, click on the Participation Forms menu at http://profiles.burningman.com/, then BRC Participation at http://profiles.burningman.com/participate/ and choose “Camp Placement Questionnaire”
3) If you are only registering for container placement, and not registering as the theme camp, select project category “Container Camp”.

Please be prepared to provide a simple diagram of your “intended” container location within a general camp plot. The container will be placed according to the maps or plans provided however, changes do occur on the playa and if we need to make a small adjustment after you arrive, contact your Placer and they will reach our on-playa team to assist. Any changes to camp plans must be submitted as soon as made, or we can not ensure that the container is where you have requested. It is important that you identify a contact that knows how your camp will be arranged & has a camp plan to confirm it.

Q: When can I arrive at Burning Man?

A: Container owners must have a ticket to Burning Man and a valid Early Arrival Pass if arriving before the event gates open. This service does not come with a ticket or an Early Arrival Pass. You must acquire those through other authorized means. If you are arriving days after the event starts, there is no guarantee that you will get the exact placement you want due to the extensive amount of structures that may already be in place.

Q: Is this only for placed theme camps and art projects?

A: Anybody that plans to attend the Burning Man Event can sign up for this service. We will need to coordinate with non placed camps and individuals regarding your arrival time and general quadrant of the city where you plan to camp. We may need stage your container “as close as possible” to your general area if there is too much infrastructure in place by the time you arrive. As stated in the agreement, this services does “not” bypass the ticketing or early arrival process. You still need to apply for tickets, placement and early arrival using the existing processes.

Q: What about “radical self reliance”? This seems like a step away from that principle.

A: We agree that Radical Self Reliance is essential to the experience at Burning Man, but the fact is, this move is not about hand-holding, and ultimately, you’ll still be responsible for deconstructing, packing, and cleaning up every last shred of your camp/project, just as before (and those who know will attest: that’s already an heroic feat with some projects!). Yes, in some ways we hope that by making the transport and storage of large projects just a bit more local, artists and collaborators of every stripe will find it possible to build on their efforts from year to year. One of our aims is creating conditions for you to dream up ever more elaborate and compelling projects in Black Rock City, instead of starting from home with the same huge pile of stuff year after year.

But in a way, group storage can be viewed as enhancing our collective Radical Self-Reliance, not merely making individual projects easier. What’s even more important, this option will ease Burning Man’s overall impact on the environment (shorter, streamlined transport; fewer large trucks rented and driven across the country). By pooling together our efforts, our community can rely less on outside storage & other external services to rebuild Black Rock City year after year.

Q: What about insurance?

A: You will need to insure your container and contents. The contract you sign limits our liability. You may insure the container and its contents via your own provider. There is also an insurance broker that is aware of the service. The broker is Allison Bishop, email AllisonB@heffins.com or phone (925) 295-2544.

Q: What are the containers like?

A: The containers 20′ long by 8′ wide, 8′ tall, are wind and weather tight, previously used C Grade quality, and can be locked (you must provide your own lock).

The specifications given to us from the vendor are:

External Dimensions = 20’x8’6.
Internal Dimensions =19’3 length, 7’4 height. Floor area = 150 sq ft.
Door opening width = 7’8. Door opening height = 7’1. Weight = 4650lbs.

They will be painted a sand tan color and may not be decorated otherwise due to county regulations. A container can be used during the event as great wind block and you can integrate their solid walls into your camp build out. They are a great anchor point — we’ve seen decks, stages, and all manner of enhancements made from these sturdy building blocks. Just keep in mind that you will want to avoid altering them in a way that will no longer make them weather and wind tight (windows, holes etc.).  Additionally, any decks or additions added to the container must be removable. The containers can not be stored with any additions to the outsides or top of the containers.

Q: What can I store in the containers?

A: The maximum total weight for the items in your container is 20,000 lbs. Be sure your items are winterized and protected from temperature changes. You may not store hazardous materials in the container, which includes any gas tanks, combustible or flammable liquids. You must also distribute the load evenly inside the container. If the forklift operator determines your load is uneven, they will ask you to repack your container before it can be moved. Please see the contract for a more complete description of “hazardous materials.”

The contract can be previewed here: https://storage.burningman.org/contract-preview/

Q: Can I move my Container around while I work out my theme camp arrangement?

A: At the event, we only allow one drop in the theme camp. You must identify a representative that points out location and orientation within your camp. Once it is placed, it can not be moved by our equipment until it is transported again post event.

Q: I am sharing my container, where should I place it within Black Rock City?

A: In the spirit of the Ten Principles of Burning Man, practice radical self reliance and communal effort. Please work out amongst your community the best location for your container. Consider having your theme camps placed in close proximity to one another or create a “village“.

Q: What if I don’t want my container any longer?

A: Chances are there will be participants that want your container if you wish to resell it. Once you sell your container, BRC can provide them a rental contract and they can assume responsibility for the yearly storage and delivery fee. You can contact BRCStorage@burningman.org for assistance with re-selling your container.

Q: What if an occupant abandons their personal property?

A: Well, we don’t expect people to bail on a container that they paid a good deal of money to own. Nevada does have a good description of lien laws, and what might happen if it is abandoned or if the rental amount remains unpaid for a specified amount of time. Please review all sections when you sign the contract in which these conditions are outlined.

Q: How does this compare to other options?

A: Groups have provided us feedback that they are spending $1500 to $5000 “or more” on yearly rental trucks, storage units, gas and mileage. Not to mention the time, effort, flat tires and stress involved with shipping heavy loads across the country.