Hey Gate Volunteer, Thanks for considering volunteering with us. It’ll be the hardest job you’ve ever loved. Please remember that even though you’re helping out, radical self-reliance still applies! Here's some info to help ya out. And if you have other questions, feel free to post them to the Gate list that you were subscribed to when you signed up to work with us.

Hopefully the stuff below will help ya out...


Ok, sign me up! How do I volunteer for Gate Perimeter & Exodus?
First thing you need to do is fill out the Volunteer Questionaire on the Burning Man website. You can find it by clicking HERE. Our Volunteer Coordinator Team will review your questionnaire and get back to you as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience, we’re volunteers too!
What's the first thing I should do when I hit the playa?
Check in at the GATE OFFICE located in the Black Hole (Gate Headquarters) at 5:40 and D street. The Gate office is the large 53 foot trailer. The entrance is at the rear of the trailer.
Where do I go for my first shift?
All shifts (Gate, Perimeter and Exodus) originate from the Black Hole (located at 5:40 and D street). Make sure that you arrive 45 minutes before your first shift, because the bus to transport you to your shift leaves 1/2 hour before shift starts. Wait for the bus in the shade of the Black Hole Bar. For training shifts, you will be greeted by your Mentor. For all other shifts, you will check in with the Transpo Driver. Please remember the bus leaves the black hole 30 minutes BEFORE your shift begins so don’t be late!
What is the Black Hole?
Contrary to a common rumor, the Black Hole is not the nickname of a porta-potty in Gate Camp. In addition to being a place that drainbows fear to tread, the Black Hole is the name given to the working camp for Gate, Perimeter & Exodus. It is located at 5:40 and D street. It is the home to our administrative offices, bus stop, our social lounge (the Black Hole Bar), as well as home to many hard-working staff members. While we encourage all of our volunteers to come socialize with us at the Black Hole Bar, we are first and foremost a working camp, so please tread with care.
Where can I find the Black Hole?
The Black Hole is located at 5:40 and D, facing the man. Easily identified by a group of growling denizens in black sulking around in a motley collection of partially functional couches and wheelchairs. We also have a bar, and a big white bus is frequently parked out front. There is usually a poorly painted sign that says “black hole.” Come say hi, we won’t bite unless you ask us to.
What’s all this about a bus?!
GP&E has a traspo bus that is dedicated to transporting our hard working volunteers to & from shifts. While the bus is not mandatory, we strongly encourage volunteers to take advantage of this perk. The Gate is over a mile outside the city, so walking or biking there is much farther than you think. The bus leaves the Black Hole no later than 30 minutes before each posted shift. To catch the bus, wait in the shaded area of the Black Hole Bar (5:40 & D St.) with your other crew members. Don’t be late!
I’m all signed up to work with you guys. What do I do now?
First, stay tuned to the Gate mailing list for newcomers. Info on training, how to schedule shifts and more are posted to both lists when we’re ready to go, normally in early June. Next, schedule your shifts! Don’t forget that your first shift must be a training shift with our Mentor Team. Once you’ve hit playa and you’ve had a chance to setup your camp, please come by the Gate Office located in the Black Hole at 5:40 & D street and CHECK-IN. Please allow plenty of time, like a 1/2 hour (not 5 minutes before your first shift!) We’ll get you checked in with us and you’ll get nifty schwag!
Okay, I’m packing for the playa. What do I need when I work with Gate?
You’ll need the normal survival items you carry when on playa. The UBER CRAZY IMPORTANT stuff to have with you when working:
  • Flashlight (yes, on both day and night shifts!) Headlamps work best.
  • Gloves! Light, form-fitting work-type gloves are a big help for searching vehicles. You’ll be reaching into packed trailers and cubbyholes, many with rough edges!
  • Water bottle/cup/vessel for drinking water
  • Dust mask
  • Goggles (both day and clear/amber lense for night); Sunglasses for daytime
  • Sunblock & lip balm
  • Sensible shoes
  • Layered clothing - It gets hot or cold very quickly!
  • Snacks and stuff to munch on
  • Hat: sun hat for day, warm hat for night