ON THE PLAYA
Black Rock City really is a city. It harbors all the functions of a real metropolis, including a street grid, city planning, emergency services, a Department of Public Works, the Black Rock Rangers, a DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles), a recycling center, a municipal airport, playa information services, a newspaper and a radio station, a Center Camp Cafe, and ice sales to keep your comestibles cool and fresh. These are primarily volunteer-created and run services, and provide just enough structure to support the survival of this civic organism, and no more -- the rest is up to YOU.
The infrastructure of Black Rock City is alive with human effort, and all of it is volunteered by those who have a passion for the Public Thing — Res Publica, as the Romans once called it. Welcome to Black Rock City, Republic of Burning Man.
It's a common misconception that Burning Man is a traditional festival, when in fact it's a fully-functioning temporary metropolis known as Black Rock City. The Burning Man organization provides just enough city planning, emergency, safety and sanitary infrastructure so Black Rock City can function, creating an environment in which its citizens can exercise personal expression.