participate sectional graphic


Café Performance

Jugglers, stilt-walkers, marching bands, and magicians are just some the participants of Black Rock City who fill the Café with their pulsing, raucous energies. In addition to the free-form entertainment that abounds, the Café hosts special events, and has a stage for scheduled community performances.

about this photo
about this photo

The Performance Stage is a fun and high profile way for participants to share their talents at Burning Man. During the day, an eclectic mix of Café-style musical offerings such as instrumental, jazz, and world performances encourage community gathering, relaxation, and social interaction. We also host spoken-word, comedy and small-scale theatrical productions. In fact, the entire Café is a majestic space host to performances as unique as their surroundings; not all performances happen on the stage. We host aerial performances, large participatory and performance groups, dancers, and jugglers in what we call "the Center of the Center": the occulus of the Center Camp Café.

The Café is seeking acts that can contribute to the Café ambiance with performances from opening Monday and throughout the event until Labor Day. Performers interested in performing in the Café should arrange for a pre-scheduled performance time during the event. You can get started by emailing some basic information to our Café Performance booking volunteers:

  • Your name
  • The name of your Act
  • Featured instruments and musical style
  • Brief sound requirements
  • Links to any online samples or information, excerpt from one of your poems, sketches, or plays, or a description of the type of performance you're planning.

We have three wonderful volunteers to help get your performance booked:

  1. For your spoken word/comedy stylings:
  2. For musical performances:
  3. For other all other types of performances:

If you have an event that may contribute to the overall Café community experience and require any additional assistance or if you have general questions about performing in, on, or around the Café, contact our Performance Coordinator.

Stage Managers

What the Café Performance Team needs help with is coordinating performers arrivals and departures from the Café. We have sound technicians running the equipment in the booth, but at the same time, we need to have someone to meet-n-greet the new performers as they arrive, take down information after they're done performing, helping them with information on where they can put their stuff, etc. Basically, Stage Managing. If you have this wonderful skill, some stage presence (introducing new acts) and would like to volunteer for the Café, drop us a note.

Here's a quick overview of what this volunteer position entails:

  • helping performers arrive and get oriented
  • help performers with technical questions at the stage and in the loading area
  • working with the sound technician with on-stage adjustments
  • introducing new performers
  • thanking exiting performers
  • schedule new on-playa walk-up performers
  • help document who played what when

This position is really fun and can be as laid-back or fun and exciting you want it to be. Great opportunity to get to know Black Rock musicians, interact with the Café community and see some great performances.

The best way to get involved is to fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire. Be sure to check "Center Camp Café" under "Volunteer Team Interests" and then check "Stage Manager" on the second form. Or you can send us email at cafe-stagemgrs(at)burningman(dot)com.

Behind the Scenes

If you're not a performer, there are other ways to participate in the Café and help the Performance Team. We are looking for fun-loving, talented people to help Stage Managing and running the Performance Team. If you are interested in live sound engineering, you can drop our Cafe Sound Team an email or fill out a volunteer questionnaire. Be sure to note that you like to tweak knobs, run cables, and apply subtle reverb!

about this photo

If you're more the Stage Manager or MC-type, interested in meeting fun new performers, helping them get oriented and prepared for their performance, and introducing new acts, you can email our Stage Manager manager or fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire.

Booking information that is available before the event will be provided to Black Rock City media outlets, radio stations, and newspapers. Any performance or event at the Café may be recorded, photographed, or videotaped by the Café Documentation Team for use in Burning Man public outreach. We will provide you access to any recordings or images in which your performance appears, but they may not be used for commercial purposes without the explicit permission of the Burning Man organization.

Cafe Sound needs your gifts!

The Café Sound Team needs contributions of sound gear and stage materials. Take a look at our wish list and help make performance possible at the Café by donating your well-worn but working equipment. If you have any of the audio gear listed, or something that we haven't thought of, please contact cafe-sound(at)burningman(dot)com.

If you haven't found what you're looking for, return to Café volunteer opportunities to see other ways to get involved.