Burning Man and Cell Service

Anyone know if cell service is available? The site is about 120 north of Reno.

They didn’t for years but they do now.

If you are having a real good time at Burning Man. It might be best to not use your cell. Especially the camera.

If there’s cell service now, that’s disappointing. I’d rather go to an event like this where there weren’t people chatting loud on their phones and sending vids to their BFFs.

I’m planning a multi-day wedding at a wonderful venue on Mt. Ranier with no cell signal and no Wi-Fi. (Maybe we should call it Burning Best Man…)

I’ve never been but I have lots of friends who are there. I have seen tons of Facebook updates already. I’m told there are lots of Tinder hookups now.

I would have accepted a working, free ‘pay phone’, but fourteen years later they have to make everyone’s cells work? Awww.

Phone companies have portable cell towers that they can move into locations with a sudden need for additional cell service. These are often moved into devastated locations after natural disasters, or they can be moved to locations where events are being held that might overwhelm the normal phone service in the area.

I remember my brother (who works for a phone company) mentioning this having been done in Sturgis, SD years ago during the summer motorcycle gathering. Sturgis is a small town, and didn’t have much spare cell phone coverage in those days.

There is a real economic incentive for the phone companies to do this, especially companies other than the local phone company: the ‘roaming’ charges they will collect from people using their cellphones at these events can really add up. Sometimes there is bitter feeling among the phone companies if, for example, it’s an AT&T area but Comcast moves in some portable cell towers and ‘pirates’ cell calls that AT&T expects to get.

You Tube carries some live streams from there. It already looks smoky :wink: although I realize a lot of that is probably from those forest fires.

The live streams are fun to watch after dark.

God damn, no phones was was one of the beauties of Burning Man. It’s been undergoing a steady degradation over the years, but I think the turning point was when they started allowing paid for upscale camps. What the Fuck? Whatever happened to radical self reliance? I used to bring enough food and booze to feed an army.

They used to allow sending texts, I think, so if you forgot something hypercritical, you could contact someone in your camp to bring it up for you if they happen to be coming in after you.

I’m kind of glad that I’ve got shut out of tickets the last 3 years.

Come to AfrikaBurn, still no cell reception. Bumped into quite a few older Yank Burners who say it’s still like the vibe before Burning Man went to hell.

That’s a qualified yes. Verizon has a tower in the vicinity to serve the two nearby hamlets, Gerlach and Empire, and if you are one of the early arrivals service is pretty good. As more and more people arrive, though, the odds of getting a working connection diminish until they are just about nil. A system meant for about a population of 500 just doesn’t work well when 70,000 show up. There’s always a chance you’ll get lucky, but you can’t count on it. Since I use my phone as an alarm clock, I put it in Airplane mode on arrival.

Immediacy is one of the Ten Principles and plenty of camps will make you feel unwelcome if you are not there 100%

Here is the ‘official’ stream from the Org. It is located in Center Camp, north west of the Center Camp Cafe. Right now it is taking the extreme wide view, but it should be back soon.

I don’t know if this is the first year that they did this but the ceremony last night was live streamed on youtube.

It has been offered for five years, now says Motorbike Matt, the guy behind it. I was totally unaware of it since I was there for the four previous years and found it this year because the doctor said I couldn’t go <sulk>. I did see something I had not seen in nine years on the playa: The Ignite ceremony.

On Monday evening (which used to be opening day) about 5:30, Crimson Rose, one of the LLC six and pretty much in charge of anything that catches fire, uses a parabolic mirror to kindle a fire then ignite the Cauldron, which burns all week long. Fire is taken from it to ignite the Man when he burns, and then again for the Temple.

When I was on playa, I was either setting up something in our camp or at work whn it happened but having nothing else to do at home…

The feed was shut off after Sunday night’s Temple burn and given that it is Tuesday, there’s about an 80% chance the dome, the tower it was on, and the container it was feeding into are all gone.