Want to fly a drone at Burning Man this year? Better read this first


I, for one, greatly anticipate videos of assaults on those drone operators when they are accused of pervin’ on the ladies for flying so low.

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I stopped going to Burning Man after they shut down the Drive-by Shooting Range. Stupid Burning Man rules infringing on my Second Amendment.


I would, too, except that generally Burners aren’t like that.

What I worry about is some local deputy sheriff walking around the camps and trying to find excuses to hassle people. The rule about “don’t capture someone’s image without permission” (NOT a law, just a local rule for Burning Man) applies to all cameras, but it’s widely understood that a wide shot of a crowd doesn’t need a signed release from a thousand people. I can easily see that changing if the wide shot of the crowd is taken from 300 feet up. Because that’s bad magic, don’t you know?


With more and more people owning camera copters it’s probably just as well.
You don’t want the sky rotor tip to rotor tip.

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I am pretty sick of drone hysteria, but other than the no POV rule, there is nothing terribly offensive in there. Register it so that you can thump people over the head if they are being a dick with it, don’t be a dick, and stay away from the airport. The stupid rules (like no POV flying) are easily ignored.

All that said, for an anarchist flavored gathering, Burning Man sure does have a lot of fucking rules.


No shit, man. And it burns me up.

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So you quit in, what, 1997?



Yep. But of our rules are different than other places.

Turns, Rule-free society doesn’t work for groups of more than about a hundred.


so, 1996, then? and you’re still holding a grudge? burning man has moved on, you should probably do the same.

Dang! I keep forgetting about Poe’s Law.

  • Also, no radio-controlled drone shirtcocking will be tolerated within 5 miles of festival participants.

you certainly did :o)

I am pretty sure that burning man could have no rules on drones without it descending into chaotic madness. I’m actually going to burning man this year. I would give zero fucks if there were no drone rules.

The real issue is that when it comes to judging harm, our society is utterly fucked. We don’t know what harm even looks like. A person will pound a big gulp soda without batting an eyelash, and then freak the fuck out about terrorism. Guess which one is more likely to kill you?

If you were to tally up all of the drone deaths that didn’t come from the government, I am going to bet that the number of deaths… hell, the number of people even injured, is either zero, or so close to zero it might as well be zero. Despite this, people are freaking the fuck out about drones flying overhead because one might fall on their head. You are vastly more likely to be killed by a kid playing with a baseball than a drone. Hell, if I had the choice of being whacked by an AR drone or a baseball, I wouldn’t think twice and take the drone.

Non-government drones are not scary. Terrorist with drones are not only not scary, but also give zero fucks about FAA rules. All of the drone hysteria is fucking stupid. If you are an American, you are either going to die of cancer, eating too god damn much, a heart attack or, if you are really lucky, a car accident. Get over it. Your death will be horrifyingly mundane. Worry about real things.


I’m more pleased than I should be that they’re using the term “RC aircraft” instead of ‘drone’ in laying out these guidelines.

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To be honest, the amount of drones is starting to get obnoxious, and we have a real airport. We have skydivers come in all the time. Although we haven’t had injuries from drones, it’s only a matter of time, and there have been close calls.

The rules at Burning Man are set up so that we can stop someone endangering another without their consent. You want to climb on something dangerous? Fucking go ahead. I’ll sit back and wait for you to fall, then get on the radio and call EMS to scrape yer carcass off the playa. Not gonna stop you, but will make sure you know what you’re doing.

You do NOT get to choose the danger level for others. Fire art and mutant vehicles can kill or injure people who are random passerby. They did not consent to the danger you caused. So, we have rules set up to keep that shit from happening.

People bitched about the Department of Mutant Vehicles. Now, twelve years later, the mobile art there is jaw-dropping, and not just one or two vehicles either. Having some general “don’t be a dick” rules about drones is part of running an actual anarchist society, instead of an academic circlejerk…


Except some of these rules are a little dumb.

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