This is an evergreen list of FAQ’s. It will be updated for 2018 as plans unfold. Updated FAQ’s are PINK. Scroll down to see a fully expanded list of all questions and responses.
Question: What, where, and when is POrtalBurn 2018?
POrtalBurn 2018 is the official Upstate NY Regional Burn! It’s a weekend long event being held at Hummingbird Hill (6780 Stanz Rd, Almond, NY 14804). The event starts at 5 pm on Thursday, July 26th and ends at 12 noon on Monday, July 30th. While driving please be sure to watch your speed and be aware of increased law enforcement in the area.
The Ten Principles of Burning Man are our guiding principles. Please learn them and take them to heart before your arrival. It’s the key to ensuring a successful and joyous burn for everyone. We have our own slideshow to help you understand them better here. You can also check them out on the Burning Man website: http://burningman.org/culture/philosophical-center/10-principles/
Question: Who are the Board members and Leads for POrtalBurn?
Please visit our webpage for an updated list of Who’s Who for POrtalBurn. http://portalburn.com/whos-who-of-portalburn/
Question: Can I arrive early (before 5pm on Thursday)?
Only if you have prior authorization. If you are not approved for early arrival, do not show up before 5 PM Thursday. Early Arrival will be permitted at Noon on Thursday for authorized individuals who are responsible for functions that are critical to making the event happen. This will include, but may not be limited to, Board members, Leads, Art Grant recipients and the Effigy Builder. Theme Camps may request early arrival if it’s critical for their setup. Depending on your reason for requesting early arrival, email your request to the appropriate Lead with the subject line ‘Early Arrival Request’. Go here for contacts: http://portalburn.com/contact-location/
Question: Are there limited gate hours for arrivals?
Yes. Gate planned gate hours for 2017 are:
Thursday: Noon through 5pm for Approved Early Arrivals (prior approval required!)
Thursday: 5pm through Midnight
Friday: 8am through Midnight
Saturday: 8am through 8pm
Sunday: 8am through 8pm
No new arrivals will be permitted outside of gate hours. These hours are subject to change depending on our ability to staff the gate with volunteers. If there are no volunteers to cover the gate, it will be closed. Please sign up to volunteer here: http://portalburn.com/volunteer/. Finalized gate hours will be published in the HELP guide a week prior to the event. Plan your arrival accordingly.
Question: Is there a ticket cap?
Yes. The ticket cap sales are set firmly at 420. We believe the land is capable of holding more, eventually, however at this time the cap is set firmly at 420 due to our ability to manage logistics.
Question: How and when are tickets being sold, and how much do they cost?
POrtalBurn 2017 tickets is sold out! The ticket link is HERE.
Tickets are $50 (plus a small service fee). Tickets are being sold using the ticketing website Brown Paper Tickets. Important: You must either print out your ticket and bring it with you, or, if you have a mobile ticket, have it saved on your device before you arrive on site. We cannot guarantee there will be reception for your mobile device. There will be no exceptions. No tickets will be sold on-site.
Question: How many tickets will I be able to purchase at once?
Four (4) per buyer. We are limiting sales to four tickets per person to prevent ticket hoarding, and provide sufficient opportunity for people who want them.
Question: Are there comp tickets or reserve tickets available?
There are no comp tickets. Every attendee, including Board members and Leads, will pay for their ticket. There will be a limited number of reserve tickets held to ensure individuals who are critical to making the event happen are able to attend. This will include, but may not be limited to, Board members, Leads, Art Grant Recipients and the Effigy Builder. If you are a recipient of a reserve ticket, please use the reserve ticket code that was provided to you when purchasing your ticket.
Question: Can I buy a ticket at the gate?
No. Bring your hard copy or mobile ticket with you.
Question: Is there will-call for tickets?
No. Bring your hard copy or mobile ticket with you.
Question: What if I forget my ticket?
Don’t forget your ticket. We will not have an electronic ticketing system in place. You must print out and bring your hard copy ticket with you or have your mobile ticket on your device.
Question: How do I sell/transfer my ticket to another person?
When you purchase a ticket, you will receive an email from Brown Paper Tickets with a link to a PDF. Simply forward that email (or link) to whomever is the new recipient of the ticket. No need to involve the powers-that-be at all. Any tickets sold must be at face value. Profiting from a ticket sale is strictly forbidden. This cannot be emphasized enough. If someone attempts to sell you a ticket for a profit, please email email@example.com immediately with the subject line ‘Ticket Sale Alert’.
Question: I got a ticket, but I need a ride! Is there a rideshare?
Yes! Community rocks [clink]! An awesome member of our POrtal community created a rideshare group on FaceBook. If you are seeking transportation, or have transportation to offer, this is a good place to inquire: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1045533418862310/.
Question: Do I have to wear a wristband?
Everyone attending POrtalBurn will be given a wristband that must be worn at all times during the event. When you are given your wristband at Ticketing, you will be instructed to write: (1) Your real name, (2) Where you are camping, and, if applicable, (3) The name of the parent or guardian that is with you at the event. This information is to help our MASH or Ranger volunteers help you if you need emergency assistance.
If your wristband is damaged, bring it to Ticketing for a replacement. If your wristband is lost, either find a Ranger or go to Ticketing for assistance. Anyone found without a wristband may be ejected from the event.
Question: How close is parking to the event site?
We have a new expanded parking area for 2017. The main parking area is a grass lot above the Hummingbird Hill field. There is a footbridge that provides access from parking to the open camping area on the Hill. If you prefer to park and walk your stuff in to open camping it’s very doable. There is a segment of the road leading to parking that is one lane only. Parking volunteers will guide you at this point. When no volunteers are on duty, access to parking will be restricted. Abide by all signage. The gravel lot we used in 2016 is restricted for special use vehicles only. See the map in the HELP Guide for details.
Question: Are cars/trailers able to come on-site to load/unload?
Yes. Upon arriving at POrtalBurn you will stop at the ticket gate at the entrance to the property and be welcomed by the Gate and Greeting volunteers. Once ticketed, you’ll proceed to the event field where you’ll be at the mercy of volunteer Parking Coordinators. You’ll be allowed to drive on-site to unload, then you’ll return your vehicle to a parking area. Supply trailers are allowed to remain in the event fields, at your campsite. Vehicles are not permitted to remain on-site unless you have an on-site parking pass. When leaving the event, you’ll be permitted to drive your vehicle into the event field for loading. Other than unloading and loading, vehicles are not permitted on the event fields. Please abide by all traffic markings – roads will be marked for traffic movement. All traffic rules are weather permitting. Show some love to your Parking Coordinators – they will help guide you.
A word about terrain: Access to the event space will necessitate being able to haul your load through some inclined areas. If your vehicle does not have sufficient power to manage hauling over unlevel terrain, please consider alternatives.
Question: How will unloading/loading be handled if inclement weather prevents vehicle access to the event fields?
If weather does not permit automobile access to the event site to load and unload, you will need to carry all materials to/from your campsite from the parking area. We’ll make judgement calls closer to event time and will post updated information on the POrtalBurn Facebook page and website as it unfolds so you know what to expect upon arrival. Please monitor the pages for updated information and be prepared.
Question: Are RVs/Campers/Sleeping Vehicles welcome to park on-site?
Yes, but space must be requested and pre-approved. ALL REQUESTS FOR ON-SITE PARKING ARE NOW CLOSED. Your vehicle does not need to be part of a Theme Camp, but you do need to have approved placement. Read on.
RV’s: There is a specific area for RV parking within the event space. Space is limited – we anticipate being able to accommodate about 8 RV’s. There is no water or electrical hook up for RV’s. Please refrain from playing amplified music in the RV area. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request RV parking.
Pop-Up Campers: If you want to bring a pop-up camper that is 20’ or smaller into your camp space, you will need to submit a Theme Camp/Placement request so we can place you. Go here to request placement. You will most likely be placed in The Bufflehead field. Depending on how many requests we get, your camper may need to be unhitched from your vehicle, and vehicle returned to parking, so be prepared. Pop-up campers over 20’ will need to request an RV space (see above).
On-site Parking: If you want to park a vehicle on-site in your camp space, you will need to submit a Theme Camp/Placement request, so we can place you. Go here to request on-site parking.
A word about terrain: Access to the event space will necessitate being able to haul your load through some inclined areas. If your vehicle does not have sufficient power to manage hauling over unlevel terrain, please consider alternatives.
Do not bring an on-site vehicle (camper, van, RV, etc) without prior authorization. Do not anticipate parking your sleeping vehicle in the parking lot and using it as a camp space.
Question: Are art cars allowed?
Yes! If you would like to bring an art car, please email the POrtalBurn BOD at POrtalBurnny@gmail.com with the subject ‘Art Car’ and your name. We’ll need to understand the nature of your art car, and talk about safety and stuff.
Question: Is there electricity on-site?
There is electricity in the main Party House (The Nest) only, however it will not be available to participants in the event space. The electricity in The Nest is only to be used for activities in The Nest.
Question: How is the Party House (The Nest) to be used?
The Nest is open from 10am to 8pm. It has a built in sound system that you can sign up to use to play music for the people enjoying the pond, or for a scheduled event. The Nest also has a large bar (with a refrigerator) that you can use to host an event. No smoking of any kind is permitted in the Nest. No permanent storage of any item can occur in the refrigerator. Leftover items of any kind are not a gift – it’s MOOP. There are no trash cans in The Nest. If you host an event in The Nest you are 100% responsible for leaving it MOOP free, and in a clean and orderly fashion. If you fail to use The Nest responsibly, a BOD member will find you and ask you to remedy the situation. Don’t be that person.
When The Nest is not hosting a reserved event it is open to all participants from 10am to 8pm. The same rules apply – ANY items left behind are MOOP, not a gift. It is your personal responsibility to Leave No Trace. This cannot be emphasized enough. If The Nest is not handled responsibly, it will be closed and available only for reserved events.
Sign ups will open soon! Go to here to reserve time for your event at The Nest (Party House): http://portalburn.com/
Question: Is there a pavilion?
Yes, there is, but it is not available for events. It’s kind of set apart from the main event space and connected to the lower level of The Nest, outside MASH. The pavilion will be our Base of Operations Base (BOOB), used primarily as our Ranger Station, and a central space for our Safety Core volunteers.
Question: Can I bring a generator?
Yes. We request you do whatever you can to mitigate sound, and be considerate of your neighbors. If a neighbor is bothered by your generator, please be graceful and work it out. If you’re able to share genny power with neighbors, it’s a beautiful thing.
Question: Is there potable water on-site?
No, there is no potable water on-site. You need to bring your own potable water for any cooking or personal needs.
Question: Are there showers on-site?
Yes! We’ll be setting up a communal shower shelter near The Nest using well water that’s available onsite. Brace yourself… it’ll be cold! Please remember this is a Leave No Trace event. Any soaps or shampoos MUST be environmentally friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic. If you choose to set up your own shower system, there are trees and brush surrounding the perimeter of the event where you might find space to hang a solar shower bag. If you do, please be cognizant of any water run off and how it may affect the environment and other participants.
Question: What are the pond rules?
The pond is open from 10am to 8pm. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so each participant is responsible for their own safety. You are responsible for monitoring your own children in and around the pond. That’s worth repeating: Parents and Guardians – there are NO lifeguards on duty and you are responsible for monitoring minors in your care. Zero Exceptions. Failure to monitor the minors in your care is your fastest ticket out of POrtalBurn.
Nudity is allowed in the pond (yeah!). Do not bring glass bottles or containers in or around the pond.
Floats and floatable pool toys are allowed and encouraged! It MUST float.. When you leave POrtalBurn, be sure to collect any and all of your pond toys. If you bring a pond toy and leave it behind, it is NOT a gift, it’s MOOP. Please don’t leave your pond toys behind for volunteers to deal with.
The pond is big, with depth ranges from 10’ to 30’. You can jump into the pond from the deck of The Nest (Party House), or walk in using a ramp along the edge near the deck. Water shoes are recommended. It’s a natural pond, leeches are possible, though we don’t anticipate it to be a problem. Just be aware. The pond contains trout and koi as big as 3’ long. They tend to swim deep so they won’t bother you, please don’t bother them – we are guests in their home.
Do not use the pond as a cleaning location: no soap or other cleaners of any kind in the pond! Do not dump your gray water in the pond either.
The pond is strictly off-limits outside of 10am-8pm, and will be closed if weather dictates.
Question: Where is the closest place I can get water, ice, gas and supplies?
No amenities or supplies will be sold at POrtalBurn. On-site vending is prohibited. There are a variety of stores in the town of Almond and other nearby towns. Google is your friend, plan accordingly.
Question: Where do I pitch my tent? Tell me about the space!
The event space consists of four main event fields, and one small ancillary field. The main center field is Hummingbird Hill. It’s a primary access point with some flat plateaus, some slope, and driving lanes that will get you to the three east fields (Falcontown, The Bufflehead and Quails Quorner). Some art and theme camps will be placed on Hummingbird Hill, and there will be open camping space at the top of the hill. Falcontown, The Bufflehead and Quails Quorner are much flatter.
The smaller east field, closest to parking, is The Bufflehead. It is designated for approved onsite parking and pop-up campers. Depending on how many onsite parking requests we get, The Bufflehead may also accommodate walk-in camping.
Quails Quorner is accessible from The Bufflehead. It’s small lot designated as an open camping quiet zone for families with kids. There will be limited space available to keep your car parked in Quails’ Quorner, however it must stay onsite for the duration of your stay. If you need to use your car during the event, please return it to parking. Upon arrival, Parking Volunteers can update you if parking space is available. Please work together with your neighbors to make Quails’ Quorner accessible to all who choose to camp there.
The larger field is Falcontown. It will be mostly placed theme camps, art, and approved on-site parking, though open camping will also be available.
There is a small ancillary field we call Mute Swan Meadow, with pockets of flat space behind The Nest (party house), across from RV parking, close to MASH. We are designating this as a quiet zone suitable for walk-in open camping with small tents (no amplified music, generators or vehicles).
All open camping is first come, first served. We’ll provide a site map in the HELP Guide showing you all the details. The bottom line… when you arrive, ask your parking volunteers about the best way to go. They will guide you.
Question: Is there any camping in the woods? Is there hiking in the woods?
There are woodlands on the property suitable for hiking, but not camping. All event participants must camp in designated areas only. The final site map will show the hiking area as ‘The Ruff’. No camping or fire is permitted in The Ruff but feel free to go for a hike… it has a mind blowing view!
Question: Can I have a fire at my campsite? Can I bring my own firewood? Is there an ash dump?
Yes, you can have a burn barrel or elevated fire pit. All campfires must be at your campsite, must be raised off the ground, must be in a contained barrel or elevated fire pit, and must monitored at all times. Camps with fire must have a fire extinguisher or water bucket readily available. If you bring fire, you must be responsible, and Leave No Trace.
No, you cannot bring outside firewood. This region is highly sensitive to the Emerald Ash Borer (an invasive species that is tightly monitored) and wood from outside of the immediate area could bring this insect with disastrous results. We will provide locally obtained wood for the effigy burn, and camp burn barrels and fire pits.
Yes, there will be a designated ash dump. When you leave, you must dispose of any ashes from your burn barrel or fire pit responsibly. Do not discard any ashes or embers anyplace other than a designated ash dump.
Question: Can we use fireworks or pyrotechnics?
No. Fireworks and pyrotechnics are strictly prohibited. If you are unsure if your effects fall into this category, contact email@example.com.
Question: Can we use flame effects?
Maybe. You’ll need to let us know your intent via either the Theme Camp application process, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure your project falls within our Fire Safety Guidelines. If your project is flaming Art, keep reading and follow Art guidelines. The bottom line – if you’re bringing fire, we need to know about it.
Question: Can we spin fire (poi, staff, hoop, etc)?
Yes! Fire performances will be permitted in safe spaces and we will be looking to the community to practice and respect common sense fire safety procedures. Every fire performer is expected to have a designated safety person, fire blanket and fire extinguisher.
Question: Will there be an effigy burn?
Yes, we will have a burn on Saturday night!
Questions: Will there be an art burn?
Yes! Please contact email@example.com if you would like to burn your art at POrtalBurn. Our Art Lead will help you make sure your Art meets fire safety guidelines as well.
Question: Will there be a conclave?
Yes! Please contact Storm, our Conclave Lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate!
Question: Will there be sound camps?
Question: What is the sound policy?
- If you are asked by a neighboring camp to lower your sound levels, we expect you to resolve the issue together. If you are not able to resolve it, please find a Sound Volunteer. If further assistance is needed, find a Ranger.
- Full policy: POrtalBurn Sound Policy – 2017
Question: How do I sign up to be a Theme Camp?
Applications for 2017 Theme Camps ARE CLOSED. Applications are here. When you sign up to be a Theme Camp you can request placement, which means you will have an assigned space and will be included on the site map. If you choose not to request placement, you can find a spot in open camping and still be listed in the HELP Guide. Reminder: Sound Camps, On-Site Parking and Pop-Up campers 20’ and under must request placement. Deadlines for Theme Camp/Placement and sign ups are coming soon!
Question: How do I list an event in the HELP guide?
Submissions for the 2017 HELP Guide ARE CLOSED. If you would like your event to be listed in the HELP guide, go here for dates and deadlines, and to submit an event.
Reminder: If you plan to host an event in The Nest (party house), you must also reserve the time slot. A link will be posted on the website to reserve time at the Nest for 2017.
Question: I want to make art. Tell me more!
Art Grant submissions for 2017 ARE CLOSED. If you want to bring art, and don’t need a grant, we want that too! If you would like your art placed on the map, contact our Art Lead at POrtalBurnarts@gmail.com.
Question: Are pets allowed?
Question: Are children allowed? Do they need a ticket?
Yes! Children 12 and under do not require a ticket. Minors 13 – 20 will require a ticket and will be provided an underage wristband. Participants 21 and over require ID and a ticket, and will be provided an adult wristband. POrtalBurn is a family event that welcomes participants of all ages. People under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a 21+ parent or guardian, both at entry, and at all times during the event. Accept that YOU are responsible for the welfare of minors in your care. You should know where your minors are at all times, and be aware that some activities are adult–specific. At the very least, non–sexual nudity will happen, and it’s your responsibility to determine what your minors are exposed to. For the protection of minors at POrtalBurn, all parents and guardians are required to register each minor in their care at the Gate. Please also write your name on the wristbands of the minors in your care. Failing to adequately supervise minors in your care is your fastest ticket out of POrtalBurn, as you will be immediately ejected without exception or recourse.
Question: Is nudity allowed?
Yes. Nudity is allowed within the event space only. Nudity is not allowed at the Gate or in temporary parking where you show your ticket and get your wristband.
Question: Do New York State laws apply?
Yes. All New York State laws including those regarding drugs and alcohol apply. POrtalBurn, LLC does not condone ANY illegal activity. While we are creating a temporary community with its own rules, this community coexists within an area of real laws.
Question: Who is responsible for monitoring minors at Theme Camps and events?
The Theme Camp or server is responsible for identifying minors at all events. If you are serving alcohol you must check wristbands of anyone you are serving to be sure that they are of legal age. This is worth repeating: If you are serving alcohol, you MUST check wristbands. Do not serve minors. Period.
Question: Will there be dumpsters, trash cans, or trash removal of any kind?
No. This is a 100% pack it in, pack it out event. You are responsible for every piece of trash you generate. It is our Civic Responsibility to ensure our event does not negatively impact the community around us. DO NOT dump your trash at local businesses. This was an issue for our 2016 event. This behavior could potentially put our event at this location at risk.
Have a ‘camp trash plan’. You are strongly encouraged to discard any product packaging prior to arrival to minimize your trash. Remember to bring trash bags and make use of reusable supplies. Burn your burnables. Avoid bringing glass containers. If you smoke, bring your own portable ashtray. Keep trash and food in your camp covered and closed to avoid attracting wildlife. Leave No Trace means you bring it out with you. It does not mean you leave it bagged up expecting the POrtalBurn volunteers to take care of it after you leave.
Question: Will there be porto potties?
Yes, there will be Portal Potties. Same thing, cooler name, and they’ll be fancy. If it didn’t come out of your body, don’t put it in the potty. Single ply TP only. Please use them responsibly and don’t be an asshole.
Question: Will there be ice available on site?
No. There are stores nearby where you can buy ice. Any participant who chooses to organize collective ice runs is a rock star!
Question: Is there cell service?
From what we’ve experienced, yes. There are some dead zones, but overall you should be able to get service.
Question: Can I take pictures or videos?
Participants understand they may be photographed at POrtalBurn, and that consent must be obtained for all photography, film, or video at the event. Any person identifiable in the image or video much express consent to be photographed or filmed and photographers must destroy any image or video at the subject’s request, even if prior consent had been granted. Participants understand that it is prohibited to take photos or videos of a camp or person if a ‘No Photos’ sign is posted, or at an event where a ‘No Photos’ policy has been announced. Participants understand and accept that no use other than personal use of images, film, or video obtained at the event may be made without prior written permission from Portal Burn, Corp and the written permission of any persons identifiable in the images, film or video.
Question: Is the event site wheelchair accessible, or accessible for people who are mobility impaired?
Not really. The event site does not have paved roads or established paths that can guarantee accessibility for everyone. Areas of the site have rugged terrain, and portions of the open field are sloped. We welcome all participants, however we cannot assure accessibility to all areas of the venue. If you have a need or concern, please contact us for additional information at POrtalBurnny@gmail.com.
Question: What kind of ‘survival supplies’ do I need to bring?
This is a wooded, natural area. Practice radical self-reliance. The event area consists of mowed fields, wooded areas, and a pond. Bring your bug spray, spf and personal first aid needs. Be aware of ticks, and do daily tick checks. Much of the terrain is sloped and uneven; good shoes are your friend. Bring clothing appropriate for warmth and protection. Bring whatever water, food, and necessities you need for the duration of your stay.
Question: I’m a POrtal/Burn Virgin. Am I going to be sacrificed?
You will be lei’d and greeted warmly by our Virgin Acculturation Guides (VAG) at the Gate. They will educate you on the Ten Principles to help you make the best of your experience. Be sure participate in the Virgin Tour and Scavenger Hunt events that were designed with you in mind! Since you’re reading the the HELP Guide, you’re off to a great start! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Ten Principles of Burning Man: http://burningman.org/culture/philosophical-center/10-principles/
Question: Will there be medical services available onsite?
All POrtalBurners are expected to be self reliant. This includes bringing any and all supplies you might need, such as OTC medication, first aid supplies, sunscreen, etc. We will have a MASH camp staffed with volunteers (if unmanned please use the radio in MASH to ask for help or find a ranger) on site to help with minor emergencies. No medical services will be available, but MASH volunteers can assist participants with obtaining appropriate medical care. Rangers will also be on duty and can help facilitate getting medical assistance if needed.
The nearest hospital facility is approximately 15 minutes away: St. James Mercy Hospital, 411 Canisteo Street, Hornell, NY 14843.
Question: Will there be a Sanctuary?
There will be a sanctuary space. It will not be staffed, but if you require assistance, please call a Ranger on the radio located in MASH camp. If you have skills that might benefit those who use the Sanctuary space, please consider volunteering as a Ranger. (All interested Rangers must attend training at 8PM on Friday at the BoOB Base.)
Question: Who are Rangers?
Rangers are helpful, clear-headed participants and non-confrontational volunteer mediators. They are not your cops and not your mom, but good people to find if you need help! You can spot them in their super swanky khaki clothing. The TIT (The Information Tent) can radio a Ranger if one is needed.
Question: How do I sign up to volunteer?
Glad you asked! Volunteer sign ups for 2017 are OPEN! Sign up here. Please sign up! Once on-site you can also visit TIT – The Information Tent, to see the volunteer schedule and sign up for open shifts. This event cannot happen without volunteers! Repeat: POrtalBurn is a Volunteer driven event. Without YOU, POrtalBurn cannot happen. Just do it. You know you want to. C’mon.. click it and sign up!
Question: Is POrtalBurn Corp, the Leads and/or coordinators of POrtalBurn, or the landowner responsible for my safety and well being before, during or after the event?
No. You are responsible for your own health, safety and well being at all times before, during and after the event. You will be asked to sign a waiver on arrival clarifying any liabilities.
Question: What if I have more questions that aren’t answered here?
If your question is specific, see the Who’s Who and email the appropriate Lead: http://portalburn.com/contact-location/. You can also post to POrtalBurn FB page, FB discussion group, or email POrtalBurnny@gmail.com.