What's the Deal with Hushville?

Hushville is a Burning Man village that is open to anyone who wants to camp with us, provided they abide by three simple rules:

  1. No generators of any kind, of any size, at any time.
  2. No amplified sound.
  3. Leave No Trace! No trace of your presence or the presence of Hushville.

The village was created in 2001 to offer a relatively quiet area for people who did not want to camp way out on the outer edge of the city. But Hushville quickly evolved into a large community of diverse people - people dedicated to each other, the village, and the city. We still abide by our three original rules to keep things quieter. Please keep "quieter" in mind - We are still located in the heart of the city, often just a few blocks from Center Camp. It would be foolish to assume that we would be immune to all ambient noise, but at least we do have the satisfaction of knowing there won't be generators running right outside our tents.


If you'd like to be a part of Hushville, there are a few hoops you have to jump through. Don't worry, it's all pretty easy.

Hoop One: Join the Discussion List
We maintain a Yahoo discussion list that keeps people in touch year-round. The list is also our primary means of announcing important news about the village, so if you are not on it, you'll really be missing out.

Please note: To reduce the number of spammers that try to join this mailing list, we've put new memberships under Moderator Review. This just means you'll be asked to write a few words about yourself and your interest in Hushville/Burning Man. Those few words will distinguish you as "Human" and you will be approved as a full-fledged member of the Yahoo group. Then, you can post and introduce yourself to everyone else!

Click here to go to the Yahoo page and find out about signing up.

Hoop Two: Sign Up To Camp Each Year
As was mentioned above, you have to fill out a short form every year to let us know that you're coming. This is so we can plan and so that you're sure you understand what is required to camp in Hushville. Details will be posted frequently on the Yahoo mailing list and here on the website when Registration is open - usually July and early August before The Event.

The Hushville Rules

Although the rules for camping in Hushville are very simple, we have found that some people are unclear on certain points or choose to interpret things in rather creative ways. To minimize confusion for everyone, let's review things in excessive detail, OK?

Rule One: No Generators

The first rule of Hushville is that no generators (including those in RVs) can be operated in the village at any time. It does not matter how small it is or that you just need it for 15 minutes a day to run a blender. An idling car engine counts as a generator and is therefore a no-no. No generators at any time.

Rule Two: No Amplified Sound
There is to be no amplified sound in Hushville at any time of day or night. In the past couple years, this has been the most misunderstood rule even though it's rather straightforward. If the sound comes out of a speaker, it is amplified and it is not welcome in our village. That said, there are a couple things to consider:

  1. Boomboxes are OK if they can only be heard within your own camp. Remember, though, sound travels quite easily and the canvas walls of your shade structure do nothing to attenuate that sound. If you really must have some music going, take 10 seconds to walk over to your neighbor's camp and see if you can hear it. If you can, it is too loud; go back and turn it down. Also, resist the urge to blast your car stereo while setting up your camp. Remember, people camp in Hushville to get away from stuff like this so please don't defeat the entire purpose of this village.
  2. Things like drums and horns don't exactly fit the "speaker" test of amplified sound, but again, remember why people have camped in Hushville. Your drum may not plug into an amplifier, but does it contribute to the quiet environment that we are trying to create? Probably not. Sling it over your shoulder and head out to the other 98% of Black Rock City that welcomes such a thing.
  3. Let me put that last one another way. Let's say I'm relaxing in my camp and I hear music emanating from your camp. From my perspective, it does not matter if it's coming from an amplified stereo system or from humans playing instruments. Please do not try to exploit loopholes in this simple rule; remember where you are and act accordingly.
  4. Please notice how I emphasized "at any time of day or night" at the beginning of this page. It's not like there's a sound curfew, where it's OK to be loud until a certain time. The rule is in effect 24/7.

Rule Three: Leave No Trace
We should not have to explain what this rule is all about; the literature you have received from the Burning Man organization covers the concept of Leave No Trace in full detail. Hushville does not have a clean-up committee. There is no one waiting to swoop in after you leave to pick up your sunflower seed shells and bits of Astroturf. This is 100% up to you, which is how it is for everyone throughout BRC. When you break camp, there should be absolutely no evidence that you were ever there.

Remember: Absolutely nothing will kill our chances of having Hushville in the future faster than if it is left in a messy state. Leaving anything behind totally screws the rest of us. Over the years, Hushville has developed a sterling reputation of leaving an exceptionally clean site - the entire site, every year. Keep it clean and we all benefit!

Hushville FAQs

What is Hushville?
Hushville is a village within Black Rock City open to anyone who wants to camp with us. The only requirement is that you do not have a generator or any amplified sound. Additionally, you should not generate any continuous sound that carries much farther than your own camp. So banging pots and pans together would probably not be a good idea.

The idea for Hushville came after some of us had a rather unpleasant time at Burning Man 2000, where we were under nonstop sonic bombardment from five directions for the entire week. After returning home, we discussed how nice it would be to have a place a tad bit quieter, and well, that was that. Hushville debuted in 2001 and is now one of the largest villages in the city.

(Please note that Hushville is a village, not a camp. A village is a large collection of camps.)

Do I need to join a theme camp?
There's a common misperception that you have to be associated with a theme camp in order to attend Burning Man. Not true. That said, being part of a theme camp can be a blast and it may work out best for you to do your own theme camp or to align with some other group.

There are several theme camps within Hushville - some of them registered with Placement and some of them organized on their own. If you find an interesting theme camp on the Burning Man list and it's listed as residing in Hushville, you're welcome to drop them a line and find out what's up. If you want to form your own theme camp and think it would fit into Hushville, you're more than welcome. All the rules apply to everything that you do and all your members, but we have a lot of diverse groups within the village - your presence will add to our richness.

How do I join Hushville?
It is necessary to register in advance in order to camp of Hushville. The registration link is above. Keep reading so that you'll know all about Hushville before you decide to register.

What do you call someone in Hushville?
The official name for a resident is Hushvillain. Note that that's Hushvillain, not Hushvillian. There's a big difference. Some of us renegades use the term "Hushvillero." It's got a nice Sam Peckinpah flavor.

Where is Hushville based?
With the Hushville officials scattered over several states, we don't consider Hushville to be based out of any specific geographic location, and we're proud to have folks from all over the world join us every year.

Can I have a theme camp camp within Hushville? If so, does it have to adhere to a specific concept?
We would like for Hushville to be packed with theme camps! Information about Theme Camps can be found in the members-only section of this site. And no, there will be no unifying theme.

Where will Hushville be located?
For 2015, Hushville will be located between Ersatz ("E") and Geek ("G"), and between 5:00 and 5:30. Look for more details as we get nearer to the event.

Can I reserve a certain spot within Hushville?
For the most part, no. All space are first-come, first-served. Generally, BManOrg does not select spots for camps within villages, it is up to the village organizers. But that's a level of complexity we just don't want to deal with, so it will be up to you to get there nice and early to select the space that fits your needs. That said, we do hold some locations for camps that want to be along the perimeter - camps that interact with the rest of Black Rock City.

Will there still be room for me if I arrive on <fill in a date>?
Every year people become concerned that if they get to the playa too late in the week there won't be any space left for them in Hushville. Yes, this is a possibility but it is not a given. Obviously, the earlier you arrive the easier it will be to fit you in, but you shouldn't give up hope just because you can't get there until later in the week. Our placement people do an excellent job of maximizing the real estate and are wizards at fitting people into tight spaces. Plus, some people only attend Burning Man for the first part of the week, opening up space when they leave mid-week. Even if you think you might be too late, you should always swing past the village and inquire about the status. Don't just drive by and assume we're full because it looks full... stop and ask! 

I have a great idea for something that should be done in Hushville.
Wonderful... do it! We just set up the infrastructure... all the cool stuff comes from those of you who camp in it!

Will there be a community kitchen / shower / evap pond?
No, all camps within Hushville operate autonomously. Just as though you were in open camping, you are responsible for all aspects of your own experience. Likewise, there is no community shower or grey-water evaporation system. It's all up to you, folks.

Just how quiet do we have to be? Can I play my drum?
The last thing we want to do is draw up a detailed list of what sound-related things are and are not acceptable. Just use common sense... people will be camping in Hushville because they want some peace and quiet. Will your activity (singing, yelling, drumming, chanting, blacksmithing, whatever) be at odds with this? If so, please reconsider doing it. We don't expect people to sit around in muted silence, but c'mon, just keep in mind why it's called Hushville.

How about a radio or boombox?
Technically, these come under the category of amplified sound, but we're not going to be overly zealous about this. The single most important thing is that the sound not extend beyond your own camp. This means you are going to have to keep that thing turned WAY DOWN. Way, way down. 

Is it OK if I bring an RV?
Sure, as long as you don't plan to use the generator. That doesn't mean only running it two hours a day or only fifteen minutes a day, it means never. Other than that, just be mindful of where you park it... RVs can be very imposing if they're pulled up right next to someone's tent.

Can I run my car engine from time-to-time to charge my laptop/camera/whatever?
Absolutely not. An idling car engine is a generator. It makes noise, creates exhaust and is not allowed in the village. If you have a weak car battery that you need to keep charged, please note that idling the engine does no good... the engine needs to be revved at a good speed in order for an appreciable charge to make it back to the battery. And you can be damned sure that your neighbors are not going to like having a revved engine right next to them!

But I really need air conditioning during the hot part of the day.
Sorry, but you're going to have to find it somewhere else. Go volunteer to help hand out ice for the afternoon! It's the coldest place on the playa, and you'll be doing a good deed.

Will there be someone responsible for clean-up?
Yes... you! Please do not even think about camping in Hushville unless you are 110% committed to thoroughly cleaning your area, the village area, and picking up MOOP as you travel about the playa. If there is any indication that you are not willing to comply with the Leave No Trace policy, you will be asked to leave the village immediately.

When is Burning Man? What is Burning Man? How do I get tickets? How do I drive there from Piedmont? What should I bring?
Sorry folks, this is not a general purpose Burning Man FAQ. Please go to www.burningman.com for all that type of information.

What's to stop someone from setting up a giant sound system right across the street from Hushville?
Technically nothing, provided they're not violating the official sound policy. We hope, however, that we'll have the full support of the Rangers in dealing with anyone who is maliciously trying to screw with us.

If I camp in Hushville, will I have to do anything special?
Since we're somewhat of an open village, we hope that all participants will take an active role in welcoming newcomers and verifying that they're aware of where they're camping. We hope to have ample signs up around the perimeter, but undoubtedly some people will completely miss these and later get really pissed that they camped in the quiet area.

Does camping in Hushville qualify me for early arrival into BRC?
No. Please do not arrive at the event earlier than the official start time and expect to be let in just because you are camping in Hushville. The gate will turn you away.

Important Information

OK, so you've read through the general FAQs and have decided that Hushville is the place for you... now what? In this section we're going to cover all the nitty-gritty details that will make your life much easier once you get to the playa. There's a LOT of information here, so please read through everything at least once!

We know that this is a bit confusing, but you have to register for two separate things to be a part of Hushville..

  1. You are strongly, strongly, strongly advised to join the Yahoo email group so you can be kept up-to-date on Hushville news year 'round. This is typically the only place where we announce important information, so you don't want to miss out. Click here for more information.
  2. Every year you must submit a form to let us know that you intend to camp with us. Registration is open now for 2015.

Signing Up to Camp
As mentioned above, every year you must submit a form that tells us that you intend to camp in Hushville. We do not register people on the playa, so if you don't submit this form, you will not be able to camp in Hushville! We just need some rather basic information (e.g. name, how many are in your camp, when you plan to arrive, etc), so it's not that difficult of a process. It does, however, serve a very important need.

In order to submit the form, you will be asked to agree to the three basic Hushville rules. This way, no one who registers can claim that they didn't understand about not being able to run their RV generator or that their 3:00am drum circle might be a problem. We started doing the advance registration in 2003, and it has eliminated virtually all of our problems!

You'll see the link on this page (above) when we open Registration - Open NOW! And keep an eye on the notices on the Yahoo Group mailing list.

Reserving a Spot in the Village
The vast majority of Hushville is not reserved. We have around 400 people each year, and trying to map out spots for all of them would be a logistical nightmare. If, however, you are planning to do a theme-ish camp and would like to be placed on the perimeter where there is more pedestrian traffic, then we will try to accommodate you. What you need to do is fire off an email to info-at-hushville-dot-com and describe what you're planning. Our Minister of Perimeter will then work with you to find the best spot.

Everyone else will arrive in the village and find available space. Obviously, the earlier you arrive in the week, the better your selection will be. It is impossible for us to tell in advance if Hushville will fill up, and if so, by when. If you arrive on the playa later in the week, do not just assume that we're full and go somewhere else! Come on by and talk with someone... we will very likely have pockets of space that you can't see from the road.

Helping Out
Hushville may be one of the largest villages in Black Rock City, but it's also one of the simplest. We purposefully have very little in the way of infrastructure and most of the village activities are driven by the community.

The Hushville Flounders are the core group of people responsible for making the village happen each year. We submit the application and work with the Burning Man placement team to secure a chunk of land that will hopefully be large enough for everyone. We've been doing this every year since 2001 so we kind of have the process down.

Once we get to the playa, there's plenty of opportunities for other folks to help out. Since these kind of things change from year-to-year, it's probably best to not list them here but if you're subscribed to the Yahoo mailing list, there will be plenty of notices about projects and get-togethers and volunteer opportunities.