There are no translations available.
How to create your own barrio
We quote extensively, and with permission, from the Burning Man theme camps and village resource guide. Hopefully this answers all your questions about creating a theme camp (or barrio, as they're known at Nowhere) but you can also email
Why a barrio?
Let's be honest, coming to Nowhere is a lot of work. It is fun, fantastic, interesting and quite probably a life-changing experience too – but it's also tough. Even bringing only yourself into the desert, with all the supplies required to support yourself for a week, and then packing everything out again takes some planning. And that's just the self-reliance part – we haven't even talked about the self-expression part yet!
By working together with a group of like-minded people, you can divide the work so you still have some time, energy and resources left over for fun things like art projects, bars, trampolines and maybe even a ball pen (to name just a few of the great things heroic theme camps have brought out to the Los Monegros desert over the years).
It’s good to co-operate...
Water is the number one necessity at Nowhere. Without it, you cannot survive. Unfortunately, water is also very bulky, especially enough water for a week. You should bring 6–8 litres per person per day, and even more (about another 10 litres per day) if you want to do all those little things that make life comfortable, such as showers, washing dishes, using plant misters for cooling yourself and your friends etc.
Water is generally sold in plastic bottles (5–6 litres), which is not the most environmentally friendly option but is the safest and easiest option. If buying plastic bottles, you should look into recycling them after the festival. For a barrio, you can look at renting a water tank for the week. Last year, one of the camps organised a tank of 8,000 litres of water, so didn’t need to buy plastic bottles at all!
Check out the Green Nowhere page for ways to reduce the environmental impact of your water supply.
Food is important. After you've spent a week eating three meals a day of barely identifiable goo out of cans with potato chips, you will fully appreciate how much happier nice food can make you. Your barrio can either supply a kitchen that people can cook in or you can cook collectively.
A kitchen is not strictly necessary for survival, but a nice kitchen with shade, a kitchen counter, a good stove, pots and pans, and a good dish-washing area will make food preparation much more fun.
Some experienced Nobodies (Messy and Eva) have shared their experience and knowledge with helpful tips – if you're setting up your own kitchen, then make sure you check them out on the Run a kitchen page.
The Spanish sun is harsh. During the hottest hour or two of the day, most people are not capable of doing anything more than dozing in the shade. This is especially true for people who are used to a cold, rainy climate. Shade is only really comfortable if the shade is open to the wind, or it will just be too warm to even be there. In other words: you cannot be in your tent during the day.
Since everyone needs shade, and bigger shade structures are very nice places to meet people, you’ll want to add a shade structure to your barrio as well. This will be the place where you pass the afternoon, and where you’ll meet new friends who are camped elsewhere.
Shade cloth is cheap, commonly available in Spain, and a great material to cover your structures with. Be warned though: it doesn’t block all UV, so you can still get a nasty sunburn under it.
Large structures need to be secured properly, as strong gusts capable of lifting structures are not uncommon. All designs are strongly advised to include safety provisions. For more on this, please check out securing your structure on the Burning Man website.
Many types of shade have been used at Nowhere, from simple carports and large tents, to more complex geodesic domes and tensegrity structures. Many members of the community can give advice on how to develop a suitable design, so if you need some assistance, try the forum.
For some examples of shade structure websites, please visit:
• Geometry: how to build a geodesic dome
• Desert Domes – the dome calculator
After a few sweaty days in the desert, people can get pretty smelly. One way of dealing with this is making sure that you're the smelliest one of them all, so you won't be bothered by other people's smell. Unfortunately, only one person can be the smelliest, and it's not exactly a way to make yourself popular. So, the sensible alternative is: a shower!
One way of having showers is to bring an industrial-size plant mister, and wash yourself with that. Solar showers are another way, but they do use more water.
A lot of people like to have a bit of privacy while they're having a shower, so you will probably want to build some sort of shower cubicle.
If you're going to be using electrical equipment, such as lamps, a sound system, massage chairs etc, you will need electricity. Unless the Nowhere organisation (Norg) has agreed to provide power for you (highly unlikely – it is radical self-reliance after all), you will have to make your own.
The nasty but easy way of doing this is to bring a generator. If you can manage to bring them, solar panels or a wind generator would be much nicer. Considering the number of drunk and/or stupid people wandering around Nowhere, we would prefer not to have nuclear power on site.
Get helpful hints from the Burning Man site about how to keep your generator working and your neighbours happy!
Nowhere is also about art. Forming a theme camp is a great way to combine resources to create an art project. Like everything at Nowhere, make sure any art you make is leave no trace. Check out the Art and art grants page for more information.
While barrios themselves are not supported by the Nowhere art grants system, if your camp has artistic elements (a sculpture, installation or performance, for example) they may be eligible for an art grant. Check out the Art and art grants page.
Nowhere is not a mainstream festival with a big main stage, but we do have places for people and groups to perform (check out performance and live music for more details). Your barrio could be one of those places, and you could even organise your own performances or music. Many camps bring their own sounds systems and provide a variety of entertainment.
Workshops are a fantastic way to interact with other Nowhere participants. Is there a workshop that your camp could host? Perhaps you could provide a space where others could host their workshops?
A well-stocked bar
If nothing else, throwing a party and having a well-stocked bar is a very simple way to give something to the community. As Nowhere is a no-commerce event, any booze served must be given as a gift.
Now that you have all your basic survival needs organised, and decided on your contribution to the event, you’ll need to bring everything to Nowhere. Some of the things, like food, water and some of the construction materials, you might be able to buy locally, but mostly you will need to bring things with you. Many barrios hire a van or truck and share the cost, and if you have enough space, you can even charge other people for transporting their things too.
After the event, you need to clean up: Nowhere is a leave no trace event, so we expect you to leave no trace! While cleaning up the mess for an entire camp by yourself is no fun, doing it with a bunch of people can be a party in itself. It makes life much easier if you clean up as you go, but make sure you have volunteers to stay behind to clean up as well. Check out the 'Clean up' section below for more details.
It is amazing how much waste a group of people living in the desert for a week can produce. And all of that waste will have to go with you when you leave. So how do you be environmentally conscious and reduce the amount of nasty, smelly rubbish you have to bring back with you at the same time? The secret is: recycling. Small amounts of recycling can be deposited at recycling stations in the nearest towns, Castejon and Sariñena, with larger amounts brought to recycling centres in Zaragoza and Barcelona.
In the past, people have told us that they don't know if they're welcome at other barrios. It certainly does feel a bit weird wandering into someone else’s camp and making yourself at home, but at Nowhere, that’s just what we do!
There are a number of easy things you can do to make your camp feel more welcoming:
1. Have a chat with anyone who walks past or into your camp.
2. Offer space, and resources such as a stage, PA etc if you have them in your camp for performances and workshops by other people.
3. Have a noticeboard up announcing what events are happening at your barrio and when they will happen.
4. Organise an 'open day' for your camp, inviting people to come meet you.
Nowhere is held in a high fire-risk area, and many of the conditions on our permit reflect that. There is one absolute rule: no solid fuel of any kind is to be burnt. One single spark floating away could be enough to burn down half the province at that time of year. So let us repeat that: NO SOLID FUEL.
Your barrio should have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket, and a person who is responsible for fire safety in your camp. And you must keep all fire, including cooking fires, at least 20 meters away from vegetation.
How can an event with hundreds of people rise up from the dust, only to vanish without a trace? The answer is YOU.
Burning Man's Earth Guardians have some great leave no trace tips, and sample leave no trace and green plans.
We have found that the amount of debris dropped on the ground is directly proportional to length of stay. Densely settled areas such as barrios can leave a greater trace. Debris includes many smaller items, such as bottle caps, cigarette butts, plastic ties – the list goes on and on. It is easy to ignore such items on so small a scale, but ALL of these things must be cleaned up.
We recommend that all barrios imitate our large-scale clean-up effort and employ a systematic grid to police their area for trash. Walk this grid before departing with your barrio and pick up EVERYTHING in your path. A second and more basic rule to follow is don't let things hit the ground in the first place! This will save you time and effort at the end of the event.
The playa is a natural amplifier and it doesn't take much to produce a large amount of sound. Bass travels multi-directionally and cannot be effectively contained with any structures. This gives ‘sound’ as an art form an unfair advantage over other art forms. Nowhere is dedicated to radical self-expression, but it is also dedicated to creating community. This means we all must find a way to get along with our neighbours.
As a community, we need to work together to keep sound at desirable levels. This means that everyone involved is personally responsible for how they affect everyone else's experience. If your neighbour believes your sound is too loud, you must work with them to find an acceptable volume. You will need to check in with those you are camped near to find out what other events are planned and work with them to create a schedule. Check out the sound policy discussions on the forums and sound advice .
If your camp needs to receive a delivery from the outside world, you must be sure that the driver can find you. The driver must know your ON-SITE CONTACT’S NAME and THE NAME OF YOUR CAMP. You will need to meet the delivery at the Gate and escort them to your camp and back out of our city again. We recommend you:
1. Tell your delivery driver to ask for you (your real name, your camp's name and approx. location) at the Gate when they arrive. Give them as much information as possible about what to expect upon arrival.
2. Travel to the Gate when your delivery is due and introduce yourself to the Gate staff. Wait for your driver.
3. Escort your delivery in and out.
The Gate staff will LOVE you for this and so will your driver!
When designing the layout of your barrio, think about how your camp will be used and check out some sample layout plans.
When you have decided to become a registered barrio, you must complete the barrio questionnaire. Keep in mind that when you complete the questionnaire, only a limited number of your campmates will be allowed to arrive before Nowhere opens in order to set up, and you will have to tell us all their names ahead of time.
To register your barrio, fill in our barrio questionnaire, and if you have more questions, please email