Survival Guide
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POrtalBurn & Burning

POrtalBurn is the official Upstate NY Regional Burn! It's a weekend-long event. The Ten Principles of Burning Man are our guiding principles. Please learn them and take them to heart before your arrival. POrtalBurn is an officially sanctioned Burning Man Regional this means POrtalBurn follows the 10 Principles of Burning Man, and is really what this event is all about.

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey wrote the 10 Principles in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regional Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community's ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event's inception.

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance

Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on their inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
POrtalBurn is typically held the last weekend of July.

POrtalBurns home is Humming Bird in Hill in Almond, NY. The exact Location can be found on the Tickets Tab.
This information is located in the Gate Menu on the Ticketing page.
Other info about gate and what happens at gate can be found further down this list!
Our principle Radical Self-Reliance states an "individual should aim to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources". Meaning bring whatever it is you need to camp in a variety of weather.

The event space is a natural area that consists of a hilly mowed field and wooded areas, with a swimable pond in the center.

Bring your own food, bug spray, sun block. Be aware of ticks, and do daily tick checks. Learn what poison ivy looks like, and don't touch the fuzzy vines. Bring clothing appropriate for warmth and protection.
Burning is about Radical Self-Expression!

People find all kinds of fun and creative ways to express themselves. On-site you will see naked people, painted people, puppy people, shinny people, BDSM people and some of the most creative outfits you can imagine.

Just be yourself, and say hello! Remember Nudity is NOT consent, and photos can only be taken with consent!

Burners LOVE it when new people discover our culture. You will likely be welcomed with open arms. However, many Burners are very protective of the culture and have the expectation that you have at least glanced at the 10 Principles.

Remember POrtalBurn and Burns in general are NOT festivals! There is no stage, what is here is beacuse someone like yourself worked to bring it. Please Respect that and figure out a way to help that!

Here is a link to the Ten Principles to help you make the best of your experience. Get involved, and don't be afraid to ask questions on the POrtalBurn Facebook Discussion Group. Since you're reading this, you're off to a great start!


Glad you asked! Every person that comes to portal is a participant. Volunteering is what makes portal function, there is zero paid staff and we as community work together to make Portal Burn Happen.

Volunteer sign-ups & information can be found on our Volunteer page.

Once on-site you can also visit the 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!

Getting there and back

Many of us drive a very long distance to get there. You are responsible for getting your stuff together and leaving by exodus.

The organizers will be there for hours after you leave and want to go home as well. We can't do that until your gone.

Wook Activity is strictly frowned upon. Figure your stuff out and don't expect others to do it or you. People who violate this will not be welcomed back to Portal.
An awesome member of our POrtalBurn community created a rideshare group on FaceBook. And thank you for ridesharing! We are asking everyone to carpool!

I am on-site, what do I need to know?

When you arrive at PortalBurn you will first stop your car at gate and check in.


You will need a Valid ID, and a ticket in your name.

A Gate Volunteer will check you in an instruct you what to do next. (unload, where to park and where you can find parking.)

next There are designated areas for theme camps, open camping, and some 'quieter' space. If you want really, really quiet, you should probably bring ear plugs. The majority of open camping will be on the hill, and there is a main field that will be used mostly for theme camps and big art. A site map will be posted prior to the event showing designated areas.

Burners are typically "Glampers" set up what ever it is you like, the bigger the shelter, the more challenging it may be to find adequate space.

We highly encourage you to light up your camp to make it magical. Flashy lights, laser strobes be as extra as you like! Illuminating pathways invites participation!
Humming Bird Hill has a large lodge and deck, and it's awesome! It is central to the event space and can be reserved for events.

To reserve space at the pavilion please vist the ART & Events page and select The Burrow (pavilion) or vist The Information tent
POrtalBurn does not provide onsite electricty. If you need it please bring it! Please do whatever you can to mitigate sound, and be considerate of your neighbors. If a neighbor is bothered by your generator, be graceful and work it out. Do not run generator/power cords across walking/driving paths, and be conscious of positioning your generator safely if it's in a wooded area. If you're able to share gennie power with neighbors, it's a beautiful thing.

There is electricity in pavilion, however it will not be available for general camp use. We anticipate the electricity will be used for activities in the pavilion, and our Safety Core volunteers.
Please bring your own potable water for personal consumption and camp needs. There will be a communal co-ed open shower (no walls) in a central area using potable water provided by our hosts. In keeping with POrtalBurn tradition, it is often cold! If you choose to set up your own shower system near your camp you are welcome to do so. Please be cognizant of any water run off and how it may affect the environment and other participants.

Principle reminder: Leave No Trace! Any soaps or shampoos MUST be environmentally friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic. Please do not leave your shower supplies behind as a 'gift'. That's just gross.
Hummingbird Hill has a pond, and yes you may swim in it AT YOUR OWN RISK! Don't forget your floaties.



Ice is the only thing for sale at POrtalBurn. It will be available on-site from Thursday afternoon through most of the weekend. There will be a freezer near the lodge stocked with bags.

Recommended minimum donation will be posted, it is generally 3 to 5 per bag. Any extra proceeds will benefit POrtalBurn Art Grants!

There is NO dumpsters or trash recepticals. This is a 100% LNT (Leave No Trace) event. So, pack it in, pack it out. 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. It jeopardizes the future of our event.

Have a 'camp trash plan'. Discard product packaging prior to arrival. Bring trash bags. Embrace reusable supplies. Burn your burnables. Avoid glass containers. Collect your recycles. Bring your own portable ashtray. Keep trash and food in your camp covered and closed to avoid attracting wildlife. LNT means you pack it out with you. Do not leave your trash bagged up expecting POrtalBurn volunteers to deal with it. Camps who fail to LNT may not be granted placement at future POrtalBurns. Open campers… we see you too. DPW will conduct a final moop sweep and publish a moop map. Please make our moop map pretty!
We recomend disconnecting for the weekend. We understand that times are changing and cell phones are wa way of life. The service is mostly dead zones, but if you walk around the site, or the very top of the hill there are some spots where you can get service.

Photos- you make photos of art. YOU MUST ASK PERMISSION to take a photo of anyone and ask again to post it to socail media.



Fire is the very heart and essence of life. For it is phenomena rather than substance, that is revealed, seen and touched in ways of risk and ritual.

Yes, you can have a burn barrel or elevated fire pit. All fire pits, flame effects, fire circles, and (propane/gas powered flames will be checked by our Fire Team banned for 2024). If there are any safety concerns, you must address them. Period.

Campfires must be at your campsite, raised off the ground, in a contained barrel or elevated fire pit, and must be monitored at all times. Do not leave any fire unattended. Period.

Camps with fire must have a fire extinguisher (5 pounds, ABC type) or 5-gallon filled water bucket readily available.

DO NOT bring outside firewood. This region is highly sensitive to the Emerald Ash Borer (a disastrous invasive species that is tightly monitored) and wood from outside of the immediate area is prohibited. As part of your ticket price, POrtalBurn will provide locally obtained wood for the effigy burn, camp burn barrels, and fire pits.

There will be a designated ash dump at the main burn pad. 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 the designated ash dump.

Only fountain-type fireworks may be used, and ONLY in burnable art. YOU MUST request approval BEFORE the event by emailing If you are unsure if your effects fall into this category, contact Our Fire Team should know about any pyrotechnics you have planned, and depending on the nature of your project, you may require placement. All burnable art will be inspected by the Fire Lead BEFORE it is set ablaze. Any pyrotechnic devices NOT previously approved by the Fire lead will be confiscated, and disposed of. You may be subject to expulsion from the event at the BODs discretion.

Launching fire works will get you removed from the event! This is the number one way to get an event shut down!

The bottom line - if you're bringing flame effects, you need to be placed.
Hell yes! Fire spinning is encouraged in open, safe, and designated areas. Do NOT spin fire in the woods. If theme camps wish to host a fire circle they must make sure the area has been cleared of debris and flammable objects. Fuel should be stored in an appropriate fuel dump safely outside the fire circle. Every fire performer is expected to have a designated safety, fire blanket and fire extinguisher. The Fire Conclave is a composition of select fire performance groups from around the world who create choreography dedicated to honoring the Man

Do to insurance only five performers can be lit at one time. Every spinner needs their own spotter!

If you need more information please contact our Conclave or Fire lead!!
The effigy and temple are the core of the Ten Principles. We are not worshiping anything.

Together we create a temporary city for each other to enjoy, we work hard to uplift and help each other out.

Some say Effigy symbolizes the city we created together, the effort, the art and our temporral place together. No Matter what we do all good things must come to an end.

Some Say the Temple symbolizes the love we have for each other, acceptance of each other and acceptance of what has been lost.
Of course you can! And, there is tons of money in art grants to help you do that.

If you don't need a grant and just want to burn your art, contact the Fire Lead. Our leads will help you make sure your project meets fire safety guidelines as well.
You'll find guidelines for Fire Safety, Inspections, and Burn Barrels here.


If you insist on calling a Burn a Festival, undertand it is as a ART Festival! We are not a Music Festival! Music is just one of the many forms of art.

You are encourged to make art, share art and events for others to enjoy.

If you want more information please vist our art page.

If you have any questions about bringing your art to POrtalBurn, please contact our Art Leads at

If you want to know the finer details about selection and funding for projects, please see the Art Grant FAQs here All flaming art must be placed, either through the Art Grant process, or through a placement request. It can be part of your Theme Camp application, or you can request placement just for your project.

All Artist's are asked to provide an 'Artist's Statement' for any placed art. All Artists should review the POrtalBurn Art Practices (PAP), located here, to learn more about art at POrtalBurn.

We have an Art Committee comprised of awesome volunteers from the POrtalBurn community! If you are interested in being on the Art Committee, please email with the subject 'Art Committee'. Yes, though vehicle traffic throughout the event site is limited, and weather dependent. If you would like to bring an art car, please email the POrtalBurn BOD at with the subject 'Art Car' and your project name. We'll need to understand the nature of your art car, and talk about safety and stuff. Yes there will! If it didn't come out of your body, don't put it in the potty. Single ply TP only. Please use them responsibly. Wanna decorate one to make the potty experience better for everyone? Apply for a grant HERE! Yes! It's a burn. Let's get this straight BURNS ARE LOUD, one more time for those in the back BURNS ARE LOUD.

There are quieter areas but no quiet area's. You may hate them or love them, but sound camps do not give AF. If you have ever had the pleasure of being on the playa you would understand this. Portal has a sound policy, but trust me it's still loud.

Any camp with amplified sound must apply for Theme Camp Placement. Go here to apply (coming soon). Sound camps are expected to honor the following guidelines:

Position speakers and adjust levels so the sound is contained to your camp and doesn't bleed into other camps or open camping. Consult with your neighboring camps when positioning speakers to avoid conflict. Bass often travels farther than the event. If there is a neighbor complaint, we will ask you to turn down your bass at night, or possibly turn off your subs. If you are asked by a neighboring camp to lower your sound, we expect you to resolve the issue amicably. If you are not able to resolve it, find the BOD on Call for assistance. During the event, the sound will be monitored by event volunteers. If you are asked to adjust your sound by someone in an official capacity, you are expected to comply. Find the BOD on Call if assistance is needed.

Sound turndown is between 2 am and 10 am (74 decibels measured at 50' from the sound source). The BOD on Call and Sound Team has db meters available if you need help gauging an appropriate sound level. This is just a guideline. Even if you are within the decibel range, you may still be asked to turn it down if the situation warrants it. Sound carries in unpredictable ways, so on-site judgement calls may happen. Let's work together!

The full Sound Policy is here. The POrtalBurn Sound Policy may be updated as the event unfolds, as deemed necessary. Sound Camps will be informed if changes arise, and will be expected to comply. Failure to comply with sound management requests may result in the camp losing sound privileges for the remainder of the event and possibly losing future sound privileges. Don't be that person… we want your sound! Any questions about Sound Policy, please email to discuss.
When you apply to be a Theme Camp you can also requesting placement, which means you will have a designated space and be included on the site map. You can still be a Theme Camp and not request placement… you'll just need to find space in open camping, and won't be on the site map, but will be listed in our online HELP Guide.

Camps, and camps with flaming art projects. RV's, Campers and sleeping vehicles must request placement also, even if they are not associated with a Theme Camp.

Please Vist the Camps Page for more information.

Every year portal puts together a guide of all the events that have been registered prior to the event.

If you need the Burrow (the main lodge), the form to reserve it is there too! It has a sound system available if you need one! Details are on the Event page.

***( We are gonna try for 2024. )For a multitude of reasons, we will not be printing an Event listing this year. It will be made available prior to POrtalBurn so you can print it yourself. An Event listing will be posted at the TIT during POrtalBurn. You can add last minute events while on-site too!

The HELP GUIDE submission form is located on the ART page under Help Guide.


Below is a short least of some rules, for more information on BYLAWS, Policies, BOD members and more please vist the ORG page.

Parents and guardians are responsible for monitoring minors in their care at all times. If you or your camp is serving alcohol, you are responsible for checking 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. Yes. Nudity is allowed within the event space only. Nudity is not allowed at the gate, entrance road, parking area, or any area that is visible to the general public outside of the event. Can't believe we need to say this..Yes. All New York State laws including those regarding drugs and alcohol apply. Upstate New York POrtalBurn Arts, Inc. (UNYPA) 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. 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 must 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 Upstate New York POrtalBurn Arts, Inc (UNYPA) and the written permission of any persons identifiable in the images, film or video.
The Site is somewhat accessible, but we cannot assure it. It is a large hilly field! The event site does not have paved roads. The main theme camp field and RV space is pretty flat and accessible, weather permitting. There are some established paths through the woods, but most are fairly rugged, with inclines. Open camping will be in the wooded areas, and will all be walk in camping. We welcome all participants, however we cannot assure accessibility to all areas of the venue. We will have at least one wheelchair accessible porta potty, and will do our very best to accommodate needs. If you have a need or concern, please contact us for additional information at This is known as MASH they do not do surgery it is only basic first-aid care.

Our medical services are contracted out. We take your health and safety seriously!

These people may not be Burners (yet) and may not be familar with the 10 principles. Please treat them with respect.

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 not have a staffed MASH camp. No medical services will be available. There will be a radio located in the self-serve First-Aid station. Rangers will be on duty and can help facilitate getting medical assistance if needed.

The nearest hospital facility is St. James Hospital 7329 Seneca Road North Hornell, NY 14843
Rangers are helpful, clear-headed participants and non-confrontational volunteer mediators. They are not cops and not your mom, but good people to find if you need help! You can spot them in their super swanky khaki clothing. Blue Light Polls and The TIT (The Information Tent) can radio a Ranger if one needed. The BOD and the Leads are the Event organizers. They are in charge, please show respect if they ask you to do something!

For more information please vist the ORG page and see who is who.