Station Staff On Air Technology


What is Radio Free Burning Man?




RFBM can be a full-time, 24-hour operation, radio broadcast station serving the temporary community of Black Rock City, NV.  The station interacts with visitors via a customer service counter which happens to also be the on-air studio.  This open-to-the-public approach to broadcasting is intended to bring citizens of BRC as close to the medium as possible while maintaining a professional sound over the air.  The station complies with FCC Part-15 rules for intentional radiators.



What is served to the community?

Tower & shack, 1995Most citizens of Black Rock bring some sort of broadcast receiver to the playa; it is recommended in the survival guide.  There is little-to-no useful FM coverage in northern Washoe County, and none of what is there is of much use to people living for the week in this unique city.  A forum for broadcast of news, general information, specific announcements and cohesive entertainment from the center of this community is vital for the well being of all who attend.  RFBM loosely follows various models and ideals of community broadcasting as practiced by non-commercial stations in the default world. It is hoped that with a liberal, open-door policy to the community of Black Rock, most people’s ideal of what a radio station should be, can be satisfied. For many listeners, RFBM is their first encounter with non-commercial community broadcasting. Air time is neither bought nor sold. There are no advertisers or commercial interests. The open-to-the-public design allows Black Rock City to serve itself.

Unlike commercial radio, we think it's Okay for you to adjust your radio's volume control, or to even change it to a different station if you want to hear something else.





I just tuned into 99.5 here at home. How come I can't hear your station?

Because, we are only on the air at Black Rock City, Nevada when the annual Burning Man event is taking place.



I bought a Burning Man ticket, so I paid for your station, right?

Wrong! Although RFBM was originally invited to be the official station of BRC in 1994, and long-ago received some transportation help from the Organization, that well ran dry many years ago. Our staff must buy their own BM tickets, contribute to the station's operating and capital needs, and follow the rules like everybody else. RFBM is a themecamp and is not funded or even rudimentarily assisted by Burning Man. Your BM ticket purchase funds BMIR94.5, with its lousy audio, poor operators, and lack of focus. Now, who would you rather listen too? Your donation is appreciated.



If I contact you now, will you schedule me to get on the air?

RFBM is looking for people to become staff and who will camp with the station themecamp, participate in the setup and take-down of the camp, and help to fill the air with their own idea of "quality" programming. This means an approximate 10-day commitment. We don't cater to guest DJs; we expect people to participate.

email: staffing at



Can I get something announced over the air?

Yes, please come to our station in Black Rock City, NV. We'll be happy to put you on a microphone and interview you. If you're shy, we can read your timid scrawl for you. If you have a pre-recorded ad for your playa thing, we would like to play it on the air, over and over again.



I am a musician. Will you play my band's CD on the air?

We dig a certain shameless, tounge-in-cheek promotion of music and performance. If you are a musician, your talent is wasted if you don't perform something live at our station. 18 out of 10 musical acts don't even consider the penetrating power of RFBM when it's time to promote themselves. Yeah we can play your CD and interview you about it, but think outside of the jewel case. We have a daily staff and all-comers meeting at 12-noon, every day behind the station. Come to us and we'll hook you up.



Can I be critical of Larry Harvey on RFBM?

Yes. He likes to drop by the station on hot afternoons, and take on his challengers in mammoth debates.



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A view of the city in 1995 from the 50-foot tower.


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