Houpla is Houston’s largest Burning Man theme camp. Our camp specializes in introducing new burners to the playa and regional burns each year. We also place careful emphasis on introducing new burners to burner culture, particularly the Burning Man Ten Principles. We’re always interested in meeting new people and helping them have an excellent first burn. That said, veteran burners are also always most welcome.
Besides Burning Man, we also attend several regional burns and camping events each year. Our 2019 event schedule includes:
- HAC’s Presidents’ Day Campout (Sam Houston National Forest) in February
- Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas) in May
- Burning Man (Black Rock Desert in Nevada) in August
- Myschievia (Dallas regional burn) in October
(See below for more specific info on our 2019 Burning Man efforts.)
Art Projects and Camp Interactivity
Each year we spent time in the spring and summer working on art projects and gifts to provide to our fellow burners. Past projects include:
- An annually rebuilt Art Car
- A hoopla carnival game with 3D-printed and laser-cut necklaces
- A stickhorse equestrian course, complete with jumps and homemade stickhorses
- A large, hand-painted photo wall/cutout
- Lovely-made breakfast tacos provided daily on playa
Making Burning Man More Accessible
We support one of the Houston-area Burning Man regional communities called Burning Man Houston. The community’s website contains a full Burning Man guide for folks going for the first time.
We also help also folks get sometimes hard-to-find tickets to Burning Man and regional events, host a variety of new-burner-type activities, publish packing lists for key gear, and make sure critical community infrastructure needed for new burners stays in place, particularly the Houston Burning Man Community Truck which transports gear to and from the playa.
We welcome new folks, both virgin and veteran burners! If you’d like to learn more about camping with us, please join our Houpla group on Facebook and our broader Burning Man Houston group on Facebook, attend one of the HAC Weekly Happy Hours, and/or reach out to the experienced Burning Man Houston Ambassadors.
Burning Man 2019 Information
This is year 3 (wow!) for Houpla, and we’re tentatively leaving the population cap for the camp unchanged at 50, with a continued emphasis as a camp on welcoming Burning Man virgins. We’re still figuring out our interactivity, with a lot of great ideas on the table.
Infrastructure-wise, this year’s emphasis is on taking our great and highly-functional setup and beautifying it. Offerings will include:
- Very large flat-panel shade structure (8′ ceiling)
- Open kitchen, fully stocked with cooking equipment
- Gifted hot meal each evening (and depending on our camp interactivity potentially breakfast tacos each morning)
- As much fresh water as you can drink (drink more water please!)
- Shower with privacy screen
- Private porto-potty (now with improved lock!)
- Generator access for charging your electrical devices
- Camp cooler and ice runs
- Large common area with lighting, couch, coffee table, and rug
- Camp music and sound system (new!)
- Access to Hell Station for gasoline purchases
- Access to our camp Art Car
- Priority access to putting your gear on our Houston Burning Man Community Truck (for an additional charge)
If you’d like to camp with us, we ask you to do four things please:
- Review the details below on volunteering expectations, dues, and deposit.
- Reach out to our Theme Camp Organizer Andy “Sandor” Brown via email and let him know you’d like to camp with us. He’ll set up a time to talk with you in person, by phone, or over instant message.
- If invited to join Houpla, please pay your $299 dues + deposit. This locks in your spot. (See below)
- Fill out our volunteer survey (see below), get matched with a volunteer team, and let’s get started. Welcome!
Volunteer Expectations, Dues, and Deposit
Communal effort is the backbone of Houpla. We work very hard to balance out the workload to make Houpla happen each year and to avoid burning out our hardest working volunteers. Based on our prior year records, it takes about 2,500 total volunteer hours pre-playa, during Burning Man, and post-playa. So, assuming a camp size of 50 people, this is around 50 hours per person.
Given this, we ask everyone to volunteer and help out as much as they can. The more you help the better for everyone. Translated into action, we ask that you:
- Come often to pre-playa work sessions
- Assist in packing and loading camp gear
- Participate in setup or teardown for the camp (ideally both):
- To help set up, arrive on playa Friday, August 23rd
- To help tear down, stay until the last person leaves on Monday, September 1st
- Help with at least 10 hours of chores/interactivity on playa
- Assist in unloading, cleaning, and storing camp gear
To further incentivize folks to take volunteering seriously, included in the $299 we ask people pay to camp with Houpla is a $50 refundable performance deposit. So, the $299 we ask you to pay is composed of $249 in camp dues and $50 in deposit. This deposit is returned after Burning Man (typically before Thanksgiving) to those that satisfy the volunteer requirements above based on self-reporting and lead reports post-playa.
If you can’t satisfy the volunteering requirements above, we ask that you consider joining another camp or come a different year with us when you can volunteer more. For those that live out-of-town and cannot help with all our the pre-playa and post-playa work, we ask that you talk with us individually to make volunteering arrangements.
Tickets for Our Most Active Volunteers
As a camp in good standing, Houpla typically receives guaranteed Directed Group Sale tickets from Burning Man in a special sale that happens in February. This year we received 32 such tickets. To further incentivize volunteer work for the camp, especially help with setup and teardown and driving the community truck, we allocate the right to buy these guaranteed tickets based on the total number of volunteer hours of each person in the prior year. The Houplan with the most volunteer hours gets the first DGS spot…then the person with the second most hours gets the next spot…then the third…and so on. In short, if you want guaranteed tickets to Burning Man next year, shoot to be one of our most active volunteers!
Discounts for Gold and Silver Members
Houpla and our non-profit Houston Art Collective are active year-round. To encourage folks to support us as members paying monthly dues, we offer the following dues refunds:
- $100 dues refund for anyone that holds an active Silver membership ($24.99/month) for at least 4 months before Burning Man
- $200 dues refund for anyone that has an active Gold membership ($49.99/month) for 4 months before Burning Man.
These dues refunds are paid after Burning Man at the same time as the deposit refunds are processes. To learn more about becoming a monthly dues-paying member of Houston Art Collective, please visit the Join page while logged out of the website. (Note–free Copper members can upgrade to Silver and Gold memberships by visiting the My Account page.)
Pay Your Dues + Deposit
Add the item below to your cart to pay your $299 in dues + deposit. Please note, you’ll be prompted to create an account with us through website to make this payment. Creating this account also signs our liability waiver which is included in the Terms and Conditions of this website.
Note–dues payments are non-refundable and deposits can only be refunded by satisfying the volunteer requirements above. Please only pay if you are sure you plan to go to Burning Man this year.