Hello and welcome to Houston’s largest and longest-running Burning Man theme camp! Our community-supported 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 most welcome.
Now Accepting Apps for 2023 Campers
Houpla is putting together its 2023 roster now! Prospective new campers and returning camp veterans are both encouraged to apply by filling out our Camp Application: https://forms.gle/MYtUVFgkRUeN5VMB6
2023 Camp Amenities
Houpla is our home on the playa and is designed to be comfortable and convenient, while also staying budget-friendly.
The camp is sized for 50-75 campers and plans to offer the following amenities for 2023:
- Shade – large, flat-panel shade structure (8′ ceiling) protecting our common area, interactivity areas, tent camping, kitchen, and shower from the strong desert sun
- Water – as much fresh water as you can drink. (Drink more water please!). We also offer ice-cold water and iced, flavored electrolyte water for those who want it.
- Meals – breakfast tacos each morning, along with gifted coffee, and a gifted hot meal each evening
- Power – camp generator access for charging your battery-powered electrical devices (particularly phones). Other electrical devices (particularly A/C’s) will need to be supported by your own generator and fuel.
- Lounge – large common area with lighting, decorations, playatech couch, sound system, fire pit, coffee table, camp beer cooler, and rug
- Camp Bar – we ask each member to contribute to our community beer cooler and hard alcohol/mixer stash that is open to all and is also used to supply our Texas Nooner happy hour on Wednesday
- Private Porto-Potty – we’re bringing this back in 2023 to save you the need to walk to the Burning Man ones (which can sometimes be a bit far, especially at night when it’s cold)
- Kitchen – fully-stocked with propane-powered stoves and all manner of cooking gear
- Dish Washing – three-sink sanitary dish washing station provided, along with drying racks for your cups, plates, and utensils
- Shower – private, Navy-style. (You wet yourself, soap off, then rinse yourself vs using continually-running water. We have to evaporate and/or take all used water back off the playa with us. So, we take reducing the creation of grey water seriously.)
- Ice – daily runs (for an additional charge)
- Coordinated R/V Servicing – we contract with one of Burning Man’s vendors to pump out your R/V periodically and/or replenish your water if you like (for an additional charge)
- Gear Transport – priority access to putting your gear in our Burning Man Houston Transport Program (for an additional charge)
- Mutant Vehicle Rides – we take group trips out on our camp mutant vehicle to visit art, deep playa music performances, and other camps around the city
2023 Camp Interactivity
This year’s camp will again focus on bringing some Texas flavor to the playa. Our interactivity offerings will include:
- Daily breakfast tacos and coffee in the mornings
- Daily sunglasses replacement, repair, and beautification to the playa in the afternoons
- Daily Texas Hold’em poker games in the afternoons (NEW!)
- The 4th annual running of the Texas Nooner Happy Hour on Wednesday at noon
- Nightly firepit and lounge area
- Our large, hand-painted photo wall art project
- A mutant vehicle “Houston, We Have a Problem”
- Our community gear transport service between Houston and BRC and back
2023 Camp Location
Houpla has been place on the corner of 9:30 and Bigfoot for 2023. It’s our best placement evaaaaah.
2023 Dues/Deposit and Minimum Participation Level
The camp’s strong desire for a central warehouse space to prepare the camp will add around $30,000 to our cost structure for 2023, with additional charges to switch from a volunteer-driven community truck to a professionally-transported shipping container. To make this math work, we need to materially increase our camp dues to $995/person.
The camp also asked for a larger refundable deposit to provide a stronger financial incentive for everyone to fulfill the minimum participation requirements. Thus, we are increasing the refundable deposit associated with this minimum participation level to $500/person. So, the dues and deposit at the minimum participation level will be $1,495 ($995 in dues and $500 in refundable deposit).
That said, for those of you who are willing to give of your time and skills and provided we have leftover money after camp expenses, we’re also providing opportunities to reduce dues and deposit to as low as $495 ($395 in dues and $100 in refundable deposit). See the next section for more detail on these opportunities. We will also provide opportunities for participants in Burning Man’s Ticket Aid Program to reduce these numbers even lower than $495 on a case-by-case basis.
This new structure is in response to feedback from the camp requesting opportunities for people with less time to donate pre- and post-playa, or who do not live in the Houston-area, to still participate in the camp instead of being turned away. We like to think of it as a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure approach to setting each camper’s participation. We’re establishing a minimum participation level for the camp at the $995 dues/$500 refundable deposit amounts and then providing opportunities for people to do more for the camp and reduce these amounts if they so choose.
The Minimum Participation Level for all campers for 2023 will be each of the following:
- Must fully and actively participate for the entirety of either setup or teardown
- Setup will take place beginning on noon, Saturday, August 26th until the camp is completely set up (typically Sunday evening). Note–setup will start one day earlier for those who wish to join the shade team.
- Teardown will take place beginning at 10AM on Sunday, September 3rd and last until the camp is completely clear and MOOP-swept (typically noon on Monday)
- Must join and be a full participant of a team responsible for keeping an area of camp going
- Must complete 16 hours of on-playa shifts during burn week
- Must sign a liability waiver
- Must be a friendly, helpful campmate and not a source of conflict or drama
Folks completing this Minimum Participation Level will be eligible to receive their deposits back. We also offer additional ways to participate in the camp to lower dues and refundable deposits as described below.
Please note, camp expenses are always a moving target. We carefully budget and plan, but in this highly inflationary environment, there is always a chance our camp expenses are higher than planned. To ensure the camp remains at least breakeven on its finances, and to help preserve the gifting nature of people donating more time to the camp than the minimum required, the camp reserves the right to reduce the discounts given for additional gifted volunteer time and/or lower the amount of deposit returns on a pro-rata basis as needed in the unlikely event expenses exceed dues/revenues.
2023 Ways to Lower Dues/Refundable Deposit
We recognize that as part of our Choose-Your-Own-Adventure approach, some folks would like to do more than the Minimum Participation Level and would like to see their dues and refundable deposit requirements reduced commensurately. We offer the following opportunities to participate more and reduce your dues and/or refundable deposit:
- Fully and actively participate in BOTH setup and teardown on playa ($-100 dues and $-100 deposit)
- Act as a co-lead for the camp or a team lead ($-100 dues and $-50 deposit)
- Be a Houpla veteran in good standing who actively sponsors/mentors a new member going to Buring Man for the first time ($-100 deposit)
- Help load our container at our warehouse in Houston ($-50 dues and $-50 deposit)
- Help unload our container at our warehouse in Houston ($-50 dues and $-50 deposit)
- Complete 8 hours of work pre-playa at our warehouse in Houston ($-50 dues)
- Complete 8 hours of additional shifts on playa ($-50 dues and $-50 deposit)
- Complete 8 hours of work post-playa at our warehouse in Houston ($-50 dues)
- Help provide a camp dinner on playa ($-25 dues)
- Fully pay your dues/deposit before May 1st ($-50 dues)
- Each month of paid Houston Art Collective monthly membership (up to $-50 dues at $-10 due/month of subscription)
- Attend and volunteer at our Heartburn beginner campout/fundraiser in June ($-25 dues)
Folks can participate in as many or as few of the above as they like. Doing all of these will result in dues and deposit reduced to $495 ($395 dues and $100 refundable deposit). We will ask folks to commit to their selections above in the Camp Application. We will then notify folks which of their selections are approved/agreed upon by the camp leads based on their previous performance in the camp, and we’ll then collect the appropriate dues and deposit for their committed participation level. After that, campers will need to fulfill their commitments to receive their adjusted deposits back, avoid being billed for additional dues or deposits for uncompleted tasks as needed, and be invited to camp with Houpla again in the future.
Need help figuring out your adjusted dues/deposit? Try our Google sheet calculator. (Just toggle the yellow cells between 1 and 0 to add/subtract each item and discount).
Houpla was founded in 2016 and first attended Burning Man in 2017 as a placed camp. Since then, the camp has attended Burning Man three additional times, as well as Burning Flipside, Heartburn, and Unbroken Spring regional burns.
If you’d like to camp with Houpla in 2023, please follow these steps:
- Please fill out our Camp Application providing us with information about your anticipated plans, contributions to the camp, and desired dues/refundable deposit reductions.
- Be interviewed by camp leadership
- If selected to join the camp, you’ll be informed of your adjusted dues/refundable deposit (if different from the base levels) and asked both to sign our liability waiver and to pay your dues/refundable deposit to lock in your spot
- Once a confirmed part of the camp, we’ll assign you to a team based on your preferences and get you involved in our planning efforts for Burning Man 2023
Don’t have a ticket yet? Don’t worry. We’ll help you find one! Anyone who doesn’t get a ticket to Burning Man will have their dues and refundable deposit returned to them if requested prior to July 4th. That said, we’ve never failed to find a ticket for someone who really wanted to go to Burning Man and worked alongside us to track one down.
Please note, the camp already has a decent amount of tickets allocated by Burning Man that were purchased by us in the Steward’s Sale. These tickets will go first to camp leads/heavy volunteers and to those that are very active but unsuccessful in seeking tickets through the Main Sale, STEP, Ticket Aid Program, and other routes.
If you’d like to meet Houplans in person, anyone and everyone is always welcome at our camp meetings. You can find info about these meetings by joining the Burning Man Houston Discussion group on Facebook and/or by following our Burning Man Houston community page on Facebook.