Join Camp Mystic
Camp Mystic Group Shot 2019
Chris Johnson

Joining Camp Mystic

Who we are...

Camp Mystic is a legacy theme camp with a 20+ year history in Black Rock City. We offer interactive and immersive art, high vibe music and performance, evolutionary Speakers and workshops, and a variety of transformational rituals and ceremonies during our week on the Playa and beyond. Mystics are a diverse group of Thought Leaders, Teachers, Speakers, Entrepreneurs, Artists, Musicians, and Healers who believe that the path to fulfillment and satisfaction is being in the service and contribution to others.   We are an intimate tribe who loves to create artful interactions and beauty wherever we go.  We do that through our offering of incredible Art, Music, Performance, Workshops, Speaker Panels, and more!

Mystic has become well known on Playa for its interactivity and transformational offerings that now attracts thousands of people throughout the week. Our focus going into 2024 is to even more consciously curate our Mystic membership for each of our coveted 175 spots this year. We are excited to attract those people who are excited to radically contribute to being in service to building and creating our gifts on the Playa. There are no spectators at Burning Man and we are passionate about bringing together those Mystics who not only understand this ethos, but are lit up by the idea that the best part of their Burn, what makes it so special, is being of service and having a stage to creating these gifts.

We hail from all over the globe but have large pockets of Mystics in The Bay Area, San Diego Area, Los Angeles Area, Boulder Area, New York Area, Hawaii,  and a few here and there who fly in from the UK, Australia, Indonesia, Italy, Brazil, Costa Rica, and other great countries.



How Can I Camp At Mystic This Year?


Our former membership model...
In past years our membership was by invitation, but was open to all Veterans and to anyone who was Sponsored by a Veteran Mystic.  We would open up early registration (April-May) to anyone who had camped with us before on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis.  Newbies who were Sponsored were then invited to register one month later to take the spots remaining also on a first-come-first-served basis.

Our NEW model...
Our arms are WIDE open to thousands of visitors as we are a highly interactive and welcoming camp with inclusivity and belonging deeply rooted in our hearts and values AND, we are given a limited amount of space which can hold about 175 spots this year at the Burn.  We are setting this cap size so we can both create amazing interactive offerings that are well supported by our growing Community and also maintain an environment where everyone feels like they can connect as a tribe and we can feel love, safety and belonging with their fellow Mystics to form life long friendships both on and off playa.

Since 2022, we have implemented a membership model that puts our service and offerings to Black Rock City at the center of this selection process.  We have selected Representatives to review all Applications to camp. They each hold one of our 5 core values and one major area of camp. Their role is to read these applications and choose who they'd like to give our allocated spots to this year from those that represent that value and who plan to play a key role in the area of camp that they are holding.  Given the high demand for our spots this year, this will allow us to give those spots to those that are in the spirit of Burning Man and of are representatives of our culture.

Here are the 5 Pillars and their respective areas of camp:


How this works...

Each of the 5 pillar holders will be allotted a specific number of the 175 spots available at camp. Each pillar represents a subset of our 40+ teams that have been divided based on their relevance for creating that aspect of camp.  

The pillars will choose among the applicants who to give their spots to - they might reach out to the applicant or their sponsor or the relevant team lead to help them make their choice.  Once they choose, they will send a unique INVITE CODE to the email you provide that will allow you to register and pay dues to confirm your official spot at Mystic this year. At that time you will be connected to the leads for any of the teams you plan on joining.  NOTE:  This is a 2-Step process.  1. Submit your Application to camp with us. (Google Form)  2. If you are selected, receive your INVITE CODE in an email to create your login for the first time or login to your existing Member Profile to execute your Registration, pay dues, etc.

If the pillar you are applying for is full but there are spots on other teams from another pillar, that pillar holder will be in touch to see if you might be willing to help out the teams that most need support and then award your spot.

If you don't receive a spot you will be placed on the waitlist as there are often A LOT of cancellations and tickets changing hands that can happen toward the middle of the summer and we will let you know if a spot opens up.  We will likely have a Mystic Annex for those in opening camping that are Mystics in their hearts but didn't fit this year on our plot but who want to remain close and camp near us to participate with camp. 

For example, the person holding the Radical Evolution - Public Offerings Pillar would be alloted their spots.   He or she would fill those spots with the people committed to come to the Burn that are the most powerful living examples of evolution and who are dedicated to participate on teams like the Events & Speaker Series Team, Ritual & Ceremonies Team, DJ Dance Parties Team, etc.  Although people from other pillars might help out on shifts or otherwise contribute to the public offerings, the leaders and the majority of the team members - both from a values point of view and a physical effort point of view - would come from this group. That means that if someone wants to participate on the Events & Speaker Series Team, and the person holding this pillar doesn't determine that they are a top candidate or has already filled their spots, that person might recommend one of the other pillars as a more appropriate area for their gifts, or they might not have a home at Mystic this year.

5 Pillars




FOR VETERANS: You must apply this year

Given the limited spots we are asking ALL VETERANS to fill out our Application Form. This form will ask you to let us know which teams you are committed and excited to participate on this year, what if any public offerings are you wanting to share, and to indicate if you'd like to apply for one of our Work Access Passes to come early to build (arriving no later than Wednesday prior to the gates opening) or if you can stay late for Exodus (leaving on Tuesday before 12:00pm PT).

Make sure to fill out the Application Form below so that we can see which pillar you will be registering under and we can send you your unique registration code. NOTE:  Our Application Process is the first step in being invited to camp at Mystic so make sure you fill out this form soon so you have an opportunity to get one of our coveted 175 spots.







All Mystics will have a Veteran Sponsor, who has camped with us at least once before, whose role is to welcome you to camp, give you some background about how to camp with us, acculturate you to the 10 Principles of Burning Man, to represent our Mystic culture, and to introduce you to the Community (via our Facebook group and in-person while at Camp). Your Sponsor is letting us all know by their sponsorship that you are aligned beautifully with our culture and are enthusiastically onboard with actively co-creating all the magic that happens at Mystic on the Playa.  If the person being Sponsored is new, both the Sponsee and their Sponsor must be on Playa together their first year.  Remote Sponsorship is not permitted in their first year.  We feel like it’s important that each new person coming to camp has someone they know and trust that can be available to help them feel a sense of love and belonging and to be their go-to person to help answer any questions or address any challenges that could come up.


A Sponsor’s commitment to other Mystic’s is to actively familiarize their Applicant with Burning Man (especially if they haven’t been before) and also to acculturate them to what it means to camp at Mystic.  Sponsors help make sure that Applicants know how to participate at camp, what specifically is expected (pre-Playa, #shifts, Opening/Closing, Strike, etc.), what Teams and Offerings there are to contribute to, and to help them pick whichTeam(s) would be the most exciting and relevant for their Sponsee to join given their unique gifts.  


Applicants will be asked to write their responses to the following questions in an application form (click the button below):  

  1. How do you embody one or more of the core Mystic values (Radical Contribution, Radical Collaboration, Radical Compassion, Radical Self Expression, and Radical Evolution)

  2. How SPECIFICALLY do you plan on co-creating the magic at Mystic?  There are no spectators at Burning Man. Everyone at Mystic must join 2 teams and do 3 shifts.  Let us know if you wish to lead a specific team and which 2 or more teams you are committed to participating on this year? 

  3. OPTIONAL: Do you have a public offering you'd like to share in one of our public Space (The Mystic Theater - Main Stage, The Cosmic Heart Temple, The Healing Dome)?  Would you like to offer your music or a performance in our programming, offer a workshop or talk in our series, do healing session in our dome, offer a ceremony or ritual in our temple, an art project, etc.)

  4. Would you like to apply for one of our Work Access Passes coming early to help build (arriving NO LATER than the Wednesday before gates open) or stay late for Exodus committing to stay until 12:00pm PT on Tuesday.





The Sponsor then requests to add them to our Camp Mystic Facebook group sharing a photo and their responses to introduce them to our tribe and begin the process of welcoming them into our Mystic family. In addition, when the Sponsee arrives on playa, we’d like the Sponsor to proactively check-in on their Sponsee a few times during the Burn to see how it’s going, see if anything is needed, and just to connect deeply with them and their experience.  Having a familiar face in an environment like the desert amongst a big group of people can go a long way to creating a sense of love, safety, and belonging to this tribe.


Depending on which areas of camp the Sponsee if most inspired to help co-create, we will connect the Sponsee to the appropriate Pillar and the relevant team leads so that a bond can be created and so that the specific expectations and clarity can be shared up front about what it means to hold this pillar and what role on the teams the Sponsee is joining entail.



Your pillarholder of the specific area of camp that your contributions fit with most will choose amongst the applicants and will go ahead and allocate one of their spots.  They will formally invite you to register with an email to that will have a unique invite code which will let you go to our website to register and pay dues to make it official.  

If there are no spots in that pillar you might be contacted by another Pillarholder to see if you are willing to participate on some of the teams that are most in need of support and if you are willing to participate on those teams that pillarholder can issue one of the spots they have in their allocation.



What does it mean to hold a pillar?

If you are holding a pillar, you deeply embody the Mystic core values and the spirit of an “effortocracy” (the people putting in the most effort get the most power).  You lead one or more areas within your pillar, contributing radically pre-playa and on-playa to the visioning of how to hold this aspect of camp. In addition it means you will be alloted a certain number of our coveted 200 spots to curate, recruit, and invite veteran and new members to join making sure there is a cultural fit and a bond formed right from the start with the team lead who will be most involved with the new member’s contributions. (Which could be yourself or a team lead from a team within the pillar you hold).


Curating members will come in two ways.  

  1. You will be sent the application responses to join camp for you to review with the relevant team leads.
  2. You can proactively reach out to people in the ‘Grand Playa’ whose values are aligned with this pillar and whose offerings would be inspiring and representative of this pillar of camp.  


Once selections are made and spots are allocated, holding a pillar also means you will create a feedback loop between you, your team leads, and mystics whose spots you allocated to keep your ears to the ground to determine how it actually went.  As a pillar you are listening for whether the team lead who worked most closely with them would be excited to give this person one of our coveted spots again next year. As a pillar, you are an active culture curator who is weighing both your direct experience, the team leaders feedback, and lots of openness and compassion to determine who gets allocated spots next year.


If there is a new pillar chosen for next year, we want you to hold your role as a wisdom holder for that pillar and would encourage a conversation that would allow you to share any wisdom gained and specific feedback you received from the prior year’s team leads, counselors, council members, fellow camp mates, etc.  


Objective Criteria:

  • +10 points for leadership of each team

  • +5 points for coming early (by Wed) on Build Crew

  • +5 points for staying late (until Tue) for Exodus

  • +4 points for professional Musicians & Performers for each public offering

  • +3 points for facilitators/speakers for each talk, ritual, or ceremony

  • +3 points for healers for each healing session

  • +3 points for showing up to each shift they signed up for

  • -3 points for creating extra drain on camp leadership or resources

  • -3 points if camp has to chase you down with more than 3 communications for information from the registration survey after the July 15th deadline

  • -6 points for NOT showing up to a shift they signed up for

  • -6 points for taking on a leadership role, but not submitting a budget, reaching out to your team, and adding to this area of camp



  • Did this person create a net positive, net negative, or net neutral experience culture with they interacted with?

  • Did this person add positively, negatively, or neutrally to the offering in their pillar?

  • Did this person display any of the 4 attitudes (over demanding, under demanding, over contributing, under contributing).  If so, which ones and what was the impact?


How To Sponsor Someone At Mystic

Being a Sponsor is a commitment to take an active role with your Sponsee as you invite new people to Mystic.  The Sponsor’s role is to help acculturate your Sponsee to both Burning Man (especially if they have never been before) and to Mystic specifically so that your Sponsees know about our core values, culture, and what it means to participate in this community.  You’ll be interacting with your Sponsee prior to their registration to help them get acquainted with our 5 pillars and the 40+ teams to see which area of camp they’d be most excited and uniquely gifted to contribute to.   


You’ll also do the following:

  • Share the 2 Sponsorship questions with your Sponsee, who will answer them, and then you’ll share those responses with   

  • Request to add them to the Camp Mystic Facebook Group and introduce them to the tribe with a photo and perhaps some background about why you are excited to Sponsor them (you could include their answers to the above if you like)

  • Help connect your Sponsee with the appropriate Pillars (create link) and Team leads (will enter team leads on this page) so they know who to reach out to get their invitation

  • Check-in with your Sponsee when they arrive to welcome them to camp and see if they need anything and are feeling settled in and cared for so they start their burn feeling love, safety, and belonging

  • Check-in with your Sponsee a couple times during the week to proactively track their experience and see how things are mystic left behind!

  • Be a compassionate ear if there are any challenges, holding that challenges are an opportunity to up-level our self awareness and evolve. Any resolution is held in the context of pursuing evolutionary growth for them and all other people involved.


Sponsorship Questions:

  1. How do embody one or more of our core Mystic values (Radical Contribution, Radical Collaboration, Radical Compassion, Radical Self Expression, and Radical Evolution).
  2. How SPECIFICALLY do you want to help us co-create the magic at Mystic...there are no spectaors (coming early for build, staying for exodus, leading one of our teams,



COUNSELORS: No Mystic Left Behind

Traditionally our counselors have been available at meal times if any challenges arise and any campers are wanting to find them to talk and receive compassionate listening and help with resolving any challenges arise. In 2022, in addition to playing this role during meals times we will have each counselor matched to 15-20 mystics on our roster that they will proactively check-in with a few times throughout the week.  No Mystic left behind. The role of the counselors is two-fold…

  1. To serve as culture curators, embodying our 5 core values in all their interactions and keeping a finger on the pulse of our culture to sense early if there are any perturbations in the field (big or small) or exemplary manifestations of our mission and values for us all to celebrate.

  2. To actively engage with our community to create a feeling of inclusivity helping to make sure everyone is feeling love, safety, and belonging.  Counselors will actively check-in and track the experience of their sub group of mystics to see how their experience is going, see if they need anything, and to give a compassionate ear if there are any challenges mystics are having.

To serve as mediators, if necessary, when there are challenges that arise between members, holding that challenges are an opportunity to up-level our self awareness and evolve. Any resolution is held in the context of pursuing evolutionary growth for them and all other people involved.