The Principles

The Principles of Burning Man are what make our events what they are. They are our code, and required reading for all of our members.
They are underpinned by consent, which needs to be understood by everyone.

Radical Inclusion

Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community. We welcome all at London Decompression. From our close community of friends and loved ones to the strangers we are about to meet. All are welcome to participate.


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. From the gift of your time (“need a hand with that hexayurt?”) to that perfectly timed snack (“A grilled cheese sandwich at 4am? Thank you!”) gifting is at the heart of the principles. We gift unconditionally, without expecting anything in return.


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. By removing the desire to consume we reduce the risk of being exploited by commercial greed or want, creating instead, a culture of gifting and creativity.

Radical Self Reliance

Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on their inner resources. Dig deep and ensure that you can rely on yourself for the majority of what you might need. The playa may very well provide but that doesn’t mean you should expect everyone else to look after you. Come prepared with everything you might desire during a night (and day) out.

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.Want to dance your latest tango-twerking fusion wearing that floaty dress you rescued from a flea market? Go ahead! That’s your own unique gift to the community. Just be aware that you should also be respectful of the audience’s own rights … it might not be the right time during a fire performance!

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.

Leave 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. To be mindful of the impact we have on our environment and make conscious changes to lessen the trace we leave behind. From transport choices to outfit decisions, or pointless waste and how we consume our drinks, we are mindful of leaving our spaces in a better condition than how we found them. Allowing ourselves to truly be in the moment no matter how much other worldly demands try to distract us. Enjoy the experience whilst it lasts.


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 co-create. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart. Everyone is encouraged to participate, and, no matter how small or large your contribution is, we’re all part of the experience. This is how we achieve transformative change as individuals or as part of the larger society. Being involved adds more meaning to the event.


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. Allowing ourselves to truly be in the moment no matter how much other worldly demands try to distract us. Enjoy the here and now.

These principles are always underpinned by consent.
Everyone who attends our events must understand this.Consent is an agreement between people to do something specific together. It is not just about sex, it’s needed before doing any interpersonal interaction. Most so since the pandemic, we need to be checking that we have consent for something that might seem as innocuous as hugging.