2016 MUTANT VEHICLE PROCESS CHANGES
The Department of Mutant Vehicles is moving to a new system for processing Mutant Vehicle applications in 2016.
THE SHORT VERSION
The increased volume of Mutant Vehicle applications (nearly 1000 in 2015) is requiring the DMV to be more selective than ever. Having a vehicle on the playa in the past is no guarantee of
being invited in the future! Put your best foot forward in your application and give us a reason to invite your vehicle to Black Rock City. The Mutant Vehicle application form will be closing earlier than ever this year: Noon (PST) on April 13.
THE WHOLE STORY
In past years, the DMV has invited every vehicle to the playa that met the published Mutant Vehicle requirements. We strove to have an objective process to evaluate each application, focusing on level of mutation - not on quality of the art.
Each Mutant Vehicle application is reviewed by a committee of DMV Hotties, and we strive to reach a consensus agreement on whether the vehicle has met the criteria. Historically the DMV team has reviewed each application shortly after it was received, and responded to the vehicle creator as quickly as possible. Over the years, the Mutant Vehicle Community has steadily “ratcheted up” the bar a vehicle must pass, and we’re now at a point where we require vehicles to be completely mutated - showing little or none of the original base vehicle.
In spite of the stricter requirements, the number of applications has steadily grown, and the number of thoroughly mutated vehicles now exceeds what we can accommodate on the playa. Burning Man is primarily a pedestrian and bicycle city, and only a fraction of burners can bring a vehicle before the playa becomes too crowded with them. Our goal is to enable our creative community of artists making mutated vehicles to show off their creations, while balancing the needs of playa preservation, visual stimulation, and safety.
In response, the DMV is revising how we evaluate applications to bring a Mutant Vehicle to the playa. Rather than considering each vehicle on its own merits, we’re moving to a “curation” model, wherein we will consider each vehicle within the context of all the qualified applications we receive. A vehicle will still be required to meet the published Mutant Vehicle criteria, but that alone won’t guarantee an invitation to bring it to the playa. We will also be looking to invite a balance of different types of vehicles on the playa: large scale sound vehicles, flame effects focused vehicles, small artistic vehicles, large transport vehicles, highly participatory vehicles, etc. We are dedicated to licensing vehicles from projects of all budget levels, not just the most expensively built ones.
We will be looking for vehicles that have good execution of their design concept. We will also be evaluating the originality of a vehicle. There are already quite a number of bar-cars, furniture cars and boats, for example - and that might not be the best design choice for a new vehicle you’re considering. When it comes to larger vehicles, we will be favoring vehicles that have a sterling record for inclusivity when it comes to offering rides to the public.
So...what can you do to maximize the chance of being able to bring your vehicle to the playa this year?
- Fill out your application thoroughly. Including more detail is better than less.
- Make sure your application gives us a very clear vision of your vehicle.
- The application should clearly describe the concept for your vehicle and what you have done or will do to realize that concept.
- Good photos of both the day and nighttime appearance are necessary - If you’re building a new vehicle that isn’t complete yet, then detailed design sketches are a good alternative to photos.
- Vehicles desiring a night license need to be detailed about the lighting plan for the vehicle.
- Mutant Vehicles which align with or comment on Burning Man’s annual theme will be given greater consideration.
In past years, we’ve allowed vehicle creators who were not selected to appeal our decision, and offer up additional details about their vehicle, or change some part of their design. Our new process eliminates appeals, so it’s more important than ever your application be filled out clearly and completely!
Lastly, the deadline for submitting an application will be noon PST on April 13. In past years, we’ve been able to accommodate vehicles that missed the deadline. Because of our new evaluation system, we can no longer do that. So get your vehicle application in early!
Thanks for your time, and we look forward to seeing all of your amazing creative vehicle designs this year. If you have questions, please get in touch with the Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles at [email protected].