Sample Letters

“What would you say to the virgin burner you were?”… Are you drawing a blank? Not really sure where to start?

That is totally understandable. Below are a few examples of letters and letter styles VLP has received in previous years.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • These letters are hand delivered on playa. So it is a little late for reminders to bring things.
  • Please do not copy paste the 10 Principles. Everybody gets them from Greeters.
  • Length and depth are up to you.
  • We don’t and won’t edit the letters.

Short and to the point:

“You should probably listen to the voice that says ‘now! do it now!'”

“Breathe however thick the dust may be. This is your chance to take it all in and to grow and learn and become a little fuller.”

“Dear Virgin, Enjoy your self and have fun!”

“chill the fuck out.
It’s all going to happen whether you spend your time being afraid of it or not. So enjoy the ride.”

A little longer, maybe?:  

“Don’t be afraid to blink. You will likely miss something in that millisecond, but there’s too much more to see and experience to worry about missing something else. That feeling you had coming down the road before being greeted – yeah – that actually doesn’t really go away all week. You may be feeling anxious still, but if when you hopped out of your car, cracked a beer, and said “of course” or “duh”, then trust me, you are in the right place. Welcome to the playa. Hope to see you out here.


“So this letter – let’s not worry about what is happening to you now – let that happen. The question is – what will you say when you get back and to whom.

My first time, I got to Reno and called my father from the motel before my flight.

DAD SAID: I read about burning man in Time magazine, five pages.

I SAID: Really, can you save me the copy?

DAD SAID: I don’t have it, I was reading it during my colonoscopy at the doctors.

I SAID: Colonoscopy? How did that go?

DAD SAID: Very painful, they stick something up your ass and they show all the places my prostrate had enlarged and bled. But listen, this Time magazine article says there are nekkid people at burning man!

I SAID: yes dad, there were some naked people there, I wasn’t naked, but what did the doctor say?

DAD SAID: Oh, what a strange country this is. They stick something up your ass and show you all the places your prostrate is bleeding then at the end they send you home and don’t give you medicine and tell you to come back in a year! what a strange medicine! But listen, did you know, this Tiime magazine article, it says that people dressed like COWS there.

I SAID: Yes, dad, there was one person who dressed like a cow. So are you ok?

DAD SAID: Oh yes, it’s all fine.

My father by the way is still fine. He doesn’t have a prostate. And I still talk to him about the Man. He’s not so impressed with naked people and cows any more. But I sit and talk to him – he now has dementia – and tell him about all the stories of things that happened at the man – and they are always new to him. Burning Man – it is like going to China without a Menu.”

Maybe you have a lot to say:

“So you are going to Burning Man for the first time.

From my perspective, I’d like to share some some wisdom from my own experience of having been four times. People will be telling you all the physical things you need: goggles, vinegar to remove the alkaline dust/dirt from your hair or from between your toes, lots of sunblock, etc. etc.

I’d like to tell you about some of the mental things that might help:

1) When you enter Black Rock City, lay down all of your expectations. Have NONE. What ever you think is going to happen or what you think is supposed to happen might be the exact opposite of what actually does happen. Clear the mind up front and be open to whatever new comes your way or happens to you.

2) You WILL be tested.

You will experience your lowest lows and you will experience your highest highs. Your emotions will go across the scale. Your relationships with your friends will be tested. Your relationship with your significant other (if you have one) will be tested. Know this beforehand and decide NOW how you will control your emotions. You will possibly laugh and giggle; you will possibly cry like a baby. It’s all OK, just Make a checklist of your emotions now. Be prepared.

3) Your entire week has the possibility of being the worst week of your entire life. Your entire week has the possibility of being the best week of your entire life. However you experience it, know that it’s an EXPERIENCE that you will not get anywhere else. Your character will grow. You will become stronger.

4) If you come across a super small patch of wet playa just out in the middle of nowhere… avoid it. Somebody pee’d there.

5) Don’t pee on the playa. They will get you with their night-vision goggles.

6) Don’t be afraid to go to the medic tent… even if you just need to sit for a few moments and let your blood pressure go down. They give free medical care and are your friends. They will not turn you in for illegal stuff (if you know which illegal stuff I mean). I’ll say again: They are your friends.

7) Be prepared to hang out with all of your friends/campmates and your significant other. Be prepared to completely lose your friends/campmates and lose your significant other and that you will be by yourself possibly even for LONG periods of time (half a day or more sometimes depending on what situations you come across). Cherish the time with your friends. Cherish the times when you are completely independent. Make new friends. Create experiences you never thought would ever happen to you.

8 ) Playa time. Making appointments to meet friends at a certain place at a certain time is futile. I guess that is unless you have your face stuck inside of your smart phone. (They had no wireless coverage the last time I went).

9) Leave the phone in the car. It will become your ball and chain if you don’t. Be on playa time. Burning Man is one time you can truly disconnect from the world and get off the grid. It’s very freeing.

10) Be open to having you’re mind blown apart until it’s leaking out your ears and down your neck AND be open to having an adventure beyond your wildest dreams. Seriously.

…and one other small bit of advice that I’d suggest. It’s your prerogative, but this is just my thought: don’t get drunk. First, I can’t imagine what a hangover on the playa must be like in that extremely dry, hot climate, but I imagine it must be an absolute nightmare to have a bad hangover. I don’t know because it’s never happened to me. To be dehydrated from the dry conditions and then dehydrated because of the alcohol on top of that seems like it would be Hell. I’ve seen people with hangovers there. They were not having fun at that moment. At all. Just my 2 cents.

That is all from me.

I haven’t been in five years. I’d love to go again, but it just hasn’t been in the cards. If you are going… have a little fun for me too, please <3”