Cup and ID

Two very important things that you must bring:

Your Cup

Everyone needs their own cup. Bars will not provide them (with very few exceptions) so choosing the right cup is important.

Try to get one with the following qualities:

  • has a lid to stop playa dust blowing in, and prevent spillage while riding your bike
  • has a handle or place to attach a carabiner to clip it on something while you ride your bike
  • isn’t too large. Bars will often fill up whatever cup you give them but you never know how good the drink will be. Sometimes you can end up with too much of something nasty – remember there is nowhere to dump it.
  • Insulated is a bonus but if it’s not too big this isn’t as important as you’re more likely to finish the drink before moving on anyway.

Note that you should also carry a bottle of water at all times when away from camp, so it’s useful to have an insulated water bottle that ideally holds a litre and can be attached with a carabiner to your bike and/or bag.

Your ID

Burning Man is located in the USA, which means the drinking age is 21, not 18 like it is in more civilised parts of the world.

Unfortunately the cops and feds are very active in trying to bust bars for serving under-aged minors so almost all bars will now check your ID before they serve you. It’s hard for bars to judge who might be under 21 so many of them (including Discordia) have a blanket policy that everyone is asked for their ID, even if they look 60.

If you obviously look like you are over 21 then most bars will accept a photocopy of your official ID – for us international people that means either a driving license or passport. Some bars may still request to see a real ID so it might be useful to have one in your bag… or just move on to the next bar.

Laminate a colour photocopy of your ID and stick it onto your cup to make life easier for both you and the bar-tenders.

If you look like you MIGHT POSSIBLY be under 21 then you will almost certainly need to show a real ID at every bar.

If you are going to carry ID with you then it’s a good idea to use a recently-expired one rather than risk losing your real license or passport. Nearly all bars will accept an expired ID (as it is not legal for the cops to present a fake/expired ID when trying to bust bars). In the UK you can just request a new drivers license… technically you’re supposed to destroy or return the old one but they don’t check and it can be a useful way to get a duplicate for use on-playa.