ChiCargo Playa Shipping 2019
A Fundraiser for B.U.R.N.
(detailed description & sign up)




Thanks for your interest in ChiCargo 2019! If you haven't already, you may want to read the summary first.

This document is divided into sections:

  1. tl;dr High level notes

  2. The basics

  3. Prohibited items

  4. Bins

  5. BYOlock system

  6. Irregular items

  7. Chicago drop off

  8. Playa pick up

  9. Playa drop off

  10. Chicago pick up

  11. Payment

  12. Link to sign up form

  13. Stay connected

1. tl;dr high level summary

  • Chicago drop off (Sun 8/11) will be two weeks before the gates open, and Chicago pick up (Sat 9/14) will be two weeks week after the man burns. NEW IN 2019: Load in moved from Saturday to Sunday.

  • To respect our volunteers' time, Chicago drop off and pick up times are now 2pm - 6pm

  • If you cannot attend Chicago drop off or pick up, please practice Radical Self Reliance and Communal Effort by using the 2019 ChiCargo Message board to coordinate with other ChiCargo participants rather than contacting ChiCargo organizers.

  • For everyone's safety and sanity, weight limit for bins is now 80 lbs gross (gross = contents + bin + lock + etc).

  • Similarly, weight limit for irregular items is now 100 lbs gross.  An irregular item more than 100 lbs will need to be split into multiple items.  We’re looking at you BwB! ;)

  • New in 2019: ShiftPods have their own section in sign up.

  • After years of changing suppliers, the only retailer selling correct bins is Lowes. Correct bins are manufactured by Centrex AND have a square pattern on the yellow lid.  Incorrect bins have various diamond patterns on the yellow lid (regardless of manufacturer).

  • If you are concerned about having the correct bin or might have difficulty getting a correct bin, we strongly recommend signing up for empty bins at load in.


2. The basics:

  • Round trip prices: $60 for BYO standardized bin and $12 per cubic foot for irregular items

  • One-way trips are half off

  • For bikes, we recommend Cobra’s Chicago-based bike shipping service: $90 on or before July 15, $110 after. Email cobrabus15@yahoo.com for details

  • Public, interactive art qualifies for a 10% discount: for consideration, email ChiCargo@burningmelon.org *before* signing up

  • Transported by contracted freight professionals via a licensed & insured semi-trailer

  • Transparent fundraiser for Bold Urban Renaissance Network, a IL 501(c)3 that provides art grants, organizes Decomp, etc.

  • A portion of donated funds will go to the Burner Exchange program, which provides airfare, transportation, and event tickets for a Lakes of Fire attendee to visit AfrikaBurn and vice versa

  • Space is limited, first come first serve, and reservations are valid only after completion of the online sign up and successful payment processing

  • Sign up closes when space is filled OR Sunday 8/11 at 6:00pm Chicago time

  • There are no refunds after Sunday 8/11 at 6:00pm Chicago time

  • 10% "Sparkle Pony Penalty" price increase after 8/4 :(


3. Prohibited items

  • Prohibited items include but are not limited to:

    • illegal drugs: cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, etc;

    • "partially legal" drugs: marijuana, cannabis, derivatives or synthetic thereof, etc;

    • perishable food or beverage: produce, milk, fresh juices, etc;

    • fireworks: signal flares, sparklers, other explosives, etc;

    • flammables/fuel: propane, butane, gasoline, diesel, white gas, matches, lighters, etc;

    • paints: spray paint, oil-based paint, etc;

    • household Items: bleach, spray starch, insecticides, drain cleaners, solvents, etc;

    • pressure containers: scuba tanks, camp stove propane canisters, carbon dioxide cartridges, nitrous oxide cartridges, etc;

    • weapons: firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, mace, tear-gas, pepper spray, etc;

    • hazardous materials: dry ice, gasoline-powered tools, wet-cell batteries, camping equipment with fuel, radioactive materials, poisons, infectious substances, etc;

    • wet goods that could open and destroy other property and/or stink up the trailer (stinky cheese), etc.

    • living beings: dogs, cats, humans, fish, etc.

4. Bins

  • $60 price is only for 27 gallon "Commander" bins by Centrex

    • NOT 27 gallon "Professional Box" at Costco

    • NOT 27 gallon storage tote by HDX sold at Home Depot

    • NOT 27 gallon "Tough Tote" by Homz sold at Amazon

    • If you use a non-Centrex tote, it will be irregular and you will be charged $70 or more
  • Gross weight limit for bins is 80 lbs per bin (gross = contents + bin + lock + etc)

  • We reserve the right to refuse any bin that is visibly cracked or damaged at load in

  • Bag your bin contents or tape the edges of your bin to prevent intrusion of playa dust

  • New in 2019: if you’re re-using a bin from a previous ChiCargo year, make sure you remove previous labels!

  • At Chicago drop off, bins receive heavy-duty labels with the shipper's name & info, so labeling/decorating is not required.

  • If you want to label/decorate your bin, do so in non-MOOPy ways:

    • OK: Sharpie, paint pen, duct tape, large plastic stickers

    • NOT OK: Spray paint, house paint, masking tape, washi tape, small stickers, paper stickers

  • Lid must close completely and be secured at all 6 points with zip ties: cinch zip ties tight, cut off extra length

  • Bins should be packed carefully: they will have hundreds of pounds stacked on it, or leaning against it from any direction

5. BYOlock system
  • At Chicago drop off, bin owners must bring one lock per bin (unlocked)

    • Locks must be compatible with lock holes in Centrex bin

    • When locked to bin, shank must have extra space for a 1/4" diameter cable to pass through (similar to standard pencil) 

    • Please use a long-shackle lock

    • Locks cannot obstruct or interfere with bin stacking

    • Combination style locks strongly recommended, especially if a friend may pick up or drop off your bin

    • Bike locks (cable or U lock) are OK if meeting the above criteria, but not recommended, and can only be used for one bin

    • Bins cannot be locked together or otherwise attached to each other

  • If Bins are overweight, you will be required to take weight out. You can buy a bin from us onsite to ship (pending space) or take your excess weight home. In this event, you should bring bins unlocked in case you (or your friend) needs to open them before going on the truck.

  • More info about the BYOlock system available here

6. Irregular items

  • Irregular item capacity is limited at our discretion

  • New in 2019: ShiftPods have their own section in sign up

  • Gross weight limit for irregular items is 100 lbs per item.  An irregular item more than 100 lbs will need to be split into multiple items. This will be strictly enforced in 2019.

  • Orders with irregular items may be declined with full refund within 24 hours of order submission

  • We cannot accept fragile or delicate items, may not be able to accept items with any one dimension longer than 8'

  • Dimensions & pricing is "highest point rectilinear" and uses the following procedure:

    • Measure length, width, and height at longest, widest, and tallest point

    • Then, round up to the nearest whole inch. Ex: 14.4" x 30.2" x 43.8" becomes 15" x 31" x 44"

    • Multiply the result and then divide by 1728 for the precise cubic feet. Ex: 15*31*44 = 20,460 then 20,460 / 1728 = 11.84

    • Round up to the nearest cubic foot then multiply by $12 for final cost   Ex. 11.84 becomes 12 then 12*$12 = $144

7. Chicago drop off

  • Chicago drop off will be Sunday, August 11th from 2pm-6pm within the city limits of Chicago accessible via public transit or car (exact location provided in August to those who sign up)

  • At Chicago drop off, bin owners must bring one lock per bin (unlocked) (see section 5 above)

  • At Chicago drop off, we will have a systems for quickly locating boxes and locks on-play

  • If you cannot attend Chicago drop off or pick up, please practice Radical Self Reliance and Communal Effort by using the 2019 ChiCargo Message board to coordinate with other ChiCargo participants rather than contacting ChiCargo organizers.

8. Playa pick up

  • Playa pick up starts Thursday 8/22 at noon (Early Access)

  • Bins will be in dedicated ChiCargo area of Burning Melon camp (Melon Rouge), playa address TBD

  • Bikes shipped with Cobra's Bike Shipping will be at location TBD

9. Playa drop off

  • Playa drop off ends Monday 9/2 at 10am

  • Bins must be returned to the ChiCargo area

10. Chicago pick up

  • Chicago pick up will be Saturday 9/14 from 2pm-6pm at same location as drop off

  • To claim bins, participants must open the bin's lock

  • If you cannot attend Chicago drop off or pick up, please practice Radical Self Reliance and Communal Effort by using the 2019 ChiCargo Message board to coordinate with other ChiCargo participants rather than contacting ChiCargo organizers.

11. Payment & Refunds

  • Successful payment via credit or debit card is required to sign up

  • Accepted cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club

  • If possible, please submit payment in one lump sum covering all items shipped

  • Full refunds are available before 8/11 at 6:00pm Chicago time (also the end of sign up and Chicago load in)

  • Refund requests must be submitted via email: reply to the confirmation email (subject line: "Thanks for your sign up of X items") and double-check it's being sent to chicargo@burningmelon.org

  • Refund requests will receive a reply within 48 hours; actual timing of repayment may vary based on your credit/debit card


12. Link to sign up form

  • If you would like to use this program and have no further questions, you can sign up and pay here: ChiCargo online signup

13. Stay connected

  • If you would like to receive news and updates on ChiCargo, like and follow our Facebook page