Set Up Camp On A NYC Rooftop, For Free

For those trapped within compact – even, stifling – New York City walls, there’s good news: There is a way out. And it’s up above.

Bivouac NY is a pop-up campground and art project that situates itself on rooftops, several stories high above New York City sidewalks. Like a typical campground, the scene includes tents, food rations, and star-lit skies. The host locations are usually secret and frequently change, although they are, for the most part, always Brooklyn-based.

“I created this camping experience as part of an art project,” says artist and creator Thomas Stevenson. “There are two major principles: disconnecting from the world at large and people convening together.”

Set Up Camp On A NYC Rooftop, For Free – ClapwayPhoto Courtesy of Mark Römisch

Crafted by artists, city-campers are offered a lean-to tent made of waterproof canvas that fits up to three people for an “extra cozy” fit. At the bottom of the tent is a 1-inch wool felt flooring, which accommodates comfort by transforming the feel of the harsh roof floor to packed sand.

In addition, Stevenson provides a canteen, kitchen area, large reclaimed wood communal table, library, in-door toilet, and early morning coffee. Oh, and a spectacular view of New York City, too, of course.

Guests are asked to bring with them at least one food item to be used in the communal dinner, along with whatever is needed by the individual to sleep comfortably with, whether sleeping bag, blankets, or pillows.

Left out of the picture are Wi-Fi, fire, electricity, and a shower—so be sure to update all networks and tidy up beforehand.

Set Up Camp On A NYC Rooftop, For Free – ClapwayPhoto Courtesy of Mark Römisch

“You know you’re not camping, but it has the whole feeling of camping because no cellphones are allowed, and you’re just with people and have that burlap blowing in the wind,” two-time participant Ariel Abrahams told Yahoo.

Yet, it’s no wild party either. Campers are asked to be courteous of their neighbors—and so, although drinking alcohol is allowed, raging till 5 a.m. isn’t.

“The night ends kind of early, usually between 10 and 11, at which point everyone goes into their tents to sleep,” says Stevenson. “Then they get up, have breakfast, and go back to their jobs. The idea is to break up the day and create a different experience.”

Best of all? It’s absolutely free.

“It’s one of my art projects,” Stevenson says. “It’s dealing with social interactions, so there’s no fee.”

Join the fun and sign up for this year’s final camping night on October 24th.

Set Up Camp On A NYC Rooftop, For Free - ClapwayPhoto Courtesy of Mark Römisch