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Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.


The Man burns, Burning Man 2009

Hi! Welcome to the third Burning Man megathread. There are a good number of goons who are veteran burners who can answer your questions about anything related to this thing, so ask away!
Also welcome: posts from "burners" sharing experiences, stories and probably even planning in one way or another.

Previous thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3460995
Even older one: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3380988

What's Burning Man?
Burning Man is many things, which is what makes it so hard to describe. Depending on what you end up doing, it can be any of the following:
- A huge party in the desert.
- A rave every night, with awesome DJs, under the stars and until well past sunrise.
- A place to experiment with drugs.
- An excuse to run around naked, and to see naked people everywhere.
- An opportunity to be "weird", and in turn find that being like that is the norm, which will in turn make you question what it is to be "normal".
- A place to burn poo poo.
- A spiritual journey.
- It's like DisneyLand but for adults.
- "home".

OniKun posted:

Burning Man is the kind of place where you think, "Hot drat, that looks great to do some drugs at," and then two years later, you're begging your parents and family to come with you. Love it.



What exactly is there to do at Burning Man?
Anything and everything. One of the core principles is participation. This means that you're there to be involved, not to be a bystander or an observer. Dance, play, talk to people, show off your skills, art or naked body.
There's incredible art to see and interact with. There are countless personalities from all over the world eager to share a story with you. There are bars everywhere, giving away all sorts of drinks. There is music, and many other kinds of performing arts. There are art cars that you can jump in and ride around on. There's a Center Camp where you'll find people reciting poetry, painting or sculpting, joining in a drum circle or doing yoga.
Pro-Tip: Don't miss out on the THUNDERDOME.

One rule of thumb that I've heard about doing things at Burning Man is "You can do anything you want, as long as it doesn't get in the way of someone else's self-expression". Which is a pretty nice way of saying that you can do whatever you like, but don't be a dick.


Scott Williams: http://scott-williams-photography.b...to-move-on.html

How is it best to prepare for a week in the desert?
Read the survival guide! Last year's is available online here: http://www.burningman.com/media/doc...vival_guide.pdf
Being prepared is not a chore, it can be lots of fun. Our camp has get-togethers to get ready, and we'll do Costco raids with huge shopping lists, and even plan out meals so that we don't all end up packing tuna and crackers to eat every single day.
The must haves are:
- Shade!
- Water: At minimum of a gallon per day, per person. This is water to drink. Plan on taking more if you're a thirsty bastard or if you're planning on using the water for cooking or washing things (or yourself).
- Food. This is pretty hard, specially for first-timers, but you can't rely on anyone else but yourself. If you can't think of anything, at least pack a bunch of bagels, MREs, salami, granola bars and stuff that doesn't spoil easily.
- Fun clothes to wear. Shorts and a t-shirt are fine, but it's a lot more fun to jump right in and wear something fun. A costume, nothing at all, cross-dress, steampunk or Mad Max it up.
- Lights! It gets really dark at night, and you don't want to be called a darktard or a speed-bump. Get some battery-operated Christmas lights and put them on a hat, weave EL-Wire through your clothes or at least carry a flashlight around, but you need to be seen from all angles in the dark.
- Your ticket. While sometimes there are ticket sales at the gate, you're much better off having your ticket before you hit the road.



Regionals
While Burning Man happens once a year, and in Northern Nevada, there are many related events at different times, and in many different places. Hop into http://regionals.burningman.com/ and see if there's anything near you.
Finding local burners near you is a sure-fire way of making friends and making preparations a lot more interesting.
I always suggest to anyone thinking about going to Burning Man to attend a Decompression (or compression) party, which are the parties after (or before) Burning Man. They get a good feel for what things people wear, what the ambiance is like and chances are that if you can get into it, you'll love the real deal.
The main hubs for Burning Man are of course in Reno and San Francisco, but there are huge communities in Los Angeles and NY, and pretty much anywhere. Look around, these will be huge resources if your biggest concern is how to get there from far away. Chances are that there's someone near you that has done the trip, and that they can help you out.

TICKETS

Are bought online: http://tickets.burningman.com.
Since 2012, the system has been tweaked in order to accomplish many things, but great controversy is the biggest thing its yielded on its experimenting. Also: Buying tickets online as soon as they go on sale is now a tradition that involves sitting in front of a computer for hours while the servers crash and you lose your spot on the queue. Read previous threads and you'll see plenty of chatter about those loving servers, and so on.


Questions about Burning Man
  • Isn't that kind of expensive for what's supposed to be a counter-culture event?
    Not really. Renting a huge chunk of unique land from the BLM isn't cheap. Some other things are also pretty expensive for the event organizers, such as the massive amount of porta-potties and their cleaning, security and clean-up. You can read up about it, of course: http://www.burningman.com/whatisbur...cketprices.html
  • What's the playa?
    It's the alkali flat, or dry lake bed. In other words, the surface that extends for miles, where magic happens. It's really dry and hard, but it also dissolves into really fine sand, which gets EVERYWHERE. It has a very special smell, which makes it unique and definitely triggers olfactory memories if you haven't smelled it in a while.

  • Will it be fun if I don't do drugs?
    Yes.
  • Will it be fun if I don't drink?
    Yes.
  • I heard that Daft Punk is going to be there this year.
    Probably not, but this is definitely a fun rumor on the playa that sends people on a wild goose chase.
  • I heard it's not going to be as good as last year. And that it's now too commercial. Should I still go?
    Of course Burning Man has evolved into something quite different than what it was years ago. If you can't deal with that, then you're really missing the point.
  • Is there anything else than electronic music?
    While most places have all sorts of electronic music playing, there are a few spots here and there that will probably fill your desire for something else. There are always camps hosting live rock bands, hip-hop MC battles or a random dude playing the violin in the middle of nowhere.

Online resources

The 2013 Theme: Cargo Cult

Always curious to see how people interpret the theme in the art. Last year's theme was "Fertility 2.0", and I heard about a small art car that consisted of a wire-hanger.

And here's what the Man will look like:



Goons tell stories from the Playa

urei posted:

Funny because the first thing that a greeter said to me when I drove into burning man was
Greeter: “Are you bringing any drugs or alcohol into the camp ground?”
Me: “Uh…”
Greeter: “Why the gently caress not? Go and have a good time!”
Me: “OK!”
what a great way to start the week.

BlueBayou posted:

On the last morning we were there, my friend and I went out for a ride… just to see what we could find, no real destination in mind. We rode past a big ole white tent where there were people drinking and as we passed someone inside called out and asked if we wanted to take the Whiskey Taste Test. Hell yes we did.
Turns out it was a big camp full of Texans with weird poo poo written on the walls such as ‘Time for pie” “God drat this is some big hippy nonsense” and my personal favorite “‘Go drink water’ is the new ‘gently caress Off!’” Anyway the whiskey taste test was pretty simple. The bartender had about ten bottles from different kinds of alcohol (so like gin bottles, vodkas bottles, whiskey bottles etc), but they were all filled with whiskey… and he told you they were all filled with whiskey. You picked a bottle and he’d pour you a shot. You’d down it.. and then the test – “Did that taste like whiskey?” “Uh.. yes.. of course..?” “YOU WIN!!!!” “What do I win?” “Another shot!!!”
We stayed there most of the day. Helped move a broken truck on to a flatbed tow truck. Watched a guy fall asleep in a chair with his shoes on, get drawn on, then taken away by medical once it was determined he was really out of it. Then we ate a while bunch of their leftover food, played in their giant pit full of stuffed animals, and watched some people in the next camp over set a car on fire.
Wandering around during the day and finding a place to stop for a drink was always the best.

minato posted:

Everyone has a Burning Man Moment. My favorite last year was going for a 2am bike ride out into the desert. There couldn’t have been a soul within a mile’s radius of me. I noticed a small winking light off in the distance and headed towards it. In the middle of nowhere, it was… a parking meter. My friend’s moment was when he was caught alone out in the desert in a sandstorm. He was wandering aimlessly for a while, safe but disoriented, when out of the dust a bus slowly rolled up to him. The driver leaned out and offered him a hot dog.

spite house posted:

In ’01 my campmates and I were hanging around our geodesic dome at about 10 in the morning, eating corned beef hash and gradually emerging from our collective stupor, when we heard a very loud voice with a thick Russian accent hailing us from the doorway. “HELLO MY FRIENDS!”

It was a mid-30s dude in a disheveled 3-piece suit, brandishing an enormous bottle of Skyy vodka. “I LOVE AMERICA!” he said. “I COME FROM RUSSIA! IN RUSSIA IS RULES, RULES, RULES! HERE? NO RULES! VODKA FOR MY NEW FRIENDS!” We turned the Skyy into Dusty Marys (vodka and V-8, ice optional) and got to know our visitor.

It turned out that he was an academic at some backwater college in Russia, who had been at a conference with a bunch of Berkeley heads. The Berkeley heads took a liking to him and invited him to Burning Man. He flew from Moscow to San Francisco and thence to Reno, where the Berkeley camp scooped him up and took him straight to the playa. He had never been to America before; Burning Man was his introduction. Of course he had to know that Black Rock City is not a realistic representation of an average American city of 40K, but I still can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

He was old enough to remember Soviet life pre-glasnost. We asked him why he wasn’t drinking Russian vodka. “I DO NOT TRUST RUSSIAN VODKA,” he said darkly. “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY PUT IN.”

HappyHelmet posted:

As I mentioned before, in 2007 I was volunteering with the Rangers. It was my first time volunteering, and while I have to say it was pretty great being a part of the Rangers sometimes it felt a little too much like work for me. Regardless of that it was Thursday morning, and I had made sure to take Thursday off. Why Thursday? It happens to be one of the biggest party nights at the event. Typically by Thursday all the theme camps have finished getting fully setup, and there is also a large influx of new people who come in that day as well. Also in regards to 2007 it was widely rumored that Paul Oakenfold was there, and would do a set that Thursday night. Personally I’m not that into the guy, but hey, Paul Oakenfold what the hell right?

I was with a theme camp during this year, and had gotten into the event a few days before the masses had started to arrive. So its important to note I was 5-6 days deep into an on again off again marathon alcohol bender. I’d sober up a bit for when I had Ranger duty, but off duty it was all water, beer, bourbon, gin, and a bit of coffee to keep me motivated. I was at that point where you can no longer tell if your drunk or sober no matter how much I drink because your body just doesn’t know what the gently caress anymore. Anyways, back on track, its Thursday morning, and I’m chilling with my camp mates drinking a few beers. I explain that tonight is gonna be a good night to drink up, and have a good time. It was agreed that we would meet up at the camp later in the evening, and I made plans to go out with a few of the less douchey ones. In the meantime I decided it was time to hike across the playa to the steam bath camp I had found earlier in the work, and clean myself up a bit before the night-time festivities. I mixed up a bottle of gin and juice (heavy on the gin) slung my bag over my shoulder, and was off.

I left the steam bath about an hour later feeling clean from having sweated off some of that dust, and by now it was pushing 1’o clock. The sun was really starting to heat up (2007 was a very hot year). Naturally the “Margarita Dome” that was less than a block away was the next stop, and soon I was chilling in the shade sipping on an icy margarita shooting the breeze with some random other people that were hanging out in there. I don’t remember exactly how long I was there, but it must have been an hour before I left to head back toward camp. Needless to say between getting cleaned up in the steam bath, and the booze I was feeling pretty drat good at this point.

When the dust storm hit… When it hit I was roughly half way between the Man, and the side of the horseshoe that my camp was on. I was totally exposed to the full extent of the dust storm. I literally couldn’t see 3 ft in front of me, and was being pelted by a barrage of pea sized chunks of playa. I inevitably stumbled into one of the wooden lamp posts that line the street out there, and hunkered down as best I could for shelter. Another fellow camper in the same predicament stumbled over, and did the same. I still had a bit of gin and juice left so we passed the bottle while we waited it out.

After 10-15 minutes the storm finally sub-sided enough that I was able to high-tail it over to the camping area where the tents help provide some shelter from the dust storms. As I reached the Esplanade I caught the smell of rain on the air…

spite house posted:

The Tuna Guys are a bunch of grizzled fishermen from the San Juan Islands, who catch about two tons of albacore to bring to Burning Man every year. They know how to transport it so it stays fresh and safe, and they will give you as much raw tuna as you can put back (in my case, that’s a lot.)

It turns out that sashimi is the perfect playa food. I can’t even tell you how unbelievably delicious it is. The Tuna Guys are so popular that their camp isn’t mapped; if it were their supplies wouldn’t last a day. You have to ask around to find out where they are. In addition to their amazing tuna contributions, they are also super-sweet and awesome. (And they love barbecue.)

spite house posted:

Ha! Playaritas own, and by "own" I mean "would be absolutely awful anywhere but Burning Man". Here's a short list of specialty playa cocktails. Virgins will probably be aghast, but JUST YOU WAIT.

Playarita: lemon-lime Gatorade and tequila.
Playakaze: same but with vodka.
Dusty Mary: vodka and V-8.
Playadriver: tangerine Emergen-C and (you guessed it) vodka.

All to be served in either a sticky plastic camp mug with a layer of dust at the bottom of it, or a dented Aqua-Fina bottle also with a layer of dust at the bottom of it. Purists will say that ice is inauthentic, but if the ice came right out of the same cooler the beer is sitting in, they might allow it.

God I love Burning Man.

liz con queso posted:

Funny story, actually. My friend Jenn that brought the coconuts was at our camp alone and offering them to people who went by on the street. She stopped a couple of people on their bikes and asked "would you like a fresh young coconut?!" The two people absolutely lost their poo poo, and told her they had just gone to a little camp near us not 5 minutes earlier where you could write a wish on a rock with a pen and then put it together with all the other wishes. They'd actually written on the rock "I want a fresh young coconut!"

The next day, I stumbled upon that very same camp, and a stranger handed me one of the rocks with a wish on it. What did it say?

"I want a fresh young coconut!"

So weird. SO Burning Man.

VIDEOS!

Here are a few videos about Burning Man that are just awesome. They give me goosebumps, make me smile and lift my spirits no matter what. List curated by yours truly.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahv_1IS7SiE: "Oh, The Places You'll Go At Burning Man," a piece from Los Angeles-based photographer Tedshots, brings the Dr. Seuss classic to life as actual Burners recite his story in full. The result, paired with awe-inspiring shots from the playa and a tear-jerking score, is enough to make even the most flagrant Burning Man cynic choke up a little.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkQ_...ure=plpp_video: Sharam's adventure at Burning Man festival in 2009.
- http://youtu.be/sqoK0_mzmfo: That crazy steampunk octopus art car from 2011.
- http://youtu.be/WQPQn9TLpPY A goofy video with awesome burners lip-syncing.
- http://youtu.be/jmG2JRGSzIg: A 10+ minute long video from some random person about their experience. Gives you a low production point of view.
- http://youtu.be/OD1Ac0tSpNk: A girl that does a "My Drunk Kitchen" weekly series, with this one being at BRC.
- http://youtu.be/wr-gLMje1pA: A skeptic's story.
- Experienced Burners explaining the hippy/inner growth style BM concept:
http://vimeo.com/50126842
- What it's like if you know some crazy French people who have access to an art car:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR4t2AWcm2o
- More footage showing art/people/vehicles from the main area:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_wKYS7nsCY
- People:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DkbzKglpYw
- Artwork:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxRAg9Pcpm4

Alfajor fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2014 around 22:22

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Tang_
May 8, 2007


Signed in at 12:00:23 and waited nearly 4 hours to get to the purchase page after a few refreshes too :O

Virgin burner making the trip from Oz. This is going to be a fun ride!

Mordialloc
Apr 15, 2003

Knight of the Iron Cross

Just now, it's sinking in that I'm going again this year. I'm loving excited. Tang_ book your flights now if you can, while the flights are still cheap.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

CHRIST my boyfriend talked me into this so now I'm going to this this year, as well as Nowhere Got two tickets last night without too much misery even though we got in the queue kinda late. Can't believe 40k sold out so fast but I guess after the anxiety the lottery caused last year it's no surprise.

Smeed
Mar 22, 2008

Rhetorical questions only

Virgin burner here as well. I'm going to have to at least fly back to Hartford/JFK as I'm missing class for this. if Im staying until exodus how much time should I leave for being stuck in traffic and getting to Reno?

In short, what time and day do most people have their return flights?

Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.

Neris posted:

CHRIST my boyfriend talked me into this so now I'm going to this this year, as well as Nowhere Got two tickets last night without too much misery even though we got in the queue kinda late. Can't believe 40k sold out so fast but I guess after the anxiety the lottery caused last year it's no surprise.

Yay! We'll have to meet up again!!

xpander
Sep 2, 2004


My friends got tickets, but I got booted out the queue 5-6 times, and of course was in the midst of troubleshooting our massive internet outage here at work. I really wanted to go last year, but the ticket situation put me off, and I didn't look into obtaining tickets after I didn't win a spot in the lottery. How difficult is it to acquire some outside of their own mechanisms? It's especially important to me this year, as it seems a number of my friends have finally rallied and we could put together a great crew.

486
Jun 15, 2003

Delicious soda

xpander posted:

My friends got tickets, but I got booted out the queue 5-6 times, and of course was in the midst of troubleshooting our massive internet outage here at work. I really wanted to go last year, but the ticket situation put me off, and I didn't look into obtaining tickets after I didn't win a spot in the lottery. How difficult is it to acquire some outside of their own mechanisms? It's especially important to me this year, as it seems a number of my friends have finally rallied and we could put together a great crew.

I don't think you will have an issue. Register for the STEP program and watch your local community for ticket sales. Every year there are a lot of last-minute (1-2 months before the burn) ticket sales from people who have a change of plans, and sometimes you can even get your tickets cheaper at that point. Last year's sold out event saw quite a few people trying desperately to get back some of their cost in the month before the burn, to the point where I saw several tickets going for $100 dollars. (and not selling) There should also be lots of fund-raiser ticket drawings you can participate in to support upcoming projects and camps, and the OMG Last Chance 1,000 tickets sale in August.

Muck and Mire
Dec 9, 2011



If you want to go, assume you'll get a ticket. I think people buy more than they need and once plans are confirmed the extras find their way to the secondary market, usually for face value. Last year was different because of the lottery but even then there were a ton of tickets at face and below on Craigslist in the month before the burn.

xpander
Sep 2, 2004


That's very good to hear, thanks guys. That mirrors what I've heard before, but as I said, I really didn't delve into the matter last year. Looks like I'm gonna pop my cherry this year! Woohoo!

OniKun
Jul 23, 2003

Cheap Mexican Labor since the late 80's

Yeah, don't give up on ticketing. I know it seems bleak right now, and it might continue to seem bleak throughout the Summer (if things are as mismanaged as last year), but come August, tickets will start popping up left and right, oftentimes for below face value. Don't buy a scalped expensive ticket... if you do, you're a sucker.

This will be my third year at the Burn, and the first year I'm really getting involved with my region. I'm in my region's CORE group, and it's looking absolutely awesome. I'm trying to find a theme camp around here to join, but nothing so far has jived my fancy.

I've even convinced my parents to come with me. My dad has watched the stream both years I've gone, and now that I'm getting involved with a big art project out there, he wants to come see what all my fuss is about. The folks will be staying Wednesday through Friday, so they get to see the gigantic CORE burn... which is my favorite Burn of the week, honestly. Last year I managed to get inside the inner circle for it before they shut it off... absolutely absurd to be surrounded by thirty or so gigantic fires bellowing into the night. Breathtaking. Nothing like it in the world...

Should we try to organize a goon on-playa meetup again this year? I don't think there was one in 2012, and in 2011 I was too busy being naked and lost in the middle of somewhere... but I'd definitely be down for putting some faces to the names here.

edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPFoi1Sapgw This is a pretty good video.

OniKun fucked around with this message at Feb 15, 2013 around 04:25

Turtle Blogger
Mar 16, 2006

My Angel



Burning man runs a high risk of changing your life trajectory because of the open exposure to so many new people. If I had camped in a different spot, I could have been on the east coast instead of the west coast right now. Next burn, I could have an existential crisis, or maybe meet someone I get married to, or learn about other jobs and careers that I could get into, or get hit by a mutant vehicle, find a religious path that works, or many other things I can't think about because I don't know what can happen.

Tang_
May 8, 2007


FYAD KNIGHT posted:

Just now, it's sinking in that I'm going again this year. I'm loving excited. Tang_ book your flights now if you can, while the flights are still cheap.

Not really planning on flying into Reno, will most likely be road tripping from SF or Seattle.

I've only just seriously started to think about it, but I'd love to be gifting. I came across a post on FB from BurningMan today about the guy gifting leather BM key chains which looked amazing and I love the idea of something that people will actually keep with them and remember The Playa. 6 months to think about it I suppose!

Mordialloc
Apr 15, 2003

Knight of the Iron Cross

Tang_ posted:

Not really planning on flying into Reno, will most likely be road tripping from SF or Seattle.

I've only just seriously started to think about it, but I'd love to be gifting. I came across a post on FB from BurningMan today about the guy gifting leather BM key chains which looked amazing and I love the idea of something that people will actually keep with them and remember The Playa. 6 months to think about it I suppose!

I meant from Aust to the West Coast. I think you can fly from Bris/Syd to SF or LA for close to $1000 return. If you wait too long, it will be twice that amount.

Mandaryn
Sep 4, 2004

COCK SNAKE!


Alfajor posted:


And here's what the Man will look like:



Initial thought: I don't like it. *looks again* ARE THOSE SLIDES?!??!? YAY SLIDES!

Tang_
May 8, 2007


FYAD KNIGHT posted:

I meant from Aust to the West Coast. I think you can fly from Bris/Syd to SF or LA for close to $1000 return. If you wait too long, it will be twice that amount.

Yeah thats true right now, generally it fluctuates between about $1100 and $1300 throughout the year with it being about $1500 whenever the peak season is.

JOHN SKELETON
Dec 12, 2005



Neris posted:

CHRIST my boyfriend talked me into this so now I'm going to this this year, as well as Nowhere Got two tickets last night without too much misery even though we got in the queue kinda late. Can't believe 40k sold out so fast but I guess after the anxiety the lottery caused last year it's no surprise.
drat you! I wasn't going to go but now I did get a ticket and with you going it'd be really cool to come back for year three. I'll sell my liver or something.

TyroneGoldstein
Mar 30, 2005

Yo that security guard looks like Malcolm X!

So is this thing still basically a sea of white people on drugs at a bad rave in the desert? I've been interested in seeing this spectacle up close but all my friends that have gone have gotten twice as insufferable after the experience..

Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.

TyroneGoldstein posted:

seeing this spectacle up close

This is not an event for spectators. Participate: get weird.

Muck and Mire
Dec 9, 2011



TyroneGoldstein posted:

So is this thing still basically a sea of white people on drugs at a bad rave in the desert? I've been interested in seeing this spectacle up close but all my friends that have gone have gotten twice as insufferable after the experience..

There are white people, drugs, and terrible rave music. It's terrible, you should probably avoid it

Telurides
Sep 13, 2009


I went to Burning Man in 2010 with my brother, for the whole week. We took a pop-up tent trailer, which worked really well. We brought a shade structure, but it blew down in a dust storm and we left it down because we didn't end up needing it. From memory my personal packing list looked something like this:

14 gallons of water (1 gallon jugs, you don't want to be thirsty)
Sunscreen - 10 mini bottles (people actually show up without this stuff, pass it around)
Chapstick - 10 sticks (pass them around, keep 2 or 3 for yourself)
Dust mask (huge dust storms spring up at a moment's notice)
Small Camelback
Basic first aid kit (definitely better than going without, or hiking to the medical tent every time you get a blister)
100 glow sticks and string (You'll use a lot of these if you go out at night)
2 boxes of baby wipes (one strictly for myself, one 'community' box)
1 plastic or metal cup (all of the bars there expect you to bring your own cup, they may not serve you otherwise)
2 Flashlights (one big, one small) and batteries
Camp stove and a bottle of gas

12 MREs I bought online
10 cans of chili
2 boxes of crackers
3 jars of giardiniera
5 cases of beer (5x24 = 120, roughly 18 beers a day)

Note about food - You don't want to go hungry, but as for me (as well as many people I've talked to) the heat killed my appetite, and I ate a lot on the run in other camps anyway.

We showed up at 9pm, set up the camper, and rode our bikes around. It seemed really empty, we were some of the first non-early-entrants they let in. Around 3am we went to sleep. When we woke up, people had camped all around us -- the place was definitely filling up, we were glad we had staked off a little space. In the end it didn't matter because by the end of the first day we had met most of the people near us and pushed camps together. By the end there were 14 of us, mostly Canadians, the rest being from random parts of the US and one Dutch girl. Backgrounds varied wildly from street buskers to a chemist working on his doctoral thesis (who brought a bunch of different hallucinogens from the 2c family that he supposedly made himself). The first couple of days we planned a lot, or tried to. It never worked out. By the third day we had a pretty good system. We would wake up, eat breakfast and clean up basically on our own, get together and use the guidebook to decide on one meal to eat out, usually breakfast at Pigmalion camp (bacon and bloody Maries like 4 days in a row, pancakes next door) but sometimes Ninjaburger or whatever else. We would also pick one site / event to attend, usually in smaller groups of whomever was interested. The rest of the day was spent wandering around, visiting other camps randomly, scouting promising bars for the evening, and riding around on art cars and/or attending concerts at night. We would usually eat a "camp dinner" together, which was neat. We made spaghetti one night, and a giant pot of chili another. The time flew by, there was always waaaay too much we wanted to do, and I didn't meet anyone I didn't like except one guy who tried really hard to get everyone to do mushrooms all the time. Some of the art there was very neat.

Everything except bags of ice and coffee at Center Camp is free (as far as money goes). All of the bars are free, the restaurants hosted by the camps are free. They may ask something in the way of participation however. One particular camp, Scarbutts, serves coffee but paddles their customers. There is a camp that serves hotdogs all afternoon (I think it's called Jiggling Weenies?), and if you want to jump to the front of the line you can show your dick to the girls running the camp, or drink a warm beer through a beer bong with a hollowed out dildo for the mouthpiece. Random stuff like that.

I drank a lot, but wasn't drunk all the time. I know people who smoked weed, did different hallucinogens and ecstasy, because that was their thing. There's not a lot of heavy handed enforcement there, but you don't want to do it in public. Keep it in your tent, and don't share with people you don't know, and you'll be fine.

I wouldn't be afraid to go alone, you WILL meet people. I will definitely go again when I'm back in the States.

Jaz
Dec 24, 2005

Part of the internet...

Here are some videos to add to the OP. These are what I am showing my friends to convince them to come, selected for not revealing too much (e.g. downtime not shown)
-Experienced Burners explaining the hippy/inner growth style BM concept:
http://vimeo.com/50126842
-What it's like if you know some crazy French people who have access to an art car:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR4t2AWcm2o
-More footage showing art/people/vehicles from the main area:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_wKYS7nsCY
-People:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DkbzKglpYw
-Artwork:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxRAg9Pcpm4

Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.

Thanks, added those!

Chouffe
Jan 31, 2005
Fuck you with a rake

Post more Playa Moments.

Those are really what it's about for me. The tiny details that pop up out of nowhere and create big coincidences and you wonder if you're dreaming. I feel like the entire event must somehow be engineered to generate serendipity thousands of times more often than the rest of the world, but I don't think anybody can really work out the mechanism. Is that just what happens when enough enthusiastic people play together for a week?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Oookay, I dunno if these fit the bill but they definitely make me happy to remember


I was walking with my buddy on the Saturday in the insane heat covered in henna wearning a tutu and a silk dressing gown, when I asked him for my pack of cigs. He goes "oh... oh poo poo! I left them back in that bar, all the way back!" and I said "ahh christ, that was my last pack! gently caress, I mean it's fine, but that was the last pack"

And there's this guy cycling and he just pulls on the brakes next to us and goes "Hey, you guys doing okay? Did you lose your last pack of cigarettes?" and I went "Yeaaaah it sucks" And he pushes like, a full pack of 20 into my hand, says "if you want, this is where my tent is if you want more" and just cycles off. Totally lovely.

Of course then later we realised we had the cigarettes still and ran around laughing our asses off trying to give them to people, me hoarsely croaking in my playa-dust-fag-voice "GET YOUR CIGARETTES HERE! FRESH CIGARETTES!")

**

We were walking at 3 o clock in the morning and my friend wouldn't shut up about food. We were so hungry, having failed to properly eat all day. Suddenly, a woman walks out of a tent with something on a plate. "Do you guys want some french toast? With maple syrup to dip?" So that in itself was pure joy to be scarfing down this steaming hot pure joy in the shivery night air dripping with sugar and syrup.

We walk on and a guy is standing outside this bar shaped like a huge pair of tits, with a robe on and a bra, and he goes "Hey HEY YOU GUYS! Get over here!" so we walk over.

He goes into this amazing showman kind of personality, going "This here right behind me is the *world famous* boobie bar - and it's our last year!" and then "..so .. I waaaaaaant....*you*" (and he points at me and gestures me to come forward) "..aaaaand... *you*" (pointing at another girl.) I'm starting to think oh gently caress is he gonna ask me to get my boobs out? I'm not sure if I'm cool with this right now but I'm having a good time so I go forward.

Then he pulls back his robe and his bra has got buttons on it. He tells me to just veeery very gently, just ever so slightly, tap the button. I do so and immediately behind us on one of the boobs that formed the 'bar', a huge jet of fire shoots up into the sky. Each cup was wireless pyro to the bar. We're shrieking and laughing deliriously.

We go inside, I have a gin and tonic (what else at 4am) colour in the 'henry rollins colouring book', then someone drops the light as we watch the barman climb on the bar and do a loving brilliant puppet show with a marionette miming to the song of "everybody loves my baby" and cab calloway, while another person crouches nearby using a torch for a spotlight.

loving beautiful.

Sierra Nevadan
Nov 1, 2010

Here, have some hantavirus


I'd recommend Burning Man to everyone. It is definitely something everyone needs to experience at least once.

I'm sad my stepdad and I won't be going this year though. I will be working out of state at a National Park, and I feel like a year or two off will help me to better appreciate the experience.

Pardalis
Dec 26, 2008

The Amazing Dreadheaded Chameleon Keeper


I went to the burn in 2011 and met a ton of people at the theme camp I was with. I arrived early and only stayed for three days before hitch hiking out to San Francisco to meet my then girlfriend. A few days later, before the man had even burned, I was sitting on the lawn by Golden Gate Park and a playa friend I had met and known for only a few hours the previous week popped up beside me with a big hug and smile. It was kind of like magic.

I'm hoping to get the full experience this year but I have to get a ticket and camp first.

taiyoko
Jan 10, 2008



Since I currently have neither the time nor the money to go to Burning Man itself, I'm gonna dip my toe in the water so to speak this year with my first burn being a regional: Euphoria.

I'm super stoked and can't wait to get my ticket for it. Got a couple of friends I'm going with but I figure we'll mostly do our own thing while we're there.

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Well Playa del Fuego sold out pretty quick. Are there any other regional burns in the Northeast ever? I have an itch that I need to burn!

ZeroStar
Dec 18, 2006
:[

I'm thinking about setting up a "The Playa is Lava" game for this year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Lava_%28game%29

Basically there would be an area fenced off and there would be furniture strewn about that you would have to climb across to the end of the course. Couches, chairs, barstools, tables, a TV, etc. I would want it to be completable by anyone, but mildly challenging to make it fun.

Any thoughts on this? I would be registering it as an art project and probably placing it in deep playa.

Funhilde
Jun 1, 2011

Cats Love Me.

I have a bunch of Burning Man stories. I've been thinking of which one is best to share here. I could share several but not sure if that would be too much.

My first Burn

I have many stories of course from my first burn but it is really the over-arching story of the burn that will likely always stick with me. I had decided to go to Burning Man after a friend convinced me that I "HAD" to go. He thought that of all the people he knew that I was one person that needed to experience the Playa. He got me a 9-5 job after I told him that BM would be hard to manage if I was working my retail management job. SO I decide to go and my boyfriend (now husband) decides that he isn't really interested but is cool with me going. I'm a seamstress and so my buddy's camp group and I get together and we make stuff for several weeks before the burn. It was good because I didn't really know more than my buddy and the other main organizer of the group. Most of the group was a long standing group of girlfriends including two sisters. I found I got along pretty well with them but was still having some "shy" problems.

So- we get to Burning Man and I am struggling with my nature. I have a tendency to become introverted but I am ALWAYS perceived as a natural extrovert. I'm not someone that has ever been unable to express myself but I have also suffered as a result of that because it can lead to teasing, and I am very sensitive. Well put me into the already intense Burn situation with a group of people that I barely know and add a bit of drugs and too much sun (ginger's + the Playa= danger) and I have a bit of a problem. My other issue is that I am a natural wanderer I like to stop and smell the flowers or dance to a tune I enjoy which makes it difficult to stay with a group.. This is fine and generally part of what Burning Man is about- but that was the lesson that I had to learn the emotionally hard way.

I kept getting separated from the group AND I broke my glasses so I couldn't see. First time was due to an hour long dust storm and I was with one other camp mate. Second time was much more emotionally wrought. Wednesday we went out as a camp to see our camp mate DJ at Opulent Temple. He was fine and then whoever went on after him was just not great. We had all taken a pill and were looking for something mellower. We decided to move on after a potty break. SO on our way back to get our bikes after our break we talk to a DJ playing some nice tunes at his camp and I start to jibba jabba with him and he decided to gift me a sweet necklace and showed me pictures of his dogs and kids and stuff. My camp mates say they will meet me at the bikes. I get to the bikes and there is only my bike left. I am forgotten. I am distraught. Something in that moment brought me back to being an insecure high school kid, that feeling of being on the outside looking in. It SUCKED. I couldn't believe it. After I had a good cry I decided that I should find something or somebody out there on the Playa. I looked to the loudest most interesting thing I could see (Siren +Fire on wheels) and went to it. Lo and Behold some of my camp mates were there- the group had split up with each group thinking I was with the other. We pal around and it was OK but I was still dealing with my insecurities.

So I was mostly with my group with a few hiccups and some other good stories in between and then the next big outing was the night of the burn. We once again take some pills and head out to the burn- all dolled up and excited for the party that is the Man burn. Well we find our spot and I realize that I won't make it through the burn without peeing my pants. UGH. So I am confident I can find everyone..HA yeah I don't find them and spend my first big burn sitting next to a very nice couple that lets me share their blanket. This couple was also concerned that I wouldn't find my friends. I then looked at them and said- "I'm not too worried, I'm going to find them as soon as the man burns". SO the man burn is quite the commotion and really a great time- I was also super sitting down next to strangers as I soaked in the fact that The week had been one of real change for me including letting in and letting go of those insecurities. Even if I was separated from my friends it didn't mean that I didn't have any. I think there was even an exchange of "well we're all your friends" with my surrounding new buddies. The man is gone and I stand up and turn to my left and say- they are that way. Sure enough there they are and they are screaming and surround me in a HUGE group hug. It was awesome and they couldn't believe that I would find them that easily.

For the temple burn we had some confusion as well but this time it wasn't me that got lost. My friends held my hand the whole way to the burn. When the Temple did go down we were together in matching yacht hats on the top of an art car and I was able to let all that CRAP that had held me back just burn down and fly away into the air.

The main thing I learned my first Burn was that I can be independent and also be a part of a team. I also found my "place" in the world in so many ways. As a result of that first year I began my own sewing company, branched out socially, and got engaged and Married. Without Burning Man I am not sure where I would have headed and I'm glad I don't have to find out.

Being an outsider is scary but it isn't something that always has to be a liability.

I have more stories from that year and my other burns that are pretty amazing and I will share if folks are interested.

Look Under The Rock
Oct 20, 2007

you can't take the sky from me


ZeroStar posted:

I'm thinking about setting up a "The Playa is Lava" game for this year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Lava_%28game%29

Basically there would be an area fenced off and there would be furniture strewn about that you would have to climb across to the end of the course. Couches, chairs, barstools, tables, a TV, etc. I would want it to be completable by anyone, but mildly challenging to make it fun.

Any thoughts on this? I would be registering it as an art project and probably placing it in deep playa.

Chiming in as someone who has never been to Burning Man, if I ran across someone who had set that up I would drop whatever I was doing to go through the course.

Smeed
Mar 22, 2008

Rhetorical questions only

Look Under The Rock posted:

Chiming in as someone who has never been to Burning Man, if I ran across someone who had set that up I would drop whatever I was doing to go through the course.

These are my thoughts exactly. If you go through with this I'll definitely hunt it down.

And I love the playa stories. I'm not going with any expectations and I plan on completely riding the wave, but I hope to have an as eye opening experience as many of you write about.

Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.

Yup, I'd do a hot lava course. Great idea! Please make it so it can be played in the dark, too.

Funhilde posted:

I have more stories from that year and my other burns that are pretty amazing and I will share if folks are interested.
Interested! I love hearing stories that are more of just crazy things that happen out there. It's a great place to learn about yourself, and becoming comfortable with what you find

Jaz
Dec 24, 2005

Part of the internet...

ZeroStar posted:

I'm thinking about setting up a "The Playa is Lava" game for this year.

Also agreeing this sounds like a simple yet effective thing for the Playa.

And now to commit to memory the rules of True American (floor is lava drinking game)

Lord of Laughton
Nov 11, 2008

It's hard to say for certain
But I think I like it here.


I've been reading the survival guide and it mentions that you should find a place to lay low during the hottest parts of the day and to save your energy for the night. It makes sense but in almost every photo I see of burning man it's light out. Seems to me that the day portion is the portion to go out and see the art installations and the night portion is for partying.

I've never attended, so these thoughts are probably completely wrong. I don't know. It just seems that from the size of the city and the amount of things to see/do there isn't a lot of time to rest. Is it really just a matter of deciding to be nocturnal or not, or seeking balance by taking naps throughout the day/night to stay active longer?

Throwdown
Sep 4, 2003

Here you go, dummies.


Got my ticket, also have one of my regionals coming up in 2 months. For the past 4 regional burns I have been performing and helping to organize the fire conclave, going to try and get involved somehow with the burning man conclave. Here are some pics of me performing.



Smeed
Mar 22, 2008

Rhetorical questions only

I assume you're spitting and lighting something between your legs but at first I thought you were lighting farts. That's pretty crazy though. Is that stuff toxic?

Fatal
Jul 29, 2004

I'm gunna kill you BITCH!!!


Lord of Laughton posted:

I've been reading the survival guide and it mentions that you should find a place to lay low during the hottest parts of the day and to save your energy for the night. It makes sense but in almost every photo I see of burning man it's light out. Seems to me that the day portion is the portion to go out and see the art installations and the night portion is for partying.

I've never attended, so these thoughts are probably completely wrong. I don't know. It just seems that from the size of the city and the amount of things to see/do there isn't a lot of time to rest. Is it really just a matter of deciding to be nocturnal or not, or seeking balance by taking naps throughout the day/night to stay active longer?

Yep, you just have to manage your time and realize you are going to see maybe 1% of what the black rock has to offer. Night pictures are really hard as there is alot of dust in the air so flashes just don't work well. Also the high contrast between all of the fire/lights and the dark means a tripod is required. Yeah, not too many people party with tripods...

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Throwdown
Sep 4, 2003

Here you go, dummies.


Smeed posted:

I assume you're spitting and lighting something between your legs but at first I thought you were lighting farts. That's pretty crazy though. Is that stuff toxic?

Not really... It's ultra-pure white paraffin aka lamp oil, if you swallow it you may get a bad case of mud butt but you have to swallow a lot to do any damage. I know people that breathe with kerosene and that poo poo is bad, it's a good way to get chemical pneumonia.

Edit: Here is another angle of the fire fart.

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