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Anyone going to Burning Man?

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  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,900 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I want to go for this so badly. :(
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    When I was younger I thought I wanted to go to Ibiza.  Then I realized how much I hate bodily fluids and B.O. and alcohol sickness and really really loud music.  Now, I'm looking for a rest home that will allow me to wear body glitter while dancing the night away (until 9 PM) to house music that isn't too loud while pleasantly buzzed on a brandy snifter or two.  I'm sure that Burning Man isn't *just* young druggies living it up in the desert for a week, thanks in part to its sheer size, but yeah... thousands of people in relatively small space for a week long party with no modern plumbing.  Hmm.  
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited March 2013
    Jules said:
    When I was younger I thought I wanted to go to Ibiza.  Then I realized how much I hate bodily fluids and B.O. and alcohol sickness and really really loud music.  Now, I'm looking for a rest home that will allow me to wear body glitter while dancing the night away (until 9 PM) to house music that isn't too loud while pleasantly buzzed on a brandy snifter or two.  I'm sure that Burning Man isn't *just* young druggies living it up in the desert for a week, thanks in part to its sheer size, but yeah... thousands of people in relatively small space for a week long party with no modern plumbing.  Hmm.  
    Ibiza and Burning Man are not really similar. The former is basically a giant rave during the summer. There are certainly rave elements to Burning Man, but they're just one part of the event. Also, one major difference between the two is the lack of the audience/performer barrier. At Ibiza, or any music festival, you are very clearly either a performer or the audience. That demarcation doesn't exist at BM. The organization that runs Burning Man only puts together the infrastructure (the temporary airport, the street signs, the port-a-potties), the Man itself (the big wooden man that gets burned), the Temple (big temple that gets burned), and Center Camp (basically a large structure where they host coffee, lemonade, and ice sales to help support the event - they're the only things available to buy anywhere at BM). 

    Everything else is completely built and run by BM attendees, for free. Whether it's the large sound camps that host raves or art projects (big and small) that are everywhere, the many bars (all free of course, though it's nice to bring donations of booze or mixers), the diners, the art cars driving around the playa, etc etc. One of the core ideas of BM is not to be a tourist (past your first year, at least, as your first year you will mainly walk around with your jaw on the ground) - it works because so many give back. For instance, last year my camp did the Gifting Tree, which is that wooden tree you see in the longer/2nd video of BM I posted earlier in the thread. We made about 900 necklaces of blown glass and laser-carved & etched wood, and then let people come to the Tree and get a key, which had a laser-etched map of BM with a pointer to our camp attached to it as a wooden fob, and go give that key to someone else on the playa. They'd come find the Tree, use the key to unlock a necklace (they were all secured by padlocks), take a gift, (people started leaving gifts too), and hopefully go give the key to someone else. Stimulating the Gift Economy, was the idea. This year, we're aiming for 5,000, and are going to add an 'epic quest' to it as well that'll let people "quest" for some really cool blown glass pieces we'll make. 

    It's definitely not a "young druggie" rave. I'd say the average age of BM attendees is somewhere around 35, but it's a wide variance. There's Family Camp, where a lot of people who bring their kids, stay, and there are very young kids there. 2 years ago in our camp we had a woman who was 81 (and who was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama last year for a life of civil rights work).

    There are many people who go who hate the large rave-y sound camps, and are in bed by 10 pm every night, up to see the gorgeous sunrises (or who just prefer daytime partying). There are folks who spend most of the week in and around Center Camp, doing acro-yoga and painting. I have a couple of friends who spend a good portion of their nights at Jazz Camp (just what it sounds like). People who spend the week baking bread to give away, people who give classes on how to be a hippy.

    Last year, a group of tech entrepreneurs down the road from our camp had this amazing thing they were doing: They had a whole-body scanning booth that you'd go into, and you'd get scanned. Then, a day or two later, a remote-controlled helicoptor would arrive at your camp and drop off a 3d-printed model of yourself. Or at least that was the theory. They ended up having trouble with the coptor and had to deliver a lot of them by hand. 

    Two years ago, a group of us were heading to Opulent Temple (my favorite sound camp @ BM - it's the one with the big round screens in the videos) and as we got off our bikes, right in front of us was a cart someone was operating that had a bunch of (still packaged) toothbrushes and four basins with water dispeners so that people could brush their teeth.

    I recall a camp that had a 'Carcass Wash' where you got naked, went into a tunnel with showers in it, and scrubbed a stranger down. 

    My favorite camp name ever: Dr. Snippet's Circumcision Wagon and Calamari Hut

    Anyway, what you can do at Ibiza represents only a small slice of what you might experience at BM, and the culture is completely different. The culture/community/feel at Burning Man is the #1 reason I love it so much.







    JulesLlythHyraeth
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    I think I'd want to go for the day to check it out to start with :)
  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,900 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Stop talking about it, I'm so jealous.

    Ugh.
    JulesJonathinValden
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    @Jules Going for the day is pretty difficult and expensive. Most people are out there for at least 4 days. I usually go for 7-9 days. The thing is, the tickets cost the same regardless of whether you're there an hour or a week. This year, the bulk of the tickets sold for $380.

    Beyond that, it is in the middle of nowhere, a 2.5 hour drive from Reno, Nevada, which, itself, is in the middle of nowhere. About a 6 hour drive from San Francisco. Just getting there can be a challenge if you don't have a car to drive there as rental agencies do not like renting cars to go to Burning Man - the entire car, including the engine, gets coated in alkaline dust pretty quickly on the playa, and requires some serious cleaning to get off (cleaning it off the engine would be a real pain in the butt). We had bought a new (well, used) car last year before Burning Man, and drove it up. Once there, we sealed all doors, windows, etc with gaffer's tape, which protected the interior pretty well, but the engine is never really going to be rid of the dust.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    Hrm, yes, I was poking around their site.  And wow at the dust.  I grew up doing a lot of back-packing in very remote areas and some more traditional "camping" too, but this is the strangest combination of camping/survivalism/art/festival things ever.  I can see how it would be very appealing to go with the right group of people.  
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    image

    My site will remain up, but will not be maintained. The repository will continue to have scripts added to it if I decide to play another game. Maybe I'll see you around in Starmourn!
    Tutorials and scripts  The Repository

  • LlythLlyth Member Posts: 23 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2013
    Regionals are a great way to dip your toes.

    (Edit: I realised this might not make as much sense to others, so here's a short directory of some affiliated regional events around the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regional_Burning_Man_events. These often run a shorter, and have significantly smaller attendance.)
  • DraukaDrauka Member Posts: 243 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    necro: I want to go to one eventually. 
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    I was planning on going this year, but it collides with PAX and I have a number of friends I only see there once a year.

    Hopefully next year the dates will work out better. I'd love to meet up with some other Achaeans.
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    You are making the provably incorrect choice. I've done the math!
  • ShibumiShibumi Member Posts: 223 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    @sarapis I never heard about the Burning man before. It looks simply amazing. Thank you for making me discover this. I will not be able to go because of huge family commitments, but I truly wish I could. You all have fun!
    Light prevails, always
    Sarapis
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