Posts during January, 2005


January 13th, 2005  |  Filed under News

The Latest Ticket Information

The $225 tickets are SOLD OUT as of 3/18/05 for online sales. There are a limited number available for MAIL ORDER PURCHASE – please visit the ticket information page to find out how to buy tickets through the mail. All online tickets now cost $250. Once the $225 tickets are sold out the going rate will be $250.

If you have not yet received a Burning Man confirmation number for your purchase, visit: http://tickets.burningman.com/confirm. Use the new ‘Search for your order online’ feature by entering the email address used in the purchase to view your confirmed order online. It will display your name and how many tickets you purchased. No address appears here for your security.

PayPal orders: We have received several support requests regarding issues with PayPal’s server during the order processing. We have updated our system with all orders paid for via the PayPal site. If you received a PayPal confirmation number but did not receive a Burning Man order confirmation, or you are uncertain of your order status, see the above paragraph for instructions to confirm your order at http://tickets.burningman.com/confirm. If you received multiple PayPal confirmations in error, or if any further follow-up is needed, visit http://tickets.burningman.com/contact.

If you have another question about your online order, go to http://tickets.burningman.com/contact and use the pull down menu to submit your question. These requests are answered in the order they are received so please do not submit multiple support requests. There is a great crew standing by to personally research and respond to your email inquiry.

If for any reason you need to change the delivery address of your order, visit http://tickets.burningman.com/shipto

To add shipping to your Will Call order, visit http://tickets.burningman.com/shipit

Any further ticket information will be provided here. Thank you, and we appreciate your patience.

– The Ticket Team

January 11th, 2005  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Burned Out – reflections on one hour of Burning Man

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.


by Katweasel

Friday evening…

So there I am, having just been abducted by aliens with the messiah (trust me, you don’t want to know), and I’m wandering around in a post-abduction daze. (The aliens probed my mind with all kinds of strange instruments that emitted weird light and odd noises.) All kinds of freaks loom out of the darkness in the most bizarre costumes and creations. A motorised picnic table flies past, naked people hurry to and fro, there is a carnival atmosphere in the air.

I see a lounge drive by and hop on. It is a huge motorised platform with zebra carpeting, comfy sofas at one end and a bar at the other. I wander over to the bar and sit on a bar stool as the lounge heads out from camp and towards the Man. The situation is one Douglas Adams might have created.

I’m dressed in a long floral dress and a huge hairy yeti hat, carrying two marine distress strobes. I look at my neighbors at the bar, a topless woman with eyes painted on her breasts who looks like she should be in a porno flick and a guy with a spangled top hat and a big cape with thousands of flashing LEDs. As the lounge picks up speed I see the driver, a guy in a leather thong, leather vest and leather cap. He must be in his sixties. He is guiding the lounge with a weird stick like-contraption. I later discover he is Pepper Mousser, crazy all-around nice guy.

Towards the Man we go, a huge 40-foot effigy with glowing purple and red neon tubes for veins and arteries. The music gets turned up. It is The Aquavelvets (surf rock, like the theme from pulp fiction), and people start getting off the couches and dancing. We all get into it, and before long I’m standing on top of the bar, waving my strobes around and hollering like crazy as we rove the desert, picking up an entourage of cyclists alongside and hurtling towards the Man. The lounge is now packed with people, all going completely mental, and we start to circle the Man, everyone staring at us. We’re screaming and yelling, totally living for the pure ecstatic moment, reveling in the fact that we are doing something unique and utterly ridiculous. Round and round we go, gathering a large crowd of people running with the lounge and dancing like there’s no tomorrow.

Finally we break off from our orbiting and head out to the desert, away from the camp and into oblivion. (There are a few hundred miles of nothingness before us – this is no small desert.) The wind starts to kick up dust, and we can see nothing but the moon above us and our own little lounge, an island of insanity in the vast, unending wilderness. People shine their lasers into the dust and create patterns. It all gets frenzied. I realise I’m having the time of my life – we’re horsemen of the apocalypse now, heading for Armageddon and living it to the max.

Eventually the crazy driver realises we’re lost in the desert and turns around, headed back for home. Eventually we see light in the distance and head for a gathering of people clustered around a strange effigy. Upon nearing the gathering, we turn down the music and watch the scene before us. There is a huge wooden goat in the middle, and people on stilts and scary goat-head masks are performing a ritual. It is the Scapegoat. Throughout the week, people have been placing pieces of paper with their sins written on it into the belly of the goat. It is time for the goat to be sacrificed. The chief goat priest performs the final rite, throws a flaming torch at the goat and retires to a safe distance. Suddenly there is a light as bright as the sun. Fireworks go off, and the goat goes up in huge flames, with a blaze of molten magnesium at its heart.

The crowd screams and yells like banshees. Burn, baby, burn, the crowd cries, feeling absolved of their sins. As the goat collapses and the fireworks die down, the crowd surges forward, the drums start drumming, and naked people writhe to the primeval rhythms and celebrate the fire. Nearby someone with a flamethrower lights up a large tower construction and there’s more frenzied celebration. I jump off the bar and off the lounge and watch it disappear with the music still blasting, people still going crazy, and someone else already taking my place at the bar. I head off to the huge tesla coil where 30-foot claws of purple plasma are scything into the air, creating an unholy noise as they tear open the fabric of matter. And I think to myself, life IS good.

This was one hour of Burning Man. I was there for eight days, and to write about every hour would take a decade. I lived more in those eight days than most people do in a lifetime. I learned so much, felt so much, saw so much, did so much, created so much, destroyed so much. Words can never be enough to even scratch the surface of Burning Man. It assails the senses and emotions with a jackhammer and leaves no doubt that it is the ultimate event on the planet. And now I must rest to assimilate and prepare to FUCK SHIT UP on an even more hardcore level in everyday life. You ain’t seen nothing yet. K@wzl

January 9th, 2005  |  Filed under News

Your Feedback, Our Ears And Eyes

Many thanks to everyone who sent comments to feedback(at)burningman(dot)com! We have received over 100 responses from participants. The Board Members, Senior Staff, various other production staff members and volunteers have read these emails and forwarded many to the appropriate Departments. We are in the planning stages for 2005 and are considering the great suggestions.

Because of the overwhelming number of responses, we cannot reply directly to everyone. Depending on the nature of the feedback, some participants may receive a direct response. Because, many comments touched upon similar issues, we are able to address these issues generally below.

DMV Registration
Many folks commented on the DMV registration process and related safety issues. First, the organization would like to apologize for any inconvenience that participants experienced this year. Second, please rest assured that the DMV registration process will begin earlier and the DMV department will be modified to reflect the needs of the mutant vehicle community and all other participants in 2005.

Acculturation of Newcomers
Yes, there were a large number of newcomers in 2004. As a result the event experienced some serious challenges, such as trash in the porta-potties, and some reported a dilution of the sense of community experienced by seasoned Burners. Some people perceived less evidence of unique self-expression, such as large scale art and costumes. We are in the process of discussing the numerous solutions that many of you proposed. We are considering many changes in an attempt to acculturate newcomers in 2005 and we will be asking for your support. In the meantime it is important to remember that we were all newcomers to Black Rock City once. It takes time to learn how to be a responsible participant at Burning Man. If many of this year’s newcomers return in 2005, they will come as veterans with a year’s worth of planning and inspiration under their belts.

Art
Several participants perceived less art on the playa this year. Inclement weather prevented some artists from completing their work and there were a few no-shows. Burning Man has already begun to address this issue. A proposal for more funding by our organization is in the works for 2005. Stay tuned.

Fall Town Meeting
It is our feeling that the annual Fall Town Meeting is no longer meeting its intended purpose. Accordingly, we received several emails with suggestions on how to reinvent this forum. Before discussing this further, a background of this meeting is given below.

Initially in 1997, Burning Man created the Fall Town Meeting to address some heavy issues that the organization was facing. In 1998 the same forum was used as a very successful way of exchanging ideas and recruiting volunteers. Out of it, the Spring Town meeting was created as a volunteer recruitment event and the fall Town Meeting was reserved for discussion and feedback. The Spring meeting has flourished, but the Fall meeting has served only a smaller group of Bay Area participants.

Burning Man staff decided it was time to reexamine the purpose and format of the Fall Town Meeting. The following issues surfaced:

  1. The core Burning Man community is no longer restricted to the Bay Area; but rather, is global.
  2. Many of the same basic questions and concerns are raised at the Fall Town Meeting repeatedly every year, so it yields little in the way of new information.

In order to address these issues, we solicited feedback from participants. After reviewing the suggestions, we have decided that the Fall Town Meeting is no longer automatically warranted each year. The need for this meeting will be evaluated on an annual basis. Should the meeting be held, it will be done in a way to involve the community as broadly as possible. This could likely include pre-event outreach as to the purpose, and a webcast or teleconference for remote participation.

In lieu of the meeting, the Burning Man organization has set up several feedback mechanisms for all participants to utilize in expressing ideas and feedback. The first of these is the feedback(at)burningman(dot)com email. This year the feedback email address remained active until December 31, 2004. Next year the feedback email will go live immediately after Burning Man 2005, and stay active through December 1, 2005.

Additionally, next year there will be a “Feedback on 2005″ topic on the Eplaya (Burning Man’s BBS) where participants can not only provide feedback, but also, have a dialogue with staff and other participants.

Furthermore, Burning Man staff members are interested in meeting with participants and hearing their thoughts in person during their increasing number of trips to meet with Regional groups year round. We are currently working with Regional groups and will continue to do so to set up meetings with participants when Board or Senior Staff members travel. If you would like to find out more about our regional groups please visit http://regionals.burningman.com.