It was the day before the gates would open, and all through the city, people were getting ready for the new arrivals. It was another day of this and that, and last-minute details. Who do we have to run out the Yellow Bikes? Who’s going to test the systems over at Arctica? Oh, and who is going to lay out the “you are here” signs at the major plazas? That would be us. So off we went, around and about, talking to people along the way, on the day before the event began.
John Curley has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 he spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. John is a longtime newspaper person and spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since leaving the Chronicle in 2007, he was a contributing editor on Blue Planet Run, a book about the world's water crisis, and for the past two years has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He has also started an event and editorial photography business, and is also working on a book about the "Ten Dollar Doc" from Arco, Idaho, which will make a lovely film someday.