March 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Preparation

Hi, n00bs!

March 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Preparation

Hey, don’t flinch. It’s a term of endearment. We’re hot, dusty and prickly out here. A little ribbing helps keep the spirits up, that’s all. It’s all love.

So hi, n00bs.

It’s ridiculous how recently I was you.

Anyway, welcome to Burning Man, huh? Interesting times. Bet you weren’t expecting such radical inclusion. Don’t worry. It’s not always like this. Just recently.

So, you saw the Dr. Seuss video, I assume. Pretty cool, right? Yeah, it really is like that. Here’s the thing, though. Those awesome people in the video are you!

You see? One does not simply watch Burning Man. One burns. Like a burnerly Burner, bro. You know?

No. I’m saying you are going to have a camera in your face out there. Every Burner’s face is like a camera lens focused on the most cinematic scene she’s ever seen. And you are the star of the show.

Do you know your lines? No? Good. If you come prepared with lines, you’re gonna screw them up. Someone’s going to zoom in on you and ask, “Have you seen the liger?” And he’ll have this dead-serious look on his face like, “Dude, seriously, there is an 800-pound liger loose out here somewhere and I LOST HIM.”

What are you gonna tell that guy?

He’s scared. Are you? What are you scared of? Ligers? Or not knowing what to say?

You have to improvise at Burning Man. Contingencies come up. Your tent blew onto the roof of the neighbors’ RV. You forgot clean underwear. Somebody lost his liger.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t practice. Oh no. It takes years to get ready for Burning Man. My first burn was in 2008. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. It’s a good thing I fell in with a rock solid camp of desperadoes who were nice enough to adopt me and my East Coast friends. It took us a few years, and some of us had to move Out West, but I’d say we’re part of the family now.

By the way, where are you camping?

Not sure yet? That’s okay. It’s hard to say this year, anyway. The whole city will be different. The ticket troubles this year affected lots of the big camps that are the landmarks out there. Burning Man going viral means there are a lot more n00bs than usual. That will change the tone.

So we’re going to need your help, n00bs. We need you to make this a great year. But that’s nothing new. Burning Man is made of your participation. We need you, not the other way around. We want you to wow us. Bring your bad selves to the playa and make Burning Man completely different.

Guides thrive out there, not tourists. Burners have a tendency to play tricks on tourists. We’ll give you crazy-ass directions that don’t take you anywhere near where you’re going. We’ll pretend we’re meditating and then leap up and scream bloody murder when you walk by. We’ll moon in your photographs and spike your oatmeal with absinthe.

And that might be the highlight of your week. That’s what we want. Roll with it. Be prepared to be surprised. Be open to it. You’re wonderful.

Your iPad will get playafied. Please don’t bring that!

And I’m assuming that you know about MOOP.

I’m just trying to help. I wouldn’t want you to be unprepared or have a bad time. Burning Man is the best thing I do. I want you to experience that. I just want to make sure you do. It’s not a YouTube video. Those Huffington Post people probably don’t even go.

Photos by the divinely inspired Scott London.


62 Responses to “Hi, n00bs!”

  1. Jon Mitchell Says:

    Hi again, n00bs and others. If you enjoyed yourselves up there, follow me on Twitter @JonMwords or find me at jonmitchell.me and let me know. Got feedback on this post? Share it here in the comments. We’ve got a funky year coming up. Let’s talk about it.

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  2. G Says:

    MMMMM so many virgins!!!!

    IMHO your experience will be enhanced if you do a few simple things.

    Review this website, it is a gold mine of info. Prepare your mind as well as your gear.

    Volunteer. There may lots of fragmented camps in crying need of help, and volunteering is a great way to be participant rather than a spectator.

    A small epiphany I had last year, rather than saying, “hi, how are you?” Say “Hi, need any help?”

    This guy
    http://galleries.burningman.com/photos/jimhair/jimhair.18516?category=people&b=true&year=2004#pastheader
    Was a virgin who camped near me in 2004. He studied up, planned and basically “burned” with the same intensity as any veteran. The day he was dressed up this way, (I was told) he left camp to stroll the Esplanade. Too many people drew him into their camps and he suffered from a few too many liquid refreshments to ever make it to the Esplanade.

    Welcome home Virgins!!!

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  3. Shenanigans Says:

    Thanks. Beware the Liger signs are now going to happen all over the city.

    Also, awesome. I love virgins. They go “WTF?” and I go “I know! Right?” and everything is amazing. It’s the perfect thing for getting over cynical.

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  4. joe Says:

    Bring it on, bang a gong, get it on

    Here’s one noob, newb, newbie, birgin virgin that has loads to offer, and BM will get it all.

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  5. S.A. Smith Says:

    If you are a virgin there are some things you need to know. I am sure there are things that I am missing but this is what I can think of right now.

    Read the survival guide(http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/index.html). Seriously. READ IT.

    DRINK WATER.

    The record high temperature in the area was 98 F and the record cold was 27 F(I was there for the record cold, and let me tell you, that was super cold).

    Also please keep in mind that the humidity is extremely low. This means that water can leave your body without you realizing this.

    If you are coming from a high humidity/high temperature area(such as New Orleans) then it will feel deceptively comfortable. Follow the guidelines anyway even though it doesn’t sound that that harsh.

    DRINK WATER.

    Do not skimp on any of your gear. Remember that the wind can get up to 70 miles per hour during storms. High quality tents, clothing, food, and LOTS OF WATER.

    Consider lighter fabrics(color and material) for the day. Khaki looks better covered in playa dust than black. However it gets cold at night so make sure to have some warm clothes.

    Bring some form of illumination for night time so you don’t get run over by an art car.

    DRINK WATER.

    Assume that you will be able to do about 1/2 of what you think you’ll be able to do unless you are VERY used to the heat.

    If you have any specialized skills(welding, machining, carpentry, construction) make sure to get in touch with the greater Burning Man community to get hooked up with a theme camp. You can get in touch with the greater Burning Man community through E-Playa(http://eplaya.burningman.com/index.php) or through your regional contact(http://regionals.burningman.com/). I am quite positive several camps would be THRILLED to hear from you.

    If at all possible, try to do some meditations about compassion before you leave. You will meet some wonderful people. You will meet some much less than wonderful people. Be prepared to forgive and be prepared to walk away. For some people ruining your Burning Man experience is key to their Burning Man experience.

    Think very, VERY hard about consciousness altering substances. Research their effects very carefully. Consider that this may not be the time or the place.

    I won’t lie to you. This will be hard. There will be some massive unfun parts and you will have to work. Some people have said that this may very well be the end. I will leave you with this quote. You can look up where it is from.

    “If this is to be our end, then I would have them make such an end, as to be worthy of remembrance.”

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  6. Kailey Says:

    thumbs up

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  7. student Says:

    advice: Not just water, but electrolytes.
    Beware of tripping over guywire and rebar. If you put in guywires and rebars: tie those bright construction “tape” things to the guywires and CAP YOUR REBAR (with those plastic construction caps). If you don’t: you or someone else will trip over the guywires and gash your leg wide open on the rebar: necessitating evacuation to the ER and ending your vacation. OR someone else’s. Be responsible.
    Yes, it has happened, to more than one person.

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  8. kiki enfuego Says:

    I can’t WAIT to see what a huge influx of new folks will bring us! I’ve been a participant for 12 years. This will be the first major shift in the BRC demographics and watching it unfold should be exciting. And probably irritating, but so what?

    My main advice… LIGHT YOURSELF AND YOUR FREAKING BIKE! Yes, I was shouting. When it comes to your bike, double or triple the amount of light you think is enough.

    Oh… and don’t think Burning Man is as idyllic as in “Oh, the places you’ll go”. There’s heat, and, dust, and cold, and a lot of folks being assholes and idiots.

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  9. student Says:

    @kiki: yes, thank you for saying that. It is certainly NOT idyllic. There is definitely a HARSH environment, very far from real medical treatment. And there is theft and rape.
    (there may be a medical tent, but it certainly isn’t a hospital. And as someone who was treated in that tent, I can tell you that the person seeing you may or may not be doing a real world job, and there may or may not be someone else backing them up sufficiently. No offense to the otherwise qualified medical personnel.)

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  10. EccentricJeff Says:

    Read and memorize the First Timer’s Guide. If you fail this simple instruction, I’ll ‘sparkle pony’ your mom!

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  11. Rongo! Says:

    I just want to point out, in a friendly, smiling way, that “n00bs” is not a term of endearment for many people who spend time on the net. It is a deep insult for online gamers to the point where the word is banned on many sites (which is why it’s spelled with zeroes — to get around the r00ls).

    I think we Burners should stick to OUR word, “virgin,” for new burners and not borrow trouble by borrowing other people’s words.

    Love
    Rongo!
    (Remember that it may be that the thing the playa is providing is you.)

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  12. Jon Mitchell Says:

    Thanks, Rongo. This choice of words was intentional, but I appreciate that perspective. The word “virgin” is problematic for other reasons, because it prescribes a kind of perspective on sexuality. It’s also probably time for a new term to describe the new way people are introduced to Burning Man.

    I chose the word n00b because of the nature of this year’s exposure of Burning Man to a record number of first-timers: viral awareness on the Web. I also want to make sure nobody ever says “burgin” again. But hey, words are words, and the best thing about them is that they start conversations.

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  13. harinama Says:

    Burgins Awake!

    I have trepidation and excitement about the changes in BRC this year,and the effect of 40% fresh faces will have on the BM experience.

    Look Burgins, BM is like no other event. Show us you can take on the true nature of what it means to be a denizen of Black Rock City via the “10 principles”:

    ******************
    Radical Inclusion-participate even if you normally wouldn’t
    Gifting-not trinkets, give from your heart :O)
    Radical Self-expression-let your freak flag fly!
    Communal Effort-BRC is a community. Take part, and learn from others.
    Civic Responsibility-Take pride in YOUR city.
    Leaving No Trace-leave not even a grain of rice and the Gods shall rejoice!
    Participation-At BM the event IS the people, show us what you can do.
    Immediacy-each moment is about possibilities of positive change.
    ******************

    Black Rock City is like no other. Help us make it beautiful, grand and inspiring!

    We are the music makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
    Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
    And sitting by desolate streams;—
    World-losers and world-forsakers,
    On whom the pale moon gleams:
    Yet we are the movers and shakers
    Of the world for ever, it seems.

    Ode, by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

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  14. harinama Says:

    oops sorry i said “burgins”! ;O)

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  15. Jon Mitchell Says:

    :^P

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  16. Andrew Says:

    (Insert bitter rant about how I didn’t get a ticket here…)

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  17. Alchemy Says:

    Umm..Im such a stickler for preserving the delicate spirit of our Powerful community.. Ive been going to the burn for 12 consecutive years and one long time early beach experiance and I gently want to ( so as not to scare the fresh infusion of participants and piss on the poptarts of other fellow teathered burners as myself) add a nit pick correction I feel is fundemental.
    n00Bs are NOT first time Burners..
    VIRGINS are first time BURNERS.. if you dont like the term..tuff- its sacred it is the term for one whom has never entered the dusted gates- one who has received no spank nor rang the bell- never heard Welcome Home or shed a playa tear- walked hot coals or twisted thrice round the man…
    Virgins enter our city and pop theyre cherry with fire/dust and the endurance of the great journey…
    A n00B- is a following return Burner- with one two three years under theyre boot and a Fledge is 3-5 year 5 year being just a earned burned burner freak- savy around the block- and in for the haul-
    Anyone before Greenman is old school anyone after this year will be New School
    prior to 2000- Saint hood sovereign fire retardants..
    so we cant wait to meet you- we will enjoy you and we may just play with your heads abit- its a tradition- dont get all worked up about it- just do your research- plan and unplan your plan and with a back up..and get ready to have your mind blown your heart swollen and your grin become a perminant feature..
    earn your burn Virgins…its pledge week in August ..I am envious..you only get to be a VIRGIN ONCE! be proud..and revel like a proper modern burner…
    start drinking water…now!

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  18. Kitty Says:

    Hottest at 98F? I think not… try 120F for a couple of days in 2007 ;-))
    And even that was quite bearable with the constant wind… so fash not… you’ll survive with style!

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  19. Gordo Says:

    Spike MY or my Friends oatmeal and you’ll get a lot more than a spike back!
    My GF who had NEVER done drugs before
    got dosed in 2003. Pretty shitty thing to do .

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  20. Witchy Says:

    Um…

    We don’t call it the “Virgin’s Guide,” we call it the “First-Timer’s Guide,” right?

    Just saying…

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  21. Xavier Says:

    Well intentioned, missing some concrete advice, and a sense of perspective, I think.

    This is kind of retread of the same conversation that blew up on the FB thread for burning man a month or so ago.

    First-timer “Hey, I’m new, can someone tell me about burning man please”
    Burner: “Hey there N00b!/Virgin!”
    First-timer: “Um… what did you call me?”

    …queue firebombs

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  22. gatorburner Says:

    hello burners,

    some words from a virgin- i can’t wait, 165 days is way too long. i am looking forward to embracing the tenants of BRC/BM. i have already embraced the tenants of the quakers- i love that with just a few tweaks they aren’t that different. regarding 40% new faces- fear not, i think that you will be surprised at how few n00bs/virgins actually show (no more than usual i suspect).

    i for one know that the group of burners i befriended asked me to buy 2 tickets, while i only needed two. i also know that they asked other friends- not intending to go- to buy tickets. i am sure you have all figured this out- but the ticket system this year invited the abuse. know this, my extra ticket is going to a dedicated burner- not through the BM website, not through Craig’s list- but through my friendship. i suspect that this will be the way the vast majority of tickets going to virgins will be handled this year- handed off to the dedicated burner that couldn’t get a ticket. and if not, welll just think how fun it will be to have a bunch of big eyed virgins running around for you to educate.

    The Burn will be my entrance into a new life- as i leave parts of my old life behind.

    i hope to become a denizen even!

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  23. J Moze Says:

    Nice post. Well done. I sense normalcy on the horizon… well as “normal” as Burning Man gets. Thanks Jon.

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  24. StillGrumpy Says:

    gatorburner “.. i suspect that this will be the way the vast majority of tickets going to virgins will be handled this year- handed off to the dedicated burner that couldn’t get a ticket.”

    Oh please. How about if you *hadn’t* grabbed more than your fair share and not completely fucked what we’ve been doing for a decade?

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  25. StillGrumpy Says:

    btw it’s not about just “getting a ticket” ; it’s about months of planning, work, , coordinating, ordering, building, sawing, booking-of-trucks, all that stuff.

    Randomly getting a ticket off someone a few weeks before the event is _so_ not the same thing.

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  26. Fiddles Says:

    Hey, don’t panic on the water. Just stay calm and piss clear, stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day. 50/50 Gatoraid/water my recommendation, but water fine. Also some ratio of water to ethanol, with that of beer being not adequate. It’s dry and usually a nice breeze.

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  27. Michelelebelle Says:

    Hope this helps~!

    I recommend walking to the Burning Man on Saturday night.
    It’s difficult to find your bike, even if it’s lit up like a Christmas Tree, in a pile of other LIT UP bikes~!
    Personally, I don’t bring my bike to the Saturday Burn, or the Temple burn.

    Lock your bike up at your camp, if you don’t plan on riding it.
    It might disappear if you don’t.

    No glitter, no feathers, please!
    Those are the most difficult to keep from dropping onto the Playa.
    Leave NO TRACE, when you pack up to leave.
    Recycle your aluminum cans at Camp Recycle EARLY, not the last day~
    Please clean up your trash, don’t let it blow away from your camp.

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  28. Blossom Says:

    I was a newbie last year, although I was referred to as a virgin and who knows what else, it doesn’t matter. We were told to watch and learn by the old timers in our camp. Gatorburner, a dedicated burner would not sell or buy a ticket on Craigslist, but (back) to STEP. It’s against the principle of decommodification to make money from the sale of tickets, or anything else on the playa. This is one of the many amazing things I experienced, no buying or selling in the entire city, with one exception, ice and drinks in center camp. I believe that was a Safety 3rd issue.
    Another shocker for me was the magnitude of the gifting. The communal effort is a beautiful thing to behold, the talent, the creativity, the whimsical and the irreverent. It’s where I want to be, to walk with the lamplighters, drink tea with the kitties and ride the stagecoach with the Earth Guardians.

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  29. Bradley Boo Says:

    You can call me a virgin or a noob or a nut or whatever else you want.. I don’t care. I just am excited about coming, sharing, working, helping and being at Burning Man. Thank you all for including me..

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  30. DanC Says:

    thank you all for taking the time to post advice and help for us nOOb virgin firstimers. looking forward to meeting you all, with love,

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  31. Nuclear Ember Says:

    • If your lips start to chap on the playa and you’re drinking plenty of water, you’re not getting enough salt (that’s what electrolytes are) to retain the water. Eat some chips or something else salty, along with drinking plenty of water, and the problem will go away.

    • If you run out of caps to put on your rebar, use empty plastic bottles or cans (tie or duct tape them on so they don’t blow away and become moop). And as mentioned above, it is also ESSENTIAL to mark tent/shade guywires.

    • Remember where you set up camp. There are countless stories of folks setting up, not noting landmarks or nearest crossroads and never finding their camp again all week. Don’t use an art car or other moveable art as your landmark! Make sure everyone in your group looks back as you leave camp for the first time.

    • Avoid disposable light sticks, get reusable battery-powered lights (preferably with holes for clips) and bring extra batteries … and clips.

    • Hand and foot warmers are great for all-nighters and cold tents.

    • If you’ve got long hair, BRAID IT and don’t take it out of the braids all week. Wind and playa dust are great for creating dreads and knots you might have to cut out later.

    • Burner virgin guys: shop the women’s section in thrift stores for fun clothing.

    • Always leave camp with water and a snack, even if you think you’re just going to the bathroom.

    • Every year of the 8 I’ve gone, a camp mate’s bike has been stolen. Lock ‘em or make ‘em look like they’re locked. Even a piece of string tied around the wheel and frame is probably enough to discourage theft. On burn nights, put any valuables in your locked vehicle.

    • Smile!

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  32. Weldboy Says:

    And remember n00bs if you are lost, scared or confused in anyway, just look for a person in a Department of Public Works T-shirt and walk right up to them and yell, “You have to help me, its your fucking job.” You will find that all your troubles will melt away.

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  33. webspinner Says:

    Hmmm, maybe this years theme of Fertility 2.0 will be particularly apt, what with all the n00borns arriving.

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  34. Digi Says:

    Hello,

    I truly did enjoy reading all these helpful hints because last year was my first year experiencing something that changed my perception and life (for that matter). I will say I’m still sort of a virgin burner, but with more of an idea of what to do and what not to do this year, but I will tell you that there will be some things that happen that you just have to deal with.

    First off, the second day I was there someone hit my carport with there giant RV. This was very unfortunate, but something you have to forgive, and forget and move on. I didn’t ask for money or to replace the parts. I just accepted the apology and they were our neighbors the rest of the event, so hostility would prove to be something that could make it hard. On this same day almost all of a 5 gallon tub of water fell over because of a wind storm and storing it on top of a cooler and luckily some camp mates had more than enough. If you’re not good at sharing than LEARN! Also, as a side comment to say, people might try to use your shower if you leave it up. This happened multiple times to the people I was camping with. Besides this it was a wonderfully enlighted experience and feel that you are blessed to get a ticket this year.

    Also, the comment about braiding your hair is very useful. I have long straight hair and putting it in pigtail braids or a regular braid helped me alot. I still tried to brush my hair many times, but this is a safe bet. I would also recommend bringing coconut water and some sort of sweet tea. This is great to share with visitors and hydrates you when you first wake up in the morning. Hopefully this was helpful.

    Safe travels and creativity! : )

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  35. Kalimara Says:

    To add to helpful hints:
    1) not only should you never leave camp without a snack and water, but also sunscreen, lip balm, goggles, headlamp and dust mask. I keep all that in a jump pack which is always with me (this wil be my 11th burn). You may think you are going across the street and end up coming home 24 hrs later…. You never know so be prepared.

    2) ways to deal with dust removal: vinegar is your friend. Bring some white vinegar to the playa for foot baths (don’t go barefoot or you might get “playa-foot” -doesn’t happen to everyone, some feet are tough but if it does your feet will crack and bleed-ouch!). After the burn wash your car and all your stuff with vinegar and soapy warm water. A cup of white vinegar in every laundry load will make your clothes playa free.

    3) not only are electrolytes important, potassium is the hardest to get. I ended up in the med tent my first year despite drinking tons of water (you can drink too much if you are being overly paranoid like I was that first year). Not much potassium in Gatorade … Instead eat a banana a day and drink coconut water or buy potassium choloride powder from a health food store and mix a teaspoon in with your Gatorade or juice.

    4) light yourself, your rebar and wires at camp, and you bike at night. I agree with those saying use 3-4 what you think will do the job.

    5) a good hat or 3 plus a parasol will keep the sun off your pretty head. I have been to many burns with temps in the 100s – only the last few years have been cooler and less dusty. That could change this year.

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  36. Johnnybitchin Says:

    Looking forward to being confused and just plain messed with as a nubie/virgin on my first trip to Black Rock City..Alot to take in for a new guy….but Im trying to ingrain all these great comments into my pea brain….for a guy heading there by myself it ought to be real interesting…cant wait…thanks for the suggestions….very helpful….JohnnyBitchin From Santa Cruz…..

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  37. Camou Flauge Says:

    Thank you all for the much appreciated information for noobs like me..for many years now i have been wanting to experience all Burning Man has to offer but do to several life situations i was unable to… Things are looking great for this year and all the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.. Me and my girl friend will definitely be joining you all this year and plan on having a wonderful time…. This is already starting to be an experience like no other …. Thank you all again for being so welcoming and helpful We look forward to meeting as many of you as we can and making some new friends and family for life…

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  38. Huggy Bear Says:

    Last year I was a n00b/virgin/whatever… I was fortunate to have great campmates, and the trip was phenomenal. I followed all the readily-available device about attitudes and physical preparedness, but what really made me decide to come back was this: the nonstop opportunities to connect with all manner of people, like never before.

    You won’t find another place where the personal barriers are lower, so go, be open, and connect. The majority of the experiences will turn out so overwhelmingly positive that you’ll forget about the few that didn’t work. So throw yourself in, become a part, and connect with all manner of people on levels that you never thought possible. You’ll come back changed in ways that just feel real and right, to both you and the people you connected with.

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  39. Bit-o-Honey Says:

    Well I have to say that I am excited to be a VIRGIN at Black Rock City this year and hope that I will get to be initiated. My guy and I are definitely coming with open minds to the experience. I am sorry that alot of the old-timers didn’t get tickets as they are important to to all of us n00bs. Someone has to show us the way to become good burners.

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  40. Alchemy Says:

    Virgin………….I love all of you who except your virginity….
    yer not a ding dang noob till Exodus! Agggg! Dang brats listen to your ELDERS!!
    There will be consquences AND reprocusions~ OH yesssssssah! (giggle)
    ya”ll claiming first timers and noob status…well thats just invitin prankin ..
    Ill be lookin round fer ya..you bet! Its wabbit season muhahahahahaha. :)
    I mean IF you wanna be a n008 we will just have ta help ya along. I cant wait!
    lol.
    This year is gonna be AWESOME..l
    One way to AVOID any unwanted teasing is to wear a whistle around your neck. Its the unwritten rule for noobs – That tells us “Hey, Im fresh but not dust stupid.” It also helps you in the white outs- people get really lost. But if we see you whistle we just quietly kinda except you..some times we invite you guys to the secret partys of Burningman..Those are the stuff of legend. we usually get our whistles from Big 5, but any whistle will do.
    metal ones are best…
    :)

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  41. mark phinney Says:

    the opening wide angle photo on this blog looks like a spring break party. Is this the vibe burning man is pushing? Pity. the Dr. Seuss video is like a commercial, I had to turn it off. All good things must pass…

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  42. Jon Mitchell Says:

    Things are certainly changing. That’s why I chose that photo. It’s not constructive to think of Burning Man (what is that?) as “pushing” a “vibe,” though. The participants make Burning Man whatever it is.

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  43. Bit-o-Honey Says:

    I can’t figure out from last year’s map – where exactly is the main stage?

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  44. Seany Says:

    ^^^lol noob! XD XD

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  45. Joyous Says:

    I appreciate this blog post & especially all the comments coming in.
    THANK YOU!
    I have been working my way to the playa for four years, and this year I will finally be there to experience this gift of life. I think all things happen for reasons & in their due time. My time is now. I hope I didn’t wait too long, but I am embracing this either way it goes. Everything changes & I know this summer will change my life.
    Keep the ideas & advice coming in. You have no idea how long I’ve been reading & preparing for this moment.
    Are YOU ready for me? I am ready for YOU ♥

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  46. joe Says:

    I could be wrong here but I believe the location of the main stage depends upon where you are and who you’re with. Could somebody please fact check me on this one? :-)

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  47. dtl Says:

    If I’m not mistaken, there is no “main stage.” There are 100 stages, indoor and outdoor, with different things happening at each. There are floating, moving stages. Center Camp is just a big art-filled hangout where you can buy coffee (and, some years, lemonade), near the ice store. The Man is just
    the Man–symbolic (of something), up on a theme-podium; but not a stage–till Saturday night. The
    whole of BRC is one big stage.

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  48. Denice Smith Says:

    Virgins we are. So sad to hear about the old timers – artist not getting tickets, you are the ones who make burning man what it is. Pleasssssssse get tickets so we can learn the way.

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  49. Dr. Help Says:

    Hey virgins, welcome! Some KEY things I’ve learned over the years that will get you through your first Burn:

    1. The main cause of medical emergencies in Black Rock City is Vitamin D depletion. Be sure to spend AT LEAST 2 to 3 hours per day in direct sunlight. For best results, avoid sunscreen and cloting that covers your skin. Most hard liquors (vodka, tequila, etc.) stimulate Vitamin D production, so try to knock back half a bottle or so before heading out.

    2. The second largest risk on the playa is electrolyte poisoning. Try to avoid salts and sports beverages like gatorade. Your urine should be dark yellow and have a syrupy consistency. If it has no colour, you may have early onset EP. As the old Burner saying goes: “If you’re pissing clear, it’s time to fear.”

    3. At all costs, avoid staking your tent or weighing it down with heavy objects such as suitcases, as doing so will turn your shelter into a dangerous tripping hazard for everyone on the playa. Your tent will stay more or less where it is – some minor movement is a fact of life in BRC.

    4. Remember, due to the high altitude of the event and natural geological features, Black Rock City can be even hotter at night than it is in the day, with midnight temperatures hitting upwards of 110 degrees. Do NOT make the mistake of wearing too much clothing, or you may overheat. A feather boa should be enough, but don’t be afraid to add some glitter if you are going to one of the “costume” events or seeing a big name band.

    5. If you DO feel yourself getting sick or tired, don’t be afraid to stop by the beer tents for a hot dog and a drink. I guarantee you will feel better. If you have brought any crafts, t-shirts, etc. to sell, this is also a good place to lay out your wares if you can find space to do so.

    6. A good many people pour their hearts and souls into designing and bringing “art cars” or “mutant vehicles” to the playa. While not required, it is common practice to “tip” your driver, usually about $10. The tip may be less if the vehicle is not decorated in any way.

    7. While it’s true that a bike was once needed to get around the City, the 2010 redesign has turned Burning Man into a walker’s paradise. Bikes create a danger for pedestrians on the playa and are totally unnecessary. At the last BM bi-annual symposium there was strong support for a complete ban on bicycles in 2013.

    8. Although there are definitely some fun, brightly lit clubs and stages at Burning Man, remember that most of event is peaceful and in total darkness at night. PLEASE do not risk ruining somebody’s burn by wearing a glow stick or blinky, carrying a flashlight, etc. This happens at least once every year, and will make you unpopular with True Burners.

    9. Burning Man can be chaotic and often frightening, but remember that you have paid for a ticket and are entitled to experience everything that comes with it. Every structure, piece of art and vehicle must be inspected and approved by a certified professional engineer. Just because something has a “anger aesthetic does not mean it is not totally safe. Go for it!

    10. Unless you are in a group of 8 or more, consider bringing a dog or cat. An animal companion will help stave off loneliness and make friends with your neighbours. Dogs especially seem to like feeling as “off-leash” as many burners. Just be sure you are not camping in an animal-free part of the city, as there have been some pretty serious allergic reactions in the past.

    I hope this helps make your experience more enjoyable. I can’t wait to meet you all. Have a safe and fun year on the playa!

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  50. Thermal Says:

    @Dr.Help: I love your humor, but I assume people are dumb beyond belief and won’t get it. I only say that becuase you mention animals. God forbid some nitwit reads your post and believes it (because I know some will!) and brings an animal to die of thirst and heat exhaustion. People can do what they want to themselves (cover yourself with vaseline and sit in the sun), but do right by animals and leave them safe at home.

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  51. Dog Rancher Says:

    Howdy All!!

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  52. Dog Rancher Says:

    I just got the news from BLM out here in the Black Rock Desert.
    They say that BRC is in a probationary status at this time due to the large miscount from last years pop. cap.
    They can only get a one year permit till they appeal results are in. They may submit one however it may not be considered at the present time.
    Only if they win the appeal can BRC submit a 5 year application only.
    So things are in flux folks so hang on for the ride this could be the last burn..
    I would hang on to my tickets folks if BRC loses the appeal. Tickets will be very pricy and may be the last time
    Happy Trails
    Dog Rancher

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  53. Jon Mitchell Says:

    No disrespect to Mr. Dog Rancher, but just so we don’t have any pandemonium or rampant ticket speculation, I have it on good authority that this man who cried “last Burning Man ever” is playing a trick.

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  54. Dr. Help Says:

    @Thermal: I love your humour, but I am worried that people will believe you… Can you imagine a Burning Man without cute animals everywhere?! You underestimate how gullible people are.

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  55. Thermal Says:

    @Dr.Help: Seriously dude, now you are pissing me off. Tell people to do whatever to their own bodies: BUT LEAVE THE ANIMALS OUT OF YOUR JOKES. One year that I went I found out someone brought their damn cat which nearly died. It ain’t no laughing matter, and this is making you sound like a goddamn psychopath who enjoys animals suffering.

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  56. Dr. Help Says:

    @Thermal: I know that you are only saying this because it is April Fool’s Day. It’s pretty funny, but you need to remember that many people don’t get that kind of humour. In all seriousness though, are you bringing your dog this year? If you are, it would be cool to meet up down there and throw the frisbee around.

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  57. Courtney Says:

    So lots of changes on the horizon for Burning Man it seems. This will be my first. I’m really looking forward to meeting the kind of people that have made Burning Man what it is most celebrated for and am looking forward to giving what I can to continue this amazing tradition. See you on the Playa. :-D

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  58. joe Says:

    @ Dr Help
    your top ten list reminds me of my kids when they’re being mischevious with a slight smile on their face and say it’s opposite day.

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  59. Noobie Boobie Says:

    Yes I am a first time Burner. Would someone like to define “Burner” for me? Do I need to have a particular haircut? Does the fact that someone has gone to BM for 10 years or more make them cool? Or a nice person? Maybe I suppose. But I suspect the truth is that there are plenty of long time “burners” who are complete douche bags. Burning Man has grown at incredible rates since it’s inception. There are huge numbers of NOOBs every year at BM. Some of em are great fantastic dynamic wonderful people, some of them are assholes. Such is life. I have wanted to go to BM for 10 hrs and yet just never really decided to make the commitment. I guess I feel a little scared and disappointed that my first year is the year of the giant ticket debacle. Are you “Burners” going to welcome me with open arms or will I be resented by you because I am there with a ticket that one of your friends did not get to have? As for Purposely messing with my head because it just so happens to be my first year here, well go ahead. It’s not my problem that in a desert full of awesome things too do and see that you cannot find anything better to do than mess with someones head. I guess I’m just the sort of person who wouldn’t intentionally give someone wrong directions anywhere. In any city. We should all be doing our best to be helping everyone around us thrive and be well. Physically and mentally. But that’s just my opinion and what the hell do I know? I’ve never been to Burning Man.

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  60. Dr. Help Says:

    @Noobie Boobie: I, for one, will welcome you with open arms to Black Rock City, located in southern Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.

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  61. greentea Says:

    I posted this in the comment of “Adopt a Virgin”, but I want to post it here, too…

    It was really cool to read this article, but discouraging to read the comments. It sucks to hear so many of you have been hurt by virgins, but all this negative energy is a real bummer.

    I’m a virgin this year, going with a friend who is also a virgin. We want to participate in Burning Man because we have heard so much about the incredible people, life changing experience, radical inclusion, art, and love. None of our veteran friends got tickets, which was super disappointing. We have hoped, despite this ticket fiasco, that burning man will be still be amazing.

    My friend and I are both outdoorsy folk who understand, to a reasonable degree, what we need to survive in the desert. I’m sure we will come across unexpected challenges but we plan to be entirely self-sufficient and not mooch off of anybody. We are already preparing gifts and hoping to join a theme camp so we can volunteer our time, energy, and talents. We are both people-loving, earth-loving, and art-loving folks. We try to practice radical inclusion in our own city, every day. We are NOT coming to burning man to do a bunch of drugs and get laid.

    After all the negative energy that has been going around about burning man this year, especially towards virgins, I’m questioning whether or not I want to go. I am afraid people will be rude to me just because I am new. Is that what you all are hoping to achieve? Are you trying to convince virgins to sell their tickets?

    I have already had several would-be-virgin friends, who are beautiful souls that would embrace burning man’s values and share their gifts, give up their tickets because of all of this hate that had been spread all over the internet.

    I worry that the negative energy towards virgins is going to have the opposite effect people are hoping for. The virgins who are suited to burning man, who love others and embrace burning man’s values, will give up their tickets because they don’t want to be part of something negative. Those who hold onto their tickets will be the virgins you are all hoping to avoid, because they don’t care. Burning man might lose some very special people.

    I haven’t decided if I will participate in Burning Man this year. My friend is convinced that once we get on the playa, everyone will forget about this ticket crap and accept us with open arms. I hope he is right!

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  62. Noobie Boobie Says:

    Note to self: Tell anyone who asks that I have been to Burning Man no less than 10 times and that yes I can tell them exactly how to get where they are going.

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