Smoke from wildfires in California has turned the desert skies pink
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but holy crap it’s going off all over the place out here in the Black Rock Desert.
It’s Monday. Less than a week till the gates open. As Cobra Commander said at the DPW morning meeting, “Holy s— it’s Burning Man.”
And it’s true. It is upon us. It is upon you.
The desert already feels like it’s getting crowded, although that’s ridiculous. There are maybe a couple or several thousand people out here now, and many more on the way. Today is the first official day that artist theme camps are allowed to start setting up on the playa. Roads are in place, spires are up in many parts of the city, and the big art pieces are well underway – Otic Oasis, Burn Wall Street, Thistle, Ego, Zoa. … the ones you should be marking down on your “who what where” list, because it’s going to be worth a trip from anywhere to visit them.
The more fundamental aspects of the city are either set to go or coming together fast. Trenches are being dug and power lines are being strung all around. The Center Cafe is all up and rigged (that giant sail of shade and rest in the center of the city), and the pretty-izing crew of Cafe Decor are setting up shop now, getting things all ready for you.
Ranger stations, emergency medical crews, Gate and Perimeter, the various ice-dispensing Articas – all the backbone pieces of Black Rock City are ready or damn close to being ready for you. It’s almost become a contest among the various tribes and constituencies of the building crews out here; who can get it done right, and get it done first? Who’s going to win Burning Man?
The crew from Otic Oasis has to haul gear out into the walk-in camping section of the city
Some of you may be familiar with all the preparation that this event requires, but some of you may be surprised by the logistical requirements. After all, the event only lasts a week, and then because it’s a “leave no trace” event, when everybody goes home, it’s as if no one had ever been here, right?
Let’s just say, not really.
There is an insane amount of work done by a large number of people in insanely harsh conditions. All to get the place ready for you, because it’s you who are going to be bringing the awesomeness.
But by all accounts, this has been one of the hottest years ever. Don’t take my word for it; listen to Logan again, who said this morning that he’d never experienced the heat that has hit the city this year. And of course you’ve heard that this is going to be the dustiest year in the history of Burning Man. You’ve seen the “Dustpocolypse” picture on the internets. But I’d caution you to avoid jumping to conclusions. Yes, there have been whiteouts. And maybe they’ve happened a little early. But there have been whiteouts during the early time in other years, too, so it’s a little too soon to make grand pronouncements. Read more »