I Remember

IMG_0873Do you remember when we climbed that man made mountain at sunrise? The desert breeze blowing from the west? I can’t recall all the details, because of my exhaustion. We drove all night, and when we finally arrived, me and you being the only two still awake. Decided to set up camp. Hustling to try to beat the day break. We lost the race with the sun, but camp was half put together. The bikes were out, and they must have spoken out to one of us. Not sure whose idea it was to take a quick ride to the east. Riding towards the glowing sun. It shining down on our faces. The air still cool, and the day still as young as a child.

What an adventure that was. The feeling that we had arrived 15 hours from when we had left our home near the water edge. Now filled with a calm of our worries. A release from all the anxiety. We had arrived, and excitement surrounded us. (more…)

A Virgin’s First Blush

Photo: Philippe Glade
Photo: Philippe Glade

Tuesday morning of my first Burn, I pedaled out to the Temple. Everyone I had ever spoken with about Burning Man always spoke with reverence about this, so I was curious. I am not a new age religious kind of guy, but my fiancé had lost her Mom recently and I thought that would be an appropriate way for me to express my personal loss. I also thought of it as a way to honor my relationship since I was there solo. (more…)

Burning Man’s New ESD Leadership Team

World-Class Emergency Services
World-Class Emergency Services

Joseph Pred, founder of Burning Man’s Emergency Services Department and longstanding Emergency Services Manager, moved on this year after 17 years of exemplary service. During his tenure, he surrounded himself with people who are now ready and able to step in and take on this critical role. The Playa Emergency Services Department (ESD) will continue to provide its renowned world class service to the citizens of Black Rock City, working under the leadership of Kate Gonnella, Ben Thompson and Red Grasso. (more…)

Have You Heard Of Him?

Photo: Ron Lussier
Photo: Ron Lussier

After reading Trevor Hughes Playadipity story, I’m reminded of my own amazing journey and discovery… all this, from our very own Camp Playadipity, back in 2011.

While my Lost Buddies camp joined up with Playadipity the previous year, I didn’t really get to meet many from the Playadipity side. So one of my goals for 2011 was to do so. I arrived back to camp one morning around 3:00 AM from a fantastic all night journey to Point 3 in the deep playa. I was ready to get some sleep, when I came across a group of the Playadipity folks chillin in their dome. I eventually struck up a conversation with Anne, one of the colorful new people I wanted to get to know better. We conversed for almost an hour about this and that, and mostly about her home town of Buffalo NY, and stories about her caravan that came back out to the playa. It was cool conversations, and I was kinda sad I didn’t get to connect with her so well the previous year.

On a final note from me, I asked her about a local hero I always remembered and loved from my college days in Western NY. This guy was amazing; dressed in his white tux and black bowler derby, he performed to halls and bars full of loud, friendly & wild fans. He played piano like Chopin, and sang songs that would make Lenny Bruce blush and laugh. And he gave me this lasting memory for the past 30 years. So I asked Anne, “Did you ever hear of this guy? Is he still alive?”, to which Anne responds “Ha, yeah, I married him”. I laughed, saying “Yeah, sure, but really, you heard of him?”. She looks me dead in the eye “I MARRIED HIM”, then she called out: “Hey Johnny boy, get your ass over here!”. And there he was. OMFG. I fell to my knees, hugged his legs and laughed uncontrollably. PLAYADIPITY!! In Camp Playadipity! Go figure…

by Jelly Burner

A few ground rules for talking about the 10 Principles

We can talk about this stuff all day.
We can talk about this stuff all day.

[This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man’s 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.]

Okay, anyone who read the headline to this post and asked “Who the fuck are you to set ground rules for talking about the 10 Principles?” gets a gold star.  The rest of you need to stay after class and clean the erasers.

Anyone in the second group who just asked “Who the fuck are you to make me stay after class and clean the erasers?” is beginning to get it.  Nice work.

The rest of you need to dig a hole and stick your heads in it.

I can go on like this all day.

What I’m doing is setting some context … background information … for when I talk about the 10 Principles.  It’s how I think about them.  Your mileage may vary, but I think these are good and useful axioms that help orient the 10 Principles in the larger universe of Philosophy and Epistemology.

Those of you who don’t give a damn about philosophy and epistemology may want to dig a hole and stick your heads in it.

I swear I’m not going to stop until someone sticks their head in a hole they dug themselves.


This Would Be Perfect If…

Photo: Bob Richardson
Photo: Bob Richardson

Some years ago (this 16x Burner can’t remember when) early early morning on a moonless, dark, chilly Playa;

Me and my significant other walking hand and hand back to our camp, no one else around. On the way we spotted a random Burn Barrel flickering flame & embers. Stopped, sat near on a bench to warm ourselves.

I felt a plastic bag with soft contents next to me, and picked it up to see what it was. Exactly, simultaneously she says “this would be perfect if we had some marshmallows…”

by Nocturnal Steve


Photo: Ales aka Dust To Ashes
Photo: Ales aka Dust To Ashes

2013 was my first burn. Those who know me well probably figured I was going because of a midlife crisis. An event like this is so out of character for me. Perhaps they would be correct. Regardless I needed something to shake me. Burning Man shook me to my core in many ways.

Like many “virgin burners”, I found myself overwhelmed. My camp mates were very gracious and patient with me. Because of them I was able to explore and experience so much that I never would have. I was stretched both personally and professionally as a photographer. The one thing that left a strong impression on me was the concept of gifting. It blew me away to experience all sorts of gifting, both material and intangible gifts. It is a practice I want to make part of my daily life.

But as great as this was, there was one “negative” experience that threatened to overshadow my memories of the week. One experience that left me feeling confused and angry enough to forget about the beauty that I experienced. (more…)