The days are getting warmer, tickets are showing up in the mail and the trolls are spreading mistruths online. Yes, it is that time of year again:Pre-Burn Season!
This is also the time of year that first timers start to ask for advice from their veteran Burner friends. I first send them to the fantastic survival guide, then to my tips & tricks videos (starting with the ones for Virgins). Then I pat their head, tell them it is all going to be okay, and share some version of the message below. In addition to bringing the right gear, it is important to bring the right attitude.
*This video was requested from participants of this year’s Midburn. It is worded in a way that applies to people heading to any event where Radical Self Expression and Gifting is embraced.
**If, after watching, you don’t feel drawn to attend this year, please sell your ticket back through official channels. There are many eager and well deserving people waiting for your ticket in the STEP program.
I’m sure we’ve all cringed when a friend or co-worker says, “Burning Man? …that’s like Coachella, right?”
But it is hardly their fault. There are now TONS of events that are called “Festivals” and it is hard to understand how they differ.
In this video I talk about the different kinds of Music Festivals, Conferences, Transformational Festivals, and Participatory Gatherings.
NOTE: While I make the case that the participatory nature of Burning Man and sanctioned regionals have a special kind of magic, I did not mean to imply that the others do not have participation. There is just something incredibly mind-blowing about looking out at the Playa and trying to grok, “So, none of these artists were paid? They created all of this as a gift for US?!” It shifts something inside us and shatters our models of “audience,” “performer” and “participant.”
Did I miss any categories or important events? Share your thoughts below.
(For a great discussion by some organizers of other Transformational Festivals and how Burning Man influenced them, click here.)
My experiences for the last 17 years at Burning Man have been so amazing and transformative that I have a hard time seeing any shifts in the event as a real threat. “Bring on P.Diddy and the Turnkey Camps!” I said. I still believe that. But I also am able to understand the current fear more clearly now than I once did.
Like everyone, I am eagerly awaiting the official response to the recent controversies. I do *not* think Burning Man is doomed. Quite the contrary. I have faith we will figure this out and thrive.
Once we get a handle on the current challenges and correct the course, the magic will shine as bright as ever.
The fable below is fictional. Take it with a grain of dust.
Once upon a time there was food enthusiast who hosted a fantastic baked goods potluck.
He invited 10 adventurous cooks he knew and they started gathering each month to share delights.
Their culinary skills were varied…but they all sure loved food.
The spreads were AMAZING!
People went WAY over-the-top.
Exotic ingredients, rare fruits, fine wines.
For some participants it became almost a game: who could produce the most fantastic dessert? (more…)