The first fence crews started gathering well before dawn Monday morning, even as the smoke from nearby forest fires still lingered in the desert air. Spoono and his group would have chow and coffee for everyone who would be spending the next ten hours or so working in the desert heat.
There were stakes to pound and a fence to put up. Trucks would be rumbling from the highway to the playa, dropping containers and generators and all manner of stuff all over the desert floor. The Man Base crew would be hauling gear and the pieces they’d been working on at the ranch for the last three weeks. The vendor’s Commissary tents would be going up, and the Artica and Power teams would be staking out their turf and counting their inventory.
It was the first big day in the building of Black Rock City for 2012, and it was going off big time, everywhere and all at once. Read more »
Hello again early Burning Man fans; look what time it is already!
Your tent might still be dusty, your headlamp batteries might need changing, and your playa bike probably needs a good going-over.
But I can confidently report to you that the couple hundred or so folks who have gathered here in Gerlach to get Black Rock City built in time for the big party at the end of the month have got things well underway.
Folks have been arriving for … oh, a week or so, and in some cases even longer than that. But a big contingent of willing and able hands arrived Sunday night.
Dozens of people were walking down the main street of Gerlach with their dreads and their boots and their bandanas and their yoga bodies and their piercings and their faces happy happy in the beautiful evening light. And lots of folks who hadn’t seen each other in a year were having many happy returns at the Saloon.
There were drinks and hugs and lots of laughs at the bar, and then the parade continued a few doors down to Bruno’s, where a major dinner was served. You could feel the energy in the air; people were gearing up, ready to go, ready to tackle the Fence in the morning.
Ah, the Fence.
You know about the fence already, right? It’s seven miles around the outside of the Burning Man grounds. And it goes up in a day. And they pound metal stakes into the ground by hand. … Oh, sure, you could get a machine to do that, but that isn’t the way of the Department of Public Works. It’s a point of pride to do it all yourself. And so they do. And this year they pounded seven miles of stakes in … wait for it … just over four hours. Amazing.
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building the fence
The work was hot and dry and dusty and hard, but at the end of the day, there was an awful lot to show for it. ….
There were actually about five miles of fence to show for it. And the rest of the fence was going to be finished on Saturday. That’ll be NINE miles of fence built in two days!
If you haven’t heard already, the Burning Man footprint is a lot larger this year. In the past several years, the circumference of the perimeter fence was six miles. But now, as a crowd in excess of 40,000 is expected, everything has been pushed out — the Esplanade, the area around center camp, and the fence. So everyone will have more room, but it also means that everything is further apart. So you might want to make sure there’s air in your bike tires, because you’re definitely going to need it.
The fence build is an amazing thing to behold. Everyone meets for a 6 am breakfast at Bruno’s, and Logan gives the rundown for the day: “Who wants to pound some fence??!!” he yells, and there are whoops and hollers throughout the room. Read more »