As part of the annual Participation Fair, $teven Ra$pa and Brody Scotland presented a Burning Man Newbie Orientation to an over-capacity crowd of over 150 people crammed cheek-to-jowl into our Burning Man World Headquarters, and an additional 150+ people online.
Since not everyone could make it in person or via the livestream, we’ve captured it for your viewing pleasure.
There are groups in other areas who will be doing newbie orientations in the coming months … get in touch with your local Burning Man group to see if there’s one near you. Don’t know if there’s a group near you? Check out the Regionals pages for more info.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about being Jaded. Have you heard the following from anyone in your circle of Burner friends?
“Yeah, been there, done that. I’m just going to stay in camp.”
“Oh, I saw that last year.”
“Wasn’t the art better in 2005?”
“Ugh, I’m so over it.”
Photo by Brian Vincent
Maybe you’ve even been guilty of it yourself.
Perhaps the soft, smoky tendrils of a tendency towards snark and eye-rolling are starting to creep into your brain, strangling the wide-eyed enthusiasm and the knee-jerk joy.
Is your “yes, and” being slowly replaced with “NO”?
Do you spend entire days in camp, lying on a couch and reading comic books rather than going out to play?
There is a solution, my friends!
Adopt a Burning Man Virgin. It’s as simple as that. 100% guaranteed cure-all for the Jaded that ails you.
Find someone new to the event and take them under your wing, teach them your secrets, answer their questions, listen to them shout “EEEEEE!” with excitement. This process is extra-helpful when started before the event (see the bottom of this post for resources), but also grants great benefits when befriending a newbie on-playa. Read more »
Certainly, Burning Man is a society that deviates from The Norm. But it would be silly to suggest that Burning Man is a place without norms. One of the truest conceits of Burner culture, in my opinion, is the distinction between “home,” the playa, and the “default world,” which gives our annual gathering a sense of deviation, but also one of return. We leave behind our default values and behaviors, and we return to something more natural and fundamental to us.
But clearly, “home” is not an arrangement without order, tradition, or hierarchy. I doubt humans can help themselves. We may not like to think of Burning Man as a stratified place, but it is.
Nothing wrong with that, though. Not inherently. The fact is, some people have been burning for 20 years, some for 10, some one, some none. Those are remarkable differences in experience of something so extreme and dynamic as Burning Man. It’s only natural that those who’ve been before will set the tone for those still bewildered by the blinky lights. Read more »
A burner sleeps at Dr. Deb's "Collective Dreams" installation, 2005. Photo by Scott London.
Man oh man is it crucial to get sleep on the playa. It’s not always the easiest thing to do but a little planning will help you get some beauty rest in the desert. Here are some tips.
Bring your pillow from home. There is something about being able to fall asleep on your own pillow. It’s comforting. Sleeping bags without pillows are a quick way to strain your back in my experience. I’ve seen people in RVs who bring all their bedding from home, fancy duvets and throw pillows and such.
2. Eye Mask
You will probably be partaking in some nightlife in Black Rock City. Regardless of what time you go to bed, the sun’s going to come screaming through your tent or trailer window. Eye masks are great for afternoon catch-up naps as well.
Read more »