Halcyon's "Gratitude, Gifting and Grandpa" TEDtalk!

John Halcyon Styn frequently speaks to audiences about Gratitude but he has been exploring the edges of online expression for over 17 years. Today, while still flamboyant and addicted to over-sharing, Halcyon's path has gone towards self-growth and spirituality. His second Webby award came in 2007 for the video podcast "Hug Nation," originally co-hosted with his grandfather, Rev. Caleb Shikles. HugNation.com is in its 10th year of weekly live broadcasts and archived "Love on Demand."

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An Oral History of Burning Man

Burning Man, the annual super-rave in Nevada, has become Independence Week for a worldwide tribe of inventors, artists, and desert freaks. Brad Wieners talks to founders and fans about how the party got started—and the death, mayhem, and power struggles that almost shut it down. Written by Brad Wieners for Outside Magazine, 2012.

"This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words. And indeed in thought." —T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
It took some convincing to get me to
Burning Man, even though—or because—friends couldn’t shut up about it. Their pictures were intriguing, sure, but the camp back then resembled nothing so much as the costumey parking lot of a Grateful Dead show.
Not a sell for me. And I like people fine, but when I go camping I generally hope to see fewer of them. Finally, worn down by heartfelt entreaties—and especially the assurances from my great friend John Law, a main mover in the festival’s start-up era—I drove overnight from San Francisco and made the Black Rock Desert shortly after dawn.
What I will never forget about that first trip to northwest Nevada was striking out onto the playa, the vast, vacant deceased lake bed. It was 1994—the ninth Burning Man, the fifth in the desert—a time before cell phones, and the map of the area I was headed to was blank. Directions? Look for the second traffic cone and a line of those small red-flag wire thingies. Leave the road. Drive eight miles, turn right for two more. Really, that was it.
Five minutes out, I found myself in an alkaline whiteout, partly of my own making because of the rooster tail of dirt I was kicking up. When I finally made camp it felt like an achievement, and I had adrenaline to burn. So, despite being sleep deprived, I wrapped a kaffiyeh around my head and took off on a walk.
Immediately, I started to get what I’d been missing: the almost gravitational communal spirit (needed for survival) and the permission, even insistence, to get your freak on. Everyone seemed busy: erecting tepees, hanging wind socks, painting their bodies. It was Montessori for grown-ups, in the most astonishing void.
Eighteen years later, tens of thousands have made the pilgrimage, some a bit too avidly, it’s fair to say. As the event grew, a pop-up metropolis formed—Black Rock City, whose population this year may top 60,000. The outfit that stages the festival, Black Rock City LLC, is now a $23 million-per-year concern with 40 full-time employees, hundreds of volunteers, and a non-profit arts foundation that doles out grants. Demand for tickets is so great, the organizers used a lottery system this spring. That turned out to be a mistake. Big-time artists and veteran volunteers were shut out, while scalpers ran the tickets ($250 face value) up to $1,000 on eBay.
For Burning Man’s principals, the ticket fiasco was merely the latest crisis they’ve had to overcome to keep the dance going. They’ve been faced with such challenges every year, it seems, and somehow they’ve always managed to meet the task—or to finagle someone who could.
In this light, Burning Man is partly the story of a half-dozen eccentrics—an unemployed landscaper (Larry Harvey), an art model (Crimson Rose), a struggling photographer (Will Roger Peterson), a dot-com PR gal (Marian Goodell), an aerobics instructor (Harley Dubois), and a signmaker (Michael Mikel)—who made good. Less charitably, it’s the tale of a group of slackers who grabbed hold of the one thing that brought them notice—and, eventually, a paycheck—and have ruthlessly ridden it for all it’s worth. The truth contains elements of both, of course, but one thing’s for sure: it’s never boring.
IN THE BEGINNING: 1986–1989 Before it drew thousands of determined pilgrims to the Nevada desert, Burning Man consisted of a small group of friends torching an effigy on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Was it a summer solstice party? Guerrilla art? Or, as legend had it, one man’s attempt to exorcise his heartbreak?
(co-creator and executive director of Burning Man): My friend Mary Grauberger had done a celebration down on Baker Beach for years. In 1986, she’d decided not to do it again, and I thought we’d recreate that, but in our own way. I really wasn’t an artist. I was hanging out with these famous latte carpenters, all of whom, in their spare time, were writing novels or painting pictures or playing music. I think Jerry [James] may have asked me to repeat my statement on the phone so he understood what I was telling him: “Let’s burn a man on the beach.”
(co-creator): There wasn’t much more to it than that. Larry called me and asked, “Do you want to build a figure and go burn it for the solstice?” OK, sure.click for more…

Assorted awesome Burning Man 2012 videos

5 Ways to Make Your Life More Like Burning Man

by Steve Bearman and Troy Dayton for Burner Love. Photo by Spenser Jones.

So you’ve been to the playa, and you’ve seen the promised land – the promise of freedom, of self-expression, of immediacy and creativity and community. The playa fed you, and it changed you. It provided you opportunities for growth, you took advantage of those opportunities, and you came out the other side more the person you’re here to be in the world.

But then Burning Man ended, as it must. It was burned down, dismantled, packed up into dusty vehicles and carted away. Now, you find yourself without the the steady flow of magic that helped you become more yourself. You’re “home” (in the traditional meaning of the word), and you’re probably wondering whether you can still be the person you liberated yourself to become at Burning Man.

You can be. All you need to do is to make use of these 5 principles:

1. There is no default world
2. Expect more from strangers
3. Form your camp
4. Be part of the generosity economy
5. Embrace impermanence (at least for now)

1. There is no default world

Burners have come to use an unfortunate term when referring to life after Burning Man. They call it the “default world”, as if magic only happens in the desert during one week of the year. This is particularly unfortunate because there is one great secret to bringing everything you love about Burning Man into the rest of your life and to making the rest of the world more like Burning Man. What secret, you ask? As it turns out, there is no default world.

We’ll say it again, because this really matters.
There is no default world.

If it helps, you can think about it this way. Some art installations are just too big to bring to the playa. They need to be left out in the rest of the world. In fact, really the whole world is just one, big, world-sized, interactive art installation. It’s all just a series of temporary encampments in which humans have, through their ingenuity and creativity, figured out how to interface with the wilderness and live together in clusters. Just like the street clock and the open playa, the rest of the world is available to explore and interact with and play with while wearing one costume or another, playing one role or another. There is no default world.

When you start to recognize the true, interactive nature of what we’ll call “the extended playa” (that is, the world-sized, extra-playa art installation), you’ll find that so much more is possible.

2. Expect more from strangers

In a community like Burning Man, you can assume, even assert, the right to approach any random person and have an interesting interaction. There’s room to transcend the ordinary superficial greetings and interviews. You can introduce yourself effervescently, or oddly, or launch right into the middle of the conversation you wish you were having with someone. You can overtly express interest and curiosity. You can play. You can do all this because you expect, more often than not, that your enthusiasm and curiosity will be met with the same. You expect people to be interesting and to be excited by your invitation to play with them.

It’s no different on the extended playa. If you give people a chance to be their more expressed, more playful, more connective selves, more often than not, they’ll take you up on your offer. Everyone everywhere wants deeper connections, more meaningful interactions, less seriousness and more play. If you expect this of the people you meet, you’ll be right more often than not.

Hugs and affection are a particularly important domain in which to expect more from strangers. We all need love, and hugs are one of the best ways to deliver it. Take the risk to go in for a hug. You’ll be surprised how many people reciprocate. Of course some people will be hesitant. They may not even know that hugging is an option! Or they may just be plain scared of hugs. That means it’s your job not to be scary. You can pull this off by hugging people in a way that demands nothing of the huggee. Practice being sensitive to where the other person is at while still expressing your affection and admiration. If you get it right, you may notice them releasing and relaxing. Hugs bring us together. You are just the right person to initiate them.

Not only is there no default world, but there are no normal people. There are, however, many people who have gotten good at projecting the appearance of normality. At Burning Man, the endless parade of people flaunting their unusualness brings joy and excitement. The unusual is both delightful and challenging, enticing and intimidating. Out here on the extended playa, people love the unusual just as much as you love it at Burning Man, but there is such a constant press to conform to social norms, that we sacrifice our wonderful weirdness, our playful impulses, and our freaky freedom just so we can fit in. Without even realizing it, you have probably come to participate in this system of socialization, subtly and continuously discouraging people from coloring themselves outside the lines.

It takes some deliberate effort to reverse that tendency. Part of expecting more from strangers is noticing the weirdness in others and encouraging it to express itself. When you encounter someone who is already weirder than you, instead of looking away or otherwise indicating disapproval, remember the courage it takes to break with norms, and you’ll realize just how valuable that smile or that nod can be. Say “yes” to the strangeness of strangers.

Remember, nearly everyone you know was once a stranger. Expecting more of strangers increases the likelihood that the people you meet will become a part of that sometimes elusive network of connections we call community.

3. Form your camp
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2012 Burning Man videos

Here are some of our favorite videos from 2012 Burning Man so far…

Why Burning Man Didn't Suck This Year... and What We Can Learn From It

By Jay Michaelson for Huffington Post

There were many reasons veteran Burners like me -- this year was my 11th -- thought that Burning Man might suck this year.

There was a ticket fiasco, in which the event sold out and scalpers appeared online selling tickets at five times face value.

There was, we were told, an unprecedented number of newbies, threatening to overwhelm Black Rock City with well-meaning, but clueless, partying -- and, we were also told, accompanied by an increased police presence.

And then there was the bad weather: lots of dust, lots of wind, lots of reasons to stay away this year, which I and my partner almost did.

Yet Burning Man didn't suck. Although larger, it didn't seem that different from past years. It had all the magic, community, sacredness, emotional center and impossible-to-describe otherworldliness that we Burners struggle to convey to outsiders, many of whom still seem to believe this experimental city is just naked hippies getting high in the desert. (At this point, I'm inclined to let folks believe that if they want. Maybe letting go of that kind of assumption is a good prerequisite for participating.) And while the reasons for this non-sucking may largely be mysterious, I think that all of us -- especially those of us involved in building countercultures and cultural enclaves -- can learn a lot from how Burning Man managed to stay vital, and real, this year.

First, the Burning Man organization (BMORG or BORG, depending on how sympathetic you want to be) did much more than in past years to educate newbies about the values of Black Rock City. I've never seen Burning Man's "10 Principles" -- including radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, and so on - so prominently displayed as this year, including in the run-up to it. (One theme camp poked fun at all this preaching by depicting the 10 principles as the 10 commandments, stone tablets, thee's and thou's, and all.)

This was a crucially good decision. True, it was a departure from Burning Man's more anarchic, choose-your-own-adventure beginnings. It had a whiff of indoctrination. But compromising on some of that original ethos in favor of maintaining community norms was exactly the right move. The first-timers I met, and they were indeed plentiful, were a little naïve, a little clueless, but also generally enthusiastic, willing and prepared. They were kind of cute, really: like boy and girl scouts in EL-wire, happily replicating the memes of Black Rock City.
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Dropping in to BRC 2012!

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Get Found on playa 2012

A few of the men of Get Found /dBM/ Boogie Universal have banded together this year, and are joining forces with Buddha Lounge at 8:45 & Esplanade. See below for the roster of this manly mancamp full of mans and by all means, drop by our camp for yoga, shade and chill/bass sets during the day and stellar entertainment at night, including Emancipator, Pumpkin, Random Rab, Desert Dwellers, Chris B, Kalya Scintilla, Jobot, DubVirus, Sex Pixels and manymanymany more!

Scotty G

Pablo / DJ GrapeNuts

Moontroll / DJ Playaduster

Erik / Boogie Universal



Dusty kisses!

dBMcasts : free music mixes for Burning Man 2012

Here's a small sampling of the musical goodness that the Destination Burning Man crew —DJs Playduster, Edubious, GrapeNuts & P*DIZzle — have mixed and posted to share with all y'all. Download and stock yer iPod at http://www.destinationburningman.com/stuff/podcasts and http://soundcloud.com/moontrolling. Subscribe via iTunes at http://www.destinationburningman.com/stuff/podcasts. Support our efforts by donating via PayPal on our homepage at http://www.destinationburningman.com. We will be hanging out at Buddha Lounge, 8:45 & Esplanade, handing out free dBM stickers and hopefully DJing some afternoon sessions. Hope to see y'all in BRC!

Prepare yourself for an intergalactic soundwave excursion to the Indian subcontinent and choice African destinations with DJs Playaduster and Kaya Rainface. Originally inspired by my discovery of the amazing Desert Dwellers remix project and the new Dirtwire project from Beats Antique, this musical journey invokes caravans in the desert, mystical night wanderings, starlight, throngs of pilgrims seeking visions on the playa, uttered prayers and whispered secrets, meditation, tribal gatherings, tea ceremonies, transcendent dancing, spices and scents. With plenty of earthy bass tones to ground our seekings, the mix floats towards the heavens on the wings of sitar, violin, cello, tabla, kamel ngoini and voice.

An exploration of the alchemical/magikal energies of low-end frequencies for bass chakra therapy. Featuring excursions from the very best in sacred electro-space-bass-whomp adventurism. Inspired by meeting DJ Kaya Rainface, 11:11 and Burn Night magic. Featuring: Prelude: Hildur Guonadottir + Peter Van Hoesen * 123 Mrk * Beats Antique * Kalya Scintilla * Opuio * Nanda * Tipper * RLS * SUN:MONX * The Human Experience * Kaminanda * Grouch * Welder * Mount Kimbie * Four Tet * Radiohead * PhuturePrimitive * Coda: Hildur Guonadottir + Peter Van Hoesen

DJ Grapenuts digs deep. This time with some Electro Boogie Funk-packed full of bubbling basslines, percolating percussion, sexy synthesizers, and some velvety vocals. His exclusive mix is custom tailored to accompany you on your 2012 voyage to the place we all love to call home... Black Rock... Our Lovely City!

Featuring Love & Light * Griz * Opiuo * Sunmonx * Sugarpill * Russ Liquid * Thriftworks * Chris B. * Gladkill * Kraddy * Pretty Lights * Jamie Woon * MartyParty * Vibesquad * Nico Luminous * Bonobo remixed * Goldrush * Bassnectar // Art by Mugwort.

This mix drops into the sacred bass realm and was designed as a soundtrack for your Practice.  Find your flow with Kaminanda, Phuture Primative, Kayla Scintilla, Tipper, Nanda, Thriftworks and The Human Experience.  This mix is a sampling of some of the freshest, most deeply studied bass chakra masters.

Featuring Ehassan Karimi / Lilt / Cheb i Sabbah / eO / Kaminanda / MiMOSA / Nicholas Jaar / SUN:MOX / Mickey Hart / An-ten-ae / Low Ryderz / Schlomo / James Blake / Welder / Matt Shadetek / DJ/Rupture / Beats Antique... and field recordings of Camp Get Found on the road to the Black Rock desert in northwestern Nevada: moontroll, Hannah Tangerine, Maketa, DJ Grapenuts, Scotty G, Colby, Gabriella & others in Bend, Oregon; Summer Lake Hot Springs; and crossing the portal and Getting Found.

This heavy-duty slab of molten bass music is dropping less than 48 hours before the dBM crew and friends hit the road for Burning Man 2012. Featuring Sunmox * Jupit3r * Bassnectar * The Glitch Mob * Nico Luminous * Sugarpill * R/D * MartyParty * Opiuo * GRiZ * An-ten-ae * Paper Diamond * DATSIK * SBTRKT * Sleigh Bells * Rusko * Modeselektor * Pretty Lights * Grammatik * Holy Fuck * Florence & the Machine.

A spacey soundtrack for lucid dreaming, chemical mindsurfing, mystical visions and intergalactic voyaging. Featuring: Four Tet / Tinariwen / Floating Points / Jamie Woon / Thriftworks / Bacan Acab / Mount Kimbie / Gadi Mizhradi / Tanner Ross / SBTRKT / Ellen Allien / Apparat / Zomby / Tim Hecker / Sepalcure / Kaminanda / Pink Floyd

Side one of What the Mixxtape?! features some of the artists I saw and danced my ass off to at What the Festival?! in Oregon the last weekend of July 2012, with a focus on the glitch-hop, dubstep, acid crunk, whomp and other soundz from the heavier end of the Bass Chakra spectrum, including Bonobo, Beats Antique, GRiZ, Gladkill, Ana Sia, MartyParty, Sugarpill, EPROM and Paper Diamond.

P*DAZzLE was conceived on the cold dark frontier of the deep Black Rock playa. "Traps Claps and Ratchet Straps" showcases his commitment to all things rude, nasty, and sinfully decadent that exist in bass music today. Prepare yourself for the audio assault you are about to receive at this year's Burning Man Festival with this mix of serious filth from one sick sound selector.

DJ Playaduster weaves a sonic tapestry designed to induce dream states and facilitate astral projections. With rumbling bass as our Earthly grounding, we float past nebuli, vortexes and voyaging spacecraft on the wings of violin, percussion, guitar, trumpet and more. Have a look around. Smell the colors. Feel the low-end textures massage the tender places in your Bass Chakra. Taste the salty stardust. Relax. Let go….There are no sharp edges or rough transitions here, so you can close your eyes, lay back and take the ride with full trust in the interstellar navigational skills of DJ Playaduster. Featuring
Liquid Stranger * Pantha du Prince * SexyTime * Sunmonx * Nicoluminous * MartyParty * Ganucheau * Shlomo * Filastine * Kalya Scintilla * GRiZ * Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Get yourself ready for a hour long mix of electronic music based on DJs and producers who played at What the Festival?! in Oregon the last weekend of July 2012. This was the best festival my PNW Get Found crew and I have ever experienced off the playa and the rush of inspiration we felt in the White River canyon has carried over in to this 2 side music mix tape project. We're going to explore some of the more experimental bass frequencies that What the Festival offered, including Sepalcure, Scuba and Sinjin Hawke, taste some acid crunk from Low Ryderz, get soothed with a long set from Emancipator and dabble in some forward-leaning low-end wavelengths from Gladkill, Bluetech, PhuturePrimitive and Sugarpill.

Download and these mixes and more at http://www.destinationburningman.com/stuff/podcasts (a few are available at http://soundcloud.com/moontrolling.)
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Support our efforts by donating via PayPal on our homepage at

Much love!

Buddha Lounge, 8:45 & Esplanade

  • Black Rock City - 8:45 and Esplanade

  • ---MONDAY PM INTO TUESDAY AM [Bass Music]---
  • 2:00pm Chill + Bass with DJ Free
  • 7:00pm Buddha Lounge VIP
  • 12:00am Chris B
  • 2:00am Jobot
  • ---TUESDAY PM INTO WEDNESDAY AM [House/Electro]---
  • 2:00pm Chill + Bass with Buddha Lounge VIP
  • 7:00pm Knotty Boy
  • 8:30pm Krista Richards
  • 10:00pm Nicolatron
  • 11:30pm Micheal Friedman
  • 1:00am Jesus Juice
  • 2:30am DJ BTru of Sex Pixels
  • 4:00am Shawna
  • 5:30am Terra
  • 7:00am Zia Zombie
  • 2:00pm Chill + Bass with Soulfood
  • 8:00pm J Brave
  • 9:30pm Satya Turqwise
  • 11:00pm Emancipator
  • 1:00am Dela Moontribe
  • 2:30am DJedi
  • 4:00am Boolean
  • 6:00am DJ Free
  • ---THURSDAY PM INTO FRIDAY AM [Pocket Underground]---
  • 2:00pm Chill + Bass with Buddha Lounge VIP
  • 7:00pm Black Ass
  • 9:00pm Nasty Nate
  • 10:30pm Jerad Hioki
  • 12:00am Justin Levi
  • 1:00am Grant Kaye
  • 2:00am Ron Levy (Idiot Savant)
  • 3:30am Wobs
  • 5:00am Gravity
  • 6:00am Pumpkin
  • 7:30am Sex Pixles
  • ---FRIDAY PM INTO SATURDAY AM [Global Bass/Deep Bass]--
  • 2:00pm Chill + Bass with Soulfood
  • 6:00pm Dave Decible
  • 8:00pm Desert Dwellers DJ Ste by Treavor Moontribe
  • 11:00pm Zia Zombie
  • 12:30am Jef Stott
  • 2:00am Dub Virus
  • 3:30am Conscious Kalling
  • 5:00am Brendagerous
  • 6:30am Lux Moderna
  • --SATURDAY PM INTO SUNDAY AM [Bass Music/Global Bass]-
  • 2:00pm Chill + Bass with Buddha Lounge VIP
  • 7:30pm Jesus Juice (special pre-burn sunset performance)
  • ---------THE MAN BURNS-----------------------------
  • 10:00pm Brendangerous
  • 11:30pm Boolean
  • 1:00am Random Rab
  • 2:30am Ilya
  • 4:00am Kalya Scintilla
  • 6:00am Soulfood and Zia Zombie
  • Seed Dome Yoga and Events:
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    BRC resources

    The Man, 9/22/12. By sfslim

    I will be updating this page several times a day until departure….check back for latest info!

    Burnermap: “Find Your Friends on the Playa”: https://burnermap.com/map

    Time to Burn app for Mac: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time-to-burn/id362942005?mt=8
    for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xtophersd.ttb

    2012 BRC Music Guide from Rock Star Librarian: http://www.rockstarlibrarian.com

    A Beginner's Guide to dBMcasts (free music mixes): http://www.destinationburningman.com/dBM_blog/files/soundtracks-for-the-journey-home-2011.html

    dBMcasts (112 free music mixes suitable for the road & the playa: http://www.destinationburningman.com/stuff/podcasts
    dBMcasts on Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/moontrolling

    BMIR: http://bmir.org

    Current weather conditions: http://blackrockdesert.org/friends/current/conditions and http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Gerlach+NV+USNV0033:1:US

    Gerlach Live Cam: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/travel_info/gerlach_webcam.html

    Driving directions from the Pacific Northwest: http://gwally.com/directions

    How to prepare for a major dust storm — CONDITION ALPHA: http://www.damer.com/pictures/events/burningman2002/blowout/alphaguide.html

    Moontroll Burning Man video collection: https://vimeo.com/channels/moontrollbmvideos

    DJs, soundsystems, sources of bass

    Kalya's Burning Man Sonic Heart Activations
    Wednesday 7:30ish-pm - Abraxis Art Car (Pick up from Fractal) Wednesday 9pm - Camp 'Want it' 9:15ish & Esp Kalya + Merkaba Thursday 2am (Wed night) - Sacred Spaces - 4:20 esplanade Thursday 9:30 am Abraxis Art Car near the Temple
    Friday 12am (Thurs night) Red Lightning (9:30&E) Friday Sunrise - 6:30-8am - Jabba Barge Saturday 5am - Fractal Nation Saturday 9-10:30pm - Synesthesia Sunday Morning 4am - Buddha Lounge 8:45 & Esplanade

    dBM stickers — get some!

    First annual dBM stickers, limited edition. Pick one up at Buddha Lounge, 8:45 & Esplanade. See you back home!

    Halcyon's last tip before leaving for the playa

    Quantum Portal, Friday 9/29

    Here’s an interesting way to connect to Black Rock City and the playa in 2012 when you are actually back in the Default World:

    Celebrating the bass music of What the Festival?! with two-part What the Mixtape?! from DJ Playaduster

    I’m just back from the first-ever What the Festival?! in the White River Canyon of Oregon and am so incredibly inspired by what went down there: an eclectic roster of top-shelf DJ talent dropping their jams through Function One soundsystems, the gorgeous landscape accentuated by art and light installations, lots of chill spaces full of kind and creative people, good food, minimal security and hilarious pool parties during the heat of the day — I can’t say enough good things about this gathering and the team that put it on. Big ups to the WTF?! crew for pulling this off so flawlessly, and to my own Pacific Northwest Get Found tribe for representing the love.

    The rush of inspiration we felt in the White River Canyon has carried over and DJ Playaduster quickly spun out a a 2-sided music mixtape project to commemorate the weekend of music, art, nature and community.

    Side one of What the Mixxtape?! features some of the artists I saw and danced my ass off to through the dark of the night, with a focus on the glitch-hop, dubstep, whomp and other soundz from the heavier end of the Bass Chakra spectrum, including Bonobo, Beats Antique, GRiZ, Gladkill, Ana Sia, MartyParty, Sugarpill, EPROM and Paper Diamond.

    Side Two goes deep with more experimental bass frequencies from What the Festival?!, including Sepalcure, Scuba and Sinjin Hawke, some acid crunk from Low Ryderz, a long soothing set from Emancipator and forward-leaning low-end wavelengths from Gladkill, Bluetech, PhuturePrimitive and Sugarpill.

    << Have dBMcasts automatically delivered to you hot & fresh by
    subscribing via iTunes >>

    Bonobo’s excellent Sunday night DJ set…seen from the hillside:

    From the environment to the art to the people to the lighting to the vibes to the splash pool and ESPECIALLY to the expertly curated schedule of to-notch DJs, the organizers did it right. We can't thank them enough for all the special touches, large and small.

    Photos of MiMOSA, Beats Antique, Ana Sia, Emancipator and more — including scenes from the WTF?! environment — after the jump…..
    click for more…

    BRC B&Ws

    Ahmed's 2011 Burn, by day and by night

    A short glimpse of a Burning Man experience by Ahmed. Shot in August/September 2011 using a (very dusty) Canon 7D with 70-200 f.40L, a 50mm 1.8, and a 10-24mm Tamron. If you are interested in checking out more of his work, visit ahmedelhusseiny.com

    Seeking guidance from the universe

    I have been actively reconsidering my earlier decision to not go to Burning Man this year. Ever since I left the playa last September, my mindset has been one of taking a break from my annual pilgrimage to Black Rock City, for a variety of different reasons. No hard feelings, BRC, I just got some other things I gotta attend to! Now, with less than 40 days before the gates to the city open to the masses, my outlook is shifting. Without getting in to details on the evolution of my summer plans, another trip to Burning Man — my fourth in a row, and sixth overall — is beginning to look inevitable, like it wouldn't make any sense for me not to go!

    "All roads lead to the Burn," a fellow Burner quipped.

    So I've been meditating these past two weeks on the ifs, whens, wheres, whys, hows and whos of it all. One crucial step for me is to turn to the I Ching for consultation and guidance. Here's the hexagram I drew this week:

    56: TRAVEL
    Fire over Mountain

    Travel is developmental when small; if travel is correct, it leads to good fortune.

    Travel means passing through and not lingering. Fire is luminous, mountain is still. One stabilizes illumination and does not use it carelessly. One nurtures the fires and transcends the world. Understanding stillness and staying in the proper place, stabilizing illumination so that it is not damaged, when illumination and stillness are used together one can thereby transcend the world while in the world. Therefore travel is developmental when small, and travel leads to good fortune when correct.

    Travel means passing through—you should not remain attached to the realm you passed through.

    When illumination is called for, then be aware; but while aware still remain calm. When stillness is called for, be still; but when still, remain aware. When illumination and stability, awareness and stillness, are unified, how can there be failure to develop and prosper?

    Do you have any pre-Burn rituals? How do you seek sage advice?

    Memories of Black Rock

    I’ve been having some fun going through old favorite playa pics -- some by me, some by others -- and repurposing them via a collage app on my iPhone. Here they are!

    "Profiles in Dust" Part 3: The Art of Burning Man 2011

    “Profiles in Dust” Crew:
    Justin Gunn—Supervising Producer/ Editor Terry Pratt—Producer/ Director of Photography Gregory Sklar—Co-Executive Producer, Management & Logistics Michael Fasman—Producer Tom Greene—Producer Noelle Charles—Producer Christopher Breedlove—Producer Mike Hedge—Additional Camera Ben Page—GoPro Cameraman Timothy Palmer—Motion Graphics Design Robert Gibbs—Logistics and Artist Relations Colin “Donkeyboy” Creveling—Graphic Design Atom Smith—Music Shpongle—Music Transcenders—Music Tom LaPorte—Executive Producer

    "Profiles in Dust" Part 2: The Art of Burning Man 2011

    "Profiles in Dust" Part 1: The Art of Burning Man 2011

    “At the 2011 Burn, a small group of talented video producers and friends got generous. As part of a public relations gift initiative, they undertook to produce video treatments of selected art projects. The idea was to give Burning Man artists the benefit of what Media Team members do well, and to give the artists new tools to promote their work, their teams and their dreams.

    The videos on this blog have all been gifted to the artists, and are beingsimultaneously made available to you. They are an example of how unexpected generosity serves new friends in original ways, just as it serves art in new ways. These “Profiles in Dust” are a gift from the Burning Man Media Team to all artists and Burners, whether depicted in this collection of films or not….It’s truly amazing what happens when talent and inspiration unite with the spirit of gifting.

    The Fertile Desert

    “The advent of knowing. The lovers and dreamers. The laser connections. These are what bring life out of light while energy dances out of desolate dust. All that is familiar and foreign comes together in who we are and what we want to be... challenging nature and inviting more of ourselves :) --Artist’s statement ”

    This is THE BEST Burning Man video I have yet seen. It most closely captures, for me, what it is like to be on the playa, communing and expanding with our people, freaking out in Black Rock City amongst beauty, variety and freedom.

    Trilo On Tickets: "The fundamental problem is not the lottery - it's scarcity."

    Good perspective from the Burning Blog: “First, a bit of background information about me. I am the admin and lead moderator of Burning Man ePlaya, and work directly with the staff at Burning Man headquarters in both the ticketing and communications departments. I've been participating in Burning Man since 2004, and am the leader of a theme camp. Outside of Burning Man, I've got relevant experience in event production, system design, and logistics that dates back to the 1980's. The ideas and opinions expressed here are my own. I am not speaking for the organization, and I'm not toeing some company line - once I wrapped my head around the changes to the ticketing system I agreed with the need for change and think it's a pretty good system.

    Setting The Stage
    Prior to the 2011 event, Burning Man tickets was a fairly uncomplicated process. Just get a ticket at any point in the process of preparing yourself, your camp, or your art project. There were no scalpers, and face value was the most you'd ever have to pay. Then, on the 24th of July 2011, it got complicated for the very first time when tickets sold out. It seems a simple enough thing, but it's not. It put hundreds of camps and art projects at risk as they discovered that essential members of their group had not yet bought their ticket. Anecdotally, I think most who were determined to go were able to find a ticket. Some weren't, and others just made the decision to take the year off and not get caught up in the ticket madness.
    It created a situation where it would be necessary to make big changes to the way tickets were sold in 2012. For starters, everyone who had gotten burned or had a close call vowed to buy tickets earlier next year. So did anyone who knew someone who'd gotten burned or had a close call. And a significant number of people decided that they should try and stock up on tickets for their art project or camp. And a sellout event put Burning Man on the radar of professional (as well as amateur) scalpers.
    click for more…

    ACT AS IF (or, Kant's Categorical Imperative and How Your Ticket Will Find You)

    "Act as if the maxim of your action was to become through your will a universal law of nature." -- Immanuel Kant

    You didn't get a ticket. You didn't get a ticket for your partner, friend, spouse or parent. After all these years of going to The Event In The Desert, you got that email. You know, the one that, more than possibly any and maybe all of your life's cumulative college application rejection letters, grad school rejection letters, breakups-via-email, post-interview-we're-gonna-pass letters, pink slips and denial of parole notifications came across as a rejection of you as a person.

    How can this thing that has welcomed you when you were needing it most, transformed you into who you are now, been fertile field where your creativity has grown beyond measure...or been your hope and dream or best chance give you the middle finger....so callously, with such disregard to who you are and what it means to you?

    I am not going to comment on the workings of the ticketing system, or if it is good or bad or evil, or what we should all do *instead* of burning man, now that "most of us" "didn't get" our ticket.

    I will tell you, in four simple little words, how you will get your ticket. You ready?


    You are going. You've got the time off work. You've submitted your art app, your theme camp is going full steam ahead. You've got $400 in cash or whatever in an envelope for your ticket. You tell everyone that you're going, you get the blinky stuff for your bike, you get a roof rack for the truck.

    WORK YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK. You tell everyone that your ticket hasn't found you. But it will. You know it. No specific notion of how it will get to you, but it will find you. It wants you to find it.

    DON'T PANIC This is Panic's high season, this is the time when it is the least likely that tickets will change hands. But between the STEP program and the open ticket sales coming up, a lot more people who sincerely believe that they're going to Burning Man will get tickets.

    BE PATIENT. A week before the event, ticket prices will plunge. Most folks who need tickets will get them then. And damn near all of them will be people who believed that they were going, and acted as if they already had a ticket in hand.

    So. Come to potluck. Act as if. Believe.

    See you tonight.

    Luckily yours,


    Caveat: I might be full of shit. You might believe. You might not get a ticket. Your milage may vary. Items may not be as pictured. Measured by weight and not by volume. The camera adds ten pounds. Get your ass to potluck anyway.

    Burning Man 2012 Tickets Part 3 frm Halcyon (aka "Crap or Cone?")

    click for more…

    Ticket Update: Rebuilding Black Rock City 2012

    Posted by Maid Marian on the Burning Blog
    Marian Goodell is a Founding Board Member of Black Rock City LLC, and Burning Man’s Director of Business and Communications.
    We promised we would get back to you by February 15th with our plans to resolve the ticket situation for Burning Man 2012. We all know there aren’t enough tickets for everyone who wants to participate in Black Rock City. However, it’s clear that the current situation has created holes in our social fabric. Many of the core volunteers, major interactive camps, art car projects, performance groups, and funded and unfunded art projects do not have enough tickets to bring their works to the playa. Here’s how we will remedy these challenges as fairly as we believe possible:
    1.) Burning Man organizers and staff will issue tickets to major theme camps and art projects using a process outlined below.
    2.) We will launch the STEP program on February 29th. Only those who registered and did not receive confirmation of tickets will be given access to STEP.
    3.) Low Income ticket applications will be accepted beginning February 29th.
    There’s no way to sugarcoat this: the hard truth is that there are a lot of you who want to come to Black Rock City to celebrate your participation in the Burning Man culture this year, but not everyone will be able to attend. That sentence is about as painful to write as it is for you to read. We dearly wish we could just welcome everyone who feels drawn to Black Rock City. But, as we have explained in Andie Grace’s blog post: “Radical Inclusion, Meet the Other Nine,” it’s not possible to simply increase the number of tickets available for Burning Man 2012.
    And unfortunately, the random draw of the Main Sale left inordinately large numbers of our core contributors — art teams, theme camp creators, mutant vehicle builders, performers, and Burning Man volunteers — without tickets. In fact, the ratio was so unexpectedly large it has punched significant holes in Black Rock City’s artistic, civic and functional infrastructure, putting the integrity of the event itself at risk. If we let market forces play out as they could with the remaining available tickets, it’s likely that Black Rock City would be functionally untenable for many of the collaborations that comprise our desert event.

    click for more…

    YOUR THEME CAMP ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT .. and other thoughts.

    by clerkkent » posted on ePlaya on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:12 pm

    Many people are posting about how their theme camp only got less than 25% of the 'needed' tickets for their entire camp to go, and now the camp might not go at all (insert dramatic music) with the tone of 'you'll miss us'. I have been 7 times, and I have yet to visit a theme camp where I said to myself “Man, if this theme camp isn't here next year, this entire city is going to hell!!”. There were scores of camps that were awesome and I enjoyed my time with them. I coordinate a small theme camp and we didn't attend in 2009.. that was the year there was a severe population decrease. You don't see me running around claiming that everyone stayed home because my theme camp didn't go.

    Our small camp generally has no more than 15 members, and I would estimate we've had no more than 400 quality interactive guests (people who stopped by, conversated, played around) per year (and even that is on the high side). As a participant, I would guesstimate that I've actually interacted with maybe 40 theme camps each year (interacted = walked into their camp, introduced myself, talked with people, had a drink or snack, did whatever interactive activity their camp is known for,etc). I would guesstimate that on yearly average, I've had a quality conversation with around 500 BRC citizens per year. There's 50,000 people out there, and chances are you'll barely meet 1% !!

    My point?

    It is nice to have, but not a must have. Yes, you put a lot effort into it.. so did the 200 other theme camps, as well as the other 40,000 burners who dragged their arse to the Playa.

    One issue with the current 'theme camps should get the remaining tickets' philosophy: If you're going to make theme camps deserving of special treatment, then theme camps are going to be under the microscope to ensure they justify the investment of tickets to those groups. There are some lame 'theme camps' out there.: The 'chill dome' camps. The annual 'I'm going to have a super kinky mega sexually charged sex camp' that talks a big game online, but delivers a few RVs and a few horny old guys on the playa. The “I'm going to have one painting on a post but request 5000 square feet for all the camp supporters” camps. The the 'Fortress of RVs' theme camp. There's been some camps where I walked by wondering “What the heck do they do, and why do they have so much prime real estate?”.. Some are just long in the tooth, and might benefit from a year off or merging with other camps.

    If tickets are assigned to theme camps, you're gonna have a lot more griping than the current annual 'why did they get placed but we didn't?' mope-a-thon.
    click for more…

    Ticket Update: Radical Inclusion, Meet the Other Nine

    Posted by Andie Grace on
    the Burning Blog

    First things first:

    For all the frustration, anxiety, stress, and heartache this year’s ticket lottery has caused, please accept another humble apology.

    This is no time for issuing statements or putting a spin on anything. The system may have worked, but the cultural outcome sure didn’t, and even though some of you saw that coming and said so, we didn’t, and for that we are sorry.

    The current trajectory is not acceptable. Even people who did get tickets aren’t cheering right now, since so many of their camps and friends are standing out in the cold. Entire groups are worried they’ll have to scrap all their plans. Burning Man is a participatory and collaborative event, and many collaborations are perilously close to falling apart.

    Clearly we must reevaluate, but first we want to say more about what we’ve heard, how we got here, and what our next steps will be.

    What we’re hearing:

    Our office in San Francisco is awash in feedback. We have been meeting every day about tickets, and have burned the midnight oil poring over every available list and forum, logging and absorbing every email, complaint, and plea for information. We’re absolutely listening very carefully, and we are 100% clear that there’s a very big problem playing out.

    What’s happening isn’t fun for anyone, and there’s no sugar coating to be put on it. Clearly, despite projections, the majority of the people who have previously built, created, contributed and participated – not just those who’ve been before, but who have created the foundations of Burning Man — don’t have a ticket to the event this year. And whether it was our naiveté or just underestimation, we didn’t see that coming at this scale, and we know it’s hurting us all now.

    We understand and recognize the impact this is having – on individuals, on projects and collaborations, on your ability to plan vacation time, book plane tickets, submit applications for your camps, your art projects—everything about participating in Burning Man. We see the emotional response it’s causing – only too well, as we’re Burners at HQ too, and so are our friends, our campmates, our teammates, and our families. Watching this unfold has been painful. Each of us is responding differently – worrying, losing sleep, meeting through the evenings and weekends, throwing things, searching for answers…this is one of the most painful moments in our history.

    What happens next will be pivotal – whatever is to blame, now that we’ve reached this point, we absolutely know we have to get this next moment right. We are all about to write the future of Burning Man.

    Through our process of discovery and data analysis, we’ve heard from our whole community — including some experts we’ve never talked to before. In a lot of cases, we have asked for their consult; some of those helpful blogs and comments you’ve been forwarding to us have turned into meetings and phone calls, and we’re figuring out how else we can engage with a wider range of Burner minds to help guide our community through this.

    How Did This Happen?
    click for more…

    more from Halcyon on the Burning Man ticket lottery fiasco

    Burning Man ticket fiasco creates an uncertain future


    Is it the end of Burning Man as we know it? That's certainly the way things are looking to thousands of longtime burners who didn't get tickets when the results of a controversial new ticket lottery system were announced on Tuesday evening, particularly as big picture information emerged in online discussions yesterday.

    Personally, I was awarded the maximum two tickets I requested at the $320 level (my sister already claimed the other, so don't even ask), but I'm feeling a little survivor's guilt as I hear from the vast majority of my burner friends who didn't get tickets. And if it wasn't already clear that scalpers have effectively gamed the new system, that became apparent yesterday when batches of up to eight tickets were listed for as much as $1,500 each on eBay and other online outlets.

    As I've attended Burning Man since 2001 and covered it for the Guardian and my book,
    The Tribes of Burning Man, I've become involved with many camps and collectives over the years. So over the last couple days, I've been privy to lots of online discussions and surveys, and it appears that only about a third of burners who registered for tickets actually received them (organizers have refused to say how many people registered for the 40,000 tickets sold this week, so it's tough to assess whether scalpers were more effective than burners at buying them).

    The huge number of burners without tickets is a big problem for theme camps and art collectives that rely heavily on their members to pay dues and work long hours to prepare often elaborate camps, art cars, or installations, some of which are now in doubt. Many people are so frustrated that they've pledged not to attend this year, and even those of us that did get tickets are questioning whether we want to go if some of our favorite people aren't – particularly if they're replaced by rich newbies willing to spend a grand on a ticket.
    click for more…

    To Burn or Not to Burn

    We've gotten several queries about dBM and Get Found's plans for
    Burning Man 2012: Fertility 2.0, as well as how our crew is negotiating the Great Ticket Meltdown. In short, the process of Getting Found is in flux. Most of our crew are making plans to return to the playa and hoping to get the portal passes all lined up. With that said, myself and my cohort Maketa/DJ Edubious have made a conscious effort not to go this year, to instead funnel the time, energy, money towards something different. The decision not to pursue the Burn the year feels good, especially with the ticket clusterfuck rippling thru the community and inspiring so much ire and stress.

    After 3 consecutive life-changing Burns -- 5 Burns in 8 years -- that have fully charged my soul-batteries and helped set me on the new path I am currently following, I feel like taking a deep breath and seeing what other ways I can conjure up magic, adventure and community this year. I'm jonesin' bigtime for some international travel and Cascadian backpacking trips, and prepping for the Burn/maestro'ing Get Found tends to monopolize all my resources, physical, mental and spiritual, so….time to take a time-out.

    With that said, I wouldn't rule out jumping in the rig with Tangerine, Maketa, Jessie Rey and our bikes & blinkies at the last minute and heading to the playa, but that isn't the plan. Every time we hear of another beloved friend that WILL be there, it makes it a harder decision....but it is the right call in the big picture.

    Many other
    Get Foundlings are hoping to Burn this year and we'll share details as they emerge this summer.

    I've started planting the seed with Foundlings and friends that aren't going to Black Rock this year the possibility for holding our own backwoods
    Pacific Northwest burn!

    PEacE oUT!
    moontroll/DJ Playadusterclick for more…

    Halcyon on the Burning Man ticket lottery fiasco

    Oh! The Place You'll Go : Dr. Seuss goes to Burning Man