back in the default world

How to enjoy the Burning Man Experience from the Comfort of your Own Home


1.) Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When they leave, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.

2.) Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.

3.) Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.

4.) Lean back in a chair until that point where you’re just about to fall over, but you catch yourself at the last moment. Hold that position for 9 hours.

5.) Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 3 days. Hide all the toilet paper.

6.) Set your house thermostat so it’s 50 degrees for the first hour of sleep and 100 degrees the rest of the night.

7.) Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don’t go to a doctor.

8.) “Downsize” last year’s camp by adding two geodesic domes, a new sound system, art car, and 20 newbies.

9.) Don’t sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of hallucinogenic/emotion altering drugs. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

10.) Spend a whole year rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect, most outrageous costume. Forget to pack it.

11.) Shop at Wal-mart, Cost-Co, and Home Depot until your car and trailer are completely packed with stuff. Tell everyone that you’re going to a “Leave-No-Trace” event. Empty your car into a dumpster.

12.) Roast and give away 1,000 hotdogs to strangers while singing your favorite obscure Tom Lehr songs.

13.) Listen to music you hate for 168 hours straight, or until you think you are going to scream. Scream. Realize you’ll love the music for the rest of your life.

14.) Spend 5 months planning a “theme camp” like it’s the invasion of Normandy. Spend Monday-Wednesday building the camp. Spend Thurs-Sunday nowhere near camp because you’re sick of it or can’t find it.

15.) Walk around your neighborhood and knock on doors until someone offers you cocktails and dinner. Or acid.

16.) Leave a nice couch on the side of the highway.

17.) Bust your ass for a “community.” See all the attention get focused on the drama queen crybaby.

18.) Parade around naked and then complain that someone is ‘oggling’ you.

19.) Get so drunk you can’t recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for 5 hours.

20.) Tell your boss you aren’t coming to work this week but he should “gift” you a paycheck anyway. When he refuses, accuse him of not loving the “community”.

21.) Search alleys until you find a couch so unbelievably tacky and nasty filthy that a state college frat house wouldn’t want it. Take a nap on the couch and sleep like you are king of the world.

22.) Ask your most annoying neighbor to interrupt your fun several times a day with third hand gossip about every horrible thing that’s happened in the last 24 hours. Have them wear khaki.

23.) Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali’s more disturbing, but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.

24.) Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.

25.) Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.

26.) Spend thousands of dollars and several months of your life building a deeply personal art work. Hide it in a fun house on the edge of the city. Hire people to come by and alternate saying “I love it” and “this sucks balls.” Blow it up.

27.) Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drums n’bass until the embers are cold.

28.) Make a list of all the things you’ll do different next year. Never look at it.

29.) Have a 3 a.m. soul-baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you’re hallucinating.

30.) Lust after Bugs Bunny.

click for more…

Burning Man's bacchanal: Big ticket sales, big costs


The annual revelry in the desert brings in millions of dollars, despite its anti-capitalist vibe.
by Verne Kopytoff for Fortune

Money is frowned on at Burning Man, the annual desert bacchanal that runs through Monday in Nevada. Participants are instead supposed to adhere to the festival’s feel-good philosophy of giving gifts like glow bracelets, sparklers, and vodka shots.

The group that puts on Burning Man, meanwhile, rakes in millions of dollars from selling tickets and parking passes to more than 60,000 attendees. It’s a complex operation with a full-time staff and a huge budget that dwarfs many big businesses.

Burning Man has long been led by its co-founder, Larry Harvey, who helped build it up from an informal gathering on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 to an international happening. Ostensibly, it’s an art event and free-zone for “radical self-expression.” In reality, the event’s vibe has morphed into a mix of flower power, around-the-clock rave, and Silicon Valley wheeling and dealing.

Earlier this year, Burning Man’s owners fulfilled a promise to place the event—long operated by a private company—under the control of a non-profit organization. The switch was partly intended to mollify critics who accused the organizers of hypocrisy for espousing an anti-corporate ethos while operating Burning Man as a business.

In a blog post, the organizers said the change would allow the event to survive beyond the lifetime of its owners. “Our mission has always been to serve the community,” they wrote, “and a non-profit public benefit corporation is the most socially responsible option to ensure and protect the future of Burning Man.”

click for more…

Best Burning Man 2013 Reads + Photos


"Burning Man 2013"

"How I Got F*cked by Burning Man, and Other Sacred Ceremonies"

"Radical Inclusion vs. Radical Self-Reliance at Burning Man"

"An Emotional Survival Guide to Burning Man: Be open. Be intimate. Be human."

"Sixteen signs you’re still in Playa mode after Burning Man"

Photo Essays




(above) "10 things i learnt at burning man. {2013: the sexy, crazy, transcendental… and everything in between}"

"24 Hours at Burning Man"

"It was the biggest Burning Man ever, and this is what I saw there"

Photo Galleries


^ Trey Radcliffe



^ Scott London



^ Michael Holden


^ Neil Girling / The Blight



^ Rolling Stone Magazine

dBM on Facebook


Just a quick note to let y'all know that we're uploading photos, videos, articles, links and tons more from Burning Man 2013 over on our Facebook page:

Burning in the Grand Canyon

A handful of us from Camp Get Found have been fortunate to run the Colorado River working on commercial float trips down the Grand Canyon, thanks to a familial connection with rafting guide Benjie Howard. I decided to take a year off from the Burn this summer to make room for different kinds of adventures — not an easy decision, but after four consecutive journeys to Black Rock City, it seemed time for other explorations — and as soon as I set this intention, I received an invite from Benjie to accompany him on a two week trip last May. It was Benjie's 20th consecutive summer of guiding in the Grand Canyon and I was stoked for the opportunity to experience a new place in the presence of someone who knows, and feels, it so deeply. Not only was it an amazing adventure, it also gave me a good dose of the desert, drying out from another wet, grey winter in the Pacific Northwest.


More than once I thought of the Black Rock Desert, and there were many elements of the trip that evoked Burning Man too: we worked our asses off to create a transformational experience for a camp crew of 22; we drank a ton of cheap beer and tequila most nights down on the river and had to operate under serious sleep deprivation; it was HOT; we were joyfully free of connectivity to the matrix for over a week; the stars at night were impossibly BRIGHT and INFINITE; everything from my clothes to my coffee mug to my sleeping bag were encrusted in sand (easier to deal with than the dust!); it took a concentrated effort to stay hydrated and sunburn-free; and everyone on the trip bonded together, sharing in moving moments of grandeur, spirit, community and bliss.





Back home in Bellingham, Benjie is a very talented musician, educator and group facilitator. Down on the river, in the gorgeous, remote Blacktail Canyon, he pulled out his guitar and filled the sacred space with his music and voice. The acoustics of the rock were otherworldly and brought many of us to tears, hearing the beauty that can come from human imagination meeting the grace of our planet. I tried to capture that magic in a video I shot of Benjie singing his political song "Arizona":

Deep down inside I get hits of homesickness for the playa, and know I'll be missing the gathering of tribes, the art big and small, the late nights in deep playa and dance parties at insane sound systems, the Temple and Center Camp, the cocktails and bacon, and the feeling of flying free on bicycle across the desert. But I also know the Burn will be there next summer, and so I look forward to the unknown adventures and landscapes and gathering of friends in the coming months. The Grand Canyon is an excellent start to another glorious summer!

~ moontroll


To Burn or not to Burn

Happy Junetime Burners! Sending out the most positive love-waves to all of you out there, whether you are currently plotting your return to Black Rock City or not. As the sun finally breaks through the spring clouds here in the Pacific Northwest, all thoughts turn towards summer and road trips and adventure and nights spent beneath the stars. I can almost hear the murmur of Burners across the planet starting to stir, thoughts angling towards the playa, and your camp, and who you're camping with. Maybe you've got it all dialed in already and are working to build your art installation, mutant art car, theme camp infrastructure or whatever else. Or maybe you're only now starting to get little glimmers of what lies ahead of you in three more months, a wee inkling of what its gonna take for you to get from here to there, and how, and with who, and why.

Or maybe, like pretty much all of our camp crew Get Found, you have decided not to go to Burning Man this year. Maybe you're breathing a little sigh of relief even, feeling the lightness of not having to make any plans or commit to any projects or raise any funds for a change. After five consecutive summers of Burning Man expeditions, in a wide array of styles, employing a diversity of strategies and skills, I decided that I was ready to set aside, take a deep breath and let the entire momentum of the the Burn go on without me. This personal intention was matched by most of my camp crew, each of us deciding on our own to take a pass, do some other cool shit, and come roaring back in 2014.

This spontaneous group decision also has the benefit of limiting symptoms of FOMO.

So me, Maketa, Orbit, Grapenuts, Rachel, SugaCube, Hekter McElliott, J-Rey and others will all be cheering y'all on from the sidelines this year. Destination Burning Man.com will continue to keep the flame lit from the Fourth Corner, sending out music mixes, BM links, bad advice, bacon recipes, survival tips, videos, field reports, weather forecasts and other crucial nuggets of insight & intuition.

(Now that I think about it, unsure the current BM2014 status of Suzi Starpants, Scotty G, Hannah Tangerine, Leah, Kai, Gabriella….time will tell.

xo, Playaduster

ps. just uploaded a new dBMcast this morning --
DJ Playaduster and Kaya Rainface join forces to bring you "Temple Twilight > Moonjuice Dub." Enjoi!

Springtime update

Hi friends, far and wide, met and unmet! It's been an awfully long time since we've had a chance to catch up and shoot the shit. Haven't posted to this dBMblog much in recent months, though the dBMcast music mixes have been flowing rather prodigiously from DJs Playaduster and Kaya Rainface. Anyhowdy, you have most likely noticed that Destination Burning Man has gotten a makeover and is sporting a brand-new design as of 4/20/13. Yay!

Its been a long process in getting the site updated, reorganized, spit polished and revitalized — we owe it all to Maketa, aka DJ Edubious!!! — and there's still quite a bit of work ahead of us, namely fixing bugs or broken links, configuring styles, increasing functionality and adding more content. We've got a lot from the old site to still migrate over, and are still finding places where things are quite all connected or working smoothly. What's more, with our new online home, this
virtual Theme Camp open to the public 24/7, we're more stoked than ever to boost the creative output here on the site. We love sharing our stories with y'all, whether through music mixes, videos, playa reports, blogging or Playa Portraits, and we also love being able to share this platform with fellow Burners doing cool shit on and off the playa. We're going to invite more of that interaction in the next evolution of this site, with hopes of creating even more community, creativity and purpose.

If you are looking for the latest information on Burning Man 2013,
check out their website, read the Burning Blog or visit ePlaya (if you dare).

That's all for now: busy, busy. Thanks for being a part of
Destination Burning Man, whether you've just found this oasis or have been hanging out, enjoying the dBMcasts and other goodies, for years.

Feel free to drop us a line with your comments or ideas via email to [email protected] or over on our Facebook page.

dusty kisses, the dBM crew

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
click for more…

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.
click for more…

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:

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…


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.
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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

Dealing with Post Playa Depression (Burning Man I Love You)


Post playa depres­sion is a very real thing, espe­cially after your first burn.  A lot of peo­ple expe­ri­ence it, I know I did!  It’s a nat­ural prob­lem after return­ing from the best week of your entire LIFE!!!  Tran­si­tion­ing back into the real-world and pro­cess­ing all the amaz­ing things you expe­ri­enced can be an over­whelm­ing process.  There are SO many incred­i­ble things we expe­ri­enced in our lit­tle city for that full week that it is impos­si­ble that you are not wired dif­fer­ently now!
You may be ques­tion­ing your job, your cowork­ers, maybe your friends, the fact that you have to drive your car now instead of your bicy­cle and are stuck in traf­fic.  The lack of wide open, end­less, lib­er­at­ing spaces… Even your appetite might have changed, you may not be crav­ing sugar as much, or the tele­vi­sion, or Face­book, etc!
Direct that new­found energy to make life more awesome
Don’t worry my friend! You can use this energy to make pow­er­ful changes that will make your default world more like Black Rock City.  This is not the time to just go back to the way things were but to inte­grate the lessons you learned and make pro­gres­sive changes in your life!
This is why, for exam­ple, I ride my bicy­cle as much as I can, all the time.  It con­nects my spirit to the care­free and time­less way of life at burn­ing man com­bined with healthy exer­cise. So one thing you can do is…
ride your bicy­cle a lot more often! Inte­grate it with errands or work or ride around the park or any­thing you like.
Say hello / good morn­ing / good evening to strangers even if they don’t want to look at you or respond like most peo­ple in the city.  Even if they stare depress­ingly at the side­walk as they pass you… it’s okay, say hello to them any­way, it will make you feel good inside and maybe remind them to look up once in a while.
Smile and wave at the dri­ver stuck at the red light next to you! Who cares if they get con­fused and won­der why you would do such a crazy thing. Smil­ing is awe­some and that will lift their spir­its and raise the vibra­tion of the sit­u­a­tion.  Who knows, they might just smile and wave back.
:le gasp:
Take that “risk” of inter­act­ing with peo­ple like you did at the burn.  Maybe it’s time you finally start that con­ver­sa­tion with your neigh­bor of 10 years.
If you real­ize you hate being an office drone then maybe it’s time to look for a new job! What is it your really want to do?  Brain-storm.  Look for open­ings in the dif­fer­ent depart­ments that you could trans­fer to
within your cur­rent com­pany.  Maybe there are some new oppor­tu­ni­ties there you may enjoy more and learn new things.
Hate hear­ing the
TV? Then leave it off! Or bet­ter yet, save some money and can­cel your cable ser­vice. :-p
Do you real­ize now you have too many use­less mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions and can’t stand the clut­ter?  Start that cleans­ing process by sell­ing your stuff on craigslist and get some money for it while free­ing up your space!
Hav­ing prob­lems with your non-burner friends?click for more…

thoughts on decompression

This was posted on the Seattle BMan listserv -- had to share it!

"You can always spot the folks who are on the road home from Burning Man: Filthy, reeking, bug-eyed, sporting dusty tails, broken top hats and crusty corsets, reveling in simple things like ice cream sandwiches, porcelain toilets....rambling about room service...and that was just that one guy. And when you get home, you can immediately spot a driveway where folks have unloaded a car that's been to Burning Man. A week later, walking down the street, you'll notice a backpack with a tell-tale washed-out look to it. A month later, at a party or on the bus or at the bank, it really doesn't matter, you'll notice that the creases of that woman's boots over there still have playa in them. And you smile. You've almost got the playa out of everything, too, but bits of it stick around forever, resisting q-tips and toothbrushes and expensive bills from the auto detailer who said he never wanted to see you again.

Anything that goes to the playa is never the same again. Including you. It's persistent. It sticks with you. That's not a bad thing, really. It helps us remember. And it helps to be around folks who remember, during the decompression season 'n' all."

Get Found Got Found

Well, yes, we’re all back from Burning Man, safe, mostly sound, cleaning up the last of our dusty sundries. Get Found ended up getting found -- waaaaaayyyyyy found -- on the corner of 8:30 & Initiation. Fittingly. We erected our SynchroniciTEA House & Juju Parlor and served tea to the masses all week long. Did you find us? Did you enjoy some oolong or kumbacha or dreamtime tea with us? Sure hope so! All in all, our camp and our teahouse were so much more than even our grandest dreams. And so now, we clean, and we collect ourselves, and we communicate so as to help each other with the processing and reintegration.

We’ll have more to say about Rites of Passage soon, I’m sure, so stay tuned (or share with us your own stories via email or in the comments.) I’ll leave you with a few of our best group shots from the playa...

First pulse of Foundlings on-playa, Sunday 6:30 pm

Inside the SynchroniciTEA House

White Wednesday

Burn night 2011

Burn night, lit by the 11:11 activation fires

Media coverage of the 2011 Burn

Most corporate media outlets attempting to write about BM fail miserably. Slate has done all right this week in their 5-part series by Seth Stevenson: http://slate.me/rlIsdY. "The plan was for us to meet up with a large camp of people who'd be providing us shelter and food for the week. But as we pulled into the encampment...we couldn't find our group. And the sun was setting. We gave up, parked the car, and began to wander around. And this is when my brain melted a little...."

‎Part 2 of Slate's report on BM:
http://slate.me/r52fK2: “I’ve never personally had the urge to just hang out with my wang out, and that hadn't changed since I'd gotten to Burning Man. But late one night I biked deep into the desert, turned off my headlamp, and removed some clothes...let it be said: Reader, I shirtcocked. And I sort of liked it."

‎Part 4 in the Slate series on BM: http://slate.me/n9Arn9: “On Saturday night, the man burns. This moment means different things to different people. The transit of the human spirit. The exultation of pagan ritual. The simple, ancient joy of fire. The culmination of a 150-hour party. Whatever its meaning, it is spectacular—a colossal, billowing inferno, with explosions and face-searing heat blasts, and people cheering and dancing and stripping all their clothes off. At this point, stuff gets crazy."

Final installment in Slate series on BM: http://slate.me/n2be8K: “Whenever strangers at Burning Man briefly chat and then part ways, they bid each other farewell by brightly saying, "Enjoy your burn!" It occurred to me—as I thought about the desert dust that was the only thing here before this week started, and will be the only thing here when we've left—life is really just a burn writ large. We emerge from nothingness. We join together to create beautiful, temporary relationships, full of kindness and joy and love. And then we disappear again. Dust to dust."

‎”Silicon Valley has a long history with Burning Man that became most notable in the late 1990s when the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, began going. The first Google Doodle...was an “out of office” message they left on the homepage when they went to the festival in 1998. It showed the Google name with a drawing of a stick figure “burning man...Legend has it that Eric Schmidt won the job as CEO after showing up at Page and Brin’s camp at Burning Man."

"As the anti-establishment arts festival and survival project disappears piece by piece from the white sands of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, participants and organizers say Burning Man -- which just had its largest week in its 25-year history -- is going through some growing pains as plans to expand its size and scope moving forward over the next year." http://reut.rs/pX8iB2

"A circular temporary city plan built around the spectacle of art, music and dance: I wish all cities had such a spirit of utopia by being built around human interaction, community and participation.” : RIP, Rod Garrett, designer of our beloved Black Rock City: http://nyti.ms/n8cxWP.

Get Found in the Default World : Keeping the Flame Lit

From Seattle to San Francisco to Samish Island to Bellingham to the Oregon Coast, Camp Get Found has found a way to keep the love flowing post-Black Rock City. Keeping the flame lit indeed! So many good times, unforgettable, big lovins. Here are some highlights of our months since Burning Man 2009...many more when you click below (photos by Moontroll & Maketa). Viva la Team Love!

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Adam Lambert : Bringing the Burn to mainstream America

On Jun 10, 2009, at 9:38 AM, moontroll wrote:
Subject: "I realized that we all have our own power, and that whatever I wanted to do, I had to make happen."

I don't know this guy, never even seen "American Idol" once, but can appreciate his awakening at the Burn:
NY Daily News.

* * * * * * * * *

On Jun 10, 2009, at 10:09 AM, Edub wrote:
Subject: Re: "I realized that we all have our own power, and that whatever I wanted to do, I had to make happen."

"Drug fueled"  Yeah, that's there, but we all know there is more to the Burn than that!  Through portal we come face to face with the Pure Power of Potential.  How we choose to harness it - on the playa and in the default world, is up to us.  In the immortal words of Master Yoda, "Choose, but choose wisely."

Onward toward the Burn.  May the Force (i.e. the Pure Power of Potential) be with us.

~ Master Doobsauce

* * * * * * * * * click for more…

Hekter McElliott in Hawaii

Hekter done and gone headed off for the islands of Hawaii this winter, and he came across a bunch of Burners. Fancy that! Here's the latest from Hektervision...

The Source Festival, Maui 2009 from Hekter McElliot on Vimeo.

Mystic Garden Festival, Maui 2009 from Hekter McElliot on Vimeo.
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dBM worldwide

International visitors in the month of February, so far. Spreadin' the flames.......

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major archival discovery!

Settling down to try to finish my 5 month Dubcast revival project, I reached up and grabbed the basket on the corner of my desk, seeking a flame to Light It Up. In this moment, I'm pondering where I will find (what I think will be) the last track of this epic attempt at an Edubious Compilations revival. But what do I see nestled beneath this basket but a paper CD envelope covered with sparkly dinosaur and sea animal stickers... Inside said envelope is a data CD prepared by one Mr. Hekter McElliot Chapman for a the lovely 4th Broke Dude, Miss Ramona Mayhem.

Now I recall the Labcabin Convergence on Lummi Island when Hekter bestowed upon me this gift for Miss Mayhem. Through the haze of smoke and the glow of our fellow gnome companion (who has no name as far as I know....BTW - Have you seen Hyper Primbly?) it was agreed that I would most likely be seeing Ramona before he would, so I should pass on this gift of carefully selected bits and bytes. Unfortunately/fortunately, I have not connect with Ramona in the months since so said disk is still in my possession. The awesomeness of my inability to connect with Ramona and my lame turnaround for passing of a specially prepared gift is that upon finding that disk this evening, I discovered the lost audio files of the Prophet (aka
Hekter McElliot, aka Johnny Buckskin)!!!! These mythical audio recordings date back to Black Rock City, circa 2008 and are in pristine condition! Well archived, titled and organized in a folder titled, 'Yovanda McHekerton 2.0 bm 2008.'

This, my friends, is a momentous find that will most certainly clarify the as yet unverified first hand reports that have so far emerged from BRC.

Stay tuned to dBM Evolutionary Radio as we unveil these lost recordings to the world.

~ Professor. E. Dubious, B. UaC, dBM Radio Archivist
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Hekter back in the Default World


Instead of processing my playa time through sleep deprived saucy slang and freshly roasted thought pockets, I have found myself entangled in pure cordtitude - obsessed with alternative media and battling to just get the lil' digital tidbits tamed into their perspective corners. My digital realm has really become incredibly complicated, especially since dropping my computer on it's hard drive... now it's a special needs tablet and I'm fresh out of meds. Layers of cords for all types of electronic madness become vague in their functionality and mock me in my oneness. Perseverance will prevail and Hekter Vision will be born... even if I have to get cesarean section on it's ass.

Re-integration has been but a speed bump upon return this year, mainly just traffically confused. My habitat is clearly the side streets and back alleys. Spose' that I've been burning up for over a month now and the next chapter is the culmination of it all - Earth Dance! Possibly the final summer festival for Hekter as he prepares himself with fresh mitten-wear for the upcoming blizzards of joy.
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not just knee deep...

Edubious and I are back from a week of wandering Oregon backroads in search of hot springs, starry night skies, riverside campsites and peace of mind -- we had our alternative burn on Burn Night on the banks of the Metolious River. Ramona Mayhem is back in Seattle from Black Rock City. Hekter McElliott is back in Humboldt from Black Rock City. All is well. Destination Burning Man awaits the stories, photos and videos of Burning Man 2008 from Ms. Mayhem and Mr. McElliott and will post them as they start floating in, so stay in touch.

In the meantime, we really like these photos from
The Blight.

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over & out

Edubious and I are getting ready to hit the road for 5 days -- we were planning on a long backpack trip out Copper Ridge in the North Cascades, but it is seriously rainy here, so we've decided to head towards Central Oregon sunshine. We have hot springs in mind, and getting in to the backcountry, but no clear plans. We're gonna be looking for the wave of inspiration emanating from Burning Man with our soul surfboards, ready to ride. To everybody on the playa, we'll be thinking of you constantly. For the rest of us, get out and bring the burning energy in to where you're at (and utilize the links in the previous post to stay in touch with what's goin' down in BRC). Looks marvelous down there. Miss it so much....click for more…

Transmissions to the Default World

Well, the gates are open and Burning Man 2008 is officially "ON." Ramona Mayhem and Hekter McElliott, one-half of our glorious '07 posse, are on-playa right now and tens of thousands more are on the road, waiting in line, streaming in to the city. Edub and I are both in our cubicles this morning, logging in the Default World's mainframe. No comment. Where are you? Well, at least we only have 2 work days until we head off for 5 days deep in the mountains.

So I just start feeling really restless and homesick and happysad and nostalgic and excited this time of year. I'm reallyreallyreally excited for everybody who is down there in Nevada -- it is no easy feat to pull it off, just getting you and your shit and your dreams to the playa in one peace. And I'm just so thankful that Burning Man is happening, period. It's good for all of us -- on-playa, off-playa, other side of the planet, dark side of the moon.

I'm trolling around the internet, here in my cubicle, looking for sights and sounds and stories from BRC. Each year the city seems to get more and more wired to the outside world.
I wouldn't want to be at the Burn and responsible for transmissions to the Default World, but am mighty grateful for those that do take the time and effort to broadcast. Here are a few outlets I've discovered, though word is slow as the gates have only been open for about 10 hours --

Burning Man Information Radio: Live streaming radio programming -- interviews, music, commercials for theme camps and BRC news.
Current TV: Short video reports from BRC and live Burn webcast on Saturday night. They do a great job, and are promising to post
Burncast: Da'Bomb is branching out from her roots in audio to host short videos from Burners.
*Willamette Weekly's
Burning Blog: Supposedly updating daily from BRC. So far, so good.
Radio Electra: Live radio from BRC.
Gerlach webcam: Crappy blurry images from downtown Gerlach, last town before the playa.

Also, I found a streaming webcam transmitting from somewhere in the city. In years past, it has been based at Center Camp, but right now it is hard to say what it is showing, or if it is working well -- some grainy images floating across my work computer screen, but the mountain/skyline tells me it is indeed the Black Rock Desert. I expect the view will get better as the week progresses. Instructions for tuning in to John Graham's "Burningman 2008 Live" stream: Launch Quicktime; click "File > Open URL"; plug in "rtsp://qtss.telascience.org/live.sdp." See what happens!

Send an email or leave a comment if you know of other ways to be a distant Burn-voyeur: [email protected]

southward soul pull

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Hearts of Flame Trilogy : Burning Man tributecasts reposted

23 days.

In a little over three weeks, the Man will burn. Over 50,000 revelers, seekers and freaks will gather around the effigy on a remote, desolate, dry lake bed in a forgotten corner of Nevada to drum, dance with fire and lose their minds to the magic of the moment.

Though I've long decided that I won't be returning to participate in
The Event in the Desert in 2008, I have to admit that with the arrival of August, Black Rock City's invisible, inevitable gravitational pull is agitating my soul. I have other projects and efforts I am dedicated to this year, namely establishing a relationship and a new home with an amazing woman and very special 7 year-old boy, but that doesn't negate my natural affinity for ritual, for community gatherings in sacred spaces, for ecstatic release, for psychedelic sojourning, for intense life-reflection and inward reorientation and for creative pranksterism.

My Burn brother
Edubious and I have hatched alternative plans for the Burn weekend, and we plan on some deep-delving and freestyle soul-expression in the land above tree line in Washington's North Cascades. We'll be with all y'all, if not geographically, surely in spirit. More on that journey later...

As the days lean in closer to the gathering, I feel all kinds of emotions bubbling up, all kinds of personal needs I recognize as neglected, and an intense desire to create and share with friends. The most I can muster together for now is sharing music with the listeners dialed in to this dBM network. To that end, I'm reposting my Hearts of Flame, a Burning Man tribute-trilology in a podcast formulation.
click for more…

Boogie Universal's Electric Mayhem

The Electric Mayhem, staying out way too late the night before the race

A bunch of his playa refugees from the Boogie Universal, along with partners and new friends, participated in the Ski to Sea race on Memorial Weekend. The race starts in the snow at Mount Baker east of Bellingham, Washington and traverses 85 miles over 7 legs before reaching the saltwater of Bellingham Bay 7+ hours later. None of us have run the race before, even though it is an annual ritual in this corner of the country, and we aren't the kinds of peeps that get really in to endurance racing of any kind (unless you count all-night bike riding on the playa at Burning Man!)

Here are some photos & video of the team, Boogie Universal's Electric Mayhem, in action:

(Click below to see action shots of the whole team- who knew Burners could move so fast?!)
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moontroll & ramona mayhem's 2007 reports now online

Check out the latest additions to the What is Burning Man page : Field reports from Burning Man 2007 as told by Ramona Mayhem and Moontroll. You can grok them right here...

click for more…