One day you’re just an average joe, living life and doing what is expected of you, and then somewhere along the line, if you’re lucky enough, along comes pizza…
This was our first year at Burning Man, and I’m not exactly sure what I had in mind going in, but it was everything and more than I could’ve dreamt. Burning Man is a unique, one of a kind experience in the Universe. Whether or not you believe that we are an alien species that descended upon earth from outer space and subsequently had all of our memories erased, you might feel like it in this magical post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is extraordinary what can ensue when you bring people together to create art and enjoy something temporary in one of the most inhospitable landscapes on earth.
We all took the Burner Express bus in this year which was an awesome option. As long as you could manage to pack light and have some friends or a camp that can bring stuff for you you’ll survive… probably. We were feeling the vibes on the trip to the playa with some good old day drinking and by the time we arrived we were starting to get a picture of what was drawing us towards this place.
If you come in during a dust storm, you can taste it long before the first moment you land at Burning Man. You find yourself driving into a quickly disappearing landscape of off-white nothingness that you can see coming through your vehicle’s A/C. The other vehicles that paralleled your car on the way in completely disappear and before you know it, tents start popping up to your right and left through the dust. Then finally.. You land…
Apart from a letter and a number and a vague understanding that my camp was somewhere at Burning Man, and that I was also somewhere at Burning Man there was little instruction. We were given a map, and as a first timer, told to roll on the ground, make a dust angel, embrace the dust, and ring a large bell signifying we’d made it. Then suddenly, everyone disappeared off into the dust to find their own corner of the Playa. I found myself suddenly on my own with no room left on the shuttle to fit my overstuffed cooler and wound up having to wait for the next one to come around, another 20 minutes that I could not postpone my excitement. I noticed through the dust a camp right across from the bus depot that had some people walking in and out of it. So I joined in the fun. I got ID’d, they poured me a drink, and before I knew it I was dancing around in my boxers with a bunch of people I’d never met in the middle of a full on dust storm. This was home.
The days that followed were something of a mystery. One moment you’re riding a Janky Barge listening to underground artist Thomas Wesley Pentz drop deep house and techno like you’d never heard before crashing in a giant cuddle puddle somewhere on a UFO. Having a deeply emotional experience at the temple before heading to camp Brand Your Ass and then realizing an almost VIP experience with Celebrity at camp Monkey Love. Chasing dust devils on bikes and climbing the lighthouses before witnessing the sunrise with Lee Burridge at Robot Heart. Meeting a guy named Life and Rocket and getting stopped at a sobriety checkpoint for being too sober! Everything happens here and it’s almost too much to even try to explain.
JUST GET HERE!
There is a zipline, a skate park, a roller skating rink, about a bagillion art installations big and small everywhere you look and something that makes this place feel like a giant sandbox for adults and playground for the soul. You almost can’t miss finding something greater being here. You just have to make it first.