The Burning Man Experience

The Burning Man Experience
Posted on November 30, 2009 by Chapa

Where do I begin? Burning Man is something that has been extremely difficult to describe for those of you who haven’t had the priviledge of experiencing this for yourself. My first Burn was in 2006. A show at Centre Camp was booked, and thus began an annual pilgrimage to the high desert in northern Nevada. Black Rock City, Nevada to be exact. I’ve been told that BRC is the 3rd or 4th largest city in Nevada for one week out of the year.

I would say that BM is probably the largest individual art festival on the planet. I haven’t seen them all, but I find it hard to imagine one as big and organized as Burning Man. Everything and everyone contributes in one way or the other. My first year was somewhat of a shock. Being a Texan from a small city, nudity outside of your own home was not something that was common place. The citizens at BRC are free to live as they wish. This is the most appealing quality that exists on the Playa. I love the fact that people care nothing of what others think. Time seems to disappear as soon as you step foot on the Playa.

The community survives solely on the gift system. Seriously. People give without expecting anything in return. Imagine that? The only thing you can purchase is coffee, ice, tea, and smoothies. I describe the experience as Christmas meets Mardi Gras.

The creativity is inspiring. People literally build bars in the middle of the desert and give away drinks. I usually spend at least 5 days out of the week going from bar to bar meeting new people and sharing in whatever they offer. And of course, I bring something to share which is usually some form of alcohol beverage. This past year, I went to the coolest bar I’ve seen before. These Brits built a luxury hotel (I forgot the name) with a full bar and suites. In fact, every night they would raffle off two tickets to win one night in their luxury suites. These rooms were amazing. Full size bed, TV, coffee table, the works. Unless you were living in a RV, these were extremely comfortable accommodations. Oh yea, I almost forgot, these guys even had valet parking for your bicycle. Which is the main form of transportation on the Playa.

Which brings me to the Art Cars (Mutant vehicles). The imagination of the citizens at BRC is unparalleled. There was one art car in particular that was a double bus designed in the shape of a fire-breathing dragon. Yes, a fire-breathing Dragon. One of my favorite things to do is to hop on one of these crazy buses and travel around the playa sharing in what ever spirits they provide. I suppose my only complaint is the music. I appreciate house or trance music, but I get my fill about the 3rd day, which will last me the rest of the year.

The Burning Man experience is too much to describe in one blog. I plan on a continuous report on specific events for the future. I hope you enjoy the videos I’ve posted.

Much respect.


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