"It's not about what you saw at Burning Man.
It's about what you missed at Burning Man."
I realized this years ago but wanted to share my quote with you.
You will just never see it all. You will come back to your camp of 25+ friends and everyone will have their own stories, things you never saw even though you were out there soaking it all up.
Burning Man is so big and unpredictable with it's ever changing landscape that is impossible to see everything. So make sure you get there Sunday or Monday and do the whole week. Yes that includes staying for the Temple burn.
You Make Your Own Burn!
For me, every year has gotten better and better in order. It's kind of ridiculous how that happened. From 2008-2011, I thought it could not possibly get better and each year it has. Now 2013 was the best and next year was better. Here's to 2014!
The best advice I can give on having a good time is you make your own burn. You decide what to do, go where you want, live free of others influences and sets of rules.
Do not get caught up tagging along in a group of Coachella Burners.
Don't Be A Coachella Burner!
For the real Burning Man experience you must not be a Coachella Burner.
A Coachella Burner is someone who focuses their burn around Sound Camps and DJ's.
They try to stay in large groups and scuttle around chasing DJ's from one sound camp to another and miss out on the true Burning Man experience.
The worst is when these creatures try to talk to you and all they can say are things like "omg I saw Bassnectar at blah blah camp last night!" or "Did you see Beats Antique last night at blah camp?". They also like to brag about how many drugs they did last night or are on at the moment.
My first year and my first night I got sucked into this crap and knew from that day out I would never do it again! My burn has gotten better every single year.
I did one time make an effort to go see Beats Antique and I tell you that was a huge disappointment. A cluster smash of Coachella Burners, no room to dance, sub par set.
If you want to see Beats Antique go see them live. I saw them at Fox Theater in Oakland and it was AMAZING.
The live act could never be pulled off at Burning Man so you just get another DJ in a booth that happens to be a name you know. MP3's are better. Stop chasing these guys and get back to Burning Man!
Deep Playa Art Car Party.
Now I can admit that once sunrise comes around and I have been up all night exploring the avenues, theme camps, bars, smaller dance clubs, art on the Playa, interacting with people and so on. Then you may find me at an art car sunrise party such as Robot Heart.
That is the time you want to join a party. Or a place like Bubbles & Bass or grabbing some Bloody Mary's and dancing.
I Hate The Burn....
I love Burning Man but when it comes down to burn night and the mass cluster jam that happens around the man I just can't handle it.
On the way to the burn there was an old school OG Burner sitting on 4:30 and Esplanade in a chair with honestly a perfect view without the mess of people.
I say to him, "best seat in the house!"
And his reply was "It only took me 12 years to figure it out." Wise man.
Check out this short video where I sum it all up.
If you don't get my humor, fine. I was totally joking and being funny when making this video but it holds a lot of TRUTH and I do feel that way.
Look how lost all of those souls look just walking around as if they don't even know what to do or why they're there.
The Beautiful Burn.
Are you a fancy Burner or a minimal Burner?
People clearly go way above and beyond at Burning Man, this "leave no trace event".
I am a minimal Burner. I bring water, few things needed for the week, beef jerky, almonds, apple sauce, crackers, tuna, etc. And I'm more than good! I always have leftovers.
I have friends that try to bring the entire kitchen, tons of meat, frozen this and that, even kitchen storage racks and shelves! I mean sure it's good and all but it is not needed to survive out there and defeats the whole leave no trace no impact side of BM. And it creates a lot more of a mess and grey water and so on to deal with later.
I also would never pay to stay with a Theme Camp for the meals benefit. Self reliance guys!
For a few years in a row Basshenge has blatantly ripped people off by collecting camp dues, promising meals and then providing nothing. This leaves people stranded with no food. However they should have brought their own food to begin with. Some say, "but we flew in from Switzerland". There are plenty of food stores between the Reno Airport and Burning Man. Take responsibility, be prepared and just don't pay any theme camp. If you do, bring food anyways as many have learned the hard way.
Maybe this is a time to disclaim that even after 5 years I do not consider myself a "Burner" or anything for that matter. I am me, a free spirit with no group attachment.
It's Not Halloween! It's Burning Man.
What is with the "what are you going to wear?" And "did you buy costumes?"
It's not Halloween! You need not run out and spend hundreds of dollars on clothes to "fit in". As you can see in the daytime I wear boxers and at night something comfy and warm.
I will never buy into that leather pouch, black vest, funny hat kind of look that so many of you go for.
It actually confuses me when someone wearing this get up or similar complains that Burning Man is becoming to mainstream when they are just a copy paste of the last 5 Burners.
Don't get me wrong, if you want to create something and be unique, that is encouraged. Be ART, don't buy FART from Walmart.
Gifts are an important part of Burning Man and it can be very hard to figure out what a gift is, what you can bring and how to make others happy.
Because my first year I had never heard of Burning Man or seen picture I had no idea what to expect. I heard it was a "trade economy" which is so far from true. So I brought a bunch of **** to trade with people and no one cared for my ****. People do just give you things.
But after that I put a lot of thought into my gifts for the next year and it was great.
I'm not going to tell you my gifts because you have to figure your own out but just think of useful things.
Some people gift pictures(I included), some lighters with stickers, some shot glasses and so on. Be creative and original. Come correct, don't hand out plastic junk. Unless it has the Man on it of course. Kidding kind of.
Burning Man Is A Massive Trace Event
I guess it is time I speak my mind about how huge of a trace Burning Man is and the fact that they call it a pack in and pack out event is to save money on trash services.
You have thousands of generators running all week long, tons of fires and an extremely insane amount of propane and throw away glo junk consumption just to name a few things.
This is all leaving a massive trace. The only difference is you buy all of your stuff out of town from a massive corporation, throw all the trash away in that town and pollute neighboring cities so Burning Man doesn't have to pay for trash service. Trace that $400 ticket!
Tips On Having The Best Burn Ever!
- Camp with your friends
- Try to avoid the large group outings
- Travel with a good friend or two when going out
- Avoid Sound Camps
- Don't bring too much stuff
- Bring enough stuff
- Interact with people
- Explore the Avenues, Esplanade and Playa
- Make friends
- Stay hydrated
- Have gifts to give out
- Get to know your neighbors
- Dance with P-Diddy
p.s. DustFish SUCKS!
Seriously, this guy.
Here I am walking, minding my own business trying to get to Bubbles & Bass after partying all night and enjoying a Temple sunrise and this guy and girl at DustFish are yelling "free bacon!".
So of course I stop in this semi long growing line. After being in line with others for a while the guy yells "free bacon girls only!"
At this point the bacon is almost black because none of the girls are willing to cut the existing line that had been in place.
Also by now everyone is talking amongst each other how that's not right and not the line they were called into.
Me, being the person I am decided to call him out for everyone.
Ultimately NO ONE ate the bacon, he burnt it to something unrecognizable and was very rude to everyone. But really, look at the picture! Is that considered bacon anymore? Black powder.
Don't get me wrong, no one owes you anything at Burning Man and I could have given a damn about this black bacon powder but the guy was extremely rude to everyone and ultimately ruined it for everyone. Too much coke there buddy.
I did tell him he did not belong on the Esplanade and I will be writing about him. He welcomed it. The girl was nice, quiet and clearly didn't feel comfortable standing with this douche or just didn't want to say anything.
So anyway, Dustfish SUCKS! Stay off the Esplanade.
And clean up your trash!
Possibly the best Burning Man time lapse ever. Be sure to hit full screen.