Forums > Events, Performances and Gatherings > Burning Man Virgin... Intimidated... Needs Info

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HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA

Total posts: 729
Posted:Hey I've seen a lot of information on Burning Man... the rules, what goes on there, photos, etc... but I'm curious about the unofficial stuff. I'm a person who's never gotten into drugs, never really attended a mass gathering of any kind, CERTAINLY never been in a place as freestyle as Burning Man. Essentially I'm curious what it would be like to go there for someone like myself. I don't want to end up there completely unprepared for the things the website's guidelines don't really cover, such as the social events, crime risks, medical facilities, etc.

Basically I'm a sheltered individual who loves spinning fire and loves meeting other spinners, and sees BM as the biggest place to do it, but I'm not sure if it's for me or not yet so I'd like a little more info

Can a veteran share their experiences with a first-timer please? Just tell me how you get by at BM and any problems you encountered and how they were handled. Thanks a bunch!

What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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Mistress Aurora

Mistress Aurora

Hot Schtuff
Location: Stillwater,OK/Wichita Falls,TX

Total posts: 1032
Posted:Well thought somebody would post.

All else I'll go if you go and I'm sure the rest in our troupe wouldn't mind going too. That way we can experience it first hand and make up our own oppinions of BM.

Maybe it won't be so intimidating with some familiar faces there. Or it still maybe, which then we will have each other to keep company.

RISK: Do not follow the common path; Go where there is no path and leave a trail.


SILVER Member since Aug 2002


Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz, Australia

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Okay i've just heard from my american friend who's been to burning man.
What you can do is volunteer for a job there for free entry .

And also get on the burning man e-mail list .

And you need to bring stuff for trade (once inside no money involved ) eg Art's and craft's , hand made good's etc

that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk


SILVER Member since Sep 2001


Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Well, last year was my first year out to BM, and I had an absolute blast. The best bit of advice I could give you is to get to know some other people that are going out there also, and find somebody to camp with - groups are great.

I will say that there are a lot of drugs out there, but nobody is going to force you to do anything you don't want to do. They do have medical facilities on site, and Gerlach, the closest town, has a doctor that can prescribe stuff. Theft totally was not an issue for me last year, and generally isn't at this sort of thing - mostly because people respect each others stuff (believe it or not, but that is part of the burner mantra). You should also be prepared for extreme weather - both really hot and really cold all in one day. Last year the weather was fantastic, and we only had one baby wind storm. Usually, there are several severe ones, and dust masks and goggles are a necessity.

I wouldn't exactly say you get a free ticket for volunteering. My guess is that is for very specific jobs and the infrastructure, and not something a newbie would be able to do (if anyone gets a free ticket at all).

I will say that the only exchange of money once inside the gates is for ice and coffee/lemonade that you can buy at center camp. Gifting of trinkets, etc. is very commonplace. It's nice to have something to gift back, but totally not required. It's a way of being nice and showing appreciation for something small the other person did (even if it they just made you smile at their cool costume).

If you are going solely to meet other firespinners and improve your technique or get new skills, I might think twice about it. BM does have gobs of fire spinners, but there is so much more that it is actually about that you might not see the really good ones. I know last year I brought my poi but never picked them up once. That was true for several members of my camp as well you are spinners also.

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions that you have. It was a truly amazing experience.





Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:From what I hear,

Nobody gets in free their first year. Reguardless of what they say they'll do.

Volunteering is nice for most other events but for this one, it seems to be such a colaborative event that nobody could possibly claim they didn't.

Plus, the money really does go to good places. If that makes you feel any better.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


The Welcome Matt

Location: Manchester NH USA

Total posts: 193
Posted:All the info you really need is on thier main site.

although, hearing from other people's experiences can be helpful too. I'm going to be a first timer this year too!!

if you go to and search for Burning Man Experiences.. you will find LOTS. I'm pumped and can't wait!!

I dreamt that I ate a 10 pound marshmellow and then when I woke up, my pillow was gone!



Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Total posts: 35
Posted:Hey All I just started a new topic trying to get everyones input on a gathering durring BurnningMan..

BurnningMan 2003 Hop Gathering


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