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*gasp* for those who don't know, Burning man is a huge festival which started of from very humble beginings in 1986 on Baker Beach, San Francisco with 20 people attending.
It rapidly grew and since 1991 has taken place in Black Rock Desert, nevada on the western US. coast.
Last years celebrations saw over 30,586 people attend from all over the world.
Burning man is one of the most exciting events in the entire festival calender, with live music, hundreds of fire performers from all over, art cars, naked pixies, dust storms, booze, themed villages and magic times.
..... And generally supertanker sized buckets of fun .....
Posted: Ok - I'm not going to Burningman this year, but I wanted to pass on a few practicle tips in the spirit of the community:
1. beware of dehydration. everyone will tell you this, but you cannot hear it enough. this will hit you much faster out there than you can possibly imagine. If you don't feel well suddenly (nausea light headed or almost anything) then hydrate immediatly!
2. Be extremely careful of any drug (legal or illegal) consumption out there. I'm not saying beware of what others give you - I mean beware of anything you have - even if you know what it is and what is is normally like. everything will hit you harder (and most likely affect you differently) out there - largely because of the dehydration factor. Even coffee can be dangerous because of the diuretic effect caffine has. with a half life in your body of 6 hours, caffine can be a significant factor in dehydration even 12 hours later, expecially once you start adding other things to your system. Beer consuption should also be carefully regulated. I highly recommend cheap watery lite beer for the playa actually. normally I hate the stuff, but out there it tastes really good - why? partly because it doesn't taste like playa for one thing, but mostly because there is enough water in it that your body will react better to it than a heavy dark beer and you won't get dehydrated as fast. somehow your body instinctively knows this and tells you by making you think it tastes better than it really does. I'm not joking - you will almost certainly find lite beer more appealing out there even if you are normally a guiness fan. remember, in general, in black rock city any substance will hit you harder than you expect (though maybe not as soon as you would expect). please heed this advice, even if you think you are a total whatever-head. get cocky and the playa WILL humble you. Caution will probably still land you more wasted than you intended to be. You'll have a handle on this change in variables after a few days out there if you know how to pay close attention to what your body tells you. And if you have to ask yourself, "should I do this stuff or should I not?" then the answer is you should not. trust me on that one.
3. Do not have sex in your tent during the middle of the day. you WILL get heat stroke (unless the weather is freakishly cool) and you will wind up in the medical area with an IV in you (if you are lucky enough not to die). people will make it a point to laugh at you because of this (even though they are just as likely to wind up there soon too - perhaps this is why they point and laugh?). trust me on this one too. oh - and always have condoms with you. unprotected sex at burningman has about the same odds as russian roulette.
4. This is advice for females, but the strait males at least should read this in order to help assure no gap in... er, services. Yeast, urninary tract, bladder infections, and similar ailments are much more likely to occur on the playa for various reasons. take the neccisary precautions and put appropriate medications and a stash of cranberry juice in your gear just in case, especially if you are prone to such things. I have seen so many women have their burn spoiled by this that I will forever after have vagisil and other things in my burningman medical kit even though I am a guy. And if you do start having problems like this, DO NOT ignore them and think you'll make it another day or two till the end of the burn - you have a high probability (MUCH higher than normal) of it becoming a serious problem very rapidly. Acually, you should err on the side of extreme caution when it comes to any medical condition when you are playa-side. and don't drink that cranberry juice till the end of your stay on the playa. it would be horrible if you needed it but already drank it. if you didn't need it, then great, 'cause it will taste absolutely amazing the last day or two of the burn once you KNOW you don't need it for an emergency anymore. It can also make a really good gift for anyone you hear of that is suffering from such things if you don't need it.
5. there are definitely police out there, and they do operate on a rather loose interpritation of probable cause. this is a bummer, but a reality of burningman. Pot consumption is only a misdemenor in nevada, so you are likely to get only a $200 dollar fine if you are indescrete about it, but there are other jurisdictions operating out there (since the bureau of land management is a federal agency, that means federal officers will be present - they are not so forgiving of pot-related offenses). Basically, even at Burningman, you need to beware of "the man". Use common street sense and there will be no problem. trouble does come though, since most people assume that burningman is place where you can dispense with their standard paranoia of the police. not so. generally you can feel free to get as wasted as you like, but it is folly to carry, distribute, or consume too openly. most officers are uniformed, but there are potentially plain-clothes cops around too, so son't get too stupid.
6. nothing you plan on doing will get done unless you have amazing faculties of willpower. if you have something to set up or prepare, do it within the first 24 hours you are there, because the chances of it happening (even something as simple as inflating an air matress) drop significantly after the first 12 hours and converge towards zero in the following day or 2. And don't waste your time trying to make a schedual of what you are going to do. nothing will happen when it says it will happen, and you will never be where you planned to be when you planned to be. everyone operates on playa-time - "now" means maybe sometime today - maybe, if ever.... (there are rare exceptions, for example if you volunteered to do anything, you should arrive when you said). Accept this loose regard for time and getting things accomplished, both in yourself and in others (even your significant other - afterall, no reason you should hold them to any sort of restrictive standard out there of all places!) and just go with the flow once you are caught in it.
7. if you have an air matress, let at least 1/3 of the air out before the heat of the day sets in. as the air in the matress gets warmer, it expands, and this can lead to seam leaks or even burst seams by afternoon from too great of air pressure within the air matress. this is also the reason you will wind up with an under-inflated matress in the middle of the night (even if you didn't deflate it earlier ad forget to fill it back up) - air contracts when it cools. air matresses equal increased comfort for not much $$$ or packing room, but if you want to depend on them on the playa, 30 seconds to let some air out before you head off for the day will help a lot. of course it really sucks trying to re-inflate them later at 6am when you head is pounding and you can't stand up another second. this is where battery operated air blowers save the day. bring a patch kit for it too.
8. do your research. The rest of what you need to know is findable at burningman.com. knowledge is worth its weight in gold if you are a first timer - you won't regret getting some. No matter how well prepared you are or how many people you know that have been, you do not know what you are getting into till you arrive there the first time, but information can help get you up to speed faster, and you will want this to be the case.
lastly, please remember that burningman is not a party - it is a community (that happens to have lots of parties!). remember to give, share, and receive and do all these things with kindness, love, creativity, and passion - not a hard thing to do out there once the spirit catches you.
Posted: THANK YOU VANIZE. I've been to the playa several times, but this thoughtful, useful and and thorough post is amazing. Anyone who hasn't been there should read this through and then print it out and give it to everyone they know that's going.
Posted: Jeez, NYC - a little breathing room here. I've already recruited one out-of-towner to up and MOVE to New York .... and it was YOU who was supposed to tell me who to stalk at Burning Man, anyway.
Posted: Vanize, I'm sending that post to all my newbie friends! I haven't experienced the yeast issues, but I've definitely experienced the effects of Playa Time on me and my friends... and some uniformed cops demanded to see the contents of a plastic baggie that was hanging out of my backpack last year. There wasn't anything illicit in there (don't they know that everything gets packed in baggies on the playa?) but it was a very loose interpretation of "plain sight" in my opinion.
Mtn. Girlmember 65 posts Location: Santa Cruz, California
Posted: Orbit, I'm a little behind the times here... sorry 'bout that.....
I just want to say thanks for posting the comment re: the SF Fire Conclave. I'm heading up for rehearsals on Sunday and had doubts about the synchronized routine too - losing individuality and props. You erased any doubts. Mike'll be drumming so we'll both see you on Sunday.
"and some uniformed cops demanded to see the contents of a plastic baggie that was hanging out of my backpack last year."
I made the stupid mistake of trying to light a joint on a windy evening. The cops saw the flash flash flash and immediately come over to see what we were doing. Good thing my friend smoked cigarettes and had one handy to show them. It was a quick lesson on playa drug etiquette.... do it behind closed doors!
Posted: thanks for the great advice vanize. im so pumped to be going. anyone in the states ever had any probs with their staffs getting on planes? im a little nervous the airlines wont let me take it. im gonna put on fresh wicks so there clean other than that im not sure what else to do.
Posted: I just talked to someone at the Fire Arts Festival that had some trouble -- but he was trying to carry his poi on with him... here's what I've heard (and what sounds like reasonable steps)
* make sure there's as little fuel on the wicks as possible... so burn, then let them air out... * with poi, I've wrapped them in a ziplock, then put that and a note telling them "I'm a fire spinner and these are my tools" in another ziplock. I think it might help if you have a photo. My friend yesterday suggested maybe a note from a fire marshall if you can pull that off - saying the tools aren't dangerous without fuel. With a staff, maybe you can tape these to the staff so that when they take it out the note is obvious. * If you pack your staff in something that the airline is used to seeing -- a hard plastic case for skis or golf clubs, perhaps... they're less likely to ask any questions.
Posted: Alright, rather than just bump the thread, I thought I'd bring up some organized fire spinning planned for this year.
* obviously, there will be spinning at the man. But those spinning at the Man will have to show Crimson on Friday night that they can do the simple routine. I think the plan is to go in order, one troupe at a time. That means there will be lots of troupes waiting in line -- hopefully playing!
* Center Camp Caudron. Tabasco is building a new cauldron to go just in front of Center Camp, and he's scheduling performances there each night, just after sunset.
* Hookahdome. Although I'm not camping there this year, I'm still planning to spin fire there. I'm thinking maybe 10pm. There will likely be poi and/or hoops in the daytime at Hookahdome and Winking Lotus (my new camp) as well.
* HOP gathering. Check this thread for details.
Of course there's fire spinning going on all over the playa all the time, and poi, staff, juggling, etc at center camp...
If you're with the Greeters, do you know Blondie? She's taken up poi spinning and has the most fabulous light toys. Some of them may be a bit moopy, but I'm sure by the time BM rolls around she'll have figured out ways to keep parts from falling off.
Posted: Flying with fire props - I use white gass exclusively and my props don't smell of fuel at all, it all eveporates. maybe do a few burns w white before packing, may kill the smell.
Local rehearsals of the choreography look pretty damn cool. The night of the burn is half choreography and half chaoss as usual.
I learned about HOP at burningman last year and I look forward to meeting everyone I have talked to on this website. I'm camping at the Fire Conclave Comvergence, I may be the one checking you in. Come and say hi and I'll show you my crazy inventions
Man am I getting excited, I can't wait for BURNINGMAN
Posted: Woo-hoo! I just got my ticket in the mail!
I'm late because I didn't know what I would be doing after Cyber Sprite and I got back from the middle east. Which brings up how we traveled with our poi. Basically we traveled there with clean kevlar. We got to do a couple shows. Then we gave our poi away rather than try to travel with the smelly stuff. Cyber Sprite gave away her kevlar poi heads; I gave away my entire set (we had planned to.)
We were, after all, flying out of Tehran.
So anyway, our camp, the Green Fairy Bar Camp will be unofficial this year, but we will be there. Just not on the map and not in the schedule. Sorry. Look for our new location at the Artery.
I'm also going to pass on the Release this year. But Moongirl and I will be going to the opening ceremony and to random burns throughout the week.
I am soooo looking forward to spinning on the Playa with you all.
Posted: Ohh speaking of the opening ceremony and the culdran. Once the culdran is lit it is the fire conclave's responsibility to keep it fuelled and burning for the whole week. So please anyone if you are wandering arround late at night or really early stop by and throw in a few logs. If the wood isn't right there it's stored over at first camp.
Every year my morning ritual is to go check on the fire, refuel and stock with wood.
Posted: Our camp will be near Center Camp this year (we're on the grid!) so I'll make an effort to check the Cauldron. As far as I know, the only group that has signed up to perform at the Cauldron is Tabasco's own, Pyrosutra. I guess the word didn't get out enough... maybe next year.
Posted: Your on the grid? Lucky bastard. Only Pyrosurta? Maybee he scared people off with the time constraints and the neccessity of being chroiographed. My twin brother and I were working on a duo doublestaff vs poi, but I figured by the time it was ready it would be too late to sign up. We were planning on just doing it at some random burn circle.
To me the organized culdron was too much like the meat market...I mean the Alien love nest. Got good memories and bad memories of the love nest
Thanks ahead of time for helping with the Cauldron.
Posted: Hey, I'm going - and I've got a question (didn't know where to ask it) - do y'all know of any sort of organized fire spinning lessons at burning man? I think it would be interesting to teach others at BM... what do y'all think?
Posted: i cant wait. anyone know of a good place in sparks to get paraffin? im staying at the blackrock burners hostel and wont have a car. i just dont want to get there and not be able to find fuel. im flying so i cant bring it with me. i just want to be done planning and start playing.
Posted: Last year the wonderfull people at Temple Of Poi had poi classes every day. I'm not sure if they are doing it again this year or not. Also there is noon-ish juggling every day at center camp. Plus there's always the random lessons you learn out and about at burningman.
Roberts, by paraffin do you mean lampoil or kero? I didn't catch where your from. For lamp oil I suggest walmart, let me get back to you about kero. We use exclusively white gass.
When are you arriving in reno/sparks? If your early enough you can come to out last burn before we hit the playa.
Posted: thanks cody - I'll have to find the temple of poi and see if they want people to teach staff - I've been doing a fair bit of staff teaching in Seattle.... actually, your brother cory taught me the basics of double staff last year with his home made wooden doubles - I'm always grateful to him for it.
Posted: Ok, I have details. I will be arriving on Tuesday in the afternoon (probably 3-4-ish) and leaving late on Sunday. I will be staying at Camp Skullf*ck (sorry, Mods...that's the name of the camp!), and we will be getting our placement shortly, but it's a theme camp and I think we'll be on the esplinade or close.
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella
When's Cirque de Flambe performing? I've heard rumors that Pyrosutra's performing, but don't know when... and I want to know where everyone else has scheduled shows too! We need to start a fire show calendar!
Cody -- a lot of us burn out on the MD stuff in undergrad... not an unusual sequence of events. The same reason that it appeals to a lot of people -- the security -- drove me away. I didn't want to just have the same job for the rest of my life! These days I probably wouldn't mind so much, but back then it didn't appeal to me.
Posted: orbit, this sounds like it could be it's own thread ... Imagine, "Fire spinners who are (or who wanted to be) doctors! .
Actually, a "what do you do" poll might be fun...
And funny ya asked about Cirque de Flambe - we actually have shows this coming weekend (Aug 6-8, and Aug 13&14). I'll not advertise here, but instead point to the link here EDITED_BY: howwoward (1091521514)
Posted: Here are the details on spinning at Kidsville. If you're on Tribe.net, I'm trying to get everyone there to post their performances in the Fire tribe.
> All Fire Performers are invited to join us at Kidsville on > Tuesday, August 31, 2004. This will be our third year > performing for some of the most appreciative burners on the playa. > > Please come at dusk, bring your fire AND safety equipment. > One area will be designated for fueling and spinning off. We > almost always have more than one performer burning at a time; > please make certain to watch for the children while > performing. If you have freinds that love drumming and > making music, please invite them as well. > > Thanks goes to those that performed and took turns doing fire > safety over the past several years; truly, the children and > their parents look forward to this event and have already > inquired about the performance for this year. You've been > inspirational. > > Kidsville is located at Earth and 5:30. Stop by at dusk; the > performance will probably last no longer than an hour and a > half; still plenty of time to perform at other gatherings on > the playa. Ask for Mike and/or Hans. > > Burn brightly, > Kyro
Posted: If you were at Kidsville last year you might remember I closed the show with my Canonballs (big fire). I don't think I'll do that again I think I scared a few parents. The kids loved it but I think the circle would need to be bigger for those props.