Another gritty and glorious Burning Man came and went last weekend in the lovely-yet-hostile stretch of desert dubbed Black Rock City. Just miles north of Gerlach, Nevada 61,000 attendees from all over the world came together to feel the playa love, get dusty together and enjoy the ethos of a temporary metropolis which they came together to build. In an attempt to explain what it's like to make the pilgrimage to Black Rock City, we've highlighted the best Burning Man moments from this year's Cargo Cult-themed burn.
Bumping into Friends at Sunrise After plopping on a bean bag chair near the infectious grooves of the Robot Heart camp on Saturday morning, we were greeted by a playa virgin friend named Andrew -- who we'd first met at EDC Week earlier this summer--decked out in full fur despite the unbearable heat. How elated we were to to see a familiar face (finally!). In the spirit of gifting I gave him a kandi bracelet which I had originally made for my dear friend Angie which spelled "Hi Hat" appropriately named after the instrument and the camp they both shared. Such a small world our dance music community is and it's transparent in Black Rock City.
Surviving the Orgy Tent During our exploration of a nearby campground we stumbled upon a little thing called the "Orgy Tent." The name pretty much says it all. Girls on girls, guys on guys, three girls and a guy--anything you could possibly imagine and their exhibitionism was for real (where was my boyfriend when I needed him?!). At one point, all the copulation got a little too, er, gross for us and we rushed out--opting to bounce around like children on the trampoline right outside the sweaty pleasure den. Who would've guessed witnessing some gag-worthy adult action would make us yearn to be kids again.
Making New Friends Going off the grid at Burning Man means almost absolutely no wi-fi unless you make a really great effort to search for someone with a satellite phone. Without social media getting in the way, making connections with people in the real world is unavoidable. My friends and I met Morgan on the morning of his 30th birthday once again watching the magical sunrise at Robot Heart. How could a man celebrate his dirty 30 in the playa dust without the help of hot girls to keep him company we thought? We took Morgan along with us as we rode the Green Streak Art Cart (a giant bus with a sick DJ inside) back to their Trifucta camp and stumbled our way over to Bubbles and Bass where we celebrated in style with champagne. We explored Black Rock City and fed him birthday shots everywhere we went!
Dancing on the Wide Awake Art Cart On Sunday morning, as we made our way back to camp after a strenuous weekend of partying, I heard the basslines of some incredible techno coming from Insomniac's Wide Awake Art Cart in the distance. We found Richie Hawtin dancing in the crowd. Richie had brought his famous Ibiza ENTER experience to the playa with Ali Shirazinia (aka Dubfire), Jon Gaiser and Hawtin himself providing the soundtrack. After dancing on the Wide Awake Cart all night long the night before, this was an absolute treat to see the Detroit techno king in all of his glory.
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Lee Burridge at Pink Mammoth For our last hurrah we made our way to the Pink Mammoth to hear one of Lee Burridge's legendary "All Day I Dream of the Playa" sets. The DJ was tucked away in front of the bar taking away from the "Rock Star" vibes and letting the people move freely around the camp as they grooved to the deep house beats and actually interact with one another. It was amazing to be dancing surrounded by some of the most beautiful people on the playa and other artists. Everyone from local favorite Tara Brooks to P. Diddy was there proving the number one BM principal of radical inclusion. Anyone can join the craziness and weirdness that makes Burning Man and no one will treat you any differently. One guy was walking around painting faces as another made miracles happen in my mouth with his amazing frozen Otter Pops. The bar was serving up drinks freely and I finally got a liter of life-saving cucumber water. What a breath of fresh air from the untz untz untz fist pumping shenanigans at most festivals.