Like the previous years, it was a lot of work to process/fix/sort all the pictures and write this summary report (4017 pictures this year, trimmed down to 2229, and 259 selected as the better ones sorted in different categories, 191 are in this page because I'm not good at picking :) ). All pictures are geotagged, so you can click on them to see where they were.
As a way to say thanks if you enjoy the report, share it with your fellow burners, or friends who might be interested in burning man.
If you'd like to see reports from previous years, you can go to my main BM page, and especially if you don't know burning man, you should read my 2002 page which has more of an introduction.
If you'd like to use my pictures in a commercial setting, drop me a line to discuss and I can give you full resolution pictures (marc<at>merlins.org).
If you'd like to say thanks with cash, please donate money to one of the many camps and art installations that are often out of pocket after burning man.
70,000 people, and I still run into friends. Cool :)
Just like more recent years, while I tried to see many things, I didn't work so damn hard to bike every single last street, especially now that there are so many more and the outer ones honestly aren't as interesting (with some exceptions/surprises). Last year I ended up biking 238km/147 miles and this year I guess I was lazy and only biked 229km/142 miles over 6.2 days, which is still decent, especially since I had an apprentice virgin burner in tow :) (to be fair my friend Arturo was actually a trooper and didn't slow me down at all)
my RC plane I spent many months working on so that I felt it would be safe enough for us to use
I feel very thankful to have been able to see RC from the sky, be it from a full size plane or from an RC plane. Before that, my elevated view of BRC was limited to what you could get from camps elevated views or different structures:
Anyway, after going through customs, we eventually found a ride to our camp (very long walk from the airport if you have luggage). For the rest of BRC, I've given many pictures of the essentials in my prior reports, I therefore refer you to them for more pictures I don't need to repeat here.
Like last year, I owe big thanks to Opal, Massive Bri and Helen for helping us camp at Dustfish. especially for getting me a nice shaded spot. You rock!
the plane didn't quite fit in my tent :)
Dustfish had a very nice cabaret style show while Sextant had a great zipline, an altitude bar, and the giant tesla coil which actually worked this year!
During the day, Arturo followed me like a trooper around the many streets where we went to explore looking for fun camps. Many pictures, just a few here. Big thanks to all the camps that were offering humour, drinks (one even offered shitty drinks only, something mixed to be as disgusting as possible), food, games, art, or anything else:
altitude lounge was great for having a small overview of the area without needing to fly
Panorama also had a nice view
and you could play slinky from the top
big solar panels
big MPTT converters and inverters
and huge ass batteries
downhill sledding and skiing!
poor Arturo, we played twice, he lost twice
camp soft landing
found my friend Tinic at Duck Pond
vortex of destiny was also a nice find
math camp, a safe place for mathematics had cool talks
and barbie death camp is back like every year
those lovely folks pretend that they'll go play daft punk at the trash fence, and of course they don't
of course you can just have a real orchestra with classical music instead :)
And truly random things:
Lots of displays:
I also love the funny signs I found:
I hope someone found this poor dog gently leached to the man
A genuine looking NZ sign with properly written Maori, well done
Some Camps are also interesting to visit at night of course:
good performers doing magic like last year at the camp of curiosities
Arturo and I helped out as receptionists on the god helpline
Again, have a look at page showing the 360 Dome, Showing Samskara.
And let's not forget the sound camps, even if they were not as extravagant this year. Sadly, still very little trance this year, pity...
I got lucky, this guy actually played nice Trance, the only I heard all week
sweet guitar tunes with great lights
I of course also enjoy taking pictures of friends and other willing people :)
soft landing's tea room
french maid parade
And yours, truly, with an LED strip I bought in Japan, a power controller I built myself, and a flashing module I got from China :)
I worked on my night lights more this year, I was easy to find for my friend, even from far :)
my friend Tinic I ran into at the duck pond
And then there is the billion bunny march:
bunnies? bunnies taste yummy :)
carrots were there to stop the bunny march :)
Critical tits was next. That one is a bit tricky because I always ask people before taking a portrait picture of them, but it's kind of impossible to do when people are going by in a parade, and yet some women get upset. Honestly, I think wearing a face mask like some do, is much simpler for everyone. Expecting a photographer to get permission from 20 people biking by at the same time, is not exactly feasible. Anyway, a few pictures:
Since I was showing Arturo around, we went on an artery tour on Wednesday. Too late and I'm sleeping too late for the 10:00 tour, while too early and all the art hasn't been installed yet :)
and then, day slowly turns to night, when it arguably gets better :)
in deep playa
Helios was very cool too
and then eventually the sun rises again...
Sonic Runway was awesome, I even was lucky enough to be allowed to drive it:
Firmament was still there, a crowd favourite, along with Medusa:
As always, one main attraction of BM are all the crazy vehicles, art carts, and bike-like constructions :)
Not many fancy bikes this year either, when there used to be so many in the early 2000's:
at least some monocycles
plane bike, not bad
So you have art cars at night, and then you have Mayan Warrior. I already enjoyed it last year (except for the choice of music sometimes). I think it upgraded its lasers from last year, making Mayan Warrior a beacon in the night:
are you lost? just go for the lights
Kudos to the Mayan Warrior crew, it was best music art car by a long shot. Please add a bit more genres of music though, even you decide it can't include trance :)
The temple was beautiful this year, but had no name. It was the 16th and last temple made by David Best.
Like every year, there were other major structures that popped up. This year it was the pyramid and the lighthouse:
The pyramid was burned at sunrise some morning I could not get myself to get out of bed that early, but the lighthouse was burned after the man, so I got to see that:
Oh yeah, and there is some kind of man thingy in the middle, and it burns at some point, or something... :)
It was supposed to be a fancy man that people could rotate, but one of the shafts broke, and considering they were still not finished building it on Tuesday, I guess they called it quits and left it as is (non rotating).
still being built
it looked better by tuesday morning, but still not open for business
sadly, the mechanism was broken
I was hoping that we would be able to do a sunset RC flight just before the man burn, showing the sunset over the sea of art cars around the man. Instead, we got horrible weather, rain, heavy fog, and then very strong winds (60kph+) as the sun was setting. What a bummer :(
In the end, we got a few shots, but by taking off after the rain and the worst of the weather had passed, there was enough water in the air that the front lens got coated with it, yielding blurry pictures ;(
this was the weather just after the ideal time for takeoff :(
what a bummer, if only this shot had been without the water vapour induced blurriness
when I went to the man, the weather was still bad
The pre-burn show was really well done and executed despite the winds:
Thankfully the man burned a lot quicker than the previous years were it took forever (an hour or so), so before long we were up and running towards the fire:
Then the weather actually got worse, very high winds, almost impossible to see, I had to bike almost blind using my firesword and GPS:
by 06:00-ish the weather lifted and vis game back
And the last bit I saw were the crazy gay drunk germans cooking a goat and a pig:
It was awesome to be up all night after the burn, despite the pretty horrible weather, massive wind and dust storm between 04:00 and 05:30, and to finish the day with a Sunrise and Mayan Warrior still going strong. I went to bed a bit before 08:00 and after a good amount of sleep (woke up around 14:00), it was time to pack up and go home:
This was my 9th burn now. I tend to get bored a bit easily, so I will probably take another break for a few years after 3 years in a row, but getting my RC plane to fly and get such awesome 4K footage was definitely worth the trip, and acting as a guide for my old time friend Arturo also was fun. I was again a bit disappointed with the music selections, but eh, that's only a small part of what BM has to offer.
Like every year, it's super cool to randomly run into friends I haven't seen in a long time, or even more surprising, have people recognize me from these reports and say hi.
I hope you enjoyed this report. Feel free to say thanks to me by simply sharing it with your friends, and see you on the playa in a few years hopefully.