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2016/08/29 Burning Man 2016, Da Vinci's Workshop
π 2016-08-29 00:00 in Bm
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 :)
70,000 people, and I still run into friends. Cool :)

Summary:

  • Flight and Airport (summary in this page) or open a tab to Flight and Airport (picture album)
  • Black Rock City (summary in this page) or open a tab to Black Rock City (picture album)
  • Art (summary in this page) or open a tab to Art (picture album)
  • Camps (summary in this page) or open a tab to Camps (picture album)
  • People (summary in this page) or open a tab to People (picture album)
  • Vehicles (summary in this page) or open a tab to Vehicles (picture album)
  • Temple (summary in this page) or open a tab to Temple (picture album)
  • Other Structures (summary in this page) or open a tab to Other Structures (picture album)
  • The Man (summary in this page) or open a tab to The Man (picture album)
  • Conclusion
  • Tips
  • Thanks
  • 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)



    Black Rock City

    This year, I flew in with my friend Arturo, a first time burner. As opposed to last year, the flight was uneventful. You can see more pictures of the flight and BRC from the sky on that page.




    I made sure he was properly taken care of at the airport gate :)

    I got a picture while there for posterity
    I got a picture while there for posterity

    while Arturo did the obligatory playa angel :)
    while Arturo did the obligatory playa angel :)

    Speaking of flying, after last year where I got some nice shots with an RC plane, this year I brought a new, even fancier motor glider foam RC plane I had spent loads of time preparing and testing. I have a separate page for these RC flights, and pictures/videos of Burning Man from the sky. A few shots here:




    my RC plane I spent many months working on so that I felt it would be safe enough for us to use
    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.

    Camps

    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 :)
    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
    altitude lounge was great for having a small overview of the area without needing to fly

    Panorama also had a nice view
    Panorama also had a nice view

    and you could play slinky from the top
    and you could play slinky from the top


    big solar panels
    big solar panels

    big MPTT converters and inverters
    big MPTT converters and inverters

    and huge ass batteries
    and huge ass batteries

    downhill sledding and skiing!
    downhill sledding and skiing!

    poor Arturo, we played twice, he lost twice
    poor Arturo, we played twice, he lost twice

    camp soft landing
    camp soft landing

    found my friend Tinic at Duck Pond
    found my friend Tinic at Duck Pond


    cute overload!
    cute overload!

    vortex of destiny was also a nice find
    vortex of destiny was also a nice find

    whee!
    whee!

    math camp, a safe place for mathematics had cool talks
    math camp, a safe place for mathematics had cool talks

    and barbie death camp is back like every year
    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
    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 :)
    of course you can just have a real orchestra with classical music instead :)

    And truly random things:



    sumo wrestling
    sumo wrestling


    Lots of displays:



    I also love the funny signs I found:


    I hope someone found this poor dog gently leached to the man
    I hope someone found this poor dog gently leached to the man

    A genuine looking NZ sign with properly written Maori, well done
    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
    good performers doing magic like last year at the camp of curiosities



    The 747 camp was awesome:




    I got to visit the pilots' cabin :)
    I got to visit the pilots' cabin :)

    And then we had Red Lightening which was stellar again, with 2 domes with a different experience for your enjoyment the 360 Dome, Showing Samskara.


    Arturo and I helped out as receptionists on the god helpline
    Arturo and I helped out as receptionists on the god helpline



    Samskara
    Samskara

    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
    I got lucky, this guy actually played nice Trance, the only I heard all week

    sweet guitar tunes with great lights
    sweet guitar tunes with great lights


    People

    I of course also enjoy taking pictures of friends and other willing people :)

    soft landing's tea room
    soft landing's tea room

    french maid parade
    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 :)
    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
    my friend Tinic I ran into at the duck pond

    And then there is the billion bunny march:





    bunnies? bunnies taste yummy :)
    bunnies? bunnies taste yummy :)

    carrots were there to stop the bunny march :)
    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:



    Art

    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
    in deep playa




    Helios was very cool too
    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:






    Vehicles

    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
    at least some monocycles

    plane bike, not bad
    plane bike, not bad


    Art cars:


    bad ass
    bad ass







    beautiful
    beautiful



    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
    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 :)

    Temple

    The temple was beautiful this year, but had no name. It was the 16th and last temple made by David Best.






    Other Structures

    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:






    The Man

    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
    still being built

    it looked better by tuesday morning, but still not open for business
    it looked better by tuesday morning, but still not open for business



    sadly, the mechanism was broken
    sadly, the mechanism was broken




    Burn Night

    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 :(
    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
    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
    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
    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:





    Conclusion

    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.

    Tips

  • My 2002 report has a bit more of an introduction: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/bm/2002
  • My 2014 has more up to date tips, have a look at them: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/bm/2014/#Tips
  • http://www.burningman.com/media/doc/preparation/tip_sheets/bm08_tipsheet.pdf
  • http://overyonderlust.com/must-know-burning-man-tips-for-newbies
  • http://sfist.com/2012/08/27/bay_area_burners_bestow_burning_man.php
  • http://www.anybodyburns.com/bmhintstips.htm
  • Thanks

    Thank you to everyone who contributed to burning man by:
  • designing/bringing/building art installations, as well as art cars
  • building camps that were offering music, drinks, fries, crepes, brownies magic or not :), or anything else
  • volunteering anywhere
  • sharing with others in any other way. This page was my way to share with you, please share and enjoy :)

  • More pages: September 2016 August 2016 September 2015 August 2015 August 2014 September 2007 September 2006 August 2006 September 2005 September 2004

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