I guess Burning Man is becoming too popular. I barely got tickets by clicking on the purchase link at 12:00:00. Unfortunately there were some ticketing snafus like some people getting tickets without staying in line and without trying to cheat (ticketfly bug), and then Burning Man in a great moment of stupidity, revoked those tickets after having mailed them, just a few weeks before the event (I know, this happened to some coworkers of mine).
Anyway, I got my ticket this time and went there with my friends Joyce and John.
Like the previous years, it was a lot of work to process/fix/sort all the pictures and write this summary report (2186 pictures this year, trimmed down to 1191, and 494 selected as the better ones sorted in different categories). 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.
Last year, I worked a bit too hard trying to bike all the streets of Burning Man, and not spending enough time to relax as well as see things on the playa within Esplanade and the art spread throughout. So this year I didn't try so hard to bike all the outer streets, although I had an extra day, having arrived Monday, so I did end up biking 147 miles/238km, but that included more deep playa biking. I also had to stay put on occasion due to the multiple dust storms we got, including one day where the temperature dropped in 2H from pretty darn warm to "I'm so glad I have 2 extra layers of clothing in my backpack" temperatures, and nights with just one shirt to nights with 2 pairs of pants and 4 layers and gloves to stay warm.
The jokes about "this year was dusty" were actually true this year. High winds most days, even dust storm at night, but we had close to a full moon:
A couple of camps had elevated viewpoints:
There was also a trebuchet in front of center camp, which could launch a flaming piano on occasion :)
taken from my RC plane
There is art on the playa everywhere of course, too much to see all, especially as it comes and goes during the few days, but here are some shots. I did try to get up early enough to go to an Artery tour at 10:00 and got to see a few pieces I might otherwise have missed:
this was awesome, target shooting targets with a nail gun :)
The musical tesla coil was awesome:
Another awesome idea, a burner zap lamp with nitrous cartridges inside (and yes it did shock you if you touched the wires):
Misc night pictures:
One piece of art that was interesting was the fire snake. Unfortunately it had a twice a night fire show that I managed to miss every night because of changing times and weather issues (high winds):
The typewriter was also fun, although no matter how many monkeys we put on it, they didn't write any shakespeare :)
Charnival was also a favourite at night, lots of games to play with:
The lightshow installation was very sweet. Great classical music to accompany really well programmed light patterns:
A bit off in the Playa, Straightedge was supposed to show the curvature of the earth with its flashing lights:
needless to say that it was hard to photograph
Deep playa is also fun to go check out (12:00 by the trash fence). One night, there was a movie theatre (gone the next night):
And let's not forget Daft Punk which had fans waiting for them :)
The colored dots were also a great dance floor:
I also really liked this fantastic piece at night:
Just like I really enjoyed this retro game displayed on a screen using lasers controlled like old vector CRT screens:
As mentioned earlier, while dust storms made this a bit harder, and I also tried not to be as gung-ho about it this year, I still biked close to 150 miles and got to see a fair amount of camps, outside of Dustfish/Sextant I was staying at:
home sweet home, and a big thanks to Brian for the tarp I put on top of my tent to stop morning sun
Brian and Helen, who nicely took my stuff to BM and back
Sextant had a huge zipline
Talk from John Gilmore at camp Soft Landing
plenty of camps were nice to share food and drinks
a nice burlesque show I caught during a dust storm
Camp Surprise had a reservations only French Restaurant offering fine dining although maybe somewhat inaccurate dishes :)
table mates I met in line for our reservation
I also like to collect fun signs :)
This surrender your baby location was brilliant!
I went to try pedal bump, half broken pedal cars where the staff would hit you with pillows and throw stuff in your way :)
Camps are also interesting to visit at night of course:
the fake millionaire camp had bouncers to keep the riff raff out :)
I also got to see real talented magicians
Voted best roller coaster on the playa!
And let's not forget the sound camps. White Ocean still had a pretty setup, but the lineup was not to my taste. Oakey ended up not playing at all, and no Trance to be found anywhere on any day :(
I of course also enjoy taking pictures of willing people :)
I'm told the sheep was willing :)
I also randomly ran into my friend ranger fixit
I was able to catch the French Maid parade and the Billion Bunny March this year (although critical tits was moved at a different time and ended up being in a dust storm again):
cleaning center camp :)
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 :)
Remember, don't be a blacktard, you'll get run over by an art car
My usual Fire picture section, fire shows, fire dancing, fire structures, and random burns:
As always, one main attraction of BM are all the crazy vehicles, art carts, and bike-like constructions :)
This RV caught fire and was dragged on the playa to make sure its fire wouldn't spread to other camps before being inundated with water, great job!:
Not many fancy bikes this year, but this wins as the smallest one :)
There were 2 camps offering bike tracks to run. Some were challenging and it was easy to fall off and hurt yourself :)
some of these were easy to make mistakes on :)
this one was easier and you could try to see how quickly you get around it
I tried to pimp up my bike a bit, and it was so much easier to find in a sea of bikes at night:
Of course, it's more fun at night:
Temples and Churches
This year we had the usual temple past the man, a very nice Taiwanese temple, and a Church (which as an idiot, I failed to visit before I got closed before its burn).
And last, but not least, the Man.
It wasn't as big as last year, but I've now confirmed that they apparently build it out of a structure that doesn't really burn or fall during the burn, to stop people from rushing towards the man as soon as it falls, and the fire is still big. Yeah sure, it's probably safer, but come on, safety third! On the plus side, the fireworks were really good.
On the plus side the displays and attractions around the man, including the small maze to get to the middle, were well done.