BURNING MAN 2016
BLACK ROCK CITY, NEVADA, UNITED STATES
Upon entering Black Rock City, the initiation ceremony is to lay down on the ground and make a dust angel followed by banging on a giant gong and being given the rules of consensuality, 'moop' and leaving no trace of litter behind.
On magic mushrooms we sat in the middle of the desert laughing so hard that we couldn’t get back on our bikes. There was an art structure of orcas surfacing out of the playa as if it were the ocean, whereby you could sit inside and listen to sounds of the sea. There was a train of giant tea pots that had exotic dancers dangling in and out of leaving much to the imagination.
Having accidentally left the pop-up trailer door open one night, we returned to what looked like a deserted, dust-consumed vessel. Still 'under the influence', I created a line of ‘unconsensuality’ between 'Love Nest' and I's shared quarters using LED glow sticks. 'Papa Reposado' and co entered to see what the delay was and upon discovery had us all in hysterics. 'Love Nest's' enthusiasm was becoming coherent.
At night the festival had a pulse of it’s own. No vehicle had a home. The lights vibrated as they moved across the terrain that was a dried up lake surrounded by mountains. The earth is cracked beneath your feet and has the potential to turn into thick stodgy mud after rain denying you any exit from the land and potentially leaving you stranded for days. The bright lights of the giant mutant vehicles blasting music with people hang off the sides dancing in elaborate costumes blind your coordinates.
At night the stars shine so bright that you feel closer to the universe. Towards the end of the festival, sign posts are stolen as souvenirs and art structures used as land marks are burned taking away your bearings to find your way back to camp. Watching the giant Pyramids burn at sunrise with four dust tornadoes spiraling off of the flames is one of the most magical sights I have had the privilege to see.
Our neighbors in the camper van next door who had traveled down from Las Vegas offered us free drugs by the handful. One snorted cocaine off of a sharp knife while Skyping his girlfriend in Columbia surrounded by a pic ’n’ mix of various coloured oversized baggies, while the other; a jewellery maker (who gifted me a necklace) cheated on his girlfriend in the back of the van. The third was a talented DJ who had performed to an apparently sorry crowd. A generator constantly screamed noise in the background.
On my journey over to Black Rock City I had an impromptu layover in Shanghai where I purchased a foul chicken leg preserved in juices from which there had been a whole isle dedicated. This was to become 'the unwanted gift of the festival’. I turned it into a necklace and gave it to the infamous 'Love Nest' who received it with gratitude but then quickly passed it on. The latter gifts I had brought were some sweet bracelets from the Gili islands in Indonesia.
'Papa Reposado' and I had conflicting views on how best to protect nature; him being a hunter and I a vegetarian. He tended to spend his nocturnal hours donning an iconic giant pink fluffy dressing gown. On magic mushrooms, he rolled his head around in pure indulgence with a ludicrous smile on his face as he listened to one of my pre-recorded music sets. I was later informed that on the journey home, he fell asleep to the same mix only to wake up thinking that he was back in the thick of the playa.
I will cherish the memories forever along with my gifted copper necklace from the sacred temple of Burning Man 2015. Thank you "Love Nest' and 'Papa Reposado' for the time of my life. I couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without you.