Antipodean thoughts


in Daily updates, Travel

Probably prompted by the miserable weather in the past few days, I have been looking through photos online from the Burning Man Festival. For those who haven’t heard of it, the festival is an eight day long event in Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It involves the creation of a temporary city and lots of crazy art and expression. This year’s theme – about the relationship between nature and humanity – sounds especially pertinent. If nothing else, it would provide some superb photographic opportunities.

I think it would be an awesome road trip objective: especially if the cadre of those going included Tristan and Meaghan Beattie.

[Update: 4:30pm] The more I read about this, the more intensely I want to go. Who else would be up for it and thinks they could spare the time at the end of this summer? It runs from Monday, August 28th to Monday, September 4th. Jonathan? Alison? Kate? Neal? Lauren? Sarah P? Lindi? Sasha W? Others? I would be keen to go with any/all of you.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan November 17, 2006 at 2:57 pm

Apparently Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the two creators of the Google search engine, were regular attendees of the event.

The only downsides: it would be hard to get there, and the tickets are about US$300.

Anon @ Wadh November 17, 2006 at 4:09 pm

From what I’ve read of them, it seems like most of your friends would make good company at such an event.

Antonia November 17, 2006 at 4:14 pm

My friends Dee, Neal and Jeremy went in 2006 and had an awesome time. Sadly the best of the photos I was shown of the trip aren’t on her post.

The festival site has a ‘no money’ economy, so you need to bring ‘things’ to trade.
‘Things’ include services, writing, craft items, assistance, etc commercially produced things you had a hand in producing are OK).

Milan November 17, 2006 at 6:03 pm

I was mostly looking at these:

Burning Man 2005: 100 photos by Scott London. (note: some nudity. may not be safe for work.)

Jessica November 17, 2006 at 6:59 pm

I think it would have been cool to go to Burning Man when I first heard about it 11 years ago. Today, with 40,000 people I don’t think it would be as much fun.

R.K. November 17, 2006 at 4:24 pm

This looks incredibly awesome. If you have the time and a vehicle, you should definitely go.

R.K. November 17, 2006 at 6:00 pm

Have you seen these Burning Man photos? (Warning: some include nudity)

R.K. November 17, 2006 at 6:06 pm

(1) MP3 LINK.
Excerpt: “Can you confirm the large, cataclysmic flames and smoke as being an art project?”

(2) MP3 LINK.
Excerpt: “We are not here to keep people from being stupid. Once they are stupid, we will pick up the pieces.”

(Via BoingBoing)

Milan November 17, 2006 at 11:02 pm

I don’t think the larger number of people is fundamentally problematic.

Also, I don’t think attending it as a twelve-year-old would have been particularly appropriate or enjoyable.

Kate November 17, 2006 at 11:51 pm

Have you only recently heard about Burning Man? There is a similar, British-Columbian take-off called Shambhala ( in/around Nelson.

Kate November 17, 2006 at 11:57 pm

If I don’t end up going, but you do, it will mean at least you are on this side of the Atlantic. You should come see Ahousaht, time-permitting.

Milan November 18, 2006 at 12:06 am


I have known about Burning Man for ages, but have never thought about going before today.

Jonathan Morisette went to Shambhala this summer, after the Cabin Fever event we both attended.

Re: Ahousaht, I really wish I could have gone when you first invited me. I will make a special effort to do so, if another chance comes up.

Tristan Laing November 19, 2006 at 11:10 am

If you want to go, I’m there.

Tristan Laing November 19, 2006 at 11:14 am

One thing to consider, Disco Stu will almost certainly be going.

Milan November 19, 2006 at 2:04 pm


I would expect there to be legions of Disco Stu-like people there. Unlike some of our mutual friends, I feel no personal animosity towards him.

We should discuss the prospect of an expedition soon.

Mike Kushnir November 20, 2006 at 9:34 am

do it.

simply put, you have nothing to lose.


Milan November 25, 2006 at 1:50 am

Street studio at Burning Man.

Milan January 9, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Legal battle between Burning Man founders

John Law, one of original three owners of the Burning Man event, contacted me to let me know that he is just filed suit against his two Burning Man partners Larry Harvey and Michael Mikel, after Michael initiated his own legal proceedings and demand for arbitration. In 1997 Paper Man LLC was formed between the three original owners in order to own and control the name and service mark “Burning Man”, which is at the center of this dispute.

Anon September 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Black Rock City–complete with a post office and volunteer emergency service crews–rises from Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for only one week of every year, thanks to Burning Man, a festival of art and counterculture. Running from August 27 to September 3, it ends with the destruction of the “city,” capped by the arsonous elimination of art, structures and a central effigy of “the man.” This year’s event, dubbed Green Man, has an environmental theme. Organizers will try to offset the carbon footprint of the festival. They will decrease solid waste by 70 percent through composting and shredding and switch from last year’s 20,000 gallons of diesel to 20,000 gallons of local biofuel derived from cooking grease and supplied by Bently Bio-fuels in Minden, Nev. They will also deploy a 30-kilowatt solar array for the event and partner to build a 150-kilowatt array for neighboring Gerlach, Nev., which will also receive the smaller array after the event.

Burning Man attendees: 40,000

Carbon emissions from burning “the man”: 112 tons

Total on-site emissions: 2,473 tons

Emissions from participants’ travel: 25,019 tons

Weeklong carbon offset by the 30-kilowatt solar array: 6.9 tons

Annual carbon offset by the 30- and 150-kilowatt arrays: 559 tons

. January 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

. September 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm

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