[Kenneth Finnegan's] EPIC Burning Man slideshow

kenneth-at-burning-man

Whether or not you manged to attend this year’s Burning Man festival we’re dead certain you’ll enjoy reading [Kenneth Finnegan's] show and tell about the event. This was his first time attending. Aside from his noobish excitement (which is really the only way to approach writing something like this) we’d never know he wasn’t a seasoned veteran. From what he and friend [Marcel] packed along with them, to the attractions he visited, he did Burning Man right!

The two snapped a selfie in the truck on their way to Black Rock City, the community that sprouts up in the Nevada desert every year for Burning Man. Bumper-to-bumper traffic is a surprise in the middle of nowhere, but when you find out that BRC boasted about 68,000 residents this year it’s no wonder. [Kenneth] spends some time talking about the camp they set up, including more than enough solar power, and an amateur radio setup that came in handy in lieu of phone service. This flows into his collection of cool art he came across, most of it massive in scale. There’s even an airport, which is how he was able to snap the aerial photo above.

We think the coolest part of his recollection is the view of ‘city life’. There are night clubs, bowling alleys, radios stations broadcasting live interviews and hosting talk shows, cafés, and much more. Hanging out in the desert at the end of August may not sound like your thing, but reading about [Kenneth's] odyssey makes us think Burning Man is like Disneyland for Hackers.

Comments

  1. Kevin Keith says:

    Wait wait, what on earth does an art festival have to do with hackers? I have honestly never seen the appeal of things like this, nor will I ever.

  2. Burning Man is like camping for rich San Francisco assholes.

  3. Nicholas says:

    I fail to see the issue with the writer’s problem with people dumping their “grey water”. Is it simply because it’s not being recycled? Seems harmless to me. Someone please correct me if I’m missing something. Please. Other than that the article was fairly interesting even if rather sparse of any actual detail. If he’d spoken a little more of the solar setups, and such then i feel this might have been a good bit more relevant.

    • Deg says:

      It’s Burning Man policy, explained here: http://www.burningman.com/environment/resources/grey_water.html

      • matt says:

        Their policy is laughable. They are worried about the environmental impact of dish soap, but later on in it, recommend you add bleach to your grey water to disinfect it before disposing of it via a sprinkler system.

    • Jack says:

      I think the reasoning is that it disrespects the land they are gathering on.

      I wonder what year they will havethe first full annulus around the center. That’s the one I’d want to go to

    • soifjowfgjwfej says:

      Because greywater for 68,000 people equals a huge environmental impact, even in, if not especially in, an extreme environment like a desert.

      Greywater includes a lot of crap chemicals from soaps, shampoos, etc people use. Parabens, for example. Or in exfoliating skin cleaners, “microbeads” which are made of plastic and never go away.

      I like the slideshow, but I’m a bit irritated that it’s seen through the filter of BRC’s incredibly restrictive media policies. Want to bring a camera in? You need a permit, in advance, which requires granting them rights to your photos and the right to demand they be taken down.

      Ever wondered why you’ve never seen photos or video of the darker side of BM, like all the ODs, fights, freak-outs, etc? Yeaaaaap, that’s why. They run a very handy little PR machine, just like they run a very handy little business off the enforced monopoly on basic essentials in-camp like ice and water.

      • Kenneth Finnegan says:

        soifjowfgjwfej is spot on with the first half of his comment, and completely off base on his second half.

        You only need a photo permit if you’re using your photos for commercial purposes (which my blog falls in a hairy middle-ground). I did not get any kind of permit, and brought as many cameras as I liked to take as many photos as I liked. My largest limitations on taking photos was the fact that taking photos for my blog played second fiddle to me having an amazing time. When taking photos of people, I always tried to ask permission of the primary subjects, and usually got it (or otherwise didn’t take the photo). BM has a whole press FAQ: http://www.burningman.com/press/faq.html#credentials

        I didn’t see any ODs or freak-outs, and the only fight I saw was an impromptu boxing rink that sprung up in the middle of the playa. We were surprised how little med-evac traffic there was out of BRC (which we of course monitored, since both Marcel and I are em-comm guys).

        The monopoly comment is only factually half right to begin with. BRC absolutely does not sell water, and they’re the only ones selling ice because that’s the only place where money is allowed (which is a huge boon for the rest of the city; us college students very much would not be able to afford flying around in airplanes, or drinking $100 bottles of champagne, or any of the other half of the amazing gifts we got all week). If you were willing to have someone from your camp drive all the way into the nearest town to pick up ice every day, so be it, but I definitely wasn’t willing to waste the time and effort. $3 per bag of ice wasn’t out of line in my opinion either.

  4. Galane says:

    68 kilopersons at Burning Man? It’s no longer counter-culture. It has become culture. ;-)

    • Navarone says:

      Once everyone becomes a hipster, no one will be!

    • Me says:

      Are there a lot of similar festivals out there? I suppose there must be some but they must be quite small or we would all be hearing about them.

      According to Google there are about 311.5 million people in the US. Granted I’m sure there are visitors from other countries at Burning Man but given the location I think the US population number would make more sense to use for this comparison than the 7 billion population of the planet. So… 68k / 311.5M… It comes out to just over 0.02% of the population.

      Yup.. still a counter-culture.

      When there are several festivals in all parts of the country, if not world all copying and trying to be burning man… then it’s mainstream culture.

  5. w says:

    That aerial shot of the city is extraordinary. How on Earth do they encourage that many people to set up camp in such a neat circle? Marvelous..

    • Kenneth Finnegan says:

      They have surveyors come out and lay out the road network before hand. It’s really quite important that the roads stay intact, since it’s used by the emergency vehicles all week, and residents driving in and out of the event. The city did out-grow the original network this year, so Wednesday they went out and built an M street.

  6. echodelta says:

    Milk jugs are not fit for water you’d want to drink. Better to use the 3 or 5 gallon size water jugs. As they are emptied they can go to the drummers circle. There is a reason that water is not sold in those cheap plastic containers, milk don’t keep very long.

    • shocked and annoyed says:

      “There is a reason that water is not sold in those cheap plastic containers,”
      really….is there really? because like most HAD writers you seem to have no idea what you are talking about. Oh youre probably one of those hyperreactionary spastic children whos mommy didnt allow them to eat peanuts or anything red. Get out of your bubble dumbass….or stay quiet in it at least.

    • tony says:

      Milk jugs are made of HDPE, one of the most inert plastics around. I would ONLY store my water in HDPE containers, especially if there was a chance it would be in the sun.

      Milk doesn’t keep very long because it is FUCKING MILK. It’s like a perfect medium for growing bacteria.

  7. What's in a name? says:

    ICK! A bunch of stinky techno-hippies gathering for their yearly coating of desert dust and filth all looking for affirmation of their “cool” by all the other attention whores -kind of like HaD. No thanks…

    • Rob says:

      and yet you came and commented. :-)

    • David says:

      It’s a great way to meet Australian babes!

    • DosX says:

      TLDR version for below:
      HaD isnt attention whore and not all but i guess most of the folks at BM were probably Scene Whores and not attention whores, tho there prob were some A-Whore there.

      Long Version:
      Burning Man is an epic meetup the meaning I wonder if it remains the same for everyone. Nice nums on the population though.

      Oh right I wanted to reply to ‘What’s in a name’ I wouldn’t say HAD were attention whores at all but hey that’s me you are almost right about some the peeps at BM though cept i would probably call them scene whores.

      Techno-Hippies not so much since BM sees vets from all walks of life. First commenter says Art festival well it kinda is and kinda isnt but who says hackers can’t appreciate Art and burn it afterwards.

      It’s funny how the world spins for some people. I honestly don’t think it spins the same way for everyone, some how the air is different and the sky is not blue.

      Sigh…..Welp that’s it, that is all i wanna say.

    • Me says:

      Sounds like somebody is jealous of other people’s good time.

  8. soundman98 says:

    thanks kenneth for the great writeup! BM has always looked like a very interesting experience, it’s a shame so many people seem to just desire an existence there instead of participating.

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