April 17, 2022

Black Rock City Street Plan For 2022

BRC 2022 Street Plan
The street names will be Esplanade, Apparition, Breton, Cocteau, Dalí, Enigma, Fugue, Glimmer, Hypnagogia, Inception, Jarry and Kahlo. No "L" street this year because they enlarged the block between "E" and "F."

permalink | April 17, 2022 at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2021

Burning Man Music

After every Burning Man, Rockstar Librarian provides links to all the recordings of music at the event that he finds. I only just now discovered that Muloka provides Soundcloud playlists of Burning Man music at music.bm. Here, for example, is one of two playlists for music from 2019, the last official BM event. 468 tracks. It doesn't look like Soundcloud calculates the total duration of that playlist, but most tracks are at least an hour long, a few may be several hours long. Then there's playlist two of two for 2019 with another 187 tracks from that year. Those should keep you set for a while.

permalink | December 22, 2021 at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2021

Burning Man's Gatekeepers

A little (5 minutes) documentary about Gate, Perimeter & Exodus, a crew of volunteers at Burning Man that control and monitor Gate Road, the gate itself, and the entire perimeter of Black Rock City outside the trash fence. They are not the Greeters, an entirely separate, friendly, huggy crew of volunteers.

I volunteer for Box Office, which is most certainly not GP&E, but we are friendly neighbors. The two camps are adjacent inside Black Rock City and we Box Office people walk over to GP&E to catch their bus out to the gate where our Box Office is also located. For me, the hugest difference between the two crews is that in Box Office I get to sit inside an air conditioned room for six hours while I work. GP&E volunteers work outdoors for six hours in whatever kind of weather the Black Rock Desert decides to dish out. The only break they might get would happen if weather (a dust or rain storm, usually) got so bad they had to actually stop all traffic.

permalink | November 10, 2021 at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2021

The Drone Show At The Renegade Burn

permalink | September 10, 2021 at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2021

Livestreaming From The Renegade Burn (not Burning Man)

permalink | August 30, 2021 at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2021

Burning Man 2019

It's from 2019, but was posted on YouTube only today.

permalink | May 24, 2021 at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2021

Burning Man Art For 2021 Is A 'Go'

In this latest announcement from Burning Man they say (among many other things) that they are committing to fully funding art now, even though we don't yet know if Burning Man will actually happen on the Black Rock Desert this year. This means that probably some (or possibly all) of the art will actually end up being displayed somewhere else in the world.

permalink | April 10, 2021 at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2020

No Spectators - in Oakland

Oakland Museum of California (5562)

No Spectators at Oakland Museum of California (1)
Shot with film on my Lomography camera

Truth is Beauty replica (5577)
"Truth is Beauty" replica.

Truth Is Beauty (Replica)

Temple of Reunion (5568)
The Temple, behind the museum
. The Temple and the replica of "Truth is Beauty" can be visited any time the museum is open. You don't need to buy a ticket to the No Spectators exhibit for these two.

No Spectators (5604)

No Spectators (5601)

permalink | January 16, 2020 at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2019

Burning Man 2019 Photos

My complete set of photos from Burning Man 2019 can be seen here. Below are a few samples.

Dawn and Moonset (2028)
First morning on the playa
, just before sunrise. You can see the moon about to set to the right. Klank is camped in the larger trailer and I'm in the Scamp.

Just Before Sunrise (2033)
Looking the other way, toward what will be Black Rock City.

Just arrived on playa (8826)

Just Before Sunset (0364)

My Shade Structure Stabilization System (5737)
How I stabilized my shade structure.
It worked perfectly. The shade structure stood there for three weeks and wasn't damaged in any way. That sphere is a light, not any part of the stabilization.

Box Office Sign (0385)
Box Office still under construction.

DPW erecting shade structure at Box Office (0379)
DPW (Department of Public Works) putting up the shade structure in front of Box Office.

Fat Man art car (4802)

Chapel of Chimes (3461)
The Chapel of Chimes.

Rocket & Ed Nixon (5500)
Rocket and Frank.

Gardner Pond's Memorial at the Temple Of Direction (0463)

Gardner Pond Memorial at the Temple Of Direction (0480)

Jim and Rocket pumping water (0001)
Jim and Rocket.

Temple Of Direction under construction (0401)
Early in the construction of the Temple of Direction.

3 O'Clock (0421)
The Man viewed along the 3 O'Clock road.

By Thursday Neighbors Were Noticeable (0423)
A week after I got there, some neighbors had begun to move in.

Fomogenesis Camp (0419)
Fomogenesis Camp's shade structure.

Fomogenesis Camp during setup (0440)
Fomogenesis Camp during setup.

Sparkly Segways (0443)
Segways with shiny decorations.

Temple Of Direction (0428)
The Temple of Direction.

The 747 (0414)
The 747 was there for its, presumably, last time
. It's been sold to someone in Las Vegas.

The Elephant (0429)

The Elephant (0435)

Camp Whiskey Galore (0451)
Part of Burner Buddies.

Four-Thirty and J (0452)
Burner Buddies on the corner of 4:30 and J.

Official Map of all the Theme Camps (0487)
An official map showing the locations of all theme camps.
(Full size image here.)

Art Car at Folly (0502)

David & Nancy (3181)
David and his sister Nancy.
David sold his Scamp to me after last year's Burn.

Something's Burning (0513)

Temple Of Direction (0466)
A history of the temples displayed at the Temple of Direction.

Temple Of Direction (0474)
The Temple of Direction.

The Man (2155)
The Man.

The Wedding Party (3199)
Burner Buddies trying to get photos of the wedding party.

The Wedding (3447)
Pan and Flavio renewed their wedding vows in the Chapel of Chimes.
(Here is the album of their wedding photos.)

The Whale (0473)

Biking across the playa (4325)

Some Dust (5064)

Art Car (5390)
An art car.

Camp Walter Bus (2735)
Walter Bus.

Poppy & Friend Prepare For The Naked Pub Crawl (2002)
Poppy and friend waiting for the start of the Naked Pub Crawl.

Bee in Dust (5151)

Art Behind Center Camp (4515)
Some of the art behind Center Camp.

Burning of The Temple of Direction (5429)
The Temple of Direction.

Burning of The Temple of Direction (5461)
During the burning of the Temple of Direction.

The Temple of Direction begins to collapse (5483)
The Temple of Direction starting to collapse.

permalink | September 29, 2019 at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 6, 2019

Putting Up A Shade Structure

Erecting A Burning Man Shade Structure In The Wind. This was the Dr. Bronner's camp.

permalink | September 6, 2019 at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

The Flying Whale at Burning Man 2019

The Flying Whale at Burning Man 2019

permalink | September 6, 2019 at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2019

Burner Attitude

This from a posting in a Burning Man-related group on Facebook. I'm not trying to criticize the author. I just want to highlight it as a very Burner statement that might sound like nonsense in the outside world, like "safety third!"

The quote:

One of the members of our camp is a fire walking instructor and wants to host a fire walking workshop. I think we are going to need to protect the desert in some way.

permalink | January 24, 2019 at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2018

2018 Burning Man Photos

View of My Camp from Box Office Camp (0117)
A view of my camp from the elevated deck at Box Office Camp
. This was taken my second day on the playa.

Trago Peak (0108)
Trago Peak on the eastern edge of the playa.

Stephanie & Klank (0280)
Burner Buddies Stephanie and Klank.

Stack of cars (0169)
Every year there's one art piece that is obviously dangerous, and BMOrg will let people play on it until someone gets seriously hurt and then they make some changes
. Before this one had been open for too many days, someone fell off and it was shut down.

Sphere (0299)

Sperm Kites at Kidsville (0138)

Setting Up Box Office (0121)
The front of Box Office while we were setting up.

Self on trike (0131)

Rainbow Arch (0303A)

Rain on the playa (0107)
My first evening on the playa.

My truck at the Nugget Casino in Sparks Nevada (2082)
My truck in the Nugget Casino parking garage in Sparks.

Menorah Bike (0142)
A menorah constructed on a tandem bike.

Men Working On Themselves (0239)

Little Black Dress Party (0218)
At the Burner Buddies Little Black Dress Party.

GPS Tracks From Burning Man 2019
GPS tracks as I traveled around Black Rock City on my trike and on the bus going out to Box Office on Gate Road, plus my exodus in the truck.

Galaxia Temple Burning (0344)
Galaxia Temple Burning.

Galaxia Temple (0261)

Elephant Art Car (0156)

Crashed Plane (0290)

Champagne Bitches Art Car (0147A)
The Champagne Bitches art car stopped in front of Burner Buddies for a while.

Burner Buddies Drive-Thru (0216)
Customers at the Burner Buddies Drive-thru.

Burner Buddies aerial on Saturday by Frank Martin
Aerial view shot by Frank with Burner Buddies camp highlighted.

Burner Buddies & Me - 2018
Burner Buddies group shot by Ed.

Art On The Playa (0259)

Art car on the playa (0312) denoised

My complete set of 2018 Burning Man photos can be seen here.

permalink | September 25, 2018 at 08:00 PM | Comments (1)

September 14, 2018

Videos from Burning Man 2018

My videos.

permalink | September 14, 2018 at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2018


Just released, this video documents the 2017 Burn. 2017 was my 11th time at Burning Man, and that makes the narration in this video seem a bit over the top...because I've been there and seen it and I know every second of this video is just real. The only "special effect" in this video is that it was shot at a high frame rate so that it could be slowed down a bit to make this.

There's no great voiceover narration to thrill you as you bike across the playa. No dramatic music. But the excitement is the same, nevertheless. It's just hard to convey the feelings in a video. I can still recall clearly how stunned I was by the first Burning Man I went to. It was bigger, brighter and louder than what I was prepared for. Today, Burning Man has about twice as many attendees as it did in my first year and the technology has leapt forward. If 2017 had been my first year, I probably would have needed a bucket to catch my melting brain.

permalink | August 10, 2018 at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2018

Black Rock City Census 2017

Results from the 2017 Black Rock City census are available now, and I think the summary needs to be summarized. So here goes.

9,168 self-selecting people completed one (or more) census forms. That's 13% of the population. The BRC census people say they have good statistical ways to adjust the resulting numbers to make them reflect reality. I have my doubts, but they're the ones with college degrees in the subject, so let's go with that.

Total BRC "population" 69,493. I that means the number of people who came through the gate with a ticket. It does not necessarily mean that we actually had 69,493 people on the playa at any one time since people are free to come and go. It also doesn't count those who get in without tickets, like law enforcement and other third-party hires (water trucks, ice delivery, RV delivery, porta-potty people, etc.) I think last year they said the real number of people would be around 80,000.

Virgins were 36.2% in 2017, which is in line with previous years. I'm in the 11+ category now, which made up 4.8% of the population.
1. BRC virgins

The peak age range is 30-34, which made up 26.2% of the population in 2017. I'm in the 60-69 category which was 4.4%.
2. Age ranges

Highest education: that's bachelor's degree at 43.3%. The 0.6% who claim no education are, I hope, mostly kids under the age of 5.
3. Education

The peak in personal income is $50,000 - $99,999. Those with personal incomes of $300,000 and higher (all the way up to those pesky billionaires) are only 3.6% whose well known powers of destruction should be easily counterbalanced by the 42.4% of us who suffer with incomes under $50,000.
4. Personal income

But when you count household income, the category for billionaires and their ilk increases to 9.4%. Those under $50,000 drop to 25.8%. So the problem is that the poor people are also single...or at least single income sources for their household.
5. Household income

Male vs. female stays really steady through the years at roughly 58/40 with the difference made up by those who answered "fluid/neither/both."

"Ethnoracial characteristics" confirms what we all have seen: there are extremely few black people at Burning Man. Only 1% according to the survey. Compare that to Native Americans who report in at a rate of 0.5%. 77.1% white. But there is the category of "Other or Multiple" which was 9.3% in 2017. That could (being optimistic here) include a lot of people that might appear to be black to you or me.
6. Ethnoracial

Residence still shows the vast majority are from the USA (76.2%) but that's edging downward from a high of 84.3% in 2014. Canada stays in second place at 7.3%. Latin Americans (any place south of the Rio Grande) made up 3.3% and 4.4% in 2013 & '14, respectively. But those percentages dropped to 1.0%, 0.8% and 1.2% in 2015, '16 and '17, respectively. I'll bet we will see a further drop in 2018 numbers. I suppose Israel gets counted as part of Asia.
7. Residence

U.S. state of residence, Californians makes up 47.1% of the residents of Black Rock City [there should be a designated site where we could all meet and talk about which way we drove there and how it was]; down a bit from 52.3% in 2014. Nevada comes in fourth place at 5.6%. New York became the second most popular state of residence, surpassing Washington in 2015 (NY 7.2%; WA 6.3%) and was in second place in 2017 as well (8.2%). Massachusetts consistently lingers at the bottom of the top 12 states with only 1.5% in 2017. Occasionally, it is more popular than Florida (also 1.5% in 2017).
8. US State

77.5% report English as their native language. Spanish is only 3.8% (the percentage who consider themselves "Hispanic/Latino" was 4.9% in 2017). Hebrew reports in at 0.8%—that's where we'll find those Israelis, plus a scattering from NYC too, I'm sure.
9. Native language

These are the numbers for "relationship status." The question was "In the default world, do you share your life with a partner." Answers were No 35.9%; Yes - not married 31.3%; Yes - married 25.3%; and "It's complicated" 7.5%. No question asked about monogamy...not even about monogamy on the playa. How is one to know?
10. Relationship status

Spirituality: "Spiritual, not religious" (yeah, yeah) 46.4%; atheist 24.3%; agnostic 15.2%; I don't know 7.6% [man, this is more of a godless horde than I had imagined!]; religious 5.5%; deist 0.9%. I repeat, Religious 5.5%. There you have it. That's every single religion and denomination you ever heard of, whether they have a nice building on Main Street or if they have secret live human sacrifices. 5.5%. And yet the Temple is the second most popular gathering spot on the playa (last year's Tree of Ténéré being a rare exception).
11. Spirituality

But when you actually ask about religious denominations, you get something a little different. 71.8% no religion; 7% Roman Catholic; 6% Jewish; 4.1% other Christian; 3% Other other; 2.6% generic Protestant; 1.9% Buddhist [only 1.9%?! I'd have guessed there are at least 40% playing at being Buddhist judging from superficialities]; 1.4% pagan (they didn't ask them to specify time of day); 1.2% Pastafarian - you include it as a choice, this is what you get; 0.6% Muslim (if that's true, then I've met all 0.6% of them - I think a lot just prefer not to openly identify); Hindu 0.4% [again, like Buddhists, not counting those who just play at it].
13. Religious denomination

U.S. voting: I'm not entirely sure what to make of this, since I think they included all respondents in this count; That is, it wasn't limited to those claiming US residence or citizenship (they don't ask about citizenship, anyway). So 62.8% (of who?) say they voted in a US election in the last four years. 7.8% said they did not vote - are we to assume this means fully eligible but didn't vote? 29.5% said they were not eligible. Is that not eligible because they aren't American citizens, or not eligible due to age/felony status/not registered? 62.8% voting is way out of line with average U.S. voting, so it would be nice to know if it's because Burners highly value the democratic process or because of the way this census worked.

U.S. political parties. 5.4% Republican vs 51.7% Democratic; not like that wouldn't be obvious to a blind man. I would have expected a bit higher percentage for the Greens (1.8%) but OTOH, Burning Man isn't an environmentalist's dream and being a successful Burner means meeting the challenges of reality head on. Not saying that the Greens don't -- well, on second thought, I guess I am saying that.
14. US political party

If you continue down the report you can find other interesting statistics, like these:

  • Page 27, the use of generators has almost caught up with the declining use of batteries (about 50%), while solar holds steady at about 40%. There are actually 0.8% who claim to use NO power source - so, not even a flashlight (or maybe they use only hand-cranked flashlights). Hard to believe.
  • Page 28, just a bit under 30% say they lived in an RV/camper-trailer on the playa.
  • Page 29, the population residing in placed ("theme") camps has risen from 54.3% in 2013 to 67.4% in 2017. 2012 was the year of the ticket lottery debacle, when the organization learned that, no, not everybody is equal; that those who build theme camps are the people who make Black Rock City. Beginning in 2013 the ticket system was rejiggered to give a preference to theme camps...and others who contribute solidly to BRC.
  • Page 31, reasons for attending Burning Man. This was multiple choice and "to consume intoxicants" came in at 4.8% in 2017. Nowhere to be found is "to abandon myself to orgiastic sex" or anything even close to that. But 43.1% said "to play and experience freedom" which could cover a lot of territory.
  • Page 32, important question introduced in 2015: "Did you feel safe in Black Rocky City this year?" 96.5% said very or mostly safe. 0.7% said mostly or very unsafe. It might have been informative to break that question down by male/female, but they didn't.
  • Page 33, the second question boils down to "Did you make any new friends at summer camp, honey?" And the campers answer yes at a rate of 78.2%. "Good for you, honey!"
  • Page 34, "After going to BRC, were you inspired to learn or practice any of the following skills?" The one answer to this that I really like shows how many are impressed by the DPW: 15.6% said yes to "construction/heavy machinery." If you liked to read about Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel when you were a little kid, you might love Burning Man.
  • Page 40, which of the Ten Principles is the most difficult to practice back in the real world? 40.5% said "decommodification."
    In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
  • Page 43, total spending in Nevada (not counting ticket price) averages $667/Burner or a total of $46,351,831. Yeah, so thanks Nevada, for adding a tax just for Burning Man on top of that because obviously we were such a drag on your economy spending all that money and then going out to an empty place in the desert and building everything at our own expense and then taking it all away at our own expense. Yeah, we musta nearly busted Las Vegas, we were such a leech on the state budget. The smell of money could turn any state into California.
  • Page 44, total spending on Burning Man, excluding ticket (and vehicle pass, I assume). This is for those who think Burning Man is "too expensive." 2.2% said they did it for under $250. 7.8% kept it under $500. 24.3% kept it under $1,000! I'm sure I've never exceeded a thousand in any one year, and several of my years were under $500, and I'm not miserable doing it. OTOH, there were those 7.8% who just couldn't keep it under $5000, but maybe a lot of that was for gifts.
  • Page 45 ticket prices. This does not tell you much, because they ask only about "face value" not dollar amount. The face value is whatever is printed on the ticket and that can be $425 (regular price) or "half price" which is $190, or one of the high priced tickets for those who want to donate more: $990 and $1,200. So 86.6% paid face value. This tells you nothing about how much they paid. It's more of a question of who got ripped off (paid more than face value, 1.9%) or got a great deal (by paying less, 0.9%).

permalink | May 24, 2018 at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2018

No Spectators - The Art of Burning Man

No Spectators - Renwick Gallery (1892)

No Spectators - Renwick Gallery (3040)

No Spectators - Renwick Gallery (4544)

Penny Bear (4604)

Greg & Shep view the Penny Bear (4613)
That's Greg & Shep looking at the penny bear.

Maya Angelou bust (4589)
Maya Angelou

No Spectators - Renwick Gallery (1889)

The Temple at No Spectators (4586)

XO (4629)
People played around on this in pretty much the same way Burners did

"Truth Is Beauty" replica (7686)
"Truth is Beauty" one-third scale replica.

"Truth Is Beauty" replica shadows (4536)

No Spectators - Renwick Gallery (4580)
These people are looking up at a small version of the artwork seen at the beginning of the following video:

This complete set of photos can be seen here.

permalink | May 12, 2018 at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

April 5, 2018

Arriving At Burning Man, last year

Self Upon Arrival in Black Rock City, 2017.
My shirt is clean; my tent behind me is not yet covered by my shade structure, so it's midday of my first day on the playa last year, 2017. Photo by George Post who is always there when I arrive and always still there when I leave and I'm beginning to suspect he might live out there all the time.

The umbrella hat, to my surprise, proved very practical. Kept my head well shaded, well ventilated, and the headband did not irritate me. That was what I expected to be my main objection, but, no, it's fairly comfortable. Not practical in wind, however.

If somebody wants to give me a word balloon, send it complete (not just an idea or suggestion) to me at RonsLog@RBGilbert.com

permalink | April 5, 2018 at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)

Gigapan Aerial Image of Black Rock City 2017

The Gigapan image is here. Below is the view of our Burner Buddies camp.


permalink | April 5, 2018 at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2018

Burning Man Dates For 2018

In a handy graphic!
Burning Man Dates For 2018

permalink | February 2, 2018 at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)