Burning Man 2022
“Damn I missed this…”
I turned to look at my best friend after he muttered those words staring at the collective energy of a dance floor on the esplanade on one of the first nights. I felt it too. It had been three years since an official Burn had taken place, and even though I came out to the playa last year for the renegade Burn, this one scratched a different itch.
Collectively, everyone was excited. We were counting down the days until we’d be out there with our camp setup and able to have fun. The first sunset when you’ve finally gotten yourself dialed in, when the air cools and the lights slowly come on, is one of the best feelings you can have out there, knowing that you’ve finally arrived. We took our camp’s virgins on a tour of the playa on that first night, and were in the best moods and felt the comfort and joy of our city once again. It then felt like we had just been there yesterday. Everyone in attendance was amazing as usual. Hugging and smiling and dancing, we were finally able to let loose after over two years of lockdowns and uncertainty.
Something I would like to bring up: It concerned us as we noticed how many more people seemed so image conscious, aiming to fit a mold of outfits and styles that I’m assuming they see online. Scott London once said to me “Burning Man isn’t a costume party”, which said to me that you’re supposed to feel free to do whatever you want, elaborate or simple, but not feel pressured to look a certain way. The amount of self filming and image obsession increased yet again this year, and it was tough to see so many people being more concerned with themselves rather than the experience. I’m being judgmental as hell about it, but even as I braved the deep playa crowds for as long as I could, I never lasted long and had to step away.
Once again, enough complaining.. The bottom line is that the spirit of the Burn is very much alive and well. The core values are still respected, and all types of people are there keeping it going strong. I’m constantly surprised at how many people in the outside world say to me “Oh, but Burning Man has become very commercial now, hasn’t it?” I get a bit defensive and tell them that Burning Man is probably the only big event of this kind that has 100% resisted commercial influence, and will continue to do so in the future. One of its ten fundamental principles is decommodification. If you think you’re too young/old, too boring, too scared of the elements, or anything that worries you, and you’re curious about it, please come and join the fun.
One aspect Burning Man has been trying to improve is that it is very much a light-skinned event. I have been delighted to see the level of diversity step up each year, this time seeming to make a big leap, and I would love to see it continue to grow. Black artists, organizers, anything, please join the party, and bring more from your circles.
Most people I knew made it out without traffic, but the fact that it blocked up into a twelve hour wait by late Sunday and all day Monday, really showed how much people wanted to soak up every last grain of what the playa had to offer this year. I had to say goodbye to my friends while watching the man burn, but if it wasn’t for my 6am flight out of Reno the next morning, I might have wanted to stick around an extra couple days as well.
Thank you for being here. Welcome home…
Our favorite, DJ Dan
Finally a dusty morning