Burning Man 2023
Well that was unique… I don’t quite know of anybody who has gotten rained on so hard out there in the past. It surely has happened to the build and take down crews, but to come down during the event was new to us. Coming back to the real world and seeing the news stories were hilarious, and generally was another lesson in how sensational these outlets love to make things out to be.
One recent idea that has stuck for me: A big pet peeve of mine is people talking about how Burning Man is for rich people. Burning Man is for the rich in the same way that commercial flying is for the rich. Some people buy first class international tickets for $5,000, and some buy the $150 round trip on a budget airline. You can’t be poor, but you sure as hell don’t need to be rich to do it.
A highlight was one late night that my friends and I were roaming around from stage to stage, repeatedly disappointed at the music, when we finally decided to explore the inner neighborhood. It was about 3am and quite dead, except for a few little gems that felt like oases in the middle of a desert. The first was a makeshift village, with a tiny jazz bar, a billiards room, and a waffle house. The next spot blew our minds. We biked along a few more quiet streets and finally heard some noise at an intersection. We stepped into a narrow opening that lead into a beautiful dimly lit bar that was thriving. Come to realize it’s a full absinthe bar with proper glasses and different varieties. We spent two hours there socializing, not realizing how much time flew by.
The storm that came was a surprise to us, and caused everyone to shift our expectations. However, the media outlets embellished the hell out of it, and to be honest, the first 24 hours was the best night and day lots of people had all week. It’s possible that it was due to initial lowered expectations, but damn if it wasn’t amazing to see fifty thousand people collectively say “Fuck it, let’s make the most of it!” and toast some drinks together. No one was suffering, or even worried for that matter. Most people left one day later than they would have, and it simply dampened our plans for the last two nights.
To be honest, had I missed this one, I would have been devastated.