On 2nd September 2018 it was finally the time. Burning Man, hell yes! Last year I tried in vain to get one of the popular tickets, without success. But this year I was lucky.
Together with my DJ partner Ivo, I traveled to the desert of Nevada, where 70,000 so-called “burners” come together for 10 days.
There we stood in a huge column full of cars and RV’s in a violent sandstorm, which put the entire entrance control out of action. We barely saw the car in front of us in the column. So, we had no choice but to stay in the car and wait.
When the sandstorm didn’t seem so strong, we got out of the car and made our first friendship with many different people. The people in the RV in the column to the right of us even began to set up their PA system on the roof and started the first party.
After 10 hours we were FINALLY in Black Rock City in our camp “The global village” at 10:00 and Esplanade. By now it was 3:00 in the morning and we set up our tent in the dark. Afterwards, we welcomed our camp brothers and sisters with a big bottle of vodka and some beers.
A bit tipsy we got our bikes, which we bought in Reno for $60 to make the first tour in the Playa.
After some minutes we found the first art car. The bike is simply turned off and you start to dance! We were so fascinated that we completely forgot time. The sun rose, we cycled back to the camp for a bit of sleep. Finally, there were 9 more days ahead of us.
The next morning started, there were many new tents around us. We welcomed the new camp members. There were 2 Frenchmen, 2 Australian girls and 2 of our compatriots: 2 Swiss women. Quickly we became friends with everyone and drank beer with each other. In the afternoon we helped with the further development of the camp, at 40°C. At 9 pm there was always a warm meal in the camp. It was already dark, we put on our warm coats, illuminated ourselves and our bicycles, and roamed the area with the Australians. We looked at a different kind of installation and were astonished, what a huge effort the Burners operate for 10 days. It’s just gigantic!
Then we went off to the deep playa, the area outside of Black Rock City, which is arranged like a clock. From afar we saw laser beams in the air, violent bass thundered towards us. With a big grin on our faces, we all headed in the direction of the basses, until in the darkness we could slowly make out a silhouette of something very big.
We drove up close and could barely believe our eyes. We stood in the middle of the desert in front of a Boeing 747, which was completely converted into a mobile club with a murderous sound system, lasers, lights and all sorts of things. We boarded the plane, where we were greeted by the captain and got some food. We explored the plane, went on the wings and then on the terrace on the plane on top of it. There, a DJ was playing, with a fantastic view of the night where everything shone brightly. Everywhere you saw lasers, lights, bright people and bicycles. It looked like a fairytale. We finally realized: Hell yeah, we’re finally at Burning Man!
The next day started relaxed, we slept so long until we could not stand it any longer in the tent. In the afternoon we prepared for the first gig on Burning Man and put together our required material. We cooked something and then drove off to deep playa where we should look for a small pyramid. After 30 min. we finally found it, we were warmly welcomed, and we had a drink together. We installed our equipment and were ready for our first sunset gig on fucking Burning Man! After 2 hours playtime, we spoke a bit with the people and cycled as fast as we could to a toilet. Our bladder was filled with so many drinks that we could barely stand it. After the gig, we got back to Black Rock City and had a cozy evening cruising around.
Day 4 started and we helped in the afternoon to build up the rest of the camp. The other half of the afternoon we spent in the camp and rested a bit with some beers. In the evening we went for the first time to the Opulent temple, a big stage where ZHU should play. I still knew ZHU from my previous playlists, for example with his song “Faded”. So, we cruised with our bikes to the Opulent temple, where thousands of people were already celebrating. This also means that thousands of bikes stood around. We had no idea if we would ever find our bikes again. But that did not matter at this moment. We wanted to celebrate too! We got a spot in the crowd and started to dance. ZHU started playing shortly after, matching the sandstorm that was blowing. But that did not matter, the mood was way too good to go back to camp. ZHU played one of the best sets I’ve ever heard. Goosebumps all over my body! After that great set, the sandstorm was extremely strong. We decided to make a short break and wanted to search for our bikes. However, this was a huge challenge as thousands of bikes stood around and the sandstorm raged on. It seemed impossible, but after about half an hour we found the damn bikes. So, our crew went back to the camp, where we all met in a camper together to discuss our next steps. After an hour, the sandstorm calmed down and we started again into the night until sunrise in the deep playa where a sunrise set was played on the Mayan Warrior Art car. Just in time for the sunrise, even a couple married. The sunshine warmed us up immediately, at night it was only around 5°C.
Time flies by, another day passes and another follows. In the afternoon, we danced in the middle of the desert to funky house music and amused ourselves splendidly. At around 7:00 pm we played our next set at Camp Lip Bomb.
The people in this camp were completely crazy, just as we like it! We felt comfortable from the beginning. We played in an old camper trailer, which used to serve as a met lab. The camp then bought the caravan from the police. It was funny to hear that we played in a former Meth laboratory haha. During the set it was incredibly hot in there, the heat almost roasted us inside. The people outside seemed to like the music, some were already dancing on the tables, yeah!
Many impressions and experiences I have described from the first 5 days. I could go on writing forever, but I’ll never be able to tell the experience as it really was. On the internet, I’ve often read the saying that you cannot put the Burning Man into words. It’s like trying to describe colors to a color-blind person. And the more I write or tell people about Burning Man, I realize that’s exactly how it is.
You’ve to experience Burning Man once, I really recommend it to everyone.
For weeks afterward, I was still working on processing the impressions and experiences. I was able to meet so many loving people in this short time. Already on the way back home to Switzerland, I started to miss everything. But one thing is clear: Next year I will go back! Now I understand why people always told us: Welcome home!
This is the first video that I’ve ever seen that begins to come close to creating a sense of what Burning Man is really like. I must say that I’m very, very impressed with the results. Capturing the spirit, the intensity, serenity, and kindness is almost an impossible task. These guys nailed it!