In the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night we stumbled upon an organic shaped bamboo pod. Inside were twinkling strings that would sing the sweetest notes when they were plucked. As we made music under the stars, we met two incredible women who also found themselves in this peculiar place and time. They told us that the whole idea of ‘the burning man’ came about when the founder, Larry Harvey, was heart broken after his girlfriend left him for another man. Drunk and enraged, he built a man out of scattered driftwood along the beach and set it alight. Watching it burn he let go and cried and felt the weight lift. And that is how it all began…
Now some 25 years later, Burning Man has become an iconic and one of a kind event. It’s no easy feat trying to convey the vastness, the bizarre nature and beauty of Black Rock City and to fully understand it, one must experience it first hand. None the less, we have tried our best to scrape the surface of this spectacular enigma and share with you some of our insights about eating, drinking and of course, playing at Burning Man.
Seven days in the desert means you will be bringing plenty of your own food and drink to survive. However, when you are out and about there are hundreds of theme camps making and baking with love to share good food with you! We narrowed it down to our favourite places to grab a bite :
Located in the French quarter you will find bubbly mimosas and crispy bacon. Head on over for a morning that will make your day!
Right on the main drag close to centre camp. The smell of fresh Tuscan flat bread and mint tea will have you floating on air. These guys are there every morning to make you feel fabulous.
Serves the kind of falafels you dream of when stranded in the desert. But it gets better, a humous fountain, cold beer and Middle Eastern music will take you away on a magic carpet ride.
Shabbat Dinner by Milk and Honey camp
This is a special, traditional Jewish celebration on the Friday evening and everyone is made welcome. A spread for some 400 people over two seatings is truly heart warming and the food is delicious!
You’ll find this on Esplanade and it is of our favourite places to visit. This tremendous camp is all about making you feel loved, refreshed, happy and recharged. Smiling faces and pink fluffy couches get you half way there. Stick around for the daily chocolate and coconut ice cream and chilled cucumber water. An absolute treat in the hot dusty weather.
And when you’re feeling thirsty and ready to dance, check out these hot spots…
You’ll find these guys on 9:30 & H. It was their first year on the playa and boy did they bring it. A sweet chill out space, fully stocked bar and music that will have you dancing for days makes this place one of our favourite finds.
Can you think of a better combination than champagne and bass heavy tunes? You can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be dancing your worries away and shaking that booty til the last bottle pops.
A flame throwing, wild and impressive stage. Look for fireballs shooting into the night sky and ride on towards the warmth. Loud, grungy and deep techno Haus all night.
If you need a break for the boom boom you’ll find it here. Make sure you make it for the 90s night for sing a longs and old school blasters. They also do a killer Prince vs. Michael Jackson night.
For those who wait or wake for sunrise, Robot Heart is where you want to be. Listen to some thumping dance tunes while the magnificent sun warms the desert plains.
A mellow chill stage with day beds and awesome Dj line ups. We melted listening to the mash ups of DJ Dat Fat.
Burning Man is an adult playground, full of spectacular art, games, performance and oddities. It’s an endless maze of delights for, so our top recommendation is too hit the playa and explore ! Here is what we discovered…
The Mayan Warrior
This is a magnificent mutant vehicle that travels every year from Mexico to Black a Rock City. The lights will dazzle you and the heavy tribal beats will move your soul.
Located in the Burning Man exhibition space, Samskara is an immersive mutil-sensory experience by the mind blowing Andriod Jones. Pack your bags and open your mind before setting sail across the multiverse.
Something Freaky This Way Foams
This is a performance where you are the main act. Strip off and foam up, this place is a hot favourite amongst dusty desert dwellers.
Auto Sub (Automatic subconscious)
Auto Sub puts on a world class poetry slam where everyone is invited to share their creativity in a personal and intimate environment. This will bring you to tears and have you rocking with laughter.
This is another bad ass mutant vehicle, as the name suggests it’s a rainbow fish playing disco tunes. Look out for the colourful fins and jump on board!
Darwin Fish Tank
Has a whole bunch of DIY activities like henna tattoos and Indian headdresses.
If you didn’t have enough time to figure out costumes, never fear the costume cult is here giving away 300 tonnes of costumes over the week. Hailing from New York, their collection is donation based so they really go full circle at Burning Man.
Oh the art! The playa is decorated with the most mind blowing works. From a peep hole LSD temple to gigantic anatomical bronze sculptures, the art here is like no other and truly breath taking. Take a day, at least, to explore this wondrous outdoor gallery.
Above all else, Burning Man is about giving, radical inclusion, self expression, idea sharing and transformation. The design of the space is a testament to the purest form of creativity that turns nothing into something, spectacular. While all the music, food, camps and stages create the city, the true magic of burning man is in the unscripted human interactions and connections we make along the way. We asked people if there was one word you could use to describe Burning Man what would it be. Childhood, wonder, creativity/creation, grandmother love, playfulness, the best gift ever, expression, stimulation, real life, community and generosity were just some of the responses.
We had a hell of a time and thank you to all those who made an everlasting impact on our first burn! We will be back. One last hot tip, if you’re suffering from those post burning man blues, we have found a solution. Symbiosis is happening in Oakland and we can’t wait to decompress and share the love at this 3 day community, art and music centric gathering. Tickets available here.