Let me first say that I have heard about Burning Man for some time now and have friends that are long time Burners (early 90s). I really made an effort to go in 2010, but my financial situation made me decide it was not the right timing. I was able to watch the streaming feed on the Burning Man website and actually saw the man fall for the first time live that year. After 2 Decompressions and a few fundraisers for sound camps, the temple, and the BRAF, I decided that I would not miss the festival for 2011. WOW! What an amazing experience I had. I prepared as much as anyone could (read the guides, spoke to friends, joined eplaya and got some tips, and watched countless hours of U-tube videos on/about the event). After a week of wonderful weather, I almost felt that I was over prepared (I know, just luck).
I have been reading the websites and newsletters for some time trying to figure out how I can get a ticket (I do not currently have one reserved) for 2012, I have been thinking about all of the things that I had done prior to actually attending the festival, something that gave me a taste of the community and the desire to continue or even enhance the feeling that I was getting when I was at these events.
So here’s the idea….BM BESTIVUS for the rest of us (or whatever you choose to call it)!
I am fortunate to live in the Bay Area, where there is a large community of Burners and lots of ways to get/stay connected throughout the year. The festival started local, so why not bring it back local (at least a supplement so those that can’t attend (or choose not to) could still celebrate with local Burners on that same day/night/weekend). In the Bay Area, something could be set up at GG Park or even a warehouse on Treasure Island. Since it is not on the playa, tickets could be sold and you could even let vendors in (if you wanted to). The money could be used to support local art in that particular community. The daytime portion could be filled with workshops, speakers, art, performances, art cars driving on the island, and even gifting. At night, there will be plenty of sound camps that don’t make it to the playa that would love to participate in an alternate way. All the while, the festival could be streaming from a large projector on a wall or monitors. Everyone could watch the man fall at the same time (without actually having to burn something locally).
I’m trying to keep this short, but I wanted the community (and possibly the BMORG) to get the idea and hopefully run with it. In the beginning, I talked about bringing this back local, but what I really mean is locally to wherever you are. All of the regions could set this up with the resources that they have. Granted, it might be more successful at first in larger cities where the infrastructure already exists (which could keep costs down).
That being said, I AM going to get a ticket (provided things don’t change for me in a negative way financially). I started to get connected with the local community before the lottery and plan on participating up to and during the event. I know that this isn’t the festival and won’t be the same as being out on the playa, but for someone who started his experience locally, it’s better than not having the experience at all. Besides, some of these people that just want to go up for the weekend or even the “sparkle ponies” (hope I’m using that term correctly) might opt to go to a local event and free up tickets for those of us that want to go for the entire week. It certainly will be less expensive. People that are flying in from other states or countries in hopes to procure a last minute ticket would also have an alternative if their plans fail or change.
I ran it by a few people (Burners) in the city last night as we gathered (from different Bay Area groups) and watched the Chinese New Year Parade. Some of them thought it was a pretty good idea so I am posting to get more feedback. I hope that this idea can move things forward in a positive manner (although I’m sure many of you will shoot holes through it). Let’s just say it’s another way for an ex-Birgin to try to participate collectively with his community…..
See you on the Playa (and hopefully, a few times before),