What do you need from Burning Man?

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby JCarter » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:36 pm

I was attending a presentation about opium awhile back and it was mentioned that for some people opiates resolve all of the needs you had before you started using opiates(need for food, sex, etc.,etc.) and replaces it with one need, the need for more opiates.

In one of the threads about Burning Man selling out it was mentioned that some people(in the generalized sense) were reacting to Burning Man selling out the same way that an addict would when they can't get their fix.

I don't really want to argue if Burning Man is or is not an addiction(that's another discussion for another time) but I would like to take as a given that a whole lot of people have a very, very strong need to go to Burning Man(if you don't agree then I would ask why you are on e-playa at all).

If you think about it objectively Burning Man isn't a "slam dunk" as far as something someone would want to go to. It requires a lot of work-hours no matter how you cut it(either work-hours in the form of money, construction, volunteer work, or all three) and the conditions are rarely "kind".

However, people do go. In the past 10 years attendance has doubled and the only reason it will not continue to raise is because of external factors. For some people the idea that they might not be able to go seems to make them very, very unhappy.

This leads me to believe that Burning Man fills some very urgent need for a significant number of people.

At first I thought it was the ideals of Burning Man that was the need that was being fulfilled but when I think about it more that doesn't really hold that much weight. As has been pointed out to people who can't get ticket to Burning Man there are many regional events that have the same ideals of Burning Man(and are even made with the full cooperation and consent of BMOrg in most cases) and are easier to get to for most people, cheaper, and more comfortable.

I would say that the need is for a specific event(a specific artist, style, event, or person) but if that was the case then whatever the event was would be billed above and beyond everything else which isn't really the case.

So, what am I not seeing? What deep, almost visceral need is being fulfilled/do people want to fulfill by 50,000 people(and counting)?
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:00 pm

I just have one question: Have you been?
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby JCarter » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:16 pm

junglesmacks wrote:I just have one question: Have you been?



Yes, yes I have.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:17 pm

JCarter wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:I just have one question: Have you been?



Yes, yes I have.



Just checking :D
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby JCarter » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:27 pm

junglesmacks wrote:
JCarter wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:I just have one question: Have you been?



Yes, yes I have.



Just checking :D


I realized about 30 seconds before you responded that I should have been more clear. I went once in 1999. I don't consider my experience to be really representative as I was not in a place where a "burner" should be, I think. I was much more concerned with being super super tough and hardcore than I was with experiencing the playa and that colored my experience(if you are curious I can send you a PM for the slightly longer version but the sound bite version is close enough for gov't work).

So I think that there is something that I am not seeing that a whole lot of other people are seeing. Especially after reading the freak outs over BM tickets selling out.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby AntiM » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:09 pm

The people I'd not see otherwise.
These are not my fuckos.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby trilobyte » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:03 pm

I don't need anything from the event. I've had a few years off, and I've been out there a few times in the past (and enjoyed those adventures quite a bit). While it's impossible to have absolutely no expectations after having been a few times, I try to keep them as low as possible, as I think setting expectations too high can color the experience, or set oneself up for disappointment.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Trishntek » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:59 pm

The attraction to Burning Man for me is the length of the event. There are efforts worth a weekend and there are efforts worth doing for an fifteen day adventure. Regionals are limited by time. It would be prohibitive for me to set up Retrofrolic for a long weekend. I use bits and pieces of it at parties, camping trips and festivals.

That is why we intend to create a default-world Retrofrolic next door after we return from TTITD. The Ventura/Santa Barbara area HUNGERS for such a place. We have over 100 people willing to participate with us to create a non-business, self-supporting place for pink, pain and pleasure. To have a permanent place ready 24/7 for such activities is a dream I never conceived before I attended BM2010.

Yes, as a virgin I created and sponsored a theme camp successfully. I had never seen a theme camp prior to building Retrofrolic. It is a genuine creation based upon solid information gleaned from this website, a lifetime of 4 season camping in Western North America and living Radical Self Reliance. Radical Self Expression is what I yearn for and Burning Man provides the opportunity to really share what is in my soul.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby LostinReno » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:33 pm

For one week a year, my faith in humanity is restored.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby jkisha » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:24 pm

For me, it is also the people I'd not have otherwise invited into my life (and vice versa), among other things. But, though I'd miss it, I doubt I'd have withdrawals if I had to miss a year. It's interesting to me that this one little two week vacation takes so many months of preparation. And then just the playa coming to life with all the fire, art, diversity. Hmmm....I thought this was going to be a short post, but I could go on and on. I guess I just really like it all!!! :D
AntiM wrote:The people I'd not see otherwise.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby CapSmashy » Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:38 pm

It is all about the people for us as well.

I am branching out this year and doing some volunteer stuff to shake it up a bit, but our motivating force for going is our family in the dust.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby headquarters » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:48 am

I like it because it's the one place where everyone is on vacation. I know the LEO's aren't and doc's and whatnot but that's about it.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby C.f.M. » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:01 am

Opium would be nice, now that you mention it.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Packoderm » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:24 pm

Ask not what Burning Man can do for you; ask what you can do for Burning Man.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Minxy » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:51 pm

Interesting thread!

I don't "need" anything from the burn, but there is much I rejoice in; that feeds my spirit.

I have experiences there I don't think are possible anywhere else. I love the random cool people I meet and the random occurrences of weird synchronicity. I love meeting folks I've talked to online but finally get to meet in person. I love volunteering for new jobs and having new experiences every time I do that.

I love the art and the fire. I love the costumes. I love coming across random dancers (of many types) and just being blown away by the hooping, spinning, ballet, acrobatics, whatever.

I love being out there for 10+ days with almost no schedule and the freedom to do what I want. I love the rhythm and pace of life there and the fact it's out in the middle of nowhere. I love the harshness of the environment. I love the white outs and the beautiful sunsets and the beautiful sky. I love being up before sunrise and finding a quiet spot on the playa, alone, to sit and sip coffee and watch people and the sunrise and also to chat with random folks occasionally.

I love seeing shit that makes me just burst into laughter and "oooooh" and point. I love sitting in the temple and contemplating life and remembering the people in my life who have passed. I love writing a little love letter to many of them and praying/sending them my love on the temple wall.

I love gifting things and making other people happy. I love the random gifts I get that totally surprise me and give me that warm, happy, glowy feeling.

I could go on and on, but I think I've made my point. Burning Man makes me happy!
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Foxfur » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:40 pm

It's all about the people for me. And helping them. Packing a few tools that may come in handy, hopefully I can fix something that someone thought was totally broken. Electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, emotional, I've got a large skill set and am willing and able to help others. :D
I was thinking of saying "I stand ready to service my fellow man" but thought that would be pushing it a bit hard...
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby jkisha » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:51 pm

Doesn't have to be hard when you push it?
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby ygmir » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:54 pm

Foxfur wrote:It's all about the people for me. And helping them. Packing a few tools that may come in handy, hopefully I can fix something that someone thought was totally broken. Electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, emotional, I've got a large skill set and am willing and able to help others. :D
I was thinking of saying "I stand ready to service my fellow man" but thought that would be pushing it a bit hard...


you are the "punmaster of double entendre," you clever you..........
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby ygmir » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:55 pm

LostinReno wrote:For one week a year, my faith in humanity is restored.


+1 and agreed!!!
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Foxfur » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:05 am

jkisha wrote:Doesn't have to be hard when you push it?

With my tools it's all about technique. :lol:
I keep wondering when someone's gonna snap and tell us to get a room...

ygmir wrote:
Foxfur wrote:It's all about the people for me. And helping them. Packing a few tools that may come in handy, hopefully I can fix something that someone thought was totally broken. Electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, emotional, I've got a large skill set and am willing and able to help others. :D
I was thinking of saying "I stand ready to service my fellow man" but thought that would be pushing it a bit hard...


you are the "punmaster of double entendre," you clever you..........

Words are fun!
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby TwoHott » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:12 pm

[quote="JCarter"]So, what am I not seeing?[/quote]

Answer: The Magic

Rather blunt I suppose. But sometimes less words are more poignant.

You may have gone once, but were you really there? On all levels? Were you All In? Think about it. Or were you, like watching TV with your eyes closed?

It's not something you analyze and dissect too much. It is something you do. It's not something you just experience – it is what you create.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby OregonRed » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:24 pm

This will be Burn number eleven for me and I can tell you what I get out of the Burn:

1. A sense of accomplishment. It's not about just being tough enough to survive in the desert, it's about being smart enough to live comfortably in that environment for seven to ten days. I also run the Oregon Fire Conclave so I get the joy of working with fire performers for eight months a year on a really amazing performance that wouldn't happen without the event.

2. The old friends I've yet to meet. Every year I meet at least two people who are so mind-blowingly amazing that I cannot imagine why it took so long for us to meet. People tend to have their defenses lowered out there too, so the conversations you have are, generally, deeper and more amazing than most conversations I have in Camp Reality.

3. The Village. Terminal City REPRESENT! I love these people so very, very much! They are the family that I would have chosen.

But those are my reasons. Others have to find their own reasons to go to TTITD.

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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby CapSmashy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:08 pm

OregonRed wrote:3. The Village. Terminal City REPRESENT! I love these people so very, very much! They are the family that I would have chosen.




MWAH!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Dr Jet Sinister » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:41 pm

CapSmashy wrote:
OregonRed wrote:3. The Village. Terminal City REPRESENT! I love these people so very, very much! They are the family that I would have chosen.




MWAH!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:24 am

Are you putting into Burning Man the same things that you hope to get out of it?
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby teef » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:02 am

The rest of the year is full of people who are turned off by a lot of things like nudity, homosexuality, art that is ugly/scary/offensive, drugs, heat, crowds, inconvenience, noise, weirdoes, cursing, etc. Most of those types are good people, but their conventional attitudes become irritating after a while.

The playa is a way to get away from those people, but still have a community. Taking a break from the conventional attitudes and judgements isn't a "need" in the strict sense, but it is a deep desire.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Foxfur » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:20 am

teef wrote:The rest of the year is full of people who are turned off by a lot of things like nudity, homosexuality, art that is ugly/scary/offensive, drugs, heat, crowds, inconvenience, noise, weirdoes, cursing, etc. Most of those types are good people, but their conventional attitudes become irritating after a while.

The playa is a way to get away from those people, but still have a community. Taking a break from the conventional attitudes and judgements isn't a "need" in the strict sense, but it is a deep desire.

Beautiful Teef. Thank you.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby Frostyfire » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:16 am

honestly i do not know . need is such a strong emotive word and i loath to use it here . we all have needs , many and varied,i would much rather phrase it as such "what do you hope from burning man"

to that i would reply . i am hopeing for connection . to find something i have long lost. a sense of family, belonging,acceptance. no matter how weird or fucked up i may or may not be. to be judged by the content of my heart, not the content of my wallet, diplomas and trophies on my wall. i hope .. to step away from the shackles of sociological slavery. to free my head from governmental restraints . to leave mc donalds .7-11.minimart.cellphone. brady bunch .bibble thumping. cranium cluttering bullshit behind for a week (10 days for me . weeeee!)................

we hope, for the freedom that we should so rightfully have the other 51 weeks of the year, true . unfiltered . self expression

WE HOPE

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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby swampdog » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:30 pm

Burning Man is a space where I can practice being my best self and learn new ways to be.
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Re: What do you need from Burning Man?

Postby peachandpapa » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:34 pm

I'm an eight year burner and can relate to every one of your posts. It is for that very reason my wife and I are bringing our 14 yr. old daughter this year. It is one of the only places on earth where you can see, do, and participate in an environment of love, respect, and community. As someone stated above, it is a place of magic for one week. How could I not take her?
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