2011 First Timers Experiences

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

Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby ibdave » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:58 am

yup
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby delle » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:36 am

I'm sorry for your experience OnTheRoad. To be truthful, I had been afraid that I'd have the same sort of experience as you. It has become very obvious to me in the last year just how jaded and positively unimpressed I have become, and I had myself convinced that nothing I'd find there would really and truly turn me on.

Fortunately for me, that couldn't have been further from the truth!



A few first-timer impressions and experiences:

Meeting our first burners on the road on the way in. The palpable energy. The huge smiles

The wonderful woman directing traffic to the pumps at Empire perfectly balanced the horrible feeling of exclusion emanating from the expensive bling-selling elitists who would not acknowledge your presence unless you had money in hand. The horrible feeling of “oh GOD, what ARE we in for” fortunately evaporated as we left them behind to join the line into the city at about 17h50.

Arriving at the greeters a scant 2 hours later, and being welcomed HOME. When asked if I preferred to make a dust angel or ring the bell, I plopped to my knees at the greeter’s feet and fervently requested “MAY I ring your bell, dear sir???”. His exposed penis, an inch from my questioning mouth, smiled a little smile. He told me he loved me. Somehow, this set the tone for the entire week.

I was amazed at how the slightest eye contact became the warmest invitations that BECAME your day. Whatever I set out to do (the M&G being the only exception) became secondary and unimportant as DOING whatever I was DOING took precedence over everything.

I was also bamboozled by the forms that the landscape took come darkness. From my first outing I was “plagued” by hallucinations…. Right outside of my bike’s beam were forests and ravines and mountains and ditches (which of course didn’t exist). When cruising the esplanade I often got the impression of overpasses and dark outlines of high-rises. The city, spectacular enough in its own right, took on a whole other ever-morphing dimension that continuously tickled a previously-undiscovered part of my soul.

It was mostly indescribable. My journal remains empty; 3 of my 4 memory cards as well. I was there to EXPERIENCE rather than document.

It is forefront still in my heart and mind tho, and I do believe is doing a number on my molecular makeup as we speak……
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:52 am

On.The.Road
I shouldn't even be burning...
I gave the burn a ridiculous number of chances. My husband loved it, but he needed me to be available to him at the end of his crazy ESD shifts, so I never had the freedom to enjoy the burn. After he died, I went one last time to say good bye to him with the people he loved, and I didn't know when it would be and missed it. By half an hour or something. I wept. Epically wept. I was never going to go again. Then I had a serious accident and the people on this board, and elsewhere, poured out so much love that I went again. And had a good time.
But I am not saying you should go five times before you start having fun. I'm pleased that you're giving the burn another chance, however.
As for it being depressing, that seems to be something that stowed away and came with you. I have had major depression episodes, and those are not trivial. I'm not the only one on this board, but I'm not going ot name names. If you read enough of it, you'll figure it out.
So, what can I recommend? Do the best to work on the emotional stuff. Make sure to take your meds. (I know you know this, and I hope I'm not saying this in a condescending way.) Perhaps hanging out on the board would be a good thing. Because it seems to me that having some people you know to camp with might improve things. (It may not. You may feel alone surrounded by people who consider you a friend, but it's worth a try. If for no other reason then you might have some help packing up, and have someone to take over whatever you leave behind.)
I wish you the best, whatever your choices.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Savannah » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:10 am

Beautifully said.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby On.The.Road » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:38 am

I'm a little short on time and I can't type the long reply you deserve, but thank you @theCryptofishist. All I have left to say is, everyone I've talked to about BM assumes the "radical self-reliance" part is the hardest part: they think I'm incredibly brave for going to BM plus a long road trip in a foreign country across the ocean, alone. I can never let anyone know how trivial that is, how the hardest part is feeling like 53735 people is 53734 too many
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby ibdave » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:58 am

like button....
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby percussivepaul » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:20 pm

OTR:
I totally get your feelings. The first two times I went I spent more time feeling bewildered, alone, and excluded than I did feeling welcomed and "home". When you carry anxiety or sadness or whatever with you, the bullshit at the burn can really get to you -- and there is a lot of bullshit, as you've noticed. I totally get the feeling too of being overwhelmed by the crowds.

I want to tell you that there is still a place for you. It is totally okay to be alone sometimes and not be part of the things that make you weary. And in fact you can have an incredibly rich experience if you stay on the margins of the city -- maybe even richer than the experience that "most" people seem to be having.

This year, riding out and sitting down and keeping point 3 company was exactly what I did, at 4am on Tuesday night, all by myself in the dark, though I was not alone for long as the sunrise crowd eventually showed up, and so did my very good friend and camp-mate who is something of a kindred spirit (though we hadn't planned it!). That 20 minute solo bike ride in the pitch blackness was so liberating; it remains one of my favourite memories of the week. On burn night I was with a group and it was hyper stressful, bouncing between major sound camps, oppressive crowds everywhere, but I escaped and found a campfire and sat for a long time, and went dancing by myself for a long time, and watched the sunrise at the temple alone (yet not alone), and found the front porch art car which was playing bluegrass music and had some really great interactions with a few people, and walked home on a cloud feeling totally fulfilled. In previous years I would felt like there was something wrong with me when I wasn't having fun, and instead of striking out alone and finding what I needed I would have tried to force it, and this would have strained my interactions and my experience.

Hang out on the deep playa, or go visit walk-in camping, or just park yourself anywhere where the atmosphere feels easy instead of difficult. There are places out there for you and you will know them when you find them; you just have to listen to yourself. And once you're there, the people that you meet will be the ones searching for the same thing, and you will find you can connect with them. I heard this year there is a crowd of people that watches the man burn from the deep playa, sitting in a circle, away from the noise. There's a spot for you, if you want it.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Sic Pup » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:45 pm

percussivepaul wrote: There's a spot for you, if you want it.


This was my spot:


Image

Image

Image

It remained that isolated up until Temple Burn Eve when all the early packers staged their vehicles for the quick get away.

There are as many ways to burn as there are burners, there's only one right way for you.

Burn your way and don't fall into the trap of conforming to the nonconformity.

Or it may be that you weren't meant to burn at all.

There's only one way to find out.

One attempt is not enough to discover it, IMO.
"Enjoy every sandwich" - W. Zevon
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby trilobyte » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:33 pm

creativecstasy wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
creativecstasy wrote:[edit] alright, why doesn't my BBCode work?

Go to your profile and uncheck the box that says "disable BBCode". (Why the default is for it not to work is one of those questions that has driven philosophers crazy for thousands of years.)



...I did. Like months ago. I just double check and it's on the right setting. /pout.


You're doing it (slightly) wrong. In addition to the list bullet code, you need code to enclose the entire chunk to call it out as a list. I'll abuse my powers to fix your post, you can go back and hit edit to see what I've done for future reference. :D
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby trilobyte » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:01 pm

Great stories, thank you for sharing (and keep 'em coming, first timers)!

@thelionking - I know how you feel. Many of my pictures are simply of art, I hate disturbing what could be a magical personal interaction.

@elKay - sorry to hear about your greeter experience. I suspect it was an individual's unfortunate choice, I spoke to someone else who came in around the same time and had a similar experience, but as you heard yourself others were getting to ring it. I never got to ring it my first year (different circumstances), but made up for it on return adventures.

@creativeecstacy - Wait a second... cold? This year was absolutely gorgeous. Make sure to bring LOTS more warm things for your next trip, just about every time I've been to the playa in the past it's been much, much colder.

@on the road - sorry to hear about your experience. A few comments to the numerous posts.. It sounds, though, that you were also getting your first taste of a lot of stuff in the default world as well, which may have affected your view of the event. It's not that I (or others) don't like those things, but those are all things that are always there and have 'been there, done that' on numerous occasions over the years. FYI, unless you broke that camp down and got everything packed up and MOOP'ed your camp's entire space while the sun was still up, you likely left MOOP. Another thing to add - should you decide to ever consider making the journey again, you may care to connect a bit with a regional community, or at least a group (such as Euroburners) who are able to help with the logistics of either gear transportation or camp infrastructure. Baggage limits are a huge pain, but that doesn't have to be the limiting factor on your experience. But Burning Man is not in itself a magic pill. If you don't feel good (about yourself, your life, the world around you, etc), simple attendance will not change that for you. I'll only hope that the net of your entire trip was a great journey.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby RedHeaven » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:14 pm

Wow great responses, I feel gratitude just reading. I thought people would snark him out but instead everyone is being super constructive and thoughtful! Yay!


Hahaha my first year in 05 I had the lamest greeter experience. He was so tired and didnt want any shenanigans. I asked if I could roll in the dust or something and he practically ignored me, so I did it anyway. Luckily everything from that point on was high energy :)

Sometimes I walk around BRC and feel alone. This was my 6th year and Im FINALLY starting to figure out where my energy works best. Some of those alone feeling moments out there though have been really special times with myself, autonomous and free in my head. Perspective....
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby graidawg » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:38 pm

OTR I am truly sorry you didnt feel the magic of burning man, i suspect if I had gone on my own with a road trip as you had I would of felt pretty much the same, when i planned my trip to burning man it was originally a personal suicide note. I had simply had enough and wanted to do something difficult so I could do something more difficult. along the way though something happenned, people reached out to me and literally changed the way i saw the world. I realised no matter how lonely I am i'm not alone i got to meet most of them and i could see they saw something in me i couldnt. Now i'm back in England having sat up all night (work in 2.5 hours) trying to fix that in my head.
From the moment i got to the gate, picked up my ticket from will call and i was home. haven't had a home for such a long time i was in my own personal heaven. I had some wonderful experiences, the first gift i gave ( a hip flask full of cinnamon whisky) and how it was recieved ( with a smile ) the first gift i got (thanks MDF) all the people i talked with and just being there was so great. I did virtually none of the things i meant to (damn that raiderball game i Would of won) but did so much i never imagined. before it was even half over I knew i would go again. next time i will do it different, because you cant do it the same.
i let some people down, i was meant to be fire safety for the conclave for the fireworks collective but didnt make it. sorry.
i surprised myself by not wanting drugs or getting high, or drinking half what i thought i would. i really suffered physically for half the week by the time i could cope with the heat and altitude the burn was half over.
a few people thanked me for making things special for them and it was difficult not say I didnt do anything.
some of he people i met are just so amazing i went looking for them time and time again just because they made everything brighter. a few people came by everyday and i enjoeyed there company and wanted to do more with them.
when i nearly accidently killed myself breathing fire, the people who came to make sure i was ok were so great, all the people who seemed to feel it was there duty or pleasure to make my virgin burn even better did so.
i would list the people but i would forget someone and feel bad about it so i won't
i cannnot wait to get back and see what happens for me next year and what i can help happen for others.

otr if you are there in 2012 come by barbie death camp and just sit a while in the superb shade structure with me and mdf, use the hammock if you like and just sit and chill share a bottle of warm water or a coffee its part of what made me so happy having a home in my home. i am sure you will find something to let you know why you feel you have to come back.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Eric » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:52 pm

On.The.Road wrote:I worked hard to "fake it" hoping to "make it", before, during and after (to anyone who will ask me, I will tell BM was an amazing experience, and it will be the truth. Such is the bizarro world of feeling like shit), but it just wasn't meant to be


Don't do that. Be you- if you're having a miserable time & just want to sit in shade alone & read a book, do it.

I had an off year this year as well- ended up having a pretty good time (with some amazing moments), but it's the first time ever I spent a lot of my time hiding away. I had a lot (and I mean a lot) of shit hit me in August and it kept me a bit more down than I hoped it would. I let myself be out of it, I let myself hide without feeling guilty about it. It's what I needed and I took it (it's also why people who came to Fandango looking for me kept getting vague responses from my friends at the bar as to where I was)

Next year don't try to fake it- allow yourself the freedom to not fake it. You might discover a whole different Burn you didn't know existed. You might also discover that you just don't like it- and that's all right as well. My best friend went 4 times & then said "done". It wasn't his thing, he stopped trying to force it to be.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby graidawg » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:11 pm

Eric wrote:
I had an off year this year as well- ended up having a pretty good time (with some amazing moments), but it's the first time ever I spent a lot of my time hiding away. I had a lot (and I mean a lot) of shit hit me in August and it kept me a bit more down than I hoped it would. I let myself be out of it, I let myself hide without feeling guilty about it. It's what I needed and I took it (it's also why people who came to Fandango looking for me kept getting vague responses from my friends at the bar as to where I was)

Next year don't try to fake it- allow yourself the freedom to not fake it. You might discover a whole different Burn you didn't know existed. You might also discover that you just don't like it- and that's all right as well. My best friend went 4 times & then said "done". It wasn't his thing, he stopped trying to force it to be.


damn thats we never found you! it was great meeting you at the mng though eric. next year i want a special pass to come harass you if you are hiding.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Eric » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:20 pm

graidawg wrote:damn thats we never found you! it was great meeting you at the mng though eric. next year i want a special pass to come harass you if you are hiding.


If I'm in hiding, no-one gets a pass. I threw out one of my closest friends at one point (*cough* "asked to leave").

That said, god help me if I have another month like August; I don't think I could handle it mentally. It's very unlikely I'll be in the same head-space again next year, don't worry.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby mars » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:05 pm

I love this thread...all the positive stuff as well as the brutal honesty of On.The.Road's downer experience. I especially love hearing the things that surprised you about BM during your first experience of it. What surprised me this year was that on my 9th burn I'm still enjoying it immensely and learning about myself and others and growing and changing from it in positive ways. And that the lessons I learned from my early burns are still part of who I am many years later.

I wanted to take a minute to respond specifically to some of the things On.The.Road said:

On.The.Road wrote:...The atmosphere just wasn't what I expected. All the unaltered rental RVs and moving vans with huge fuckoff logos were very depressing (although the U-Haul vans with random facts were so bizarre to me that they felt more credible than some attempts at BM art). Being repeatedly refused rides on art cars when I was on foot in the middle of the plaza ("this is a private party" - say whaaat?) was very, very depressing. The blinding sea of whiteness (and I'm not referring to the playa) was extremely depressing. People outside BRC accurately avoiding any eye-contact with someone who clearly was a fellow burner, while at the same time getting compliments and questions about BM and human interaction from random country yokels and store clerks: super depressing. And then tons of small stuff, like almost all theme camps looking closed/abandoned or otherwise unwelcoming, all the "circling the wagons"-style camps, what looked like the whole West coast raver scene, the white-hetero-male-friendly sexuality displays, the expectation to party everywhere all the time, the dirty looks you got for asking for alcohol-free stuff at bars, all the damn golf carts with huge blinding headlights, and what the fuck was the deal with the limo anyway?

To me, BM was not a life-changing experience at all: just more of the same shit I experience the rest of the year, except with blinkie lights, and smack in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. And dusty. I understand the potential, though, and I'll be back next year, hoping to get more than another week-long anxiety-ridden downer
\

You mentioned somewhere that you didn't have expectations, but this is where they show up. You had expectations about the atmosphere, and I sooooo understand that...for me, too, it wasn't at all what I expected. But notice how you made so many things out to be "wrong". The RV's and the the logos and the art cars who were "closed to the public". You made the demographics wrong (too white). And your interpretation that the wrong people made eye contact with you. I'm not scolding you...my intention is to reach out a friendly hand and perhaps help you see what it was that turned your burn into a bummer this year.

Some things about Burning Man were hard for me to get my first year there. All those closed/abandoned looking camps...i didn't get till later that many camps are only open to the public during certain times. And that some camps are private sanctuaries for people who are working their asses off at other places. There are many places on the playa where there is no expectation to party and where people generously offer you non-alcoholic beverages and where sexuality is less hetero- or not involved at all. I don't know why you didn't find those places and why you saw the limited view that you saw, but I guarantee you that if you turn 1/4 turn from the blinding golf carts, you will see something else. How is it that a limo that you know nothing about can so effect your mood????

YOu've got work to do, On.The.Road. I hear the sincerity and honesty in your tone and I believe you can do it. I have reason to believe that while your first burn sucked, you can learn a lot from it...in fact, you can learn exactly what you have been needing to learn. And I think you will do it.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:01 pm

It seems that Burning Man is a little like taking Acid.

If your head is not in pretty much the right place to start with, you may have a bad trip. :(
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby On.The.Road » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:32 am

mars wrote:You mentioned somewhere that you didn't have expectations, but this is where they show up.


OK, some expectations weren't met... but my bad experience stemmed from something a little more personal than, well, the bullshit. The bullshit was just annoying, not hurtful. What did hurt was feeling unnecessary and unwelcome. "Home" my ass. It wasn't any different than visiting any other city in the world. BRC turned out to be Money-Less-Vegas: another made-up city in the middle of the desert with creative lighting and kitschy art

If "finding my place" in BRC is going to mean sitting by myself alone, I don't see the point of BM. Nothing magic happened to me at BM. Nothing particularly amazing, either. Hardly anything notable happened. I'm going to assume I was just unlucky

mars wrote:YOu've got work to do, On.The.Road. I hear the sincerity and honesty in your tone and I believe you can do it. I have reason to believe that while your first burn sucked, you can learn a lot from it...in fact, you can learn exactly what you have been needing to learn. And I think you will do it.


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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby waxpraxis » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:26 am

So here's my story and my two cents...

I went to a regional burn this summer (Lakes of Fire) and was lucky enough to be with a camp that was doing something awesome (giving away s'mores) that forced interaction (I can be quite introverted). I was able to do something I do well (make and tend the fire) while tons of interesting and amazing people came to me. It was that interaction that suddenly made me "get it" I think and the day after I got home I talked to my wife about spending our 10th anniversary out on the playa this year.

We had an absolutely amazing time.

The group of friends I went to Lakes of Fire with were attached to a theme camp that got placed just off the 3 o'clock plaza. When we got in at around 11pm on Wednesday there really wasn't space for us and the big ass shade structure/love nest I had built so we just went down to 2:30 and H and pitched camp. Almost immediately a very nice by very drunk gentleman came by and asked if we needed any help. When we figured out it was best to have him hold "important" things up, things got going fairly quickly. :roll:

The next morning we went down to see my friends and soon there after a woman I've known online for a while but never met stopped by. It was like seeing an old friend! Both Patti and I got along with here like a house on fire and not long after she invited us for a ride on one of her camps art cars, woo! It was sort of like a stretch golf cart but with a huge articulated ichthyosaur skeleton on top. Wow, that was fun! One of the other passengers was a little girl who had a school assignment to write about the art she saw at Burning Man, so we spent the next couple of hours going from piece to piece out on the playa. It was amazing!

We quickly discovered that without bikes we had to keep our daytime activity to a minimum both because I'm pale as all hell and if we did much during the day we were dead tired by midnight. And so it was we spend the rest of time generally being slow and lazy during the day and then going out and exploring at night. My yellow el wire disco suit and my wife's purple el wire butterfly wings garnered us a lot of attention (at least it seemed that way to me!) and created a whole series of really fun interactions with strangers. I was even able to really break out of shell a few times when I spotted someone either lost, in need of help, or (by the end of week) just looked interesting to talk to! :D

It's funny but one of my most memorable moments out there without my wife was helping a poor dude whose costume fringe had gotten caught in the gear of his bike. We had to play this really funny version of bike + human twister for a few minutes in the middle of the road then he gave me a big hug.

She and I have traveled around the world together and NEVER have we immediately returned to vacation and then spent every night of next two weeks looking at pictures and video of where we just were!

With my wife, well... we just had the time of our lives seeing insane artwork, fireworks, and people. I thought the trip would be a stretch for my wife and she's already talking about figuring out how we can go again next year!

--

Now, that all being said, now that I've been there I really do believe you get out of Burning Man what you put in. Cases in point:

Our el wire outfits seemed to make a lot of people happy (particularly when we went near a sound camp and turned the sound reactive mode on!) and that in turn made us happy.

One day around sunset there was a guy with a crazy gripper arm thing walking down our street cleaning up moop. I saw him, thanked him, and asked him if he wanted a hard cider. Turns out he'd never had a hard cider before and absolutely loved it!

Similarly I brought with us a bunch of small color changing LED buttons. Originally they came with magnets to attach them to things, but I figured they would come apart way to easily, so I purchased a bunch of tack pin backs, glued them to the lights, and gave them out randomly as we walked around at night. Again, that sparked a bunch of really awesome interactions with people from all over the world. In fact on burn night I gave one to a guy whose from the town in Ireland where I proposed to my wife. He and I hugged like long lost brothers and had a great time enjoying the burn as a group. In another case the woman I gave one to was french and my wife got the chance to break out her french skills, which always makes her happy.

For virgins that didn't have a good time I'd suggest next time that you actively work to step outside of yourself. Whether that's by helping others, sharing artwork, or giving gifts. It doesn't have to be big, just thoughtful, and people will react wonderfully. Burning man seems to be like some kind of crazy boomarang; when you throw good stuff out there it comes back to you in incredible ways you'd never expect!
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Cheyenne » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:11 am

a big surprise my first year was the full range of emotions i'd run through over the course of my experience.


That is absolutely true - I knew I was going to be in for a bit of a rollercoaster as we were putting up a massive security deposit for our RV with essentially, people we have no experience with. Mostly it was ok - people didn't smoke in the RV, they generally didn't use the bathroom until the end of the week but it was still unpleasant on the way out and needed extra deoderant on the way back to LA.

My partner thought it was pretty bullshit until the third day... his endless retort of 'American drugs are crap' (I said you don't really need any to make it enjoyable), his whinging about the heat and dust almost made me want to say 'fuck off and do your own thing then' as I had had enough... but by the third day he had mellowed a bit and was starting to enjoy things...

We actually staying in camp more than I thought - but I think thats because our camp mates were really cool and welcoming to us first timers (thank you T'goners)... next year I think I'm going to consult the programme a bit more and not commit to doing as many jobs elsewhere than I did!! I wanted to do Yoga, meditation and give a talk about my archaeological research at the burning nerds symposium, but never made it to any of that!

I did however have a great time as part of the crew of our Art Car, the Dusty junk boat :)

Ontheroad - Your deep rooted depression permeates everything you say about the burn. I have first hand of dealing with it in the form of my partner who was deeply depressed and was even seeing someone privately at the priory. Your posts are exactly like the way David would see things on a daily basis and I certainly wouldn't have suggested going to Burning Man to him 3 or 4 years ago.

It sounds like the medication you are taking is not the right one for you. My mum, my sister and my partner have all battled depression in the past and it took a while to get their medication right and to get the symptoms under control. It is very very hard work to battle the feelings and the people around you usually have to pick up the slack. Everything is 20 times harder to deal with and cynicism usually sets in autuomatically when people are overly happy and joyous at what is going on around them.

maybe burning man was an indication that your medication is not right? To be honest, I don't suffer from depression and my first burn was pretty sedate compared to what other people had said to me about it - there were moments when it was pretty rubbish actually and I just wished I was at home getting on with the mountain of work I had to do for clients! By saturday I was done and wanted to go home (or more accurately I wanted that fucking RV to magically be cleaned as it was looking like a shit tip and was really messy)...

We will be back next year and I suppose it will be different. If by any chance you are coming from the UK - then please get in touch with us, there are an eclectic mix of British burners who are more than willing to give you the support you need

Take Graidawg up on his offer of shade/coffee/warm water at BDC&WB next year, or come see us at T'gon.

Your marathon drive sounded really interesting btw... maybe, in the end, road tripping is you solace and BM is not for you... but it is pretty gutsy for you to give it another chance

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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby ibdave » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:47 am

8) Wow, just got caught up and hugs to you all...
Been here a long long time and the Magic that has happened here is long over due...
O.T.R. Thank you for your courage to share with this sometime jaded burner your pain. On Playa I make ever effort to ensure everyone I meet that they are getting the most that they can handle without me/wife doing the "should've, could've, you need to" demands. People have to figure it out themselves.
My 1st yr I drove in not knowing anyone, woke up in the driver's seat, looked around and almost drove right out.
In 1998 my life was midlife spinning out of control at 100mph. in 1 week notice I drove up as a redneck, about to lose my wife, kids, job, basically my life.
Ended up Camping with a couple from my town and their 4 flaming gay friends. :shock: :shock: I left a changed person for sure, after the curtain into there lifestyle was pulled back, I only then began to understand more and became very close friends and that friendship has expanded so many direction it's mind blowing... :shock:

The magic happen in many forms and not for all. We all hope it happens to you.
8) 8) 8)
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Ginkgoglass » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:10 am

Flaming? They sound PERFECT for Burning Man.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby deutlich » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:17 am

RedHeaven wrote:Wow great responses, I feel gratitude just reading. I thought people would snark him out but instead everyone is being super constructive and thoughtful! Yay!


Noticed that too. As a newb, it really warms my heart. Been on many-a-forum and *boy* can the vitriol get bad...
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby deutlich » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:34 am

In other news...reading all of these makes me want to speed up the year to get to 2012! I mean, seriously!

I'm totally at a loss as to how to locate a good theme camp for next year. Like everyone, I've got personal tastes about where I want to be (certainly not near a major sound camp, for example). I definitely want to contribute some way (I'm damn good at fryin' up some potatoes) but I've no clue how that would all work out because I'd be coming from DC by plane. I tried scrolling through all of the theme camp names listed on the BMsite but GAWD that causes my eyeballs to hurt!

So... if anyone's got other tips or tricks, I'm all ears! I went to look at my regional burn forum but NO one posts messages there. Tickets just sold out for PDF in DE, so I'm going to keep tuned into even smaller burner events closer to DC.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:45 am

deutlich wrote: I'm totally at a loss as to how to locate a good theme camp for next year. Like everyone, I've got personal tastes about where I want to be (certainly not near a major sound camp, for example). I definitely want to contribute some way (I'm damn good at fryin' up some potatoes) but I've no clue how that would all work out because I'd be coming from DC by plane. I tried scrolling through all of the theme camp names listed on the BMsite but GAWD that causes my eyeballs to hurt!


Theme camp placement is far less relevant than being into their theme. Apply to camps with themes that appeal to you.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby deutlich » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:49 am

Drawingablank wrote:
Theme camp placement is far less relevant than being into their theme. Apply to camps with themes that appeal to you.


Oh, of course! It's the process of finding the camp that I was referring to. But with this much time left I'm sure something's bound to pop up. I also hope DC Burners working on a big ole art project that I could volunteer with. But again -- totally at a loss at how to even find that sort've thing.

I'm sure something will show itself.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby waxpraxis » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:18 pm

Hey deutlich - check out the regional burn Playa del Fuego. Tickets for the fall burn have already sold out I believe, but they have another one in the spring as well.

I'm in the DC area myself and a few friends and I are just now starting work on a project we hope to bring to at least one if not two regional burns and the big burn next year. It's not a "big ole art project" (in it's final form it'll look like a very odd bike trailer). Right now it's just a project and not a theme camp, but if you wanted to do something big I'd say just start going for it and make it happen for you.

The second I mentioned my project to other folks I camped with this year a bunch of burners and non-burners jumped in wanting to help. If you propose to build it, and it sounds bad ass, they will come!
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby deutlich » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:00 pm

waxpraxis wrote:Hey deutlich - check out the regional burn Playa del Fuego. Tickets for the fall burn have already sold out I believe, but they have another one in the spring as well.

I'm in the DC area myself and a few friends and I are just now starting work on a project we hope to bring to at least one if not two regional burns and the big burn next year. It's not a "big ole art project" (in it's final form it'll look like a very odd bike trailer). Right now it's just a project and not a theme camp, but if you wanted to do something big I'd say just start going for it and make it happen for you.

The second I mentioned my project to other folks I camped with this year a bunch of burners and non-burners jumped in wanting to help. If you propose to build it, and it sounds bad ass, they will come!


Hey there! You're right, PDF is sold out. I kept going back and forth about heading up there till it was too late for me to still be on the fence about it. I'm hoping something else, even if it's smaller, pops up closer to DC sometime soon. A burner friend seems to find something burner-y to do weekly! I've yet to get the scoop like he does but that's all right. All in due time.

Lemme know if you need an extra set of hands with your art project! I'd love to get my hands dirty (if my skills are worthy enough, that is). Don't even know if I can help.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby particle » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:10 pm

I was a first timer this year, coming by myself from Finland, knowing no one on playa except the people I had talked to shortly on the Internet. I had the time of my life, did a lot of things I never thought I would, saw a ton of amazing art, fell in love with the Temple, participated in many things (though I regret I didn't do Lamplighting like I planned). Most importantly made some great friends: some that only lasted for five minutes, some for a few hours, and a few that will probably last for years to come! I met an awesome international group of people from Happy Camp and ended up hanging out with them for several days, including an improvised post-Burn party in Reno.

I am also planning on joining forces with the Artists of Debauchery for next year since those guys were awesome and I ended up hanging out at their camp a lot. Fun story about their camp: I was trying to find them on Tuesday for their Adult Games event, but was unable to find anything at the location on the guide. After a while I heard a group of people passing by mentioning Debauchery, and turns out they were looking for the camp too. More and more people came and soon we had a group of dozens of people shouting "Debauchery, Debauchery". We finally find the camp, and their sign has fallen down and their tent is collapsed. Apparently the event was cancelled since their main shelter had collapsed. The group instantly decided to rebuild it, flash mob style, with duct tape, rope, and sheer force of will. Finally the tent goes up and the games begin. It was amazing since only a half an hour before the camp was sure that they were going to have to cancel all of their scheduled events, and weren't even sure if anyone would have showed up anyway.

The tent stayed up for a few hours, and in the end people were standing holding it together while others kept playing inside. That night the games had to be cut short, but next day the camp was able to assemble the tent for the third time, this time in a fashion that stayed up for the rest of the week, and all the Adult Games events were apparently very successful.
Last edited by particle on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2011 First Timers Experiences

Postby waxpraxis » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:15 pm

deutlich wrote:Lemme know if you need an extra set of hands with your art project! I'd love to get my hands dirty (if my skills are worthy enough, that is). Don't even know if I can help.


Aw, thanks! :D

Right now I'm in the "fuck... will this even work..." phase. Once things are going though I'll certainly hit you up. The 1024 reflectors I'll need to make and attach aren't going to just hop into existence on their own! If you're into electronics at all let me know as well, there's probably going to need to be a weekend or two of soldering at some point.
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