Not better, but just as important to me, quite close on the same lattitude just west of Black Rock in Quincy, CA is the High SIerra Music Festival. Been going for 13 years, I go early and make ambiance and art these days and build a little theme camp, when I say build I mean I "put together" and lead the camp so we can fit 25+ people in the coziness that is camping at HSMF. Ask anyone who has gone to this fest, it is very different from other fests, hard to explain why, it just is. You camp right by the stages, there is not much separation between band and fan. People treat it like a destination and REAL vacation, not just another summer stop. The gift economy is strong, people have cocktail parties and GIVE drinks away, there is a lot of sharing going on and nobody trying to sell you their hemp necklaces in the camps. (yeah there are vendors but they arent annoying like rando hippies can be) You can join a daily parade, or stay awake for sunrise kickball which is the biggest freak show sporting event in the world. hahaha. Oh yeah and the biggest reason of em all: the music. It is everywhere, in every nook of the entire intimate grounds, all live all the time. So many amazing acts from different genres, not just one sector of the scene. Old school and new school. Its a MUSIC LOVERS world. We even have our One Token Art Car, the Dancing Peacock, courtesy of Rogeman out of Carson City. Its about 10,000 peeps. Yeah we dont have 10 and Esplanade Dubstep DJs like SYmbiosis, we're not that kind of BMan like event. Our Burning man sister vibes are with the people and the overall feeling of sharing and experiencing the greatest live music together and participating in making it awesome. There is deep 22 year history, and it is still grass roots.
We had a cop problem in 04-06 but HSMF fought with the town to get it resolved, now we have been virtually cop free since 07!!! Its AWESOME.
STill have to watch out driving on the way in, though.
I know, TL/DR but fuggin A I was excited to talk about my "other" event.......The thing that is sad is that I will have to choose one or the other in future years. HSMF is July 4th weekend BTW. 2013 I am taking a BRC break and will be working HSMF again, but in 2014 I might have to skip my first HSMF ever for the Burn. Ouch........Not sure what to do yet. HSMF is so very important to me as music is my major interest.....But part of me would rather perform my shitty ditties at Burning Man and keep expanding.....I'll have to have them trade off every other year. The reason for that is because the Hubby wants to go traveling more, (and he can't burn) so I'm down with that!!! Alaska here we come!!