Good morning folks!
So I thought I should introduce myself (Martin) and my partner (Vivien) ..albeit by proxy - as in introducing her by proxy...she's not my partner by proxy. Hmm. I tend to ramble; I apologise in advance for this.
Anyyway, we're from the UK (currently Liverpool...soon to be Manchester)...and we're a tad more mature than a lot of first time burners seem to be. Or rather, Viv is mature...i'm just "old" ...allegedly. Thankfully 47 doesn't feel very old, though that could be more to do with my lack of conventional maturity of course.
As the title suggests we are virgin burners looking to make our first foray into the Playa this year. I've had a few friends who have thrown themselves into the experience; but this year I decided it was time to actually get out there. Partly due to some prodding from a UK friend who is a regular burner and DJ at Burning Man, partly because it fits with the fairly significant series of major life events happening this year. It just feels like Burning Man would bring a lot of "stuff" together for both my partner and I, in ways that no other experience could. Also I suppose, because my DJ friend is trying to take a lot of the Burning Man ethos out into the rest of the world through a series of large shows and being involved with that means we should probably experience it for myself.
But mainly because it looks and sounds like one of the most engaging and powerful experiences we could have; that alone makes it worth doing.
So - we have our tickets (that was a nail-biting night!) and we are slowly preparing ourselves. Sadly; for two people who are ultra-organised and very much "doers", we've yet to arrange little things like..where are we going to sleep (on those occassions when we manage to, of course). I've been looking at RV's ...and in particular RV's that are taken to the Playa for you. I know, I know - I have read several debates around turnkey/plug and play camping and I completely get why that process could be damaging to the Burning Man ethos and therefore the experience. I should make it clear we have no desire whatsoever to buy into the "adventure camp experience" whereby someone just lays everything on for you. We're both keen to be self-sufficient at all times so letting someone else handle EVERYTHING is not for us. But that said; when you're looking to arrange stuff from the UK it's a very attractive idea to have someone take the RV to the Playa for you. Realistically; we won't have much time to play with (huge job changes, significant family issues and the fact we're in the process of buying a new home all impact on our available time in ways we can't control). GIven that; taking time out to get all the camping supplies we need once we're over there would prove difficult at best; more importantly it also means buying a lot of kit that we then either gift to someone or dump. If we can't find someone to take it then we've just contributed to landfills..that seems wrong. The "leave no trace" ethos; for me, should apply all the time..not just on the playa. So my apologies to those who frown upon RV's being provided on the Playa; but for foreign visitors who need to have everything paid for in advance so there's little in the way of nasty surprises (like cleaning bills) it's a practicable solution. Equally - they're so booked up it would mean booking one from so far away that it adds extra driving time that we may well not have.
Obviously if anyone has suggestions around this I would be keen to hear them; by suggestions I mean places that simply provide an RV (we're happy sorting out food, water and other supplies to take along) OR alternatives that I haven't considered yet.
I have to stress, before anyone mentions it, we are completely committed to the idea of participating rather than spectating. My DJ friend is tied into a couple of the larger camps so I'm hoping we can ride his coat-tails and work in one of those; but any other suggestions are welcome. We don't want to simply wander the playa for a week..as nice as that sounds. We like doing things, we like getting involved and as we probably won't be able to carry much to gift in terms of physical objects - giving of ourselves, our time and efforts, seems a good place to start.
We used to put on very large warehouse parties in London with much the same ethos. Nobody was paid, we all played and worked for the experience..and loved every second. (Ok maybe not EVERY second..but close enough
Anyway - I'm rambling again..as I have a wont to do. (I did warn you....). Now it's time for me to browse yet more threads...no doubt I will see some of you in those.
Excited does not even begin to cover it