Category: AT conclave

So – a squee post over all things Burning Man. Maybe it’s even going to be my version of what new attendees should know. We’ll see how long I can spend on it today ūüėõ

First, theme camp placements are out. There’s a list, there’s a list by address, another by address but color coded, there’s an interactive map, oh and if you didn’t have it, a map of the city.


My modified map, with some important (to us!) locations

Random and I are camping with Homebrew for a Homebrew, which is a registered theme camp for the first time this year!  That also means we moved.  We are going to be along Evolution (the OUTER ring around Center Camp) close to the 6:00 spoke.  (Note that if you are walking along DNA, this should also take you right in front of our camp. Though the addresses are approximate, once you get near the intersection you should be able to find it.)

We’ll be spending a lot of time at PEX – Esplanade and 8 – as well as other favorites… Camp Jersey is in the 4:30 keyhole plaza (in the plaza if the Man is at 12, they are at 7).¬† Whiskey and Whores were placed at the 7:30 keyhole, and we’ve been asked to help out with a bartender shift as they will have much more traffic! ūüėĬ† Some of the people from our conclave group are with the OMCC, at Center Camp and 3.¬† And well, there’s hundreds of other theme camps too!

A larger number than expected were rejected from official placement (due to a smaller city than last year and more applications), and there will be a separate what-where-when guide that many of these camps are compiling together.¬† Don’t worry there will be plenty of fun stuff to see and do!

Though I hate having a schedule, we’ll have more of one this year than ever before.¬† A friend of ours will be having a wedding out there!¬† Wednesday night we will perform with our conclave group at PEX.¬† Since the Shiva Vista stage is burning Thursday night, I expect we’ll try to spin there during open spin times on Wednesday night.¬† We’ll need to figure out when we are bartending at Whiskey and Whores, and Saturday night of course is our main conclave performance before the Man burns!


Since I talk about it a lot – if you don’t know what Burning Man is, go to ¬† My blog about last year is here.¬† I did a blog for my town blog in two parts – here and here.¬† Those are the best places to get started – though there are lots of places you can find anyone’s thoughts on the event or search for photos.¬† (Oh my photos are here – but taken with disposable cameras, I leave the good shots to those who take better ones out there!)

If you think you could never camp in the desert, I just want to say that’s what I thought and this will be my 4th burn.¬† You’d be surprised.¬† Weather can be harsh, it’s hot in the day and cold at night, but it’s really not that bad.¬† Sit around in the shade if it’s too hot.¬† Do whatever you have to do during dust storms.¬† (Hunker down or go for a walk! Just be CAREFUL because some people still insist on driving/biking in white out conditions.) Try not to expect any one thing, and be open to everything (at least everything within your boundaries – though it’s fun to push them a bit :D)


What’s that? You got a ticket? Great!!¬† If it’s your first time, here’s some help.

GO READ THE SURVIVAL GUIDE.¬† Even if you have been before!¬† The first timers guide will also have good advice.¬† Send an email to to subscribe to the Jack Rabbit Speaks – there’s been a bunch of resource emails sent already this summer, if you need back copies try looking here

You are going to have a million questions, but those places have most of the answers.¬† Where to camp, what to bring, what not to bring…

Our previous NJ regional rep did a series of youtube vids to share his advice, and it’s pretty good! Part One, Part Two, Part Three.¬† A great example of what you always should have with you is here on Flickr, with lots of notes.¬† (And bring all THAT as well as food/water in YOUR car! I’ve caravaned out with other drivers, and we were stuck in a dust storm before entering the event and ran out of water and food as it was in another car. We ran into them eventually, but be prepared!)

So – things not to bring or that don’t work.¬† Cell phones don’t work.¬† Satellite phones do but are expensive.¬† Walkie talkies can work but hundreds of people use the same channel, probably not worth it. No (or limited) wifi access.¬† Prepare to be totally offline.¬† In the event of emergencies, there’s always ways to get in touch with back home.¬† Don’t bring pets, guns, fireworks, anything illegal pretty much.¬† Don’t bring anything that would completely gut you if it was lost or destroyed.¬† Do not bring feather boas – they leave feathers everywhere and it’s a “Leave No Trace” event!

Bring:  (in addition to regular camping gear Рwhich needs special attention for dust and high winds, read up on that on the site/survival guide)

– goggles (sunglasses may work for most of the time but you will want a good pair of goggles!!)

Рdust masks and bandanas.  Bandanas again will be enough most of the time.

– headlamp. Do not shine headlamp in the eyes of people you are talking to.¬† For walking around, I’ll hang it around my neck – lights the ground, not who I look at.

– extra one-ply toilet paper.

Рa bike if you can.  This year the city is back to 2007 size, and more manageable on foot.  You can get by either way, but a bike is nice.

Рcamelback bag, or a back pack with room for water bottles.  (And start drinking water NOW! lots of it!)

– emergen-C because plain water gets boring.

– a sarong. My favorite thing to have with me – it’s a skirt, a dress, a blanket, protection from the sun or dust storm, extra warmth if you are cold. I also love armwarmers for adding warmth without a lot of bulk in the bag at night.

– fun blinkies/glowies.¬† Eh, even if you hate ravers and despise the environmental impact (we’re trying to do more battery operated things now), cars and bikes can hit you in the dark if you don’t have something. El-wire is awesome and you can put it on just about anything.

– chapstick

– sunblock

– hand sanitizer

– first aid kit and any medicines you take

– baby wipes

– moisturizer

– a hat or parasol to keep the sun off.

– vinegar. if you go in sandals or barefoot, once a day, wash your feet with a mixture of vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 3-4 parts water? I think…)¬† Slather on moisturizer and clean socks.¬† Trust me.

– Extra clean socks. 2 pair per day plus a few to spare.

– cash for ice/coffee.¬† That’s all that’s for sale out there!

– something fun/funny/entertaining that no one would expect you to have in the desert

– card game or something for when you are waiting out a dust storm

– extras of anything to share

– fun costumes/accessories.¬† If you are stressing because you don’t have costumes, just wear whatever you WISH you could wear in your daily life.¬† The sky is the limit, just put on lots of sunblock and a towel to sit on if you go au natural ūüėÄ

– gallon ziplock bags.¬† They keep things clean.¬† I get too many of them and have trouble finding stuff, I may scale down.¬† But I also get the bigger ones, they have all sizes, for socks, underwear, and costuming that is hard to wash and I want to keep cleaner.¬† Also, if you are flying home right from the event, put a set of clean clothes and important items all together in a bag and don’t open until you are off the playa!

This is only part of what you should pack – but it’s a lot of the essentials.¬† Google “Burning Man Packing List” and you’ll get lots of links to more exhaustive lists.¬† And don’t forget your ticket!!!

For more help, I’d be happy to answer questions, or hop on to E-Playa (the official forum) or Tribe (has many groups¬† devoted to Burning Man, and one for virgins each year) and lots of people will help you out.

Procrastinating from working, wanted to share some upcoming events!

Friday 8/8/8! An auspicious day, and World Hoop Day!!!! For jersey folks, Teri is having a gathering in Wayne from 5:30 onwards. Contact me for more details! I’ll be there until dusk-ish.

Saturday 8/9/08 – PEX Compression Party!!!!¬† You know the PEX parties of past, through experience or reputation.¬† Yes, this is a different venue – we broke it in for Phoenix Rising.¬† It still has the awesome PEX energy (despite overpriced drinks and thorough searches by bouncers! Be respectful and law abiding and they’ll treat you fine. You are allowed in and out of the place however, not that I’m condoning any illegal behaviour… But I suppose a drinkypoo in the parking lot is not illegal if you don’t drive with an open container or while inebriated! right? ;o)¬† AND no pesky limits on invites, we have plenty of room for all! Just remember to dress up (ARrrrgh! pirate or ninja??) or you’ll pay a hefty entrance fee.¬†

The following weekend I’ll be winemaking Friday night, hanging with some cool cats in frenchtown Saturday night, and freaking out about packing the rest of the time.¬†

Friday Aug 15th, 9 pm, Playa del Fuego tickets go on sale!¬† My awesome crew of gals is talking about making our group an official theme camp this time… If you are interested in attending for the first time, or camping with us, contact me because space near me¬†will be limited! But we’ll have a satellite area in open camping as well.¬† Fall PDF is October 9 – 13.

August 25 – Sept 1: Burning Man¬†WHEEEEEEEE!!! I’ll be camped along 5:30 somewhere, look for a casket bar/keg system on a corner, a bunch of old hippies in tiedye, and possibly a pool table as well.¬† Home brew for the home brew is the name of our unofficial theme camp.¬† Catch my conclave group performance at PEX’s camp (Esplanade and 8:00) Thursday evening, 8 pm, or right before the Man burns Saturday night!


Is there life after Burning Man? Yes, there is…. It just gets much more relaxed. ;o)¬† I’m not planning on fall Wildfire (and it sold out in less than 2 days!)¬†and we have PDF of course.¬† And before you plan any fun halloween parties, put PEX’s decompression halloween party on your calendar for October 25!!!

Conclave Video

This is the true story… of 24 fire artists… picked to make a conclave…and have their performance taped… to find out what happens when people stop being polite… and start getting real…

At the bottom of this page you will find the link to our conclave submission video, which we are all very proud of. This labor of love is a testament to what happened when people take their arts to new levels, pushing concepts, dedicating their time and energy, and working together.

With mighty hopes, next stop: The Playa. (burning man) 
wording above by Lucky (the conclave shin/leader), because well I can’t say it any better than that…. ;o)

The conclave video (for application to Burning Man in order to perform there) is online!!!! Click here!!!

My connection from work (and work like people hanging around me) has kept me from seeing more than the first 1/3 so far, but it’s. freaking. amazing.¬† Of course I knew it would be, Hedy and Erik are amazing videographers!!¬† So since I haven’t seen it all, I have no idea if there are any embarassing bits with me, but I’m sure if there are, only I will think so because I trust their judgement.

The American Dream vs. The Human Dream

As we journey to Burning Man 2008, we embrace the theme of the American Dream. This country was founded on two concepts: Patriotism and Liberty, represented by the figures of Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.

Liberty’s torch ready to welcome immigrants into its land, shares her light with Patriotism. The characters of this country are presented, creating the melting pot, which is the United States of America. Uncle Sam takes his new flame to light all those who enter this land, promising them of a good life. From families to punk rockers, soldiers to hippies, protestors to religious figures; all are welcomed. But Patriotism turns a selfish eye; leading rather than honoring, enslaving rather than freeing. Drawing further away from Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam shouts at his constituents, cracks a whip of fire, and demands falling in. The inhabitants of this new land become part of this new machine, moving in sync, conformed; their individualism lost under the guise of unification. That is until one breaks free.

A little girl, frightened by Uncle Sam, looks to Lady Liberty, dancing with sparklers refusing to listen, unwilling to fall in. She ignores the demands and slurs of Uncle Sam, risks being called a traitor or a terrorist to live in a free land. She strips herself of her patriotism and even of her clothing to find her human self ‚Äď raw, tribal, real.

Uncle Sam directs his people to bring her back to his side, but inspired by her rebellion, they seek to join her. Stripping down, they find themselves. Lady Liberty‚Äôs torch extends to a dart revolving over and protecting her free people until all have left in the name of Liberty. The final two individuals take their tools, once lit by Uncle Sam, and breathe fire at their falling leader. Others lift themselves up to strip Patriotism down to its roots ‚Äď a lost cause built by one of their own. Now free from his own constraints, he joins the group as the intended United People of America.

A single line of fire lit by Lady Liberty and aided by its own people, lights the group ablaze. Moving in groups by their own accord, the people of this land spread out and come together, creating a living clock. As the clock ticks, each individual exhibits his/her own beauty, while others stop to admire and look on. From a distance, time passes, the clock turns, and the land of the free becomes a reality. Lady Liberty’s torch bursts with sparks, and the people wave in succession, not as a flag, but as a people.

Aish Tamid (eternal fire) is born.


Fire Conclave

So.  Let me set up the scene.Burning Man. It goes Monday to Monday. The energy and the number of people each day grows and grows.

Saturday, as soon as it’s dark, suddenly the mass of 50,000 people and numerous art cars that were running around in chaotic directions up to now all start to migrate to one place.

The middle of the city is where the Man stands. And tonight, he burns.

You sit down as close to the man as you can. Rangers stand guard to protect the inner perimeter. Drinks are passed, you make new friends with the people sitting next to you as you pass the time.

Suddenly, you hear a drum beat. a procession of drummers and keepers of the flame walk around the inner circle

The processional members eventually reach their destination in various places around the man.

The man, for the first time all week, has his arms reached above his head.

And as the drums pick up from a slow beat into a tribal rhythm that you can feel through the ground you are sitting on, the Conclave starts.

The Conclave is the word for the fire performers who perform at this special moment.

Troupes from all over the country and world apply to be part of this. They work on their choregraphy and costumes for over half a year.

when they are done, fireworks will engulf the Man and he will burn.

and guess what….

I’m going to be part of it!!!!

I joined the philadelphia fire conclave group!!!!¬†I’m equal parts scared and excited.¬† Many of the people in the group are just OUTSTANDING artists, and I’ll have to bust my ass from now until Burning Man (last week of August).¬† But I’m excited about how much better I’ll be by then, and the people in the group are amazing and supportive.

Now¬†I need to figure out a character/costume for the¬†first part of the piece – we are supposed to pick¬†something that represents¬†America, a stereotype or symbol of the melting pot of the country.¬† My only idea so far is¬†from Halloween – I¬†dressed up¬†rockabilly/50’s style (I didn’t know what rockabilly was, but it’s pin-up type style, like the opening credits on LA Ink).¬† I’d have to redo a dress, because it needs to be natural materials (so they don’t melt if hit with fire ;o)¬†¬† But, I was also thinking of really chopping my hair before BM and coloring it funky.¬† So the hairdo would be more difficult…¬†
Still pondering, if you have any ideas for a costume I’d love to hear it! ;o)
 Mr. Green
(All photos in this post are from the photo galleries. Sorry I didn’t pull proper credits on them…)

The American Dream

Please, I’d love to hear peoples’ thoughts on this.¬† Especially people who do NOT attend Burning Man or regional events.

  • What do you think of when you hear “The American Dream”? What does that mean to you?
  • This is the theme chosen for Burning Man this year, which is a counter-culture festival.¬† Whatever you know or don’t know about BM, how do you think this theme fits the event?
  • After you answer the first two, please read this description¬†of the theme and it’s meaning for the event.¬† Does this change your viewpoint of the theme and how it fits the event?¬†¬†

It’s a very controversial theme this year, even more so than the Green Man (environmental) theme last year.¬† The fire conclave group I joined asked our opinions about it, and I was curious what outsiders thought.¬† Please if you have a moment, share your opinion!! Thanks!