Burning Man announces a 100-foot-tall disco ball, known as The Orb

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Burning Man announces a 100-foot-tall disco ball, known as The OrbBurning Man Disco Ball 2018

Burning Man always proves to be a fascinating topic, as thousands of people from around the world strip away their normal lives and enter into the Playa. The theme of this year’s festival, the first since its founder Larry Harvey’s passing, is derived from Isaac Asimov’s landmark 1950 sci-fi work, I, Robot. Each year, inventive new art installations bring together Burning Man’s larger-than-life theme, from Boeing jet nightclubs to flamethrower scorpion cars, and this year will be no different.

Word has it that a giant 100-foot-tall mirror ball, known as The Orb, will be making its first appearance in the Nevada desert at this year’s burn. The structure was created by a team of Danish architects led by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange, who together created a 30-ton inflatable — yes, inflatable — disco ball.

“The ORB is a mirror for earth lovers – reflecting the passing daytime, evolving life, and other art works beneath it – A new planet to sci-fi fans, a wayfinder for travellers or just a huge disco ball to those who love a good party. Visible from most of The Playa, it will help Burners navigate the desert and find way. At night, the ORB will blend entirely into its surroundings and become part of the desert. The ORB is a tribute to mother earth and human expression – designed to easily inflate and deflate, leaving no trace on the Playa.”

Diplo’s 2017 Robot Heart set at Burning Man set surfaces

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Diplo’s 2017 Robot Heart set at Burning Man set surfacesDiplo Burning Man2

People normally associate Burning Man with a crowd of happy-go-lucky hippies losing themselves to art and debauchery in the desert. However, the crowd goes far beyond its stereotype, with a plethora of celebrities, techies, and other intriguing characters popping by Black Rock City for a taste of the action.

Diplo is one such artist one wouldn’t expect to be a regular at Burning Man, which usually hosts acts known in the transformational circuit. The EDM megastar and Mad Decent owner was in fact invited by the institutional Robot Heart camp to play their grounds during their 10th anniversary celebration in 2017, and the result might surprise die hard fans.

Rather than pumping the deep playa full of trap and pop offerings, Diplo showed off his true DJing skills with a diverse set filled with eclectic, world-beats-inspired electronica, disco, and deep house cuts. Its mellow, warm atmosphere feels like the sonic version of a morning coffee; energizing, comforting, and smooth.



Photo credit:  Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Beat drops & hook ups: new survey identifies the most ‘promiscuous’ music festivals

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A new survey conducted by Tickpick sought to evaluate the hookup culture of the festival scene, and as the findings indicate, it’s thriving.

Tickpick collected self-reported information from 1,050 people from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk about their sexual activity at music festivals. The statistics revealed 50.2% of festival goers to be open to a “weekend fling,” meaning that the odds of finding a temporary rave bae in the crowd are very likely to be in the favor of those seeking one. 33.6% of attendees reported having sex at a music festival.

Photo Credit: Tickpick

Camping festivals Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and Burning Man ranked as the top three most popular music festivals for sex, with 30.2%, 27.3%, and 25.2% of ticket holders experiencing a sexual encounter at each event, respectively.

Photo Credit: Tickpick

Tickpick’s data determined Burning Man and Electric Forest to be the top two music festivals for oral sex, with 28.2% of Burning Man attendees engaging in oral activity, and 20.9% of Electric Forest attendees following suit. Electric Daisy Carnival came in third at 18.7%. 46.4% of festival goers stated that they’d had oral sex with someone they’d just met at one of the listed festivals.

Photo Credit: Tickpick

A daring 3.8% of survey participants said that they’d had sex in a festival dance tent. Surprisingly enough, a dance tent was the area that saw the least sex: port-a-potties saw comparatively more action, with 9.4% of attendees getting it on by the toilets. 15.3% reported doing so in a crowd, while 7.2% got hot and heavy backstage. The two most popular locations for festival sex were the tent, and the car.

As the survey identified, “face down a** up that’s the way we like to f*ck” isn’t just a favorite song to shout among festival crowds: doggy style turned out to be the most popular position of festival hookups, with 43.9% citing doggy style as their preferred festival position.

Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella

H/T: Tickpick

Smithsonian’s Burning Man exhibit will allow viewers to wander through the playa in VR

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For those who can’t make it to Black Rock City, Nevada to witness the majestic art installments of Burning Man, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. is hosting an exhibition in their Renwick Gallery to bring art from the playa into the city. The exhibit, called “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” will run through Jan. 21, 2019.

Still can’t make it to the nation’s capital this year? Thanks to Intel, who is partnering with the Smithsonian, the art of Burning Man can now come straight to you. In an effort to accelerate digitizing its 157 million-piece collection, the joint project will allow museum attendees to virtually wander the site of the annual Burning Man festival.

On-site patrons will now be able to don VR headsets and visit the Black Rock Desert in Android Jones Deep Playa Experience, brought to you by artist Android Jones and his immersive media company, Vision Agency. Back in the real world, visitors will be able to view everything from sculptures and art to costumes and jewelry that came from the festival — all without getting caked in the desert’s infamous dust.

H/T: Architecture Magazine

Larry Harvey, Burning Man co-founder, dead at 70

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Larry Harvey, one of the original founders of the transcendent festival experience known as Burning Man has passed away, according to a statement on the organization’s website and The Burning Man Project chief executive, Marian Goodell. Harvey had reportedly never recovered after suffering a major stroke on the morning of April 4 in his home.

“Our founder, friend and original instigator, Larry Harvey has passed away,” the statements reads.  “Larry suffered a massive stroke at his home on the morning of April 4. We resolutely held out for a miracle. If there was anyone tenacious, strong-willed and stubborn enough to come back from this challenge, it was Larry.” He was 70 years old.

“Larry was never one for labels, ” it continues. ” He didn’t fit a mold; he broke it with the way he lived his life. He was 100% authentic to his core. For all of us who knew or worked with him, he was a landscape gardener, a philosopher, a visionary, a wit, a writer, an inspiration, an instigator, a mentor, and at one point a taxi driver and a bike messenger. He was always a passionate advocate for our culture and principles that emanate from the Burning Man experience in the Black Rock Desert.”

Founded by Harvey and his friend and colleague Jerry James in 1986, Harvey believed in Burning Man as “not a festival” but “a community,” and live on his community will.

Photo Credit: Maggie Hallahan

Report: The most commonly used drugs at music festivals

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Over the years, drug and alcohol’s relationship with electronic dance music has heightened its foothold in worldwide festival culture. Music festivals themselves undeniably afford a collective culture of intoxication — a palpable permeation of substance use and abuse that one can sniff out regardless of whether they choose to partake or not. Considering substance abuse’s assimilation, one may find themselves wondering just how deeply drugs and alcohol are intertwined with the modern festival landscape. Is substance abuse worse than it seems, and how is the industry taking responsibility for its needed conversations about these substances and their abuse?

In an effort to gain a better understanding of the how the industry is working through its deeply embedded substance use and abuse, it’s helpful to first try and understand the roles different substances play at festivals. To do so, TickPick — an ever-growing ticketing marketplace — surveyed 1,000 attendees of well-known music festivals about their own intoxicating experiences. Their participants ranged in age from 18 to 74, with a mean of 32.4. In the end, their results revealed not only the common types of drugs at festivals and which events are associated with which substances, but a general synopsis as to what the landscape of American consumption looks like in 2018 and beyond.

Overall substance use at festivals

More than three-quarters of participants reported consuming alcohol while attending a festival, which is roughly double the percentage of participants who had consumed any other substance and almost more than twice the rate of those who consumed marijuana.

Though more than a third of respondents reported smoking marijuana at a festival, a smaller, yet still significant portion of people reported using harder drugs. Thirteen percent of respondents reported using MDMA in some form, with hallucinogens’ use clocking just below at roughly eight percent apiece.

Substances use per ticket type

There remains some debate about the optimal festival experience: dance it up with the raucous crowd, or keep things refined with VIP privileges? Whichever route one takes, TickPick’s data suggests a slightly boozier vibe outside the VIP area. Generally, it suggests that a larger portion of general admission attendees consume alcohol, which may come to a surprise to those in VIP, with the complimentary alcohol some of the VIP experiences entail.

On the other side of the spectrum, the data found that VIP attendees generally were more likely to do a range of drugs than those in general admission. Between marijuana, MDMA, cocaine, and hallucinogens, VIP pass-holders were substantially more willing to indulge than the average festival-goer. A possible explanation for this trend is financial limitations. As VIP experiences can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, one can imagine these individuals can succumb to the use of any substance at their disposal.

Greatest substance prevalence per festival

Though alcohol was the leading substance at all festivals, TickPick’s data brings about some interesting findings on other substances. One might expect Coachella would have the highest rate of marijuana-smoking in the cannabis-friendly state of California, but the data aligns quite well with the bans of the substance on the grounds, despite the state’s recent legalization of weed for recreational use. EDC and Ultra each had high rates of MDMA and cocaine consumption, and ultimately, Burning Man had some of the highest rates of overall drug use around. Perhaps this significant rate of consumption can be pinned on the festival’s “gift economy,” where food, supplies, and even drugs are shared openly as a means of “payment.”

Top festivals for each substance

Ultimately, the final data lends itself to some idea of each respective festival’s consumption demographic. SXSW, for instance, led in rates of alcohol consumption. While cocaine use was the highest amongst Ultra attendees, a finding that may result from a mix of EDM culture and the festival’s deep historical roots for the drug and a recent resurgence in Miami’s cocaine trafficking.

While geographical differences may explain some findings, it is a bit difficult to understand why Alabama’s Hangout Music Festival led others in DMT use, as just one example. EDC was another consumption leader across the different categories, also ranking in the top three for a number of substances. This point ties into the festival’s battle with health and safety concerns with drug use in the past, including more than 1,000 attendees needing medical treatment in 2017. Though there are issues and ambiguity within the self-reported data like TickPick used for this study— including,  but not limited to, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration — these results do shine a light on the landscape of American substance use, nonetheless. Here’s to hoping some of these findings diminish the blind eye to EDM’s drug abuse, increases awareness, and implements further safety precautions down the line.

Via: TickPick 
Featured Image: Courtesy of Goldenvoice

Burning Man founder hospitalized after massive stroke

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Black Rock City has long been known for its 10 principles that foster a sense of authenticity and commitment to one another not seen at most festivals nowadays. At the heart of these principles lays the power of intention, of which the folks at Burning Man are asking its members to channel for their fearless founder and loving friend, Larry Harvey.

On Wednesday, April 4, Harvey was hospitalized after suffering a massive stroke, where he remains in critical condition. While his prognosis is unknown at this time, and many questions remain, BM organizers assure community members that Harvey is receiving excellent around-the-clock medical care and constant support from his family and close friends. More information will be shared once it becomes available. In the meantime, they ask that everyone send positive thoughts and healing intentions to Harvey during this time of uncertainty.

“Rest assured, Burning Man and Black Rock City 2018 will go on,” reads a statement on their blog. “If there’s one thing we know for sure, Larry wants us to burn the Man.”

If you feel moved to share well wishes, notes of gratitude, or your best and craziest Larry Harvey stories, you can send notes directly to Harvey and his family at TheHat@burningman.org.

H/T: The Burning Man Journal, Photo: Jim Urquhart, Rueters

WATCH: Burning Man art gets an official exhibition at The Smithsonian

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The art from Black Rock City is heading to The Smithsonian in Washington, DC. The exhibit, titled “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” will finally give those who’ve not yet visited the playa the chance to experience its revolutionary art concepts.

“The title is part of that kind of idea, we’re inviting people to come in and, in some cases, they’ll be able to add to the artworks or interact with the art physically, which is not something people get the chance to do in a museum,” says Nora Atkinson, The Smithsonian’s Curator of Craft.

Atkinson further explains that the exhibition will take over the Renwick Gallery and the entire block until January 21, 2019, showcasing jewelry, sculptures, costumes, and photos.

“This is literally the largest exhibition our museum has ever put on. It’s the entire building and the neighborhood combined… I really want people to feel empowered. Burning Man is all about building a society you want to live in and that’s what this exhibition is about.”

Questions linger as details from Burning Man death emerge

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burning man

Five months have passed since Aaron Joel Mitchell ran head on into a wall of fire at Burning Man’s pinnacle celebration as the weeklong festival drew to a close. The 41-year-old — based in Switzerland — charged past Black Rock City safety rangers, who were tasked with tackling any one who tried to run towards the giant flaming effigy, and either tripped or deliberately jumped into the flames just as the fire was starting to die down. He died in a hospital 24 hours later.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office officially ruled Mitchell’s death a suicide, though his physical cause of death was “cardiac arrest, bodily shock, and third-degree burns on 97 percent of his body.” Still, friends and family of Mitchell have questions over his tragic death that will never go answered.


Photo provided to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“[T]hat’s one of the hard things, we don’t know why it happened.” said Mitchell’s mother, Johnnye Mitchell. His mother was unaware of any mental health issues, she said, and he was never a troublemaker. He had more friends than she could count, evidenced by the friends that showed up from all over the world to attend the multiple memorials held in his honor.

“Honestly, he was the closest thing to Jesus, in a new age way,” said a close friend who was with Mitchell the entire week before he ended his life. Mitchell avoided drug use and drank modestly throughout the burn. He even cashed in before 10pm each night, which friends attributed to him being exhausted from the heat. While Mitchell slept, his friends would take out his phone to capture selfies of overnight shenanigans and return it to him in the morning hours.

Mitchell was attending Burning Man for the first time last year, according to his mother, after traveling directly from the Oregon Eclipse Gathering. He phoned his mother while on the road from Oregon to Nevada, where she says Mitchell sounded “festival’d out.” It was the last time she spoke to her son.

Via: Reno Gazette-Journal

Burning Man unveils 2018 temple design & ticketing timeline

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Burning Man revealed earlier this year that its 2018 theme would harken back to Isaac Asimov’s 1950 collection of sci-fi short stories, I, ROBOT. Where past playa themes have centered around more open-ended concepts — ones like “Radical Ritual” in 2017 — the 32nd annual BM theme points to an eerily evocative, concise juxtaposition of humanity and consciousness.

With the theme in mind, Burning Man Arts has now announced the 2018 Temple will be entitled Galaxia, and created by the London-based French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani. According to the Burning Man Journal, “Galaxia celebrates hope in the unknown, stars, planets, black holes, the movement uniting us in swirling galaxies of dreams. A superior form of Gaia in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, Galaxia is the ultimate network, the fabric of the universe connecting living beings into one entity.”

Its inception will serve as a reflection of the increasingly global nature of the Burning Man community.

Galaxia’s build will be fiscally sponsored by Burning Man Project, where its 20 timber trusses will converge as a spiral towards one point in the sky. Per the Burning Man Journal, “The triangular trusses form different paths towards a central space holding a giant 3D printed mandala, the heart of Galaxia. The timber modules start large enough to hold small alcoves in which people can write in peace. As participants walk through the path, the timber modules lift up and become thinner and thinner towards the sky as people reach the central mandala.”




Those interested in the project can get involved in the temple build, which is set to take place primarily in Reno, Nevada, or help with its fundraiser here.

Individuals who’re interested in attending the transformational festival are also in luck, as BM has unveiled its 2018 ticketing timeline. Essentially, pre-sale registration begins on January 24, 2018 at noon PST and closes on January 26 at the same time. Potential attendees must be registered through Burner Profiles to be able to purchase tickets when they go on sale on January 31. The application period for the low-income ticket program begins February 14 at noon PST and runs April 16 at noon PST. Directed group sale tickets will become available shortly after, and finally, main sale registration begins on March 21 at noon PST and closes March 23 at noon PST. The sale of these tickets begins shortly after, on March 28, at noon PST. Once more, potential patrons must be registered to purchase tickets.

More information about ticket sales and purchase programs can be found here.

Source: Burning Man Journal

Photos courtesy of the Burning Man Journal


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