Burning Man will continue their yearly tradition this August in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert with a flurry of art installations and music. From their massive heat reflective NASA space blanket in 2018 to their 100-foot-tall disco ball, Burning Man has emerged as a pop-up art installation epicenter where travelers come from far and wide to showcase their own art while taking in what the festival curators have planned. Every year, Burning Man sifts through hundreds off design submissions for their esteemed temple, and this year’s prized honor went to Colorado-based architect Renzo Verbeck and artist Sylvia Adrienne Lisse.
The structure is called “Empyrean,” an eight-pointed centerpiece for the annual gathering which will be burned on the final day, along with the “man.” “Empyrean” refers the birthplace of fire in the heavenly realm. In the middle of the temple lays the artificial “Empyrean Flame” that can be seen from all cardinal directions of the desert.
The 2020 installment of Burning Man music festival has gained artistic shape, with festival organizers announcing “Empyrean” as the thematic temple design for this year’s chapter of the Black Rock Desert-based affair. Designed by Laurence “Renzo” Verbeck and Sylvia Adrienne Lisse, “Empyrean” has an eight-star configuration, a design that Burning Man lauds for its “lovely geometry and inclusive design.”
The temple is 200 inches in diameter and will peak at 70 inches. “Empyrean” is an interactively structure that will be outfitted with flag poles that attendees can write on and pulley to the top to release their written sentiments to the wind as an offering.
“Empyrean’s” symbolic value dates back to Medieval times. Representative of the “highest celestial point,” from which humanity can reach the cosmos, Empyrean is also heralded as the birthplace of fire. A light that simulates a flickering flame will be displayed in the center apex of the temple, in homage to this association. Notably, “Empyrean” is not Verbeck and Lisse’s introduction to Burning Man temple architecture: the artistic pair erected 2019’s Temple of Direction. Burning Man will return to the Nevada desert from August 30 – September 7, 2020.
Since 1990, the quite literally scorchingBurning Man festival has drawn droves to the deserts of Nevada to celebrate the best of music, art, and the spirit of legendary event. The festival has historically hosted on public grounds, renting space from the government. Now, Black Rock City LLC (the company behind Burning Man) is suing the Bureau of Land Management for raises in fees and “inflated and unnecessary costs on [Black Rock City] without providing adequate justification.”
According to The Hill, the BLM’s overcharging has been an issue for four years and the lawsuit is Black Rock City’s “attempt to break the cycle.” However, despite the recent suit, the event brand has filed a total of six separate appeals in attempt to overturn the average $3 million annual cost it pays towards securing Burning Man festival grounds, as well as the BLM’s aggressively increasing fee for providing law enforcement and general oversight of the land. In 2012 BRC paid the BLM $1.4 million in total expenses. The following year the fee increased to $2.9 million with only a 4% increase in Burning Man attendees.
In a public complaint regarding the lawsuit, BRC writes that the BLM and interior department are guilty of “ongoing, unlawful, and prejudicial conduct … that threatens the viability of the iconic Burning Man Event.” The complaint also states that Burning Man has paid nearly $21 million since only 2015 to use the land required for the festival.
Burning Man 2020 begins in August with the theme of multiverse.
The sandy surrealism of RÜFÜS DU SOL‘s Burning Man set spans 90 minutes of surefire transfixion. The live endeavor, like the dust of the playa, has settled, landing in its full-length form on SoundCloud.
Originally delivered atop the Robot Heart bus in Black Rock Desert, the set is a tactile jaunt; staccato percussion rhythmically labors at the opening. It’s a structural anticipation of what is yet to come in the textured set. The beats agilely pound, synths ebb. The arches, staggered throughout, are tantalizingly slow in their development, attention demanding. Listeners would be remiss to direct it elsewhere.
Appropriately catalogued as “playa tech,” the electronic outfit’s Burning Man stint is an affective deviation from their typical live format. A particularly arresting highlight colors the 51-minute mark, where RÜFÜS DU SOL work in an alternative version of SOLACE inclusion, “All I’ve Got.”
Straight out of Black Rock Desert and to streamers’ speakers, Gorgon City‘s set from Burning Man‘s 2019 installment bestows an hour and a half of sauntering sound upon listeners, sans the playa dust. Akin to the slow burn of the Nevada sun at the height of day, the opening minutes of Gorgon City’s set simmer. They arch with a dark ambiance as the steady beat with which the full-length showing opens plods forth.
In contrast to the more animated, upbeat technics that have colored Gorgon City productions in the past, such as the Kaskade co-effort, “Go Slow,” the pair’s Burning Man set is more muted and minimalistic. It’s replete with dusky sonic drama and shadowy, synth-assisted climaxes; a musical match to the mood of the desert.
Carl Cox‘s torrential techno reign has foraged Black Rock City for over a decade, and this year was no disruption from tradition. The global DJ veteran recently released his hour-and-a-half set at the Opulent Temple stage at Burning Man. Cox brought his unequivocal energy to the majestic desert playground with a set strewn with melodies riding percussion.
With various IDs and tracks from Audiojack, Kenny Dope, wAFF and more, the set is best-spent reminiscing the fleeting nature of time or simply lavishing in the array of long-form buildups and celestial hooks.
Burning Man may only last for a week, fragments of the elusive weekend continue to surface—reminding the rest of the music community of the desert-dwelling spectacle’s all-embracing artistic artillery. Below is another unearthed memory from the depths of debauchery entertainment, delivered by Playground BRC.
Well, luckily for everyone involved, the future-beats producer, who built his reputation Down Under (go figure), promptly dispelled all ambiguity during his set in the desert this weekend when he, for lack of a better term, made a meal of it. A video posted to Snapchat by Flume’s girlfriend, actress Paige Elkington, was quickly deleted, but not before being captured and shared to the r/flume Reddit corner, eliciting reactions from all corners of the electronic ether. It remains unclear if the woman on the receiving end of Flume’s… generosity (depending on whom you ask) is indeed Elkington.
Earlier this year Flume released his heatedly fawned-over Hi, This is Flume mixtape, featuring originals such as “How to Build a Relationship” and “Wormhole.”
Disclaimer: Clip contains sexually explicit material.Continue to footage here.
Burning Man overlapped with Tool’s album release day this year, which likely created a dilemma for prog-metal fans who had to make a choice between listening to Fear Inoculum the moment it came out or biking around the California desert while wearing angel wings and a loincloth. Fortunately, artist Alex Grey was at … More »
For years, Tycho has treated Burning Man attendees to blissful sunrise sets and has also delivered his sets to those who couldn’t attend the festivities. This year, again, the producer has uploaded his 2019 sunrise set to SoundCloud, allowing all fans to experience two hours of dreamy beats even if they’re not in Black Rock City.
The new set takes listeners on an introspective journey, kicking off with Van Halen’s “1984” and setting the tone for the out-of-this-world collection of music that follows. From his own songs to selections from Bonobo, Chrome Sparks, Four Tet, and more, the celebrated artist thrills from start to finish.
“Happy to present this year’s sunrise set, live from the Dusty Rhino in Black Rock City on Thursday, August 29th, 2019,” Tycho notes in the mix’s description. “Thank you all for taking the time to share in this moment, it’s truly a highlight for me to spend this morning with you each year.”
Burning Man 2019 is right around the corner and while there is no telling what will actually happen on the playa this year, a few artists have announced their performances. It is to be noted that Buring Man isn’t a “music festival” but whatever you want to happen, you bring. So, many artists come prepared