All posts by rednikki

Fun With Ticket Math

By Mitch

Details trickling out from Burning Man central make it increasingly likely that the organization efficiently distributed up to 20,000 tickets to scalpers via what might be the worst major admission system to anything this millennium.

The latest piece of the puzzle came via a contrite (at least contrite-sounding) apology  from Andie Grace, the Bmorg communications manager. In it, we learned that 40 percent of the ticket requests came from self-described newbies, thanks to a survey that was wedged into the application process. She also confirmed the back-of-the-envelope math that demand was three times the available tickets, or roughly 120,000 in the main sale.

The Bmorg has so far refused to release the number of bids received at the various price levels, so what follows in necessarily conjecture. We invite them to illuminate us if we are missing something.

We know from on-line postings theme camps received roughly a third of the tickets they requested in the pre- and main sales, which took the form of lotteries for 43,000 spots. The camps likely provide a large enough sample to be representative of all veteran Burners and a few of their first-time campmates.

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Few Tickets to Paradise

By Mitch

To the apparent surprise of the Burning Man organization — and almost no one else —  bidding for tickets in the main phase of the 2012 sales program was far stronger than had been projected, irking Burners throughout cyberspace.

“There are a lot more tickets being requested than there are tickets available,’’ Bmorg’s Will Chase wrote in a Jan. 27 Jack Rabbit Speaks e-missive and on the Burning Blog website, “an inordinately large number, in fact, and far more than we projected even after last year’s sold-out event.’’

The reason? “It seems that people a) likely got their friends, family and campmates to order tickets as well, and/or b) requested more tickets than they actually need.’’

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Book Review: The People of Burning Man

By Durgy

Waiting in a whimsically bestickered box upon my return to Bahrain from BRC 2011, was a copy of Julian Cash’s The People of Burning Man: Portraits of Revolutionary Spirits. The book presents images of people and things taken in Black Rock City. The book exudes love. Palpably.

Cash, his wife Jackie, the Super Snail team and other co-conspirators capture a slice of the stunning spirit of BRC that keeps attendees returning and the curious aspiring. Each picture says much more than its allotted 1000 words. Thumb through the book and take a magical ride through the eyes of the subjects, through the lens of Cash’s camera and down the rabbit hole.

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Burning Man Project Kicks Off

By Durgy

In a kick-off ceremony attended by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Board of Supervisors President David Chu and simulcast to the world over the Internet, the “Burning Man Project” was announced on August 5. The Project is described as a way to create and explore relationships for art and community. Chu said it will be a forum for ‘experimentation’ in San Francisco, and not just in magic mushrooms. The non-profit Project seeks to foster ways for the community to come together.

Larry Harvey, one of the Project’s founders and a member of the 17 person board of directors, described the opportunity to bring Burning Man culture back from the Black Rock Desert to the rest of the world. A guiding principal was that it would be built by everybody so that it could be shared by everybody.

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Figment of Imagination

By Mitch

“Figment,” the organization that puts on Figment will tell you, is what Andy Warhol once said he wanted as his epitaph*. Figment, circa 2011, is a free three-day arts fair on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor that gives Burners a bit of vacation from not being in, and non-Burners a taste of, Black Rock City.


While it isn’t an official regional event Figment shares the Burning Man ethos of participatory art. Figment brings the art, fun and games in an urban- and family-friendly way. That is until someone loses a retina in a foam-weapons joust and people scramble looking for it in the rain-soaked grass – and then it becomes outstanding.

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The Exchanghibition Bank Opens Branch and Minds

By durgy

AMSTERDAM, June 20, 2011 – The Exchanghibition Bank ( brought its art of turning art into money at its kiosk in the Magna Plaza and the Brakke Grond from June 16-19, 2011. CEO and Founder Dadara along with the Financial Department representatives Messrs. Sommerdijk, Weeber and Sultan were on hand to exchange ideas about money, art and to exchange art for money.

Visitors to the Bank did not really seem to understand at first the mix of physical art and performance art as they spoke with Bank staff. Bank personnel reported a moment you could see an understanding come into eyes of most Bank patrons when you see the penny drop and people understood that this was an art project to which they could contribute. Some chose to rid themselves of dirty currency in exchange for the Bank’s Zero, One Million and Infinite Bank Notes. Bank personnel reported receiving mostly euros but also being offered currencies from the UK, USA, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in exchange for the Notes.

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Feeding the Artists

By Lonestoner

“Food is the next big art form on the Playa.”

Since 2007, the Feed the Artists program has been living up to its name, providing gourmet meals and relaxing ambiance to the hardworking individuals who arrive in the Black Rock Desert a week or more before the event to create the art that blows our chemically enhanced minds each year.

It started when Keith “Colonel Angus” Rinzler had lunch with his friend and well-known Burning Man artist, Zach Coffin. As Burners often do, they talked about Burning Man, and in the course of the conversation Zach mentioned the fact that Burning Man artists work so hard that food is more often than not an afterthought. Colonel Angus thought that was bullshit and wanted to do something about it, so he called his buddy Jean-Pierre “Chef JP” Weingarten, and the rest is [BM] history.

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The Yellow Bikes of Black Rock City

By Durgy
Since 2007, there has been a “Yellow Bike” share program in Black Rock City. These are bikes for all to use, and for none to own. If you follow the rules of the Yellow Bikes there will be plenty to go around, and the program will be a success.

The Yellow Bike you may ride (painted in a special, easily identifiable, and very expensive green aircraft paint NOT AVAILABLE AT WALMART with red stenciled letters “Yellow Bike”) is used for your one way transportation. It is not your bike. If you put a lock on it, the lock will be cut off. Do not alter the bike by painting over the words “Yellow Bike”, adding after market items (like colorful tape over the words “Yellow Bike”) or removing the instruction tag. If you find a Yellow Bike locked, contact a Ranger to arrange to have the lock cut off. For the sake of the other participants, please wear pants wh±en riding a Yellow Bike.

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M-PYRE Strikes Back: Back to Burner Roots

By rednikki
M-PYRE Strikes Back, on July 17, 2010, is unusual among Burning Man regional events: it had no gate, no required entry fee and was completely open to the public. With more than 500 participants, this was the biggest M-PYRE to date. Its size, surfside location and rate of growth echo the early Baker Beach Burning Man events.

Mpyre Beach Burn

The event was held in Monterey, California about 90 miles south of San Francisco. The tiny city, with a population of 30,000,  has hosted five regionals since 2007.

DJs spun from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Participants picnicked, created and showed off art, swam, hooped, set up fire-dancing areas after dark, and explained the Burning Man philosophy to curious locals and the occasional reporter. After the city’s 10 p.m. curfew on beach events, many participants went to the local East Village Coffee Lounge for an afterparty that continued until 2 a.m.

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Dragons at a Burn Event

y Mehl Renner
Ignus, The Dragon of Mysteria, produced by the Green Man Camp, was the recipient of a creativity grant award at the 2010 Transformus regional burn event in North Carolina. Clad in Mardi-gras colors (mostly green) Ignus came alive for the first time as the main feature in a pre-burn parade. Four individuals were required to operate the dragon that had lights, a mouth opening and closing and CO2 smoke blowing out of its nostrils.

Three people danced inside Ignus, and a lady jester waved its tail. Since “he” was dressed in rip stop nylon, his fire was allegorical. Ignus was joined in the parade by green men, green ladies, a fire breather, drummers, and Celtic penny whistlers. The Green Man puppet – a giant puppet which first debuted in 2009 and takes three people to operate – also joined in the parade with his dragon brother.

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