Tag Archives | Burning Man

Burning Man Arsonist Apparently Commits Suicide

San Francisco’s newspaper is reporting the death of Paul Addis, who in 2007 “spent time in prison for setting the Burning Man wooden icon on fire four days too soon.”

The notorious “Burning Man Arsonist” (and performance artist) served nearly two years in prison for what he’d described as an act of protest. “This was not an act of vengeance, it was one of love,” he’s remembered as saying in the San Francisco newspaper. “A love of the ethos that is fading at Burning Man. There’s no sense of spontaneity. No sense of ‘Fuck it. Let’s burn this down.’”

At the time, he was appearing as Hunter S. Thompson in a one-man stage play called Gonzo: A Brutal Chrysalis. San Francisco’s newspaper reports that in 2008 he was also arrested against outside a San Francisco church with a backpack filled with fireworks “after telling neighbors the church ‘isn’t going to be there anymore.’”

This Saturday night, he was killed after throwing himself in front of a BART commuter train.… Read the rest

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Secrets in Plain Site: Burning Man

via Scott Onstott at SecretsInPlainSight.com

I was invited to go to Burning Man when it was at Baker Beach in San Francisco in 1989. At the time I remember wondering what would

Burning Man Black Rock City

inspire people to ritually burn an effigy of a man on the beach, and thinking it particularly chthonic (which didn’t appeal to my Apollonian nature) I didn’t go. After being hassled by the “authorities” in San Francisco, Burning Man moved to the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada in 1990 and has been hosted there ever since. 51,515 people attended burning man in 2010 and attendance was capped at 50,000 thereafter. The maximum attendance reminds me of the Great Pyramid slope angle of 51 deg 51 min but maybe that’s “just a coincidence.”

The reason I’m writing about Burning Man is because I looked at it in Google Earth and was amazed that this annual pilgrimage site in a remote desert occurs within a temporary urban design called Black Rock City (BRC) that appears to be a magical diagram.

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Burners Invade the Bible-Belt!

The repressive, racist, red-state culture of the Bible-Belt has been invaded by Burners!  Apparently, it’s no longer just a west coast phenomenon. The Burner subculture, along with its unique form of totally participatory, commerce-free weekend camping festivals, can now be found even in the darkest corners of the former Confederacy.  Within half a decade, events like Transformus, Alchemy, and Euphoria (held this past weekend near Dalton, GA) have brought the culture and philosophy of Burning Man to the part of the country where, arguably, it is most needed.  And the people down here really seem to enjoy it!

Hell, I’m a thirty-year-old veteran Disinfonaut, and I still enjoyed it.  At least when I was smart enough to get my tickets early …  Two out of three of these festivals, all official Burning Man Regional events, each sold out within hours.  My friends and I were so bummed out that we couldn’t go, that we decide to throw a couple of Burn events on our own.  Below, you will find a brief guide to Burner events in the South that are currently not sold out.  It is a short list, so if you know of others, please add a link into the comments section of this post.… Read the rest

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The Rise of the New Spiritual Counterculture

Occupy Wall Street MediationIt’s February 17 and I’m standing in front of a full room at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, CA.  Once again, we’ve filled up the seats and people are standing in the back as I deliver my opening line, “If you told me several years, I’d be here talking about Jesus and ayahuasca, I would have laughed my ass off.”  But perhaps more incredible than tales of spiritual awakening is that here I am on the final night of my Electric Jesus West Coast book tour, knowing we have shattered the odds.

Enthusiastic crowds have greeted me at almost all of my sixteen stops. This shouldn’t be happening as first-time author in a wilting publishing industry. But I’ve had a secret grassroots weapon, one that a lot of mainstream America doesn’t know about — it’s the flourishing new spiritual counterculture.

The audience in Gatsby Books is dressed in hipster vintage printed tees and American Apparel cotton hoodies with esoteric flares of spiral plug earrings and Peruvian indigenous bracelets.… Read the rest

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Burning Man Has (Literally) Sold Out

Burning ManAnyone going this year? If not, ever been? If not … Andrew Averill writes on SF Gate:

Many Burning Man festival participants climb a huge butterfly art structure to watch the sunrise over the playa. This year, the festival’s permit limits participants to 50,000 at one time.

When the first Burning Man event took place on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986, it was such a lawless free-for-all that when it came time to burn The Man, a woman ran toward the engulfed 20-foot-tall humanoid structure and held its hand while wind blew the flames away from her.

Twenty-five years later, the annual event has become a mass sojourn into the Nevada Black Rock desert — one that some of its most loyal followers complain is becoming increasingly rigid and commercial.

And now it has come to this: For the first time ever, Burning Man has literally sold out. Organizers were forced to cap the number of attendees to the weeklong event, an art-focused, community-centric festival that starts Aug.

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Is Burning Man Recession-Proof?

Burning Man 2010

Some interesting Burning Man statistics from Lisa Schmeiser’s blog on SFGate:

I was looking at the fantastic infographic “This is Burning Man,” which charts all sorts of data related to the shindig on the playa. Fun facts: tickets to Burning Man cost $200 in 2000, and 25,400 people showed up. Last year, tickets ran between $210-360, and 43,435 people attended.

(For those wondering about the disparity in ticket prices, Burning Man operates several tiers of ticket prices, each with a set of limitation and/or ways to purchase them. $200 tickets are below-cost tickets; the higher-tier tickets underwrite some of these costs.)

What is heartening about these stats: bottom-tier ticket prices have stayed level over nine years despite an estimated 24.6% rise in inflation during that time. Attendance increased by 71%. This has helped the festival keep pace with rising costs, which went from $5.2 million in 2001 to $12.3 million last year.

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