I think it has become pretty clear to most of us that the Burner culture has vastly outgrown the capacity of the Burning Man Organization to define and dictate it. The Facebook page has 333,000 Likes as I write this. Luckily, Burning Man is no longer the only game in town for Burner Culture. Remember that the whole party is created by Burners – it’s not actually the event promoters who create the entertainment of Burning Man, they just sit in a high-rise corporate office in downtown San Francisco and set all the rules and sell all the tickets. Almost all major Burner camps are created by passionate and talented crews who are involved in their own off-Playa events too. The DJs and other performers who love Burning Man also play to massive crowds of party people, all over the planet.
This week, Burners.Me is lucky enough to be coming to you live (well, sort of!) from the Envision festival in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
There are some immediately obvious differences from Burning Man. We arrived and were welcomed by Stephen Brooks, one of the world’s leading experts in permaculture, singing on stage songs about the potential within all of us to make the future better than the past our parents handed us. Later singers acknowledged the presence of different tribes, and asked us all to unite as one to protect the earth. The message was that tanks, bombs, machine guns and torpedos could not stop the love that all humans have for one another. We found it very inspiring, and great to dance to.
From the musical side, the score was Hippies 1 Ravers 1 – a lovely balance, and nice to be able to move between the two. The music was great on both counts. All the people were happy and everyone’s attitude was great. If you were thirsty, a mere $2 got you a giant refreshing coconut.
We’ll be back again later tonight for night 2, to see and hear and smell and taste and feel some more. Heard today about some initial problems for the campers with water and showers, none of that in our crew, we are “slumming it” in a villa with ocean views, chef and a semi-Olympic pool, in the middle of rainforest jungle canopy. The cost is less than a Motel 6 in California. So quite glad we didn’t stay in tents, just a short drive to the beach and the warmest waters I’ve ever swam in.
Summary so far of Envision compared to Burning Man:
- It’s in Paradise, not a post-Apocalyptic wasteland
- Dancing on a soft surface
- You’re surrounded by beautiful nature, breathing clean air and hearing the sounds of the jungle all around
- If you get hot you can leave and go to the beach for a swim, then come back
- When you get home, all your stuff isn’t coated in dust; neither are your lungs and nostrils
- Lots of great organic food for sale
- You can get a water any time you want, from one of many bars or food stalls
- Bars – that even sell Grey Goose! The prices were very reasonable, $8 for a generous pour of Goose
- Smaller – easier to get around
- Lot of cool market stores of Burner-made clothing, art, and accessories
- When you want to leave, it takes a few minutes not 8 hours
- Will-call line took 10 minutes
- No art cars
- Limited interactive/participative art installations
- You had to pay for things, sometimes with a clunky ticket system
- Smaller – less people to meet
- Everyone camps together in tents, there are no big theme camps or RVs
- Nowhere near as much glowing shit
- No major music stages during the day
- You have to beware of crocodiles if swimming at night
About the Same
- instant manifestation
- there’s a playa!
- portapotty service has much room for improvement
- all ages event – kids and old people welcome
- lots of beautiful people there
- travelling time from San Francisco to get here
- there’s no showers and restricted running water for the campers
More to come later…the playa and then the party is calling!