BEQUINOX! L.A. Debuts a Burnal Equinox Celebration of Their Own

by Whatsblem the Pro

Seraphim - Photo by Curious Josh

Seraphim – Photo by Curious Josh

The two big Burnal Equinox celebrations in Nevada City, CA and San Francisco have come and gone, but you don’t have to feel like you missed out. Los Angeles is throwing their hat into the ring too, with BEquinox. . . and you’ve still got time to make the party.

I caught up with David ‘Widget’ Wedeen (aka Ranger Strider) to ask him about the event.

Whatsblem the Pro:

How did BEquinox come about?

David Widget Wedeen:

There has been interest in a LA Burning Man Regional Camping Event for many years despite having one of the very best Burning Man Decompression Events in the country.

Last October when we found out that we would not be able to burn our art piece ‘Seraphim’ where we hold our Decom Event, we decided to reach out to our community by circulating a survey asking how long folks would be willing to drive, and offered a choice of one of three months in which they would like to attend an overnight camping event.

When the results of the survey came in during December 2012, we were a bit surprised that the month of March received the largest number of survey responses, and most participants would be willing to drive two to three hours away from downtown L.A.

After checking to make sure that there were no competing events scheduled, we settled on the month of March for our event and began the search for a site that would allow us to burn such a large effigy within a three-hour drive, despite the short amount of time this allowed us to prepare.

Prior to selecting a site, my co-producer Topless Deb and I began to identify and approach leaders within our local Burner community, and ask if they would be willing to help create a brand new Regional Event from the ground up. With their help and that of others in our community we were able to rapidly vet potential event sites, and finally we found a home at Joshua Tree Lake Campground. We filed the forms for a Special Event Permit that included a Burn, arranged for insurance, and went ahead full-tilt recruiting enough volunteers to support an event with a thousand participants.

Whatsblem the Pro:

How did you settle on the name BEquinox?

David Widget Wedeen:

Since the Burnal Equinox occurs early in March we originally thought that our event would land somewhere close to that date, but during the process of vetting a date we realized that there were other Burnal Equinox events occurring that weekend. Our event site campground had a weekend available close to the Vernal Equinox so we took that weekend. Wishing to retain a connection with the Burn, we took the letter B and added it to Equinox. We ask participants what they want to BE, who they want to BE, and how they want to BE.

Whatsblem the Pro:

Have you got a theme?

David Widget Wedeen:

Yes! This year’s theme is “The Human Spirit.”

Whatsblem the Pro:

What inspired that?

David Widget Wedeen:

Well, the ‘Seraphim’ design was the 2012 Los Angeles CORE Project, and when we decided to rebuild it for the LA Decompression as a local community outreach project, we felt it should be modified and this time would include a ‘reveal,’ as originally envisioned for the playa. Artist Michael Lanni assembled a terrific team of Burners and constructed a steel Angel to fit inside of the central vortex of ‘Seraphim.’ This piece is called ‘Human Spirit’ and it fit perfectly not only inside our effigy, but also in our hearts.

Whatsblem the Pro:

Are there still tickets available?

David Widget Wedeen:

The remaining tickets for the Inaugural event will go on sale Friday, March 15th at 10 AM in our “OMG” Sale.

Whatsblem the Pro:

Thanks, hope to see you there.

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