Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg’s massive word sculptures are a popular fixture at Burning Man. Now, Reno residents and visitors can enjoy last year’s “BELIEVE”, which has moved from the Playa to the Plaza. From

Burning Man art sculpture BELIEVE finds temporary home at City Plaza

The BELIEVE art sculpture, part of a word series that has become a fixture at the annual Burning Man event, is being installed today at City Plaza, next to Reno City Hall. It will be on temporary display until the week of July 14, according to artist and Reno resident Jeff Schomberg.

“I’m really excited to be working with the City of Reno and the arts community,” says Schomberg, who creates the large steel sculptures along with fellow artist Laura Kimpton. “It’s an honor to have BELIEVE displayed on the plaza.”

The sculpture is one of a series of words that have been featured at Burning Man for the past five years, joining MOM, LOVE, OINK and EGO.

“BELIEVE creates an inspirational community gathering space and photo opportunity, which will highlight downtown Reno’s river corridor and our partnership with local artists and Burning Man,” says Christine Fey, Resource Development and Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Reno.

The City of Reno is asking for the community’s help to keep BELIEVE in Reno. Donate here.

For more information about the City of Reno’s Arts & Culture programs, visit Extra info about the artists and sculptures is below, under the images.


BELIEVE-BurningMan-Reno-2 Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg have been collaborating on their Monumental Words series that began back in 2009 at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada. “LOVE” is the third word of six in a series that includes MOM, OINK, EGO, BELIEVE and BE. Each word can mean different things for different people. Viewers are encouraged to interact with each word on their own terms. The words often evoke varied emotions and interpretations.  

Kimpton and Schomberg’s Monumental Words have been displayed at the Sundance Film Festival, TEDx Conference and the University of California Riverside. In 2012, one of the “LOVE” sculptures was purchased by Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, California as part of its Permanent Sculpture Collection. Commissions of Monumental Words are included in many prominent private collections across the country.

Articles on and images of Monumental Words have been featured nationally in Rolling StoneHuffington Post, the Press DemocratTown and Country, and INC. These installations have been exhibited in Salt Lake City, Reno, Riverside (California mother fucker) and San Francisco, as well as internationally in Puerto Rico and China. They’ve also been included in Exhibitions at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and Santa Rosa Junior College Museum.

Kimpton is a mixed-media artist, painter and sculptor. Locally, she has been included in an Exhibition at the Di Rosa Preserve. She is widely exhibited in museums and galleries across the nation with major shows in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Texas. She lives and works in Sausalito.

Schomberg is a sculptor and installation artist. His unique style incorporates welded steel, stone and found objects. He has exhibited in New York, San Francisco and Nevada. He lives and works in Reno.

For more information, visit or

There are two outdoor art galleries mentioned in this story that I highly recommend. Di Rosa in Napa contains more than 2,000 artworks, including some of David Best’s original, non-Burning Man art cars (that’s right, he is an accomplished artist outside of Burning Man, who creates much more than just Temples). Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa features an incredible outdoor sculpture garden, with several pieces that will be familiar to Burners.
photo by Peter Ruprecht,

photo by Peter Ruprecht,


photo credit:

How To Get Laid At Burning Man 2.0 [Updates]

In the past we brought you “10 Ways To Get Laid At Burning Man”, which is still our #2 ranking post of all time.

Well, thanks to the Bureau of Erotic Discourse (B.E.D.) other Burning Man facebook group, we have some other practical suggestions. [Update: this image is not officially from B.E.D. The official B.E.D. guide is here. There are also other tips on the Interwebz from Dr Placebo, AZ Burners, TribeYahoo Pamphlet, Piss Clear, and Sex Nerd Sandra]

how to get laid BED 2


Good luck Burners! Pro tip: some camps are easier to get laid in than others.

Apologies in advance to anyone in the LGBT community who are celebrating their “pride” this weekend, because these suggestions come from a “hetero-normative” perspective. That still applies to 85% of Black Rock City, which is about as straight as San Francisco. Here are the latest stats:

Black Rock City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Burners are 15.4% of the overall population, but that data alone cannot paint the wider panorama that is gender and sexual orientation on the Playa. Remember as you review the information that both gender and LGBT status is self identified, and that these questions were asked of all Burners, not just the subsection of those identifying as LGBT.

Of all females, 15.6% identified as LGBT, compared to 14.1% of males.

Of Burners who listed their gender as “fluid or neither,” 61.7% identified as LGBT.

Another Census question asked about sexual orientation, with options wider than just “gay, straight, or bi*.”


gay pride 2014 gurlzThe largest percentages for the overall, male, and female samplings represented heterosexual Burners, however, for the group identifying as fluid/neither gender, only 17% of them chose heterosexual as their orientation. The overall data depicts the Playa as a largely hetero, but bicurious environment. The same was true for females Burners. However, the male population was largely hetero with the second-most reported orientation as gay, while the fluid/neither Burners were mostly bisexual and refused labels.

If you compare Black Rock City to these cities in the United States, it is most similar to the urban areas of San Francisco or Seattle, which is representative of where many Burners come from, and where the event was originally birthed.

[Update 7/1/14] Burner Kuja Duncan, a hater who thinks this is a shit article, has kindly contributed “How To Get Laid At Burning Man – The Non-Sexist Version”. Hope it helps!

“Stop gendering strangers. Stop assuming that the women you’re attracted to are attracted to people of your gender. Stop using words like ‘wussy’ to explain why you don’t fit into certain stereotypes. Treat the people you want to have sex with like human beings, cus they are. Find someone you are attracted to and would like to have sex with. Have a conversation with them. Decide if you still want to have sex with them. Ask them if they’d like to have sex with you, while being respectful. (Remember that whole ‘they’re a human being thing’?) If you do not get enthusiastic consent, find someone else.”

Still seems kind of sexist to me – some people are attracted to men! If anyone else has “non-sexist” and “non-genderist” tips, please share.

5 Reasons Why The World Cup Is The New Burning Man

Linda Immediato at Los Angeles magazine has published this amusing and interesting comparison between the 2014 FIFA World Cup and our favorite Thing In The Desert. Emphasis ours.

The World Cup is The New Burning Man

It doesn’t matter which banner you wave at the World Cup, the sporting event has become a great excuse for folks to let their freak flags fly. Which, incidentally, has long been the raison d’être of burners, who descend on a deserted stretch of no man’s land for one week to get loose and let it all hang out at Burning Man. These five World Cup fan staples seem to have been born in the playa:

theessentials_masa_t1) Excessive Use of Body Paint As Means of Expression
You’ll see just as many boobies on the sidelines at the World Cup as you would on the massive group bike ride known as “Critical Tits” at Burning Man. You can’t scroll through Google images without dozens of shots of women soccer fans who are hell bent on putting the “cup” in World Cup.


theessentials_masa_t2) Top Hat and Goggles
This is a classic burner look. In Black Rock City, sandstorms whip up out of nowhere, so not only do the goggles protect, they lend that playa-trendy postapocolyptic steamunk vibe to an ensemble. This futbol fan may have taken her getup from a page in the burner bible, where glitter wigs and bright colors also rule among the glowstick, furry-legwarmer crowd.


theessentials_masa_t3) Faux Mohawks
I think this German Dutch fan might trump the typical Mad Max burner in the bizarre category. He actually makes the dude in a feather mohawk look classy.


theessentials_masa_t4) Carrots
Yes, carrots. Anything goes in the Nevada desert, even root vegetables. If you see it on the World Cup sideline, it’s likely already been done in Black Rock City.


theessentials_masa_t5) Wings 
Wings are huge with burners—butterfly, fairy, angel, bird—transmorphing is the ultimate expression, as this Mexico fan on the right can attest. Sometimes, you gotta spread your wings and cheer your country to victory.

[original post here]

I think they left out an obvious one…everywhere you look, you see Brazilians!

Let your freak flags fly, Burners.


freak flag

Got Tickets?

Tickets have started shipping – did you get yours yet? STEP is apparently still open, but anyone lucky enough to be selected from now on will have to join the 4000+ people in the Will Call line.

No big deal, right? Well, check this out. AJ Jennings has posted some drone footage taken last year at the gate on the way in. This will help explain to the 30,000+ n00bz Burgins Year One Burners why yesterday’s announcement about extending gate times is so significant.

dust angelsWhen you arrive at Burning Man after your long pilgrimage to the middle of nowhere, be prepared for as much as 8 hours of waiting in line before you finally get in. Even once you get past the Greeters’ Station, ring the bell, kiss a hippy and make a Dust Angel, you could still be hours away from your camp. The speed limit is 5 MPH:

There were also citations for speeding, although the incidents reveal there seemed to be confusion about the current speed limit in Black Rock City. Burning Man staff (via the event stipulations) have agreed on a pre-event limit of 10 mph, but it’s possible the citations were given for exceeding 5 mph

photo by Duncan Rawlinson

BRC 2013; photo by Duncan Rawlinson

Black Rock City takes up almost 1000 acres. It is laid out in an arc, with a radius of 3250 feet. This means a diameter of 1.25 miles. The city takes up two thirds of the circle. This means the length of Lapis Lazuli, the outermost road, is 2.6 miles from 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock. These numbers are from the 2012 Environmental Impact Assessment on the BLM web site. According to Wikipedia, the circle diameter is now 1.5 miles. This would make the L road length  3.14 miles.

If anyone has any information about the length of the journey from the Greeters’ station to the L road, please share. I estimate it to be about half a mile. These distances don’t sound huge, until you try to drive them at 5 MPH with near-zero visibility.

Go faster if you want the cops to come to your vehicle with a sniffer dog.