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.


BREAKING: Burning Man Now For 10 Days

Gates open at 10am Sunday, and close Tuesday. Thanks to Rockstar Librarian for this:

bm line2014 Gate opens at 10AM Sunday and exodus Gate closes at 12PM Tuesday. This is a BLM one year experiment. Heard it straight from Topless Deb on the greeters announce email list. 

Here’s the full email message I received moments ago: 
*When Does the Black Rock City Gate Open? The Answer May Shock You!*

In 2014, through coordination with the BLM, we will be opening the Black Rock City Gate to participants earlier and closing it later in order to maximize use of daylight hours, minimize traffic impacts on local roads, smooth out traffic flow, and create a safer travel situation for everybody. This is a one-year experiment, and if it goes well, it could mean we continue it in the future.

This year we have approval from BLM to open the Black Rock City Gate for Burning Man participants at 10am on Sunday, August 24. NO early arrivals are allowed before that time without an Early Arrival Pass!

The event itself officially starts at 6pm Sunday, August 24, and it’s expected that participants use the earlier arrival time as opportunity to set up their camp infrastructure during the day. The event officially ends at 6pm on Monday, September 1, 2014, after which people are expected to start breaking down their camps, conduct Leave No Trace efforts, and prepare to depart the city.

This year we have authorization from BLM to allow Exodus to extend through Tuesday, September 2 at noon, allowing for a safe and smooth egress period. So if the line of cars in Exodus is too long, and your schedule allows, you may want to wait in your camp. Use the extra time to rest for the drive, secure your vehicle loads, MOOP your campsite, or your block. Plan accordingly so that you’re out of the city by Tuesday at noon.

Remember, this is one-year experiment by the BLM and Burning Man to help ease the traffic backups on entry and Exodus. If everyone works together and is off the playa by noon Tuesday, we will look at continuing the extended opening and departure in future years. Help us smooth out the traffic flow!