Wide Awake: The Funktion One Art Car [Update]

funktion1 mega stackSpeaker company Funktion-One is responsible for much of the clean, crisp, and very, very loud sound you hear at Burning Man. I’m a fan, along with Martin Audio, and B & W (for home).

They recently built a system for Wide Awake, the camp of EDM mega-promoter and Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella.

A Burner alerted me to this story posted on Funktion-One’s Web Site, saying it is an example of Commodification – trying to use Burning Man to sell a commercial product. What do you think, Burners?

Screenshot 2015-04-30 15.32.30

[Source: Funktion-One]

[Update 5/1/15 9:26am]

There’s more, also on the Funktion-One web site:

Screenshot 2015-05-01 09.25.03

Screenshot 2015-05-01 09.25.30

“Funktion-One enjoys an affinifty with Burning Man’s volition”…what does that even mean? The “burningman.com” at the end makes it look officially sanctioned.


wide awake car

Image: The Scene Is Dead

wide awake art car

insomniac art car


The art car also uses a Powersoft Digimod amplifier system.


Image: Zio Giorgio


The mobile PA consisted of custom left and right Funktion One loudspeaker stacks mounted on individual carts. Each of the stacks were powered by Powersoft DigiMod 3000PFC amplifier modules sealed in custom designed “closets” bolted to the subwoofer stacks. The two stack carts were pushed and pulled in front of and behind the car with the generator cart tagging along at the end.  The car itself was built upon a 16-foot dual axle truck equipped with a custom DJ booth and VIP seating for at least 40 people. The VIP area was covered by its own Funktion One loudspeaker system, powered by a third Powersoft amplifier module closet.

“The idea was that they could unhitch and position the loudspeaker stacks to the left and right of the car and have a high-end electronic dance party happening anywhere,” Konecny adds. “We even designed the main system to work on a stand-alone basis so that they could leave the main PA up and running and take the car to cruise around the playa.”

Each of the main stacks consisted of three Funktion One F221 double 21-inch subwoofers and four custom Funktion One 10-inch and 1-inch mid/high loudspeakers configured to sit on the subwoofer stack.

Each cart amplifier closet held seven DigiMod 3000PFC modules. Six of the modules running in bridge configuration powered the six 21″ subwoofers drivers, providing approximately 3,400 watts to each driver. The seventh amp module drove the mid/high 10-inch drivers on one channel and the 1-inch drivers on the other.

Each of the closets had the air intake exhaust filtered using a high performance automobile filter. The air output was filtered to prevent dust from the playa from getting in and contaminating the closet when the blower was not running. The blowers themselves were on thermostats so that they were exchanging air only when the interior temps were high, keeping the amount of dust that the filters have to deal with to a minimum. For convenience, the filters were washable in the field so that they could stay clean.  The closets were equipped with a single twist lock power connection providing three phases of 30A service.

“The DigiMod modules were run on two legs of the three phase service, so they were running at 208Vac,” adds Konecny. “Since there were six modules running identical low end programming, this approximated a fairly balanced load to the power connection.”

Konecny continues, “In order to be prepared for any scenario we designed the closets so that individual modules could be replaced through the front panel without powering down the system.  Fortunately the need never arose, the Powersoft modules were terrific.”

The car itself was equipped with an additional F221 subwoofer  and two Function One AX88 mid-high loudspeakers. The third amplifier closet, loaded with six DigiMod 3000PFC modules, powered this system.  The Insomniac art car was a non-stop mobile fixture of entertainment throughout the Burning Man festival. Aptly titled the Insomniac “Wide Awake” car, it garnered “Best in Show” for art cars at the event.  Since then it continues to offer a full lineup of local artists and special guests during various events hosted by Insomniac in the greater Los Angeles area.

info: www.powersoft-audio.com

This is a story promoting the use of Powersoft’s products, but unlike with the Funktion-Ones, it’s not at Powersoft’s web site, it’s at ZioGiorgio:

ZIOGIORGIO is the first real multilingual world network for information about professional entertainment. The only real tool that allows professionals to get timely information on events and technical news of the sector all over the world.

ZIOGIORGIO network essentially consists of ten sites linked to one another and created by separate editorial offices for each language spoken in the countries where the network is present.

How does it compare to this Fest300 Burning Man-related advertorial?

fest300 safety tips burningman-shorter


What do you think? OK? Not OK? OK but not for a Director sworn to represent the Ten Principles? Or OK for BMOrg elites but not for regular Burners?

9 comments on “Wide Awake: The Funktion One Art Car [Update]

  1. Pingback: Wide Awake Art Car @ EDC Orlando 2022 - Coherent Distribution

  2. Pasquelle is a money hungry joke. He has ruined the festival scene with his thirst for more $, by hiding/removing water stations for his thirsty attendees that spend all their $.
    (Keep in mind. There are more than ample places to purchase water, where he receives 70% of the profit)

    I calmly approached him at EDC 2014 with giving thanks in mind. He completely ignored me the same way he ignores everyone else that saves money for months to attend his rip-off of burning man style “Raves”

    I personally will never attend an insomniac event again. I know I am not alone here. Sadly the youth of today is clueless.

  3. I love the event, and the potential for it to inspire an expression of human truth untainted by the regular twisted and sick society of the default world. It truly is a travesty that the people who voted ‘it was general chit-chat…’ don’t even realize they have been marketed to, and in their ignorance perpetuate the problem of commodification regarding the event. Seriously.
    good luck out there, see you on the playa…

  4. I’m not opposed to people talking about how they put together their car, or bragging about how they used their own commercial products, as long as they don’t ‘advertise’ the car or their products at Burning Man, or reference Burning Man in their default-world advertising.

    I spoke with the builder of this car in 2013. From what I recall, he is an L.A. pro movie set builder and was essentially hired by some rich guys to build the car for them. Now, THAT is against the principles of Burning Man, and the core problem with commodification camps.

    It’s fine if people build a project for themselves and maintain ownership and control of it, while rich dudes simply fund them, with no strings attached, simply for the sake of the art. It’s fine if rich dudes get off their thrones and build some project themselves themselves. That would be awesome. However, hiring someone to ‘create’ for you is completely antithetical to the community. Yes, in some sense Burning Man is supposed to be whatever you want to make of it, but YOU have to do the making.

    Also, the reference to the ‘VIP’ seating is obnoxious. I have an art car, and, with a few exceptions for camp-specific outings, we encourage anyone and everyone to jump on at any time.

    • I think the arts have always had patrons, and why should Burning Man be different. I didn’t paint that Basquiat, but I am still an art enthusiast if I own one.

      • Patrons fund art but don’t claim it as their own. Aaron described exactly my problem with this art car and other projects like it. When my camp brought an art car, one of the coolest things about it was when people asked us about the car, how we did it, how long it took, and especially talking with other art car makers. With this car, unless they’re bringing along the guy who made it, where’s the pride of making? Who would we talk to about it? It sucks all around. The whole fucking point of Burning Man is to stretch what you thought possible in yourself. But whatever, I’m not one to tell anyone how to burn, but I will say I think the way a person burns sucks. And this sucks.

    • A sticky wicket.

      There are lots and lots of dreamers and a lot fewer builders.

      Some of the idea people have some really solid stuff and it gets produced by people with tremendous trade skills… Does the artist lose control of the work because other people are better at wiring, welding, building and engineering?

      I’d say rarely. Especially at Burning Man.

      Most of the projects I’ve worked on or consulted for Burning Man for others have been collective efforts to support someone’s crazy idea. Is my name on their art?

      nope. I’m in their mental credits and maybe a thank you email.

      When I make stuff for myself, I pay for it and build it myself. I personally feel better about it that way. But there are a LOT of mutant vehicles at Burning Man that were built by others for the owners for lots of money, including a few that are just copies of other vehicles!

      I don’t see this being addressed by the BORG at all. Mutant vehicle owners are essentially a group unto themselves. We can voice our opinions from our vehicles, but we will probably not be heard due to the 400K Sound bus parked right next to us.

      (to be fair, several of the sound busses are pretty)

  5. Meyer sound is still the best, though far underrepresented at burning man, and in the edm scene in general.

    But funktion one gets my vote for second place for sure.

    I could care less about if it’s commodification or not. Anyone deserves to be allowed to tout achievements made, even if it’s at burning man (especially artists). If they made an ad stating how they are the “premier must have burning man sound system” would be different, or if the art car had funktion one logos all over it. This is just talking about something using a funktion one system.

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