Traffic Man 2015: Entry Pain For Thousands

Traffic this year appears to have been among the worst ever.

From Voices of Burning Man:

We are experiencing significant traffic delays due to slow vehicles on Highway 447. Estimated delays are up to 8 hours to reach Gerlach from Wadsworth. We recommend participants wait in Reno or elsewhere for several hours until the congestion is cleared.

For your own safety, if you’re stopped on Highway 447, please remain in your vehicle. And do not park on the shoulder of Interstate 80 — find an off ramp and park on a side road.

We will update this message with new information as soon as it becomes available.

You can also hear updates by tuning in to BMIR or by following @bmantraffic on Twitter.

[UPDATE: 8/31/15 2:00am]

At this time, the drive from Wadsworth to Gerlach is taking about 5 1/2 hours. Stay safe out there!

 

Once you get to Gerlach, it takes hours to get to the 8-mile entrance, and hours more to get to the Gate. The good news is right now, it’s “only” about 3 hours from Wadsworth all the way to the gate.

The “pulsing” system was used for cars on the way in, leaving large areas of gap with no cars in them, while many stayed still for up to 2 hours before moving forward as little as 500 feet.

Last night, there was an 8 hour plus wait even to get to Gerlach.

Even in the 140-character Twitter format, BMOrg couldn’t just report the facts about this situation. They had to put a spin on, one that absolved themselves of any responsibility by placing the blame on others. In this case, vehicles moving too slowly were responsible. I mean, really?

BMIR, on the other hand, was saying that the delay was due to people getting out of their cars. Sure, just sit still in your car for 12 hours while BMOrg sorts the gate out.

Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.47.25

Burners were not invited to resume their journey until 5:30am Monday

Burner Jerrod put together this graph:

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Here are some of the statistics from 2014, which link arrival and departure time to hours of travel:

2014 arrival times

2014 departure times[Source: Reddit, compiled from @bmantraffic hourly updates]

For many Burners last year, once they got to the Gate they had a long wait ahead of them, because Burning Man was unexpectedly closed due to rain.

Another Burner compiled this list of Exodus times from 2011-2013, based on information from Reddit.

2011 to 2013 exodus times

[Source: Reddit]

The RGJ brings us some highway safety information from the Nevada Highway Patrol:

Burners Leave Hazardous Objects on Roadways

Every year, several drivers crash because of unusual objects that fall on the roadways, NHP Trooper Duncan Dauber said Sunday.

“(The Interstate 80) will be a real mess during the week,” Dauber said. “Drivers should watch out for very odd things from tricycles to couches to mattress and bags of trash.

“Almost every year there are accidents.”

Dauber said Burners tend to drive vehicles that are oversized and carrying large objects that aren’t tied down properly.

“When they pack everything they pack it nice and neat, but when they leave they accumulate trash and maybe don’t have extra cables to strap things down,” Dauber said.

“When they’re leaving, they’re extremely exhausted, and they’ve been out on the sun for a week, and it’s time for them to leave, so they don’t pack everything as tight as they should.”

Dauber said I-80 westbound between Fernley and Reno usually is a hot spot for fallen objects. The Nevada Highway Patrol often receive multiple calls every year of debris falling off vehicles, he said.

“Even though most people are already at Burning Man, some people still continue to flow through there,” Dauber said.

[Source: RGJ]

Burners tried to make the most of it all and keep morale high. The picture being painted on social media was a little more grim than from BMOrg’s description.

Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.16.32Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.35.46Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.09.05Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.15.07Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.10.33Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.11.34Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.13.02Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.41.46Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.34.50Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.14.01

big backpack

In other news, Burners got some celebrity shout-outs on Social Media. We doubt any of them are stranded in traffic.

Here Goes #BurningMan

A post shared by Susan Sarandon (@susansarandon) on

 

A Permanent Utopia?

Fly Ranch Geyser, Washoe County

In NYMag, Nellie Bowles reports that BMOrg have their sights set on a permanent community, and once again will be bussing investors from First Camp out to the nearby Fly Ranch property.

Burning Man’s leadership, nicknamed “the Borg,” has been quietly pushing the entity toward a new phase.

Quietly? As quiet as you can be with half a dozen people in your media team, a Minister of Propaganda, and staff flying all around the world for panel discussions.

As the six founders who built the festival and still guide it start to age, a new generation of leaders is being tapped, including the charismatic and ambitious Bear Kittay, now “Burning Man’s social alchemist and global ambassador.” The Borg is cagey about plans, secretive about money, distrustful of the press (whose Wi-Fi they’ve shut down this year). But co-founder Marianne Goodell has hinted at another major change…developing a private tract of land as a permanent Burning Man community. 

 

Time for a change? Bear Kittay, Marian Goodell and Danger Ranger. // Photo by Christoper Michel

Is this Burning Man’s future? Bear Kittay, Marian Goodell and Michael Mikel. // Photo by Christoper Michel

Last year, the Borg renewed efforts to purchase and develop a nearby property, the geyser-filled Fly Ranch, which they’d been eyeing for years. As Goodell recently said on a podcast called Positive Head. “For the long-term survival of the culture, we are going to need a physical space…We will, as time goes by, find it hard to only be in the Black Rock Desert. We may need to find a place that would allow for infrastructure. I’m certain that’s in our future.

fly geyser mapFly Ranch is, by all accounts, spectacular: it’s about 4000 acres (880 of which are wetlands) with 23 hot and cold springs and around 40,000 feral horses. There’s one 104 degree lake that’s a couple hundred feet wide. Rod Garrett, one of the original architects of Burning Man, had drawn up plans for a Burning Man Fly Ranch city, a mix of homes and communal spaces built to blend into the desert.

“Employees and affiliates may build on a ‘Homestead’ basis, or rent or buy into the Village community at the project’s north end,” he wrote, in his lengthy proposal.

According to one plan, Fly Ranch buildings would be made with unpainted, rammed earth and sod. No fences would be allowed, and all members of the community, who could either build homesteads or buy into a communal village, would live by Burning Man’s “Ten Principles”...Organic vegetable farming and a Burning Man-like conference business would serve as the economic base of the community.

Growing organic crops in the Alkaline desert, hundreds of miles from the nearest small town. A conference center in the middle of nowhere, in a place with notoriously harsh physical conditions and world famous bug infestations. Sounds like a lot of smart business planning has gone into this idea over the decade+ they’ve been developing it.

FlyGeyserFestival co-founder Will Roger writes of this new Burning Man city in utopian terms: “I fondly hope that this concept can develop rapidly, and become not only a destination for learning and wonder, but a model to the world of a community, although remote, that is ideal and sustainable. It is for the Burning Man Project to create this wilderness paradise.” 

Development of this scale would require a lot of money, and last year, the organization began giving tours of Fly Ranch to potential investors. People around the playa whispered that well known burners like Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, and hotelier Chip Conley were among those shown the property (though none have confirmed that they actually were). 

Burning Man first tried to buy it in 2005. They tried again a few years ago, but the asking price was around $11-12 million, and they only raised about a half a million dollars, he said. But last year, the landowner Sam Jasick passed away, leaving his son Todd in charge, and Todd said he’d welcome another offer. Roger, who lives in the nearby town of Gerlach, decided this time he would get it right.

During last year’s festival, he said they were leading two tours a day. They had set up a little camp there for prospective investors to lounge and get a sense of the area’s energy.

Because nothing says “Decommodification” like 2 busloads a day of investors going to the real estate sales lounge. And nothing says “sustainability” like building a 70,000 person city for the purposes of entertainment, creating art just to burn it down, and in a week producing the amount of CO2 emissions of a small country

From Roger’s perspective, buying land means Burning Man can serve more people — the demand for tickets already far exceeds the supply. “This year, 60,000 people didn’t get tickets to this,” he said. “By owning our own property, it means putting in our own infrastructure. It could be a retreat center or an art park.” He said the plan would be to build that retreat center and a museum, hold smaller events, and create a city to test out what it would be like to live on Mars (guess which tech billionaire could be thinking of that?). “What interests me is the experiment in a permanent community,” he said, adding that the tech titans felt the same way. “They’re interested in that too, yes.”

So far, not interested in it enough to fund a Series A for this 30-year old start-up. But maybe this is the year.

Part of the appeal of the site is recent moves Will Roger has made on the board of a local Advisory council to get the BLM to re-designate land so that it can be sold.

burning_man suitsAdjacent to the Fly Ranch property is, Roger said, “a playa, public land.” He had joined a political group: the Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council. In this position, he helped to declare that land disposable, defined by the Bureau of Land Management as “land that can be sold.” He added, “Getting it on the disposable land list was crucial because we could have our own playa then, something smaller for five to 10 thousand people.” The property is “A-rated solar, A-rated wind,” and Roger said the income from that power generation would become the foundation for a community. “If you look at a 100-year plan, it could be remarkable as a planet changing culture,” he said.

If someone can figure out a way that you can put solar panels miles away from industry or population, and that itself makes so much income that it could sustain a growing community, then that could indeed be planet-changing. Usually, local generation offsets costs rather than creating revenue – and industrial-scale facilities are built near the main power transmission grid.

As Burning Man emerges as an emotional and intellectual center for the tech world, Roger thinks the chances of a deal going through are higher than ever. His employees were leading tours while he hung out at First Camp — “I don’t swim in that world, but my staff swims in that world,” he said. He said he was just thrilled the vision to create a town has finally come closer to fruition. “I’ve had my dream in this and my heart broken so many times,” he said. “Now I’m 66 years old, I’m almost retiring, and it might happen.”

Emerges? Isn’t that how the whole shebang has been marketed, since DARPA first unleashed their Web weapon on the general public in the 90’s?

Although Roger says he doesn’t swim in that world, 4 years ago when they bussed me out to the site on one of these investor tours he was the man in charge. Swimming in the world of hot springs was part of the sales pitch – everyone was encouraged to get naked, of course. The details about how investors would get a return on the most expensive desert land on earth were sketchy…“we’re going to run a business based on the Ten Principles“. Ummm, which ones? Gifting and Decommodification? Leave No Trace? So how does that work again? Everyone volunteers for free, pays to stay in a conference center where you bring your own bedding and catering and take out your own trash, the Founders get the ticket revenue (which of course “isn’t enough due to all our costs”), and investors donate the money?

A year has passed since we sat together in the playa, and it hasn’t quite happened yet. When I asked a Burning Man representative about their plans, the website they had up saying that they’d begun to develop the land came down. But on the Wayback Machine you can still see their statement: “The Burning Man Project is pleased to announce the initiation of the preliminary stages of the development of the Fly Geyser property.”

A quote on the site from Will Roger reads: “The Fly Ranch Project is a key component of a broader plan for economic and community development in the Northern Nevada area.”

Read the full story at NYMag.

Permanent infrastructure for Burners is a great idea. Destruction and pollution is so 1980’s. Leave It Better trumps Leave No Trace. A Center for Philosophy, to spread the culture around the world? I could see that happening. Putting these things together, a couple of dozen miles further out into the wilderness from Gerlach? That leaves me scratching my head. I always thought the key to real estate investment was location, location, location.

If you build it, they will come…maybe they should build it in Colorado and sell weed to tourists to pay for the thing.

 

drug-war-cartoon2

Video

Shooting Burning Man

Are there too many cameras on the Playa? Should we be free to create spectacles for each other, without fear of spectators capturing the moment to share with other spectators? The Voices of Burning Man weigh in.

Some good questions raised in this mini-doco by Jan Beddgenoodts. Meanwhile, tips are circulating about how to put your smart phone in Burning Man mode, in case you lose it. BMOrg were showcasing all the new smartphone apps on the Playa up until about a week ago – the links no longer work.

At one point, John Curley says “it’s like a family party, and I’m the family photographer. I bring a camera so they don’t have to!” Of course, woe betide anyone who wants to show any of those family photos to other members of our family…

 

2015 Music Lineups

Did you download the free Rockstar Librarian Music Guide? This year, it seems a little light – listings from major camps like White Ocean and Robot Heart are not there at all.

If you were conspiracy-minded, then you might see this as related to the War on EDM, the declaration of a DMZ and new rules for loud art cars, and BMOrg’s request that no camps reveal their DJs until after the OMG sale. Perhaps digging even deeper into the underlying motives, if no live entertainment is ever promoted before ticket sales, BMOrg can try to argue they’re not providing Live Entertainment which would make them subject to a 9% tax like other large events in Nevada.

Those more inclined to view the world through rose tinted glasses will have to just shrug this off as maybe this year all the camps here had time to make flyers, but most were just too busy to email their flyers to RSL at the same time they were posting them on Facebook. YMMV – we report, you decide!

This particular conspiracy theory was first articulated at burningman.com in July 2014

This particular conspiracy theory was first articulated at burningman.com in July 2014

 

Anyway, if you want to know if your favorite DJs are going to be there, and make plans to meet your friends at events, here are all the flyers I can find for this year. If you have another one that’s not listed here, please share and I’ll add it. You may want to print this page to a PDF and take it with you to the Playa.

A big thanks to K-Dust’s Definitive Music Guide and The Music of Burning Man on Facebook, where many of these were posted.

lucent dossier

2015 shift lineup

 

2015 disorient2015 disorient lexel2015 steampunk saloon2015 trapezee

2015 celtic chaos2015 question mark

2015 ooligan alley

2015 white ocean



2015 exxxplosivo

2015 soma 2015 milk 2015 unicorn rampage 2015 liquid giraffe 2015 loomer 2015 kings 2015 alastair 2015 david starfire 2015 alex ferrer

2015 playaskool2015 pile palace Charlie-2015-line-up 2015 funky town 2015 beats boutique 2015 christina 2015 scumfrog
2015 big joe daddy 2015 human experience 2015 funk for peace 2015 little john 2015 ra so
2015 music mexico2015 alex cecil 2015 tropic thunder

2015 dragonfly den

mayanwarrior2015

2015 slut garden

2015 sacred spaces 2015 desert hearts 2015 ego trip 2015 pink mammoth2015 kramer

2015 illuminaughty

Opulent Temple will be everywhere…and Carl Cox is playing at their White Party.

Tuesday

Opulent Rhino

Opulent Temple & Dusty Rhino present: The Opulent Rhino

10:00 & ILLUSION – THEN MOVE TO INNER PLAYA

09:00
DJ B
10:00
Nugz
11:00
Jonboy
12:00
Alvaro Bravo
01:00
DJ Dan
02:00
Billy Seal
03:00
DJ Wes Smith
(04:00)

Wednesday

13th Annual Sacred Dance White Party

Sacred Dance: Our 13th Annual ‘White Party’ at BRC

PART I: KICK OFF BETWEEN THE MAN AND SERPENT MOTHER ALONG 4:00 AXIS.

Base vehicle: Bounce

09:00
El Jefe Rojo
10:00
Syd Gris

(Car departs @ 10:30 & moves to Serpent Mother around 10:45)

PART II: SERPENT MOTHER, INNER PLAYA ALONG 4:00 AXIS.

Base vehicle: Thor Bus

10:45
Syd Gris
11:30
Grammar
12:15
Dulce Vita
01:00
Carl Cox
(2:00)

(Bounce peels off from Serpent Mother party around 12:45 to re-establish new spot)

PART III: R-EVOLUTION INNER PLAYA ALONG 1:00 AXIS.

Base vehicle: Bounce

01:00
Kyle Jouras
02:00
Skrillex & Diplo as Jack Ü
03:15
DJ ICON
04:00
Billy Seal
04:45
ELiKi w Violin Girl

PART IV: OPEN PLAYA STRAIGHT UP FROM R-EVOLUTION FOR SUNRISE

05:30
Mike Butler
(7:00)

Thursday

Opulent Temple @ Trifucta

Opulent Temple at Trifucta

7:00 & ESPLANADE

10:00
Brian Williams
11:00
Grammar
12:00
Vinkalmann
01:00
Jonboy
(2:00)

Friday: Double Header

Opulent Temple at Disorient and Camp Questionmark

Opulent Temple at Disorient

8:00 & ESPLANADE | HOUSE MUSIC

10:00
DJ ICON
10:45
Dulce Vita
11:30
Mike Butler
12:15
ELiKi
01:00
Brian Peek
02:00
Camea
05:00
Jean Dom

Opulent Temple at Camp Questionmark: FROM DUST TIL DAWN

2:00 & CARNY | BASS MUSIC

09:00
Dulce Vita
10:30
Cosmic Selector
11:15
Sayer
12:15
DJ ICON
01:00
Bleep Bloop
02:00
Tokimonsta
03:00
Phutureprimitive
04:00
Deekline
05:00
El Papa Chango
06:00
PRSN
07:00
Raso

Art Car Support by The Grabber

WILL GO IN BETWEEN BOTH OT PARTIES AND BEYOND.

09:00
(Open)
10:30
Jonboy
12:00
DJ Hil
01:00
(Open)
03:00
Chris Tower
?

2C-I & 2C-B: Research Chemicals Before It Was Cool

2CB

The 2C family of drugs is one of Shulgin’s famous progeny. He synthesized over 250 psychoactive chemicals, nearly all of them never having been consumed by humans before. As DanceSafe reminds us, there are 30+ unique chemicals in the 2C family of drugs, including 2C-I, 2C-E, 2C-D, 2C-T7 and 2C-B. So yes, that crazy dude at Entheogen Village years ago wasn’t kidding. That really was a drug name he was talking about & he wasn’t just tripping really hard.

They’re in the class of psychedelics known as phenethylamines, and came to prominence in the late 90’s & early 2000’s until the most populat of them, 2C-B, was scheduled internationally in 2001. Before that, you could still buy it on the internet. And yes, plenty of burners, ravers, psychonauts, taggers & straight-up gangsters purchased a whole bunch online while the getting was good. Sound familiar to anyone? It should, considering Erowid removed the “Research Chemical” label from 2C-B last year. We actually had a drug graduate from “new wackiness” to “yup, the kids are doing that now.”

That’s right, 2C-B & 2C-I served as some of the first examples of “research chemicals” entering the mainstream, especially as MDMA & LSD hit spotted rough patches in availability in the late 90’s & mid-2000’s across the country. Some users came to prefer the 2C’s to LSD or magic mushrooms because of the intense visuals higher doses of the drug provides. While lower doses give people a feeling of connection, at higher doses, many report intense visual illusions & effects. Trails, geometric patterns, carpets breathing & rainbow emanating from what seems to be nowhere, all reported by random users on & off playa of course. These symptoms come without the commensurate crush of thought & “back of the head” work that most report with traditional psychedelics.

This lightness can be a double edged sword. While many enjoy it and use it as a party drug, the lack of mental symptoms can sometimes convince people they’ve not taken enough. Leading many of my friends to the inscrutable “Oh shit the walls are melting” moments after they re-up their dosage. I can say (with confidence) I have seen more people fuck up their dosages & re-dose on the 2C family of chemicals than any other kind of drug. Whether at a burner party, a bar, club, on the deep playa, or at some stupid EDM brand orgy we call a festival now, I’ve seen the intensity knock even the most seasoned psychedelic user on their glowing ass.

It’s a potent reminder of the power of designer drugs. While it doesn’t seem as powerful as LSD or as binding/psychedelic as ayahuasca or psilocybin, set & setting need to be taken into account before doing fistfuls of psychedelics. Additionally, when the difference between the “low” & “high” dose is 5-10mg, dudes at festivals claiming they can eyeball the dose need to be shut down with extreme prejudice.

I do mean this. All of you playa-bound peoples, if you’re not rolling up with a milligram scale, take a pass on this one if some guy says he can dose you out on an index card inside of a tent. Unless you’re a fan of nausea, trembling, chills, anxiety or death, as someone in the UK in 2012 discovered.

2C-I also has a curious side effect that has only been in anecdotal reports around the internet, so hasn’t made it into the clinical documentation. That being one of the longest come-up times of any designer drug I’ve ever seen. When you see someone dose at 11:30 & it not hit them until 2am, you know you’re dealing with something a little out of the ordinary. This is even more of a reason to give yourself time, sometimes 4+ hours, before “doing more” or taking something else. Even in Black Rock City.

Have fun you crazy kids! But be safe, piss clear & don’t re-dose! The playa commands it!