Best Alarm Clock Ever

sk8 or die

SK8 camp are coming back to the Playa for the 6th year, bringing free skateboarding for everyone. Support their Kickstarter, let’s bring more stoke. Look out for them at 7 & Esplanade, Dustfish Village.

Post by Marcus (Playa Wood, Founder of SK8 KAMP)

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HISTORY OF SK8 KAMP STOKE – YEAR 1 – 2011- The BEST Alarm Clock Ever!!!

As we get amped up for SK8 KAMP 2016, we wanted to give everyone a little glimpse of the magic that is SK8 KAMP, we are going to post a series of posts about the memories of each of the 5 years of SK8 KAMP. Here goes Year 1…


Getting awoken out of a deep sleep by cheering, I think to myself for a moment, ‘What is going on? I think I need more sleep, so let me just ignore it.’ Then, the sound of skateboard wheels rolling on a wooden ramp shakes the moving truck that I’m sleeping on the floor of and another roaring cheer reverberates…30 seconds later, the truck shakes even more and an even louder cheer erupts. Time to get up and see what is happening out there. I crawl out to find 3 or 4 skaters (who I later found out were an awesome crew from Santa Cruz) riding the ramps and about 20 people and an art car huddled around the front of our small camp at 9 & H. That was the moment I realized what we had created, a magical space where people from all over the world, all ages, races, genders, and even in any attire or none could come together and skateboard freely for the first time or the millionth time and have tens if not hundreds of people cheering on their accomplishments of landing skateboard maneuvers. This was like no other skatepark, it was only about positive encouragement of anyone who wanted to skateboard.

SK8 KASTLE 2016 Rendering
Many would call it a bad idea for trying to get sleep on the Playa to have a wall ride against the truck you were sleeping in (which may be true), but we surprisingly realized that this is what I’ll called the ‘Best Alarm Clock Ever’. Whenever there was incredible shredding going on at SK8 KAMP, it would wake me up and I could either lay there and simply enjoy the sounds or I could wake up and join the excitement. Since SK8 KAMP is a 24/7 skatepark, this way I could lay down and get some rest when the park was quiet and whenever things were going off I could choose to wake up if I wanted to join the action. Not completely rational logic, but made sense to me and that was all that mattered. The sounds of the skateboarding was music to my ears knowing that I created something that not only skaters but the many spectators could experience joy out of, as well. TRY IT OUT YOURSELF WITH OUR ‘NIGHT OF SWEET DREAMS UNDER THE RAMP’ REWARD.

This iconic (and tallest) part of our installation of our first year of SK8 KAMP was the 10’ tall, 4’ wide wall ride (we actually made a 8’ radius transition cut off at 6’ so it could fit into our moving truck, and it had 4’ of vert) that used the moving truck that we slept in as the supporting wall and this had a opposing 6’ tall roll-in to gain speed to ride the wall.

2015 SK8 KAMP
This first year of SK8 KAMP had a pretty small park with having a relatively small committed build crew and being a little unsure if everything would fit in the 24’ box truck that we rented. We staged and built the ramps before the burn at Mission Motors parking lot in San Francisco where Derek worked. We had a few late night builds with Derek, Jameson, Ilya, a couple others, and Myself. The pre-built ramps included the 2’ tall, 8’ wide half pipe and a 4’ tall, 8’ wide half pipe (purchased from two local families for $100 for the 2’ and $200 for the 4’ because the parents wanted to get rid of the ramps since the kids no longer rode them) that were separated by 2 opposing 4’ wide banks we made out of a couple manual pads that Jameson had. In the other direction of the flat bottom, we built a 6’ tall (3’ radius with 3’ of vert to re-create the Berkeley Banks) wall ride that was 8’ wide with a DJ booth behind it. And, opposing the wall ride, we had a mellow 4’ tall, 4’ wide quarter pipe. This formed a corner less bowl that we could ride around. A few great artists including Jameson, and Taylor Reinhold and others blessed the ramps with amazing artwork.

We went out to Burning Man without a plan of what we would do with the ramps afterwards. Would we burn them all or bring them back? We decided on Playa that we wanted to keep most of the ramp, but would be willing to burn a few pieces. We spent a couple days asking around if there was an ‘approved’ way to burn the ramps at Burning Man. We asked around BMORG and got the general response that if we wanted to burn them that it had to be pre-arranged as part of the burn plan for one of the organized burns, so ‘NO’. The temple in 2011 was an incredible sight (as most years are) and we decided that we wanted to do a skate session out by the temple before the temple burns and hopefully burn that ramp section with the Temple. Jameson had a pickup truck so he said, let’s load up the 10’ wall ride and roll-in and burn them with the temple. I thought there was no way it would work, but he said that he would figure it out, so I helped him load it into his truck with a little crew and went with it. No more than 15 minutes later he drove back to Kamp and said, grab your boards, and he threw on a couch with the Grandmas (from Smile for Grandma Camp that was across H street from us). Jameson said he was able to get it arranged by telling rather than asking. He drove out and said, where should we place these ramps so that they can be burned with the temple. The crew around the temple was stoked at the idea of a skate session and burning the ramp with the temple, so they in fact helped unload and set-up the ramp and carry it into the burn pile they were prepping. We re set-up the entire 10’ tall wall-ride and roll in out at the perimeter of the Temple. This turned out to be the most magical morning with amazing blue skies with puffy white clouds, a scene that almost could have only existed in our dreams. We did a session for about 45 minutes with Captain Booya, Jameson, Velly Vel, Loren Thompson, James Bones, and me that was a great farewell and thank you to the ramp before burning it.

SK8 KAMP 2014
So, we asked around to see if anyone was interested in taking them home or knew of a skatepark that could benefit from having them. Jameson who lived in West Oakland at the time said that K-Dubs who organized a community skatepark at West Oakland’s Town Park would probably be interested so I got his number so I could call him on our drive back. It did work out to put some ramps at Town Park. The 4’ half pipe and the 2 bank ramps were re-installed in West Oakland’s Town Park Skatepark that lasted for about a year before we replaced it with the 3/4 bowl from SK8 KAMP 2012.

Kool Karlo who we met on the Playa and was at SK8 KAMP almost 23 hours a day the whole burn had a warehouse in San Francisco that he installed the 2′ mini ramp in that was there until July 2016 and we hope to bring it back out the the Playa this year.


Please donate to help us build the SK8 KASTLE 2016 and share with everyone you know!

Dustfish Village

RockStar Librarian – Going Strong For Ten Years

rockstar librarian

Now this is an art project I can get behind.

Rockstar Librarian has been publishing a guide to the music of Burning Man for the past decade. It has now grown to a 32-page booklet, listing more than 5,000 DJ sets and live music performances.

Rockstar Librarian, President of the Galaxy, 2008

Rockstar Librarian, President of the Galaxy, 2008

She is raising money to help with the production costs. Now that the guide is so big, it creates a lot of work for her and her designer who have to work around the clock for 3 days straight.

It’s an amazing offering, and one that BMOrg themselves could easily donate $5,000 to, given how integral it is to their event.

As well as the guide, she also compiles as many of the DJ sets from the Burn that she can link to. Sign up for her free newsletter to get access to last year’s sets. Here are the 2013 sets on Soundcloud: 229 of them. It takes a massive amount of time to put this kind of information together, and it is incredibly useful to all Burners – as well as fans around the world of the thousands of different DJs .

Please support Rockstar Librarian, let’s thank her for all the spectacular work she has done for the Burner community to date and encourage her and her team to keep working so hard for us in the future.

Donate here.

If you want to get your set listed in the guide, the deadline is August 12 – but please don’t leave it to the last minute, if you can avoid it.

Google Employee Creating Burning Man Musical

A couple of weeks ago we brought you news of Burning Man: The Musical – a new Kickstarter project. It seems the idea is ramping up fast, with a big profile from the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The man behind the idea has never been to Burning Man. Does that make him a pre-Burner?

The musical is the brainchild of Matt Werner, a 30-year-old New York City-based Google employee who has never been to Burning Man. This year will be his first.

The Oakland, Calif. native — a former “hacker house” resident and a friend to many Silicon Valley hipster techies — admits that he sees the irony: A virgin Burner orchestrates a musical version of the world’s favorite desert Utopian festival that he has never been to.

His own story seems to be a little bit reflected in the plot of the unborn musical. The story line focuses on a 25-year old techie named Joe who lives in San Francisco and commutes down to Silicon Valley.

Joe goes to Burning Man one year and it disappoints initially.

Who wants to dance with a sparkle pony, right?

Who wants to dance with a sparkle pony, right?

“His lofty ambitions to network with high-powered executives are not met. Between getting dumped by his girlfriend, dancing with sparkle ponies, and nearly dying while on a vision quest in the desert, he reaches a real low,” according to Werner’s web page.

“In the midst of this low, the acceptance, connection, and playfulness he experiences at Burning Man make him start to question his past life of ambition and power in Silicon Valley. The sharing economy and free spirits he meets in the desert make him wonder--is his real mission in life just to make money? Or is it maybe to authentically connect with others and help others?” the synopsis reads.

The RGJ asks the hard-hitting questions:

Q: Are you going to be critical at all of Burning Man and its direction? Is this just about a trip to Burning Man, about Burning Man? Or is it about Burning Man and its direction today?

I’m using “Book of Mormon” as a model. It does satirize the Mormon faith, but it does celebrate it too. It’s laughing with them, and not at them. It is going to be a satirical piece. It’s going to be a musical comedy. I mean, people recognize the absurdity of the festival. It is going to be a celebration of the values, and about the conflict between Silicon Valley and Black Rock City.

Q: Which side of that conflict are you on?

For me, I live in multiple worlds. I’ve worked at Google for five years, but I’m going to go to Burning Man. What is interesting to me, this notion of utopia. Some people I know, they believe that technology will solve all the world’s problems. Then there’s this other version of utopia, where we’re really in tune with ourselves. What I think is fascinating is seeing these worlds collide. I’ve lived in both of them. I used to live with these Russian programmers living in this “hacker house” pad. But we’ve had these really deep, meaningful conversations about all of this. Some of the media depictions have really hammed up the influence of these guys.

Q: So, do these techies come back changed people? Can you be a Google guy, or a tech savant, and be a true Burner too?

If you’re a billionaire, can you really say you’re a Burner? I really don’t know. Working at Google, the co-founders, they’ve all been to Burning Man. Some of the Silicon Valley people that go — some of the guys, they’re going to hook up with girls, and do drugs, and dance. There’s others who are radically transformed, and who do decide to find other work. I don’t have a statement I am trying to make: Silicon Valley, bad; Burning Man, good, or vice versa

[Read the rest of the story at the Reno Gazette-Journal]

There’s a conflict between Silicon Valley and Black Rock City? Could’ve fooled me. But perhaps that is the ironic premise for this Big Farce. Donate here if you want to find out.