Burning Man Creates Dance Music Zone [Updates]


BMOrg have created a new area for art cars with Level 3 sound systems called the Dance Music Zone (DMZ). A mile from The Man, between 10:30-11:15 & K. They will be setting up portapotties at each end of the DMZ – so, if you need the toilet at night, head towards the loudest sound system.

Of course, in typical propagandist fashion, they have to tell us that rules aren’t rules: they are giving new permissions, not creating new restrictions. They should just go full Yin/Yang, and create half the party as a music zone, and half the party as a yoga/TED talks/early to bed zone.

from DMV:



This year we are establishing a deep playa zone where level three mutant vehicles can park for more than 3 hours.

The zone will be 5,340 feet from The Man between the 10:30 and 11:15 clock positions with banks of toilets at each end. This distance out follows the arc of Kook Street. The length of the arc is 1,747 feet. Art placement will be modified to accommodate this zone.

The new experimental zone will allow for a longer stay, up to 12 hours as well as provide sanitary stations at this fixed site. The area is large enough for several level 3 sound vehicles to occupy the zone, where their speakers must be turned out and away from the city. The restriction no “encampments” still applies: no camping or setting up speakers or other type of structures on the ground. Of course leave no trace practices must continue. In this effort we are reacting to the rise of edge cases with a spirit of giving permission whilst supporting all aspects of the community, rather than creating new restrictions. We hope this experiment is successful in limiting the impact of deep playa gatherings on other members of the community including art installations, sound camps, the temple and other non-partying participants, and that it will additionally promote public safety and sanitation, while holding to our leave no trace principle.

[Update 7/19/15 2:15pm]

One question: who picks up the MOOP? The Burners, right…but if they don’t? Who’s gonna get the blame?

A consequence of this policy, is there will be no more major parties at art installations on the Inner Playa. No Embrace burn, no Control Tower white party. The Inner Playa is being made more of an EDM-free zone, like the city itself.

All the major mobile sound systems will just have to line up together, pointed away from Burning Man, and compete with each other. The idea of “music and big art being combined” seems to be downgraded by this move.

[Update 7/19/15 8:48pm]

Burner Karl has pointed out that this latest move from BMOrg comes only a few days after Opulent Temple – in response to being denied placement – published an update which mentioned they will throw their annual White Party on Inner Playa around 4 o’clock, near Marco Cochrane’s R-Evolution art piece.

[Update 7/20/15 1:15am]

Thanks to Captain Trips for this reminder. BMOrg’s latest move was suggested by Burners.Me in 2012:


Why not just have an “Art Car Loud Noise Zone” on Deep Playa. Super-loud art cars are encouraged to go that way. If an art car offends the noise police and has to be punished, rather than taking away their right to drive, put them on the “Naughty Step” and make them stay in the Loud Noise Zone for 24 hours.

Just because you call yourselves “The DMV” doesn’t mean you have to act like The DMV.

[Update 7/20/15 10:42am]

Thanks to Burner Bart for creating this. A picture paints a thousand words!

2015 edm mpa


Some Burners have expressed the view that the red text on the map above should also read “for more than 3 hours” – implying that Level 3 systems can play on the Inner Playa for less than 3 hours. BMOrg’s updated Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy shows these claims to be false and misleading. The only places that loud art cars can play loud music are the DMZ and next to the loud sound camps at 10 & 2.

Of course, the art cars are “allowed” elsewhere. They just can’t play their Level 3 systems at Level 3 volumes anywhere else.


[Update 7/20/15 3:50 pm]

Mobile sound stages will now be fixed in position, in the Dance Music area. This will make BM less like a music festival, where certain styles of music are playing at certain fixed areas. Ummm, what???


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?

Behind The Scenes At A Sound Camp

MC2 Audio has a story about what goes into the sound at Ooligan Alley. It’s heavy on technical details, which will be interesting to some readers. A team from the UK brought out a serious system, featuring 12 Funktion1 speakers and 12 subwoofers power by MC2 amps and XTA processors. The DJ booth was the cockpit of a Boeing 737, and they kept the audio equipment in an air-conditioned Hexayurt. Even the DJ’s monitor speakers were Funktion1’s!

In case you don’t know, a setup like this is expensive – hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of kit. And I bet it sounded ridiculously good. Thanks Ooligan Alley, and everyone involved in gifting this level of sound experience to Burners.

Here are some of the sets played through this setup:

A Hundred Drums

DJ Professor Stone: “The Great Plane Throbbery”

DJ Vitor Friday Morning Sunrise



re-blogged from MC2 Audio:

14bm wholefront

The ephemeral Black Rock City, a place that exists only for the length of the spectacular Burning Man festival of counter-culture, music and arts is a gruelling test of endurance for both man and machine alike.

Taking place in the middle of the Nevada desert, where the temperature regularly reaches well over 40 degrees in the day and can plummet to below zero under the clear skies at night, you need to be a special kind of animal to adapt and survive in these conditions.  With dust storms whipping up every few hours out of nowhere, it takes the community spirit and a love of all things avant garde to get the best from what some see as one of the most “out there” global events in the world.

Yet, despite the challenging conditions, over 60,000 participants are drawn to the desert location each year to take part in over a week of 24 hour exploration –  of each other, of arts events, of music, dancing and parties, and testing individual limits of self-expression and self-reliance.

Whilst part of the ethos of Burning Man is to create “Black Rock City” out of nothing each year and, when the festival ends, return the desert site back to whence it came leaving no traces of humans even having been there, whilst the festival is in full swing, facilities must be created and basic needs met.
14bm jumbofrontMusic is integral to the backbone of the entire experience, with performances spanning individual acts of self-expression up to full-on dance music systems of the slightly more traditional form, as you might see at Glastonbury.  This is where our story starts, with a British company shipping out to be part of the “Ooligan Alley” project, equipping and manning music and dance events at Burning Man.

Oz Jeffries, from pro-audio specialists Audio Feed based on the south coast of England, takes up the story for us:

“Having been to Burning Man 3 times before, I was excited to take part on the Ooligan Alley project, but I knew the challenge ahead. Black Rock City is the ultimate test of survival, endurance and self-reliance on us, and therefore on all of the equipment out there in that environment for 10 days.”

14bm oolligan truck
Audio Feed supplied a huge Funktion One speaker system for the event, which was exclusively powered by MC2 amplifiers and XTA processing.  Twelve F1 Res4Ts and twelve F1 F221A subs made up the main PA.  Such a serious system demands a seriously cool look, and the focal point for the set-up was the Jumbo 737 airplane cockpit that had been cut in two to become the DJ booth.  Monitoring in the cockpit was via a pair of Res2s and F-121s.

Oz continues:

“We powered everything with 4 x MC2 E100, 4 x E25 and the XTA A6 amplifier modules [for the subs], all running through XTA 4 Series processing including 2 x DP448 and 1 x DP428  [same as DP448].


14bm yurt and racks


I was very happy to be powering everything with XTA and MC2 equipment knowing their reliance, and we decided to use a sealed Hexiyurt to house the amplifier racks including the XTA A6 modules which we took out of the back of the bass cabinets to protect them from the dust as much as possible. We then ran 2 air conditioning units within that yurt to keep control of the temperature, all run from an isolated generator with an output of 230v to reduce the amperage. We wired each bass cabinet with 4 core cable to allow us to have independent control of each driver.

14bm dusty racks
Each single 4 Ohm Funktion One 21″ driver was run from a single MC2 channel E-100 channel, or a single A6 module channel, therefore giving the best output power with plenty of headroom. Running as a 7 way system we had full separate control of the top Resolution 4’s to cover the back of the arena, all controlled via our iPad using the DP4 remote app connected to the 4 series processors, this control is invaluable throughout the event for front of house control.”

14bm a6amps

In case you haven’t heard of the A6 modules – a little bit of history:  The A6 modules were XTA’s first foray into the world of digital amplification and were a collaborative project with Funktion One, producing a 2 x 2.2kW amp with full DSP and remote control in a package not much bigger than a telephone book!  These modules were fitted to the back of the sub cabinets and could power an additional sub each.  There was also a smaller A4 module which was used with the Res2 speakers.

Oz was delighted with the results:

“All of the equipment performed outstandingly. After an 8000 mile journey across the Atlantic and a 4 hour truck drive out into the desert, within hours even with the best will in the world all the equipment was covered in dust, so a lot was expected of the moving parts and electronics. Being in a very desolate location for 10 days we had to rely on the equipment with only limited spares. No spares were needed, and even in the dust storms and 14 hour a day running times through 40 degree temperatures differences all the speakers and electronics blinked not once, and upon inspection afterwards we found no dust inside the amplifiers.”

14bm jumboboack
Burning Man shows no sign of burning itself out growing in size and popularity year upon year – a British rental company making a pilgrimage across the ocean with no speaker or electronic casualties shows just what a dedicated and professional a team of people work at Audio Feed.  Whether there were any human “casualties” due to party overload is something that will surely stay on the road!