Got your New Years plans locked in? It looks like New Bohemia NYE at the Armory is where Bay Area Burners will be gathering to see in 2016. Production crews Opel & Vau de Vire are bringing out a combination of the best Burning Man talent to support like Opulent Temple, Distrikt, Dusty Rhino + Flaming Lotus Girls, Michael Christian, Kinetic Steamworks, the Scumfrog and Stanton Warriors.
There is no dress code—the sky’s the limit on your creativity. That being said, New Bohemia is a themed NYE party where participants are encouraged to snazz up and get in the spirit of the cross section of worlds we are creating and bringing together inside The Armory. Not a hippy-paisley Bohemia mind you, but more along the lines of the Burning Man playa meets Moulin Rouge. A kinky, naughty twist is A-OK and encouraged, but, as much as we hate to say it, no outright nudity.
Sorry, shirt-cockersporky piggers. This is not the party for you.
If you haven’t seen a Vau de Vire Society show before, you’ve been missing out. This is from last year:
Here’s what the promoters have to say on Facebook:
New Bohemia NYE 2016 is the 3rd Annual NYE’s event at the iconic Armory. It is, and has always been designed to be a special and co-created destination, bringing together the best of the avant garde and underground creative worlds of the Bay Area. A world like no other. You’re invited to part the velvet red curtains to find an SF twist on those timeless bohemian values of Truth, Beauty, Love and Freedom. Deeper, and higher into this castle find cutting edge sounds, SF’s most dynamic music collectives and the synergy of intentional revelry on the precipice of a new year.
Poets and performers, aerialists and DJ’s, burlesque dancers and live painters, acrobats and absinthe hawkers, Art Cars and visual treats, crimson busts and decadent costumes; are all to be found in different markets, plazas, private upstairs chambers and titillating dark corners and streets inside New Bohemia NYE.
We have amazing music, but we don’t go ‘mega headliners’, because we’re much more interested in creating a community based spectacle of art and talents amongst friends and the amazing people of our circle of friends. And – we wanted to keep the ticket prices accessible for a party this big and offering so much on NYE. . The curtain is raising again on the show worth getting excited about New Years Eve. Let’s ring it in together.
YES – we’re totally aware of of some of the previous venue kinks (pun intended) around lines, seating options, bathrooms, and security. Trust us that we care A LOT about making sure that even the things we don’t have total control over is 100% right for you on NYE. Our goal is to get you inside as fast as possible and enjoy an evening with friends in a World Like No Other and that everything clicks at a high standard all night. It’s a huge priority and you’ll be able to tell.
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?
“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.
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
Indie festival lovers and future bass hippies from all walks of life know about The Lucent Dossier Experience. Their mind blowingly visual and artistic genius is in a constant state of evolution and makes them a must see at every festival they perform at even if you’ve just seen them a few weeks ago. For their latest musical endeavor, they’ve crafted a truly epic and beautiful track that is just one of the many that will be on their next full length album…we are are beyond excited to be able to premiere this new single for free download today. Epic horn stabs, a heavy atmosphere, and exotic instruments blend perfectly with a glitchy, digital grittiness that only the minds at Lucent Dossier can concoct.
Lucent Dossier are starting their tour with the first shows of the year in Los Angeles and San Francisco:
Their “Cuddle The World Foundation” shares a lot of love:
CONTRIBUTE TO CUDDLE THE WORLD FOUNDATION!
Please contribute to our Cuddle The World Foundation! Cuddle The World distributes love, inspirational toys, cuddle blankets and teddy bears to children in basic care orphanages and institutions around the world.
I think I stumbled onto something big. Except I’m two years late. And it’s so esoteric there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it. It starts off with a flyer. Once you’re committed, you get an e-mail with a street address. Once at the address, a shuttle picks you up and takes you to a warehouse space in downtown LA. For the rest of the night, you’re exposed to a wild event full of freaks, hippies, goths, and everything in between dancing, socializing, and engaging in a number of cabaret/dance/aerial performances. There’s a lot of make-up and costumes, wigs and props. It’s a twisted experience with a nod to the Victorian era and Burning Man. It’s Marie Antoinette gone wrong, Cirque Du Soleil on acid, but also the best thing that ever happened to L.A. nightlife. As producer/perform Dayna Riesgo likes to call it: “It’s a fully immersive experience where vaudeville meets the future dressed as a Victorian Mad Max warrior.” Enter: Lucent Dossier.
Lucent Dossier has been around for almost ten years, producing stage performances of the cabaret variety, traveling around the world, and even entertaining the thousands at Burning Man every year with trippy stylings and, sure, a pinch of crazy. They put together their first large-scale Experience event as an underground party two years ago. It was so successful that they threw another one only two months later, which was busted by the cops. With a proper license, they unfurled their world once again this past weekend. Pre-sale tickets to the show sold out within hours with a maximum occupancy of 470, so they tacked on an extra night, which also sold out. So it only begged the question: what the hell happens at Lucent Dossier?
I arrived around 10 PM, when show time started, with my friend Cat. The warehouse space was as expected—industrial with concrete walls, exposed pipes and beams—but tricked out with laser stage lights and design touches that revisited the mid-1800s. A laundry line of lingerie hung along the beams, a twiggy iron chandelier piece racked high above the dance floor, glittery curtains draped, a loft-style second floor with surprises to come. It was unabashedly theatrical.
But it’s not the first thing you notice. Cat and I were completely underdressed for the occasion. It was a costume party, or felt like it. There was a lot of fish netting with bare asses, corsets and ballerina slippers, bejeweled and painted faces (thanks to the “Transformation Station” in the corner), top hats and furry vests, feather head dresses, velvet, silver, leather, stilettos, 1920s-style suits, teddies, capes magicians wear, and cloaks that vampires wear. The place was full of theater geeks, neo-ravers, goths, hippies, and what I would like to think was combination of all. Often, we didn’t know the difference between the patrons and the performers, who were also decked out in similar, outrageous period pieces that one would otherwise never wear to, like, The Abbey. Even still, there were “normal” dressers, like skinny-jeaned hipsters, a handful of Asians in J. Crew, a bunch of gays in flannel, sorority girls in high-heels, jocks on MDMA, and real estate brokers with business cards. And somehow it worked. It was a melting pot of scenesters who just let go and be themselves, whoever they might be.
The performances were top-notch with almost a dozen choreographed dance numbers, cabaret, aerialists on rings, and performance art—some comical, some intense. Every ten minutes or so, the dance floor would break apart for these vignettes; then the patrons would gather again when the short show was over. Music ranged from swing to dub step and, again, it just worked. It’s the type of act bars and lounges are trying to deliver in Los Angeles, like the speak-easy style of Pour Vous, a fancy lounge that offers aerialist shows a few times a night. Or even the new Emerson Theatre by SBH, with the cabaret theme weaved into the entire set-up. Lucent Dossier has managed to take all these elements and do it better. A lot better. There was something interesting here, something that felt future-forward and not relying on the past in a gimmicky sort or way. Lucent Dossier was an idea, a statement, a movement. At one point, the host said, “Ladies and gentlemen, everything is a fantasy.” And if fantasy is the future, then they’re on the right track.
Cat and I left just after midnight, when more shuttle vans were arriving with late-night revelers dressed to the goth nines, and we knew we were going to miss the best part. Turns out they concocted a human sundae: a claw-foot tub full of people. “Lucent Dossier would never work in New York,” she told me when we were dropped off at my car. And she’s right. Only in L.A., but the L.A. of the future, which is, thanks to Lucent Dossier, now.
The Man Burns is a play set at Burning Man, to be performed outside Burning Man. The playwright is David Vernon, who grew up in a showbiz family: his dad was the voice of Frosty the Snowman.
It’s quite an interesting vision. For those who may or may not be going to Burning Man this year – perhaps you’re still waiting for tickets – this is an art project you can support, and be a part of, and get to enjoy. You can bring friends and family to it, to give them a taste of Burner culture without making them breathe and bathe in Playa dust. It meets the Burning Man Project’s mission of facilitating the extension of Burner culture through the world, so you can feel all Burnier-than-thou and Ten Principally about backing it too.
It’s a Kickstarter, so if Burners don’t fund it, it won’t get made. Which would be a pity, because it sounds like a fun evening’s entertainment. They’ve hit 10% of their funding goal already, so any support you can give them would be appreciated. For any aspiring actors, young and old, for a mere $350 you can get a part in the production.
A BRAND NEW THEATRICAL EVENT THAT BRINGS BURNING MAN TO YOU
THE MAN BURNS is a mystical, joyous theatrical observation on Burning Man and a glimpse into the lives of people who make this epic trek once a year. This interactive play breaks down the walls and gives you a night at Burning Man
This is not a play that will be performed at Burning Man-this will be performed off-playa, in your city, in a theater.
You walk up to the theater to see a performance of a new play, “The Man Burns.” Out front is an art car playing music and getting the evening going. When you enter the theater the first thing you notice is a group of people gathered around a costume exchange picking out free colorful clothing accessories like a faux fur mantle or a set of glowing devil horns to wear inside the theater. If you brought an extra costume piece you can leave it behind for someone else.
Next, you’ll come across an old tiki bar called MAKIMAKI, the kind of bar you might accidentally happen on the esplanade at Burning Man. MAKIMAKI is decorated with well-traveled thrift shop tiki items. The house cocktail is of course, the MAKIMAKI, but there are other playa-themed cocktails as well. And a jar of pickled eggs on the counter.
When you go inside you’ll notice that the theater is decorated like the inside of a Mongolian yurt with beautiful tapestries lining the walls. The play begins. If you’ve never been to Burning Man you will be transported to this far-off, mysterious place. If you’ve been to the playa before you will find yourself back home, in the middle of a conversation about connectivity, overwhelming art, accidental sharts, (or accidental art and overwhelming sharts), late night poutine and Burning Man urban myths.
During intermission and after the play there might be a marching band or or someone playing jazz songs on their ukelele or grilled cheese sandwiches being handed out. The party will change from city to city because YOU are the party.
WHY WON’T MY AUNT TILLEY COME TO BURNING MAN?
It’s too hot. It’s overrun by naked hippies. It’s too far away. There are no real showers. It used to be better ten years ago.
Those are some of the reasons I’ve heard from friends and relatives about why they’ll never come to Burning Man. But they love hearing stories about the playa and looking at all the photographs. Selfishly, I thought that by making “THE MAN BURNS” an interactive night with some fun, exciting elements of Burning Man, I could give all of my friends a Burning Man night. And you can too. Everyone has at least 5 friends or relatives who say they’ll never go. Bring them to see “THE MAN BURNS” and share the experience with them.
My name is David Vernon and I grew up in a show biz family. My dad was a comedian and the voice of Frosty the Snowman. I spent my childhood backstage at The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show and wondering why my father was never the “Secret Square” on The Hollywood Squares. I also grew up with a love of story. I would read a play then perform them with my sisters Barbies. In fact, her Barbie dream house was redressed many times and became the set for “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Glass Menagerie” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Eventually, I took my love of story to the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU where I studied Film and TV.
I have been a professional writer for the past twenty years. I’ve written short fiction (which has been widely anthologized), screenplays (a film I wrote, “The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released by Regent films.) I was recently commissioned to write three short scripts for an upcoming feature film anthology about the city of Berlin by the producers of “New York, I Love You.” I’ve written essays on Salon (http://www.salon.com/2000/12/20/frosty/ …I didn’t know it at the time but all of these projects and jobs were training grounds for my most challenging and exciting project to date.
A whiteout is announced at Burning Man over the radio. People are warned to take shelter. Within moments several strangers run into a Mongolian yurt to get away from the wind storm.
The strangers include: ANDY and BUNNY EARS, a gay couple that own the Mongolian Yurt and were preparing for a hot sexual encounter with someone they met on the playa. FIREFLY, a virgin burner who just dropped her first ever hit of MDMA and was on her way to a dance club, PERSEPHONE, an Australian sci-fi actress looking for a ride share to Venice Beach after having another disappointing day on the playa, MOWGLI, a bouncy, energetic young guy dressed entirely in blinky lights who communicates only through motion, MARY ANIMALS, a 60 year old woman who comes to Burning Man on her own and sets up a coffee stand (with the worst coffee on the playa), that is destroyed in the white out, and an ex-marine with an unfortunate sense of direction, known as McRIB, who is dressed in a sketchy Ronald McDonald outfit who was on his way to fight at Thunderdome but got lost.
The result is some funny chaos as these characters, and a few others, spend the evening connecting, disconnecting, arguing, and telling their Burning Man stories; some heartbreaking, some extraordinary.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince
I’ve been going to Burning Man for the past eleven years and have also been active in the Burner community. During that time I’ve witnessed many fascinating Burning Man stories unfold in front of me. I’ve also met so many fascinating and unique individuals. Their stories inspired me to write “THE MAN BURNS.”
The people who go to Burning Man travel a great distance and experience great joy, and sometimes hardship in search of….what exactly? A unique vacation? An opportunity to meet like-minded people? A chance to become part of something bigger than ourselves…part of an artistic experiment? After years of taking notes, I became passionate about writing a play that explored these questions.
For many people, “THE MAN BURNS” might be the closest they come to attending Burning Man. For others it might be their first introduction to this amazing place. For Burners, I hope the play might be a catalyst for them to further discuss their own experiences and stories.
…I decided to rededicate myself to only telling stories that mattered–to me, and hopefully to others. I wanted to dream big–bigger than ever before. The concept for THE MAN BURNS came to me about a week later. And this has been my dream ever since.
I have been developing the story and working on “THE MAN BURNS” for the past three years.There is still more work to be done to get the play up and running…I will be counting on the passion of tight knit community of artists to help bring this dream alive on a limited budget.
Any money raised beyond my goal will pay for more faux fur rugs. I’m only half joking. The design of the inside of the yurt is based on I Dream of Jeannie’s bottle and needs to be as ornate as possible. And more tapestries to decorate the set. And more fake playa dust to fly through the yurt door whenever someone opens it. It will also be used to give the creative team more options to create a bigger, better evening. We would also be able to perform the play for more than one night in each city. We’d like to put more items on the clothes exchange rack. And more importantly, paying the creative team a little better for all of their hard work. All of the money will be up their on the stage. So if you can afford to donate generously, please do. The more money the more elaborate the production.
I’ve written the play. …Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition–if I don’t reach my goal I don’t receive any of the funds donated. This is a dream that can’t happen without you.