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Burning Man 2011 – Summary & Favorites

September 13th, 2011 by Fitz, Travel Adventures & Places, 4 Comments

I’m going to skip around a bit in the order of my travels and spend this week on Burning Man.

The technicolor, smart art festival that is Burning Man was a blast this year. I had a fantastic time! Yes, I lost my ticket on the drive across the country but the Burning Man folks were kind enough to switch it to a will-call ticket with no hassle. Whew!

The playa itself was in top-notch shape with none of the “sand duning” of the previous years. One could zip about on a bike with great ease. The weather was quite tame with temperatures in the high 80s during the day and low 60s at night (though it got colder later in the week). There was only one major dust storm and it was nothing like the whiteouts of previous years.

My Favorite 10 things (in no particular order)

Glowing Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse – a towering statue of a horse that burners dragged on the playa and set alight “Man style”. My only complaint is they did all this on Friday with made the actual burn on Saturday seem a bit anticlimactic – same event, different figure.

The Pier 3
The Pier – such a simple idea but it really created a space that everyone loved. People hung out on it, napped in the hammocks below, and everyone had to drive their bike under it at least once. It had speakers located underneath which served up a constant stream of wave noises.

El Pulpo Mechanico Flames
El Pulpo Mechanico – Perhaps the coolest art car ever. This steampunk, octopus-mecha monstrosity constantly wiggled, clanked, and spat gouts of fire from all 8 of its tentacles and head. It made quite the spectacle as it motored across the playa.

Roto Skeletons
The Roto Skeleton – I never caught the real name of this thing but is spun and had a strobe at night that produced a variety of cool effects. Very well constructed.

Temple and Twisters
The Temple – Of the big three (Man, Woman, Temple) it was the Temple that stood out this year. It had the “Gamelatron” installed which was a large number of mechanically actuated drums, chimes, shakers, and cymbals. They provided a constant symphony of exotic, almost Tibetian, music throughout the structure.

Brass Temple
The Brass Temple – I really liked this small, well constructed temple located near the main one. Very nicely done.

Dust Haven – I had a blast staying with these folks. Great people with zero drama.

Gingernaut at Burning Man
The Gingernaut – My Honda Element worked like a charm and yes, taping emergency blankets across all the windows did keep the interior quite cool till about 11:00 in the morning.

nautalus Car
The Nautilus – My vote for second best art car. Extremely well constructed and just gorgeous to look at.

The Big Fireworks Show – Friday they had a fireworks show a few hours before the burning of the Trojan Horse and it was without a doubt the BEST fireworks I’ve ever seen – and by a very wide margin. It’s hard to express how well choreographed and presented these pyrotechnics were but they put to shame everything I’ve ever seen on the National Mall for the 4th of July.

4 Responses to “Burning Man 2011 – Summary & Favorites”

  1. Heather Fell says:

    Fitz – I am so honored that DustHaven made your Top 10 favorite things at Burning Man!

    In a place so full of whizz-bang coolness, amazing art, fabulous costumes and performances (intentional and unintentional) – I have found that authentic human connection still trumps it all. It was an absolute pleasure for us to welcome you into DustHaven, and to have you join us and become an integral part of the experience.

    I’m really enjoying your blog, and love all the pictures you have shared so far. Would you mind if I use this DustHaven group picture on the website we are creating?


  2. Fitz says:

    Ha ha! It was an easy choice Heather!

  3. Pris says:

    Looks absolutely awesome, Fitz.. I’m inspired to do the burning man next year. Thanks for sharing incredible pictures. Pris

  4. Marc Pinto says:

    Totally understand what you mean by Zero Drama about the Dust Haven folks…they live in my heart! Lucky to have them in my life.

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