Tag Archives: Black Rock City

Burning Man Festival Gains Momentum

The official once-a-year celebration in Nevada occurs in Black Rock City, starting on Aug. 30 and running through Sept. 6.  But if you can’t afford to lose that much time from work – or simply don’t want to fry your ass with some 48,000 or so other radical and self-reliant Burning Man participants (called ”Burners”)  – there are other alternatives close to Las Vegas to get your radical art and nature urges on.

The first major event is “Forgotten City,” running April 22 through 25 in Nipton, California, one hour south of Las Vegas. 

The next artist conclave is on May 6 through 9 called, “Toast!” an Arizona burner event in Witch Well, Arizona.   Four days of large scale art, music, performance, and interactive participation. The Azburners are an interactive group of artists, performers, musicians and participants.  

Vegas Backstage Access has written many articles on “Burning Man” which can be searched on our site in the right hand column. 

And, here is a cool 360-degree movie style panoramic of the various enclaves comprising the big daddy Black Rock City event.

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Man Gets Legally & Physically Burned at Burning Man

The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to reinstate a lawsuit by a man who approached the flames at the Burning Man festival and got burned. 

The justices voted unanimously on Sept. 16 to deny review of an appeal by Anthony Beninati, who sought damages from the promoter of the annual celebration in the Nevada desert. 

Beninati, a real estate manager from Los Angeles, was badly burned at the September 2005 event in Black Rock City, Nev. He was making his third visit to the weeklong festival, which ends with the torching of a 60-foot wood sculpture. 

Once the Burning Man topples, some participants throw objects into the bonfire.  Beninati approached with the photo of a friend who had recently died in a motorcycle accident. He walked 7 to 10 feet into the burning embers, with flames on either side of him, threw in the photo, took a few more steps forward, then tripped – over a hidden obstacle, he said – and fell into the fire. He was badly burned on his hands and legs and was airlifted to a hospital. 

Beninati’s suit accused Black Rock City LLC, the San Francisco-based promoter, of negligently allowing people to approach the fire without safe pathways. 

In a June 30 ruling, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said anyone who takes part in an event with obvious dangers – downhill skiing, mountain climbing or walking up to a bonfire – knowingly risks injury. 

“The risk of falling and being burned by the flames or hot ash was inherent, obvious and necessary to the event,” the court said in a 3-0 decision that upheld a judge’s dismissal of the suit. 

Evan Marshall, Beninati’s lawyer, said that suits by people injured in risky activities have been dismissed in the past only when the plaintiff was in a dangerous profession, such as law enforcement, or took part in a hazardous sport. 

Marshall further said a jury should have been allowed to decide whether the promoter of a cultural event used reasonable care to protect participants from preventable injuries. 

The case is Beninati vs. Black Rock, S175409.

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Burning Man LIVE!

For those of you that are not one of the fortunate 48,000 or so radical and self-reliant Burning Man participants- called ”Burners” -now hanging out and trying to survive the sweltering heat in Black Rock City in Nevada with few worldly possessions, at least you can relax in the comfort of your home and see a techno live streaming view of the self-expressive, artistic event that runs through September 7 at:  http://www.ustream. tv/channel/ burningman- live    Not only can you view the event live, but you can socially chat online at the same time.   My how technology is all pervasive, not matter where you go in life.

Last time Las Vegas Backstage Access took a peek, we saw bicyclers galore peddling on the dusty playa– and then an ambulance raced across the screen in the foreground.  What fun!

[On March 25, we wrote an article on Burning Man.]

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Burners Circle Mutant Wagons in Las Vegas

As a prelude to the huge Burning Man event in Black Rock City in Nevada on August 31 through September 7, the Southern Nevada burners on the First Friday event on August 7 in Las Vegas will be setting up their wild and crazy mutant vehicles that they’ve designed and built to cruise the dusty and scorching playa during Burning Man. mutantvehicle

They are planning to set up their tricked out cars in a circle on Casino Center between Colorado and California.  Then, in the inner circle, local artists will be hooping and poi spinning. 

Despite a down economy, an estimated 48,000 people are anticipated to participate in this year’s Burning Man.  The annual art event is all about the power of community, and to celebrate shared values of radical self-expression and self-reliance through art activities.   Participants express and relying on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one’s day-to-day life. 

As a by-product, one can only hope that Whirlygig, the First Friday organizer, will get a much needed boost to bolster their sagging revenue.

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Burning Man Turns Up Las Vegas Heat

Tired of the politico-speak, technobabble, and continuous water-drip torture of our choking economy?  Want to try your hand at building art- or a mutant vehicle?  Perhaps your cup of tea is spinning fire with  some poi and java?   If you don’t mind bringing in all your own sustaining necessities and using foot-power to travel, then you may enjoy escaping it all and heading to the Burning Man events in Nevada this year. burningman

Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. It means different things to different people.  But suffice it to say that every summer 48,000 plus artistic Burning Man participants (aka Burners) meet in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to create Black Rock City and re-engage with community, and celebrate shared values of radical self-expression and self-reliance.   Expressing and relying on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one’s day-to-day life, they celebrate the power of community, honor the importance of art, and enjoy the immediacy of experience. Then they leave a week later – without a trace of having been there. 

This year the eclectic artsy clan will gather from August 31 through September 7.  Having an “evolution” themed event which promotes the very core of individual survival and philosophies of Charles Darwin and Natural Variation, the event urges participants to question themselves, where they’ve come from, and how they can adapt to our ever-changing world. 

Prior to that, though, Southern Nevada burners have just announced that they are gathering for the Dark Skies Arts Festival 2009, their own annual branded regional Southern Nevada Regional Burn event.  It will be at Mojave Drums in Meadview, AZ (about 100 miles north of Las Vegas) for four days from April 23rd through April 26th.   A limited number of 250 tickets have gone on sale yesterday afternoon, ranging in price from $45 to $75 each.  There will be no gate sales. 

The Las Vegas artist and performer community is small, but mighty and growing – they’ve increased the number of locals attending events every time they do them.  Their community is based on participation and communication, creating a growth outlet for creative people.  The Dark Skies community is planning this year to build an art installation, a mutant vehicle for roaming the playa (you can’t drive your own vehicle within camp), and put on various performances. 

Dark Skies promotes a radically inclusive, participatory, self-reliant, leave-no-trace event existing amid a gifting society environment (no buying and selling of goods and services) where people don’t direct others, but rather do what is necessary (they call it a “DO-Ocracy”).  It’s not a rave or camping trip – it’s a community. 

Dark Skies is accepting applications for either participating in or conducting workshops and special events. Last year they had a hula hoopin’ workshop, past life regression, fire spinning, solar power, creative rope bondage and more.  They also have crazy, zany events like a tightie-whities contest.  Deadline to submit workshop requests is April 17. 

Are we really just a very small piece of a gigantic cosmic puzzle?

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