Five Things an EDM Diva Learned at Burning Man

Burning Man

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Burning Man is an annual event and temporary community based on radical self-expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Having conquered every other major music and arts festival in the US from Ultra Music Festival, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to Electric Daisy Carnival it seemed only natural that I was ready to embark on the journey to take on the 26th Annual Burning Man pilgrimage. On top of being a community of over 60,000 music and art aficionados it is a spiritual refuge where burners gather to reflect on their lives and mourn the loss of loved ones or other obstacles with the burning of the man (a giant wooden effigy in the shape of a man) and then the temple so beautiful it rivals many churches.

Burning Man takes place on a dry lake bed, a vast flat expanse of alkali salt called the playa. Two girl friends and I made the nine-hour drive to meet our three guy friends who drove an RV all the way down from Vancouver and another close girl friend who flew into Reno, Nevada. All sharing journeys of overheated cars and electrical problems on planes, I wish someone would have told us the journey to the playa would take an entire day. But we were finally together, brought some bad-ass army and Indian tribe outfits and stocked way too much vodka and beer with not enough tequila and Four Lokos. Living on an RV in Black Rock City made us the closest hippie family and taught us plenty of valuable life-changing lessons.

1) Screw Maps and Schedules, Find Yourself a Spirit Guide
Burning Man Gate Greeter

As we approached Black Rock City I was petrified. Being dirty for days, running out of water or food and having to unplug myself from my beloved iPhone were all on my mind. The greeters were ecstatic to find an RV filled with seven playa virgins as they made us roll in the dirt and ring a bell proclaiming our freedom. One of them needed a ride to his camp so he jumped on and guided us through the darkness. They forgot to give us maps and schedules amidst all of the excitement so we relied on a man singing dirty songs about his schlong to lead us to our camp. That's when we realized there were no plans or schedules at the playa and we had to trust in the people. We soon learned to conquer our playa fears no longer being afraid of the unknown and a little bit of playa dust or being apart from our cell phones seemed like nothing compared to all the great things we experienced.

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@basssquad Definitely!


@kittysnake @OCWeeklyMusic Tomorrowland 2013!!!


As a burner year in and year out I'd like to know what you did to "help out" on the playa this year. 


For me, this was one of the worst BM's in a long, long time.   There are way to many people who come just to party and have no interest in helping out in any of the villiages on the playa. 


My question for you Ms. self proclaimed EDM Diva is what exactly did you do to "help out" on the playa?


I bet you were just one of them as us fellow burners call it.


Them being the ones who are only there to party it up but have no clue what it really means to be a burner.  


So what did you do exactly EDM Diva????  


Definitely sounds like one incredible experience and you had to find the true meaning of PLUR through struggles. Also I'm glad you broke some of the stereotypes of this event as well!


@BigEastSilver yep! Next year I plan on hitting up WMC, Tommorrowland, Ibiza and Burning Man!!! #festivaljunkie




Thank you for the response.


I came off way hostile because our community is being ruined by newcomers who have no idea what it means to be a burner.   Personally I would like to see you write about the essence of what you posted above and that's how without involvement from everyone, burning man won't be able to carry on the incredible traditions that have made it what it was in the past.   


I apologize for assuming that you were just like the rest of them.   It sounds like you definately helped out where you could and that you are already thinking about how you can contribute next year is exactly what should happen once you get involved at BM. 


Please write a follow-up article in the future with a huge emphasis on the participation aspect so newcomers who may be thinking about attending the next BM can understand that is far more than just a big party in the desert.  




@tru_burner In my entire OC Weekly career I've never responded to the comments on this blog. Usually they are meritless and do not deserve my attention. But I was compelled to respond to you true burner. I will hope one day I can call myself that as well. Just so you know I am not a self proclaimed EDM Diva. My editor gave me the name as I have been writing about dance music for quite some time now. I actually hate the word EDM. Regardless I must contradict u in saying I was "one of those." This blog is light hearted in spirit and though I wanted to share everything I learned about life and this world my editor and I felt telling it through such a witty story would be most effective. After all trying to describe the playa in one article is an insult on it's own. As to what I did in the mere 3 days I was there I actually meet the group who does the kitty camp and volunteered to serve tea with them. My throat was hurting and I was coming down with a cold and I meet them on a random art cart and we watched the sun rise together and they told me about how they come together and do things like this all the time. I wanted nothing more than to be a part of that and they really showed me love and acceptance like I have never seen before. Soon after I did anything I could to contribute to the playa including picking up cigarette butts near our camp (mind u I've never smoked a cigarette in my life) and even while all my friends were dancing like crazy at the day parties I was picking up cans on the floor and finding the camp trash bags to put them in without anyone even noticing. I think the biggest thing I learned from the playa is that those self proclaimed true burners who get all rallied up when newcomers and newbies like my clan of "party friends" aren't the real burners at all. It was the ones like my camp neighbor who I called my guardian angel who take the time to educate the newbies and pass on the principles and morals of the plays which made it into what it has grown to be. The ones who contribute silently an never ask for recognition and the ones who never ask for anything in return. I can't wait to go back next year for twice as long with my own art cart and my own themes to bring to Black Rock City. Though the hundreds of people I did meet whom I gifted kandi bracelets and lollipops all seemed to appreciate it and enjoy our experience I want to do more!!!

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