Alternatives to Burning Man

Continuing the discussion from Company that pampers rich people at Burning Man won't give up:

I know - technically, any other event is an alternative, as is not going.

I have never gone to the Burning Man festival for a number of reasons. The foremost reason is that I am on the east coast, so it is a lot of work for me to get to. But over the years, I don’t like what the event has become, Some might say that it is a victim of its own success. As I understand the intentions behind it, the festival was an anarchist gathering and temporary autonomous zone. But the amount of bureaucracy and money around it these days really seems to me more to undermine its original purpose.

So, I thought it might be nice to have a space for discussing other campouts, festivals, etc which place an emphasis upon autonomy and non-commercialism. The sorts of events which don’t involve expensive tickets, or the feds camping with you.


I have friends that like to go to Glastonbudget instead of Glastonbury.


The Wickerman Festival.

I watched Easy Star All Stars play the tightest set I’ve ever heard followed by The Proclaimers absolutely destroying. It was ace, and then they burnt up thon Wicker Min.


There are many alternatives…

Why one would want to purposely burn it is beyond me.


As long as Nicholas Cage isn’t there…


I find autonomy easiest when alone, and non-commecialism in most locations that don’t attract ticket scalpers.

Love the topic, thanks for the fork!

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There’s always the good ol’ Rainbow Gatherings.
Rainbow Family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Rainbow Gathering with the smelly, unwashed hippies?

Edit: @crenquis: simul-post bro!


Why do hippies wear patchouli?
So blind people can hate them too.


My post would have been much earlier, but I was looking (unsuccessfully) for a Patsy “smelly hippy” gif…


I’m sure that participants never succumb to smelliness at Burning Man… Please confirm!


Who is this Nicholas Cage and what is his problem with bees?

We have Edward Woodward in our Wicker Man.


You can’t smell anything at Burning Man. Playa dust is an alkaloid powder. It clogs up everything, especially your nose, throat, and (often) lungs. “Playa lung” is a known issue for some people out there too long. This is part of why you see all the pictures of people in goggles and dust masks. It isn’t for the cool style. It is because the entire environment is composed of a powder, sometimes hardened into dunes.

Once you’ve been breathing it for a day or two, you really can’t smell much of anything anymore (and it tends to neutralize some of the acids we produce on our skins as well, which is why people wash their feet in vinegar solutions at Burning Man).


Winter Blast. You must first be a member of Western Pyro. (Those who have access to the Lounge may have seen photos of me holding explosive devices. They are from Winter Blast.)

(Jumped the video to the bow ties, but it’s all good.)

You can blow shit up legally! And watch others’ wild inventions. You can even build your own shells and fire them down on the line.

There’s also PGI, a similar affair but worldwide. Ned Gorski and his crew shoot stuff at the PGI shows.

Full Gorski build of an Italian-style 6-inch salami shell:

One last thing, if you don’t want to go to the trouble and expense of membership, you could save yourself something like $800 and just go to SARA Park (in Lake Havasu City, AZ) during the Winter Blast shows and sit in the stands with the public. I think they might charge $5 or something to get in. I can tell you that being behind the scenes is way better, but you really can’t find a better pyro show in the Western US.

It easily beats BM for the pyro, unless you’re in it for the huge fireball alone.


The Autonomous Mutant Festival is totally not something I just made up.

but it is even farther west than burning man


(I have not attended, and know nothing more about it.)

When setting large effigies on fire, it helps to have a place that’s basically made of ash where the only flammable thing for a hundred miles are greasy hipsters.


This rule of thumb holds true for Winter Blast.


There are “local burns” I’m told.

My solstice gigs are full, unfortunately; parking is super limited.

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If you want to hang out with a bunch deranged militant hippies. Been to so many regionals and know/known so many Rainbows and the whole thing is a failed experiment of creepy psychos.
They are not good people. Form A-camp to the casuals it’s become a really bad scene.