So it seems that another year has passed and the time has come to repack our colorful garb for a fresh season of dust-caked greatness. I can’t believe the lengthy roster of my nearest and dearest that are frolicking out onto open playa with me this year.
Finally, the dreams, and nightmares, have begun. The fantastic imagery you are left with after Burning Man leaves a special mark on your subconscious. A burner often dreams of flying over the desert grasping golden balloons, being chased by bjork, maybe walking through a room of day-glo oriental rugs while drinking sake, or worst of all arriving without any of your nifty stuff. At this time of year I often wake up in cold sweats thankful: I didn’t get there without my bike, or my water, or my whistle, or my two rainbow tutus, because we haven’t even left yet. Whew! The last thing you want to do is show up unprepared. That’s why I’ve spent the last few days sewing fur onto my moccasins, mod-podging random pictures onto forty bic lighters, threading little LEDs into fake flowers and ordering 50 pairs of rainbow firework glasses. The water, tent stakes and lotion we can pick up on the way.
I’m so excited for temple at dawn, hula hooping on a trampoline to wait out a dust storm, chasing blinking lights miles into the horizon because we haven’t gone that way yet, and most of all to celebrate the new year with 60,000 + of my closest friends.
Shake the dust. Burn the past. Light the future.
I’ve had a number of different jobs in my life, from delivering pizzas, to developing one-hour photos, to knocking on doors and talking to strangers about politics. But this weekend I saw a glimpse of a world I could really get used to.
Lets start at the beginning. Last week in Colorado I went up to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, ticket-less to see String Cheese Incident. Being more of a venue than a festival, the lot scene at Red Rocks was not as profitable to our Bloody Mary and print sales as expected; So, when tickets were hard to come by, and prices were high on Saturday night, a couple of friends and I nearly resigned ourselves to hiking the hill behind the amphitheatre and watching the show from afar. After getting to the top entrance though, I could have sworn they were playing my favorite song “San Jose” and decided that if my song was playing there was no way we weren’t getting into the show. Within ten minutes we saw an opening, slid through a gate and waltzed down some steps to find our friends. Turns out it wasn’t San Jose but the shows were incredible and full of funk none-the-less. Flash Forward:
One week later. I arrive at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, Oregon again ticket-less but this time with prospects. A friend has hooked up what I believe to be a one day gig that a) has me meeting the members of the band and b) getting a free pass to the festival. Turns out not only am I picking up the band at the airport, but I’m being paid to do it. Not to mention the all-access backstage pass, all weekend, the walkie-talkie(roger dodger), the unbeatable camp location, the free food, free massage, free shower and free conscious alliance poster. “I’m with Production!” (and I like it) I got the hookup of a century and only had to give up a small fraction of my fan-hood to keep up professional appearances. I drove Billy Nershi in from the airport one day. Picked up Drew Emmitt and his band at the hotel another day. Drove Kyle Hollingsworth and his family out after the event. And I got to kick it with Toubab Krewe and the Traveling McCoury’s a bit also. But to top it all off, the last song of the first set on Sunday night: San Jose. So she can die happy now, with a smile on her face. Thanks for a killer July boys, see you next summer.