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A Book Party with Belly Dancers! The Launch of Burning Man: Art on Fire

Surrounded by a harem of belly dancers, glittering ladies, and men of velvet and furs, you'd be forgiven should you mistake the woman with hennaed hands and jeweled hair as some mysterious monarch from the other side of the planet.

This Week in Theatres: The Trouble with Burning Man and Six More

A scene from Steve Brown's new doc Spark: A Burning Man Story.

One review and six previews of this weekend's upcoming flicks.

An Emotional Guide to Burning Man

Burning Man

Originally published on Fest300.com

I remember my first Burn fourteen years ago. Having been told mental preparation for Burning Man required physical preparation, I created checklists to monitor my checklists. Arriving on the Playa, I expected an elated nirvana, but found an emotional hell instead. While “welcome home” was the mantra of the day, I felt far from home amongst the wilderness and weirdness of Black Rock City. 

After all my physical and mental prep, I realized I’d done no emotional prep.

How Not to Act at Burning Man

burning man

For the past few years, my veteran Burning Man camp has played host to several virgin Burners, who usually suffer a few breakdowns here and there before heading out. Their issues are not the heat, the dust or even the nudity: They are thoroughly concerned that they don't know how to act.

Five Unusual Places to Visit on Your Way Back from Burning Man

Leeloo Dallas at Burning Man

After nearly ten years of going to Burning Man, I can admit the desert event is probably one of the most unique places in the world you can visit. After you've experienced it for a week or more, it is difficult to return to the Default World and face being ordinary again.

The Misconceptions of Burning Man

Burning Man

On a call a few days ago, the web developer sheepishly told me, “So, the last week of August I won’t be on the call because um, well (pause), I’m, uh (whisper) going to Burning Man.”

It’s undeniable that Burning Man has a particular stigma in San Francisco among those who have not experienced it. It’s a stigma that makes virgin Burners ashamed to admit they are finally going to give it a try.

I, too, was one of those uninterested and apathetic on the whole Burning Man thing. Five years ago, I went. And yes, it was amazing. The fuzzy boot-clad, sparkle-adorned, die-hard Burners may intimidate (or scare) you, but Burning Man is misunderstood by most. Here’s why:

Burning Man With Kids: Guide to the Playa

This is our weekly guest-blog post from the moms behind Red Tricycle, a site that focuses on the "lighter side" of parenting. Every week, they'll be bringing us their picks of stuff to do around the Bay Area with kids. Below, they give us their tips for Burning Man with kids. Read the full article here. 

Labor Day weekend is creeping up on us, which can mean only one thing (besides the start of the school year): Burning Man! When we first put feelers out to our network of Moms and Dads about the idea of writing an Insider’s Guide to Burning Man with Kids we got a lot of, “no ways”, “are you crazy” and “not in this lifetime” responses. While it’s clear that the majority of Burners opt for a week of adult playtime, there are actually quite a few Burner parents who wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Burner Bike: DIY Tips from Playa Pros

Love it or hate it, it’s Burning Man season, which means our fair city is about to be flooded with everything Playa-bound: the people, the fur, the rented RV’s. And while much of the Burners are prepping their art cars and modified pop-up vans, a fair share of hardcore Playa folk are putting the finishing touches on another form of desert transit: The Burner Bike. From the slice and dice choppers to the glitter-covered top tubes, we bring you portraits of four long-time local Burners, their favorite desert bikes, and their tips on how to Playafy your ride. 

EDDIE VALTIERRA (14 years at Burning Man)

(photo by Molly DeCoudreaux)

Origin of bike: Two years ago my Burning Man bike's pedal fell off and was beyond repair. Thankfully, a girl who had come to Burning Man from the UK and could not take it home, gifted me her bike. 

Accessories: Last year I spent hours bedazzling my bike and adding pink faux fur. The only new additions this year are the cupcake antennas. 

Advice for last minute bike builders: Decorate your bike because you can easily recognize it and lessen the chance of it getting stolen or accidentally taken. 

Tips for riding on the Playa: Always have lights on at night and watch out for grooves of loose playa dust.

Most important in a Burner bike: Comfort, style, and a nice basket!

Two Sense: Should I Give My BF a Hall Pass for Burning Man?

My boyfriend is headed to Burning Man for a week and wants a BM hall pass. I’m not a Burner and have no problem with him going alone, but I’m not sure about this. He says everyone does it. But we’ve been monogamous for over a year and I feel it could greatly upset our connection.

He Said: It was Burning Man; it was a Las Vegas weekend; it was Mardi Gras; it was a high school reunion; she was crying and I felt for her; they wanted to see what the Power Exchange was like; I was really drunk; I did it to get even with you; I was tripping; it was Thailand; it was months ago now; it was a work Christmas party; it was a mistake that made me appreciate you more; you know how Italy is; she was gay but curious; I didn't know the massage came with a happy ending; he reminded me of you; BART wasn't running and she had a hotel room; we just finished that big work project; I think he spiked my drink with something; I was sound asleep and she crawled into bed with me; you would have done the same thing; it was a bachelor party; it was therapy; she wanted to make her ex jealous; OK, I needed the money.

Safety First, Style Second: Bold Bike Accessories

The more I hear about bike accidents the more excited I am about stylish bike safety. Wearing a Bern helmet and bike lights are not enough. And with Burning Man less than a month away, channel your inner playa baby with some tricked out bike accessories that help ward away potential road damage.

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