My first thought- if someone made a proposal for a festival of 85,000 people in the desert, no one in their right mind would fund it.
Burning Man has a few rules- bring your own water, bring your own food, bring your own accommodation; there will be nothing for sale there, except for one shop, which sells coffee. And ice. How is this possible?
I left the continent in 1975 and there was a lot of diversity and creativity going on, but I thought in the 80s everyone took white powder and got jobs in suits. Clearly that didn’t happen; I’ve completely missed it. I’ve had 10,000 people tell me to go Burning Man, but it wasn’t until Leo, a friend from Tulum and from Ibiza camp, invited me that I took it seriously. The Ibiza camp was beautiful, staying in a Moroccan tent…Wow. A totally amazing experience. No money changed hands and everyone gave everything away. (Oh, and you can add that to the list of things to pack- a fork, a spoon, a cup and a plate. You also need to bring a gift for everyone you meet. So you can imagine the craziness.)
Burning Man is the home of incredible diversity, and as much as every mall you go to is like every other mall on the planet, there are still people out there making a huge difference. Making individual works. I, as a visual person, was really astounded by the number of amazing things. Every time you turned around, there was another amazing thing.
I brought a small hat with me (as you can see in the picture). It was really hard to ride through the dust storm on a Segway (my first experience on one) with that hat.
I spoke at three places: TEDxBlackRockCity and two other camps. It was amazing and really a shock to speak without big, beautiful pictures. I had two pictures printed and Carina held the pictures up at the appropriate time as my assistant, but the rest was storytelling. And it’s really changed my understanding of speaking. Always relying on the pictures and speaking about the pictures makes things quite linear. Now I’m speaking somewhere between pictures and no pictures. Next, I’m going to be speaking at HATCH2015 in Montana, hope that’s on your list. According to them, HATCH is:
“Imagine gathering up a hundred innovators, artists, makers, creators, educators, risk-takers, influencers, and mavericks… people who want to shake the world by its ankles. And are. Imagine them in a room together, teased out of their cocoons, grids off, brains on, glass flying everywhere.”
Looking forward to it.