News: Burning Man burns on Monday

Update: I now have a whole Burning Man area on the blog!

I've not been blogging of late because I'm at Burning Man, and while normally I don't report breaking news in this blog, we just witnessed a strange event. Through accident or arson, the Man was set alight this evening shortly after totality began in the eclipse of the moon.

The man was not loaded with explosives or fireworks as he is before his planned burn, so it was a more sedate affair, and soon fire crews arrived to "save the man" -- something we have been asking for in mock protests for years. They did put him out, and he still stands, a bit worse for wear.

I managed to get some photos of the burn....

Efforts to save the man...

The injured man, missing a hand and burnt, under the eclipsed moon...


Great photos! Reno Journal said there was one arrest...any word on who??

That last photo is stunning.

Bummer. Last time a major art piece got torched prematurely that I can remember it was Steve Heck's assemblage of wood, piano harps & large glass lenses in 1999. He saw it going up from across the playa, but nobody found the people responsible. Really broke his heart.

I'm not sure what conclusions you can draw. People try to climb the Man just about every year, not caring about breaking the neon or the structure. People steal, smash or burn things like the lantern spires, street signs, generators, bikes & pieces of art installations not firmly attached. But this obviously takes chronic theft and/or vandalism to a new level.

If said suspect was arrested, what will they charge him with? Premature combustion?

Chaos is good (provided nothing more than egos get injured). They'll get it fixed by Saturday, people will donate elwire to light it, it will become a community project like it use to be. This event of premature rapid composting will turn into a reminder not to take The Man for granted. I guess I'm saying this is a good thing. Thanks.

Are the Burning Man Doctors in the house? Has anyone bandaged and done some
cosmetic surgery to keep him upright for the rest of the fest?
And how about that dust? Have you had any dustbowls yet? I'm aching to be there..maybe tomorrow.

Okay, I know it's wrong and dangerous and disrespectful to the artists... but a big part of me is sad to have missed this!

My first year (2000) I felt like there was an underlying chaos to that little desert gathering. I felt a sense that all hell could break loose at any moment... a feeling that I was in a survival situation and that shit could all go sideways at any time. I also felt the flipside, a feeling that we were all in this together and were there to help each other. Mighta been the 3 days of wind and rain storms? Or just starry-eyed noobness.

But. I've never felt that since, and I miss it. I guess that's my inner anarchist at work... I like a little bit of chaos. I like seeing people have to come up with new solutions, new ideas. I would LOVE to hear that they had to take down the man and then rebuild him this year, and that participants all came together to make it happen.

Now, if it pours rain too, I'm gonna be pissed. I've been waiting for that to happen for 6 years!

YES! This news has put the biggest grin on my face. The pure giddiness and mirth that arose in me is what I've been missing on the playa for years now. You said it so well, the ever-present possibility of chaos and things going "sideways."

Blinky lights and funfur just isn't enough to shake up my version of reality the way that unscheduled, unwarrented, unauthorized *events* such as this can shake-n-bake it. This *aliveness* *awakeness* I feel today is what the burn traditionally meant for me. I'm thankful for it.

We're in the same boat Dianamite - 2000 was my first year too.

I don't want it to be clean or safe or predictable - I loved that I felt like I was teetering off the edge of those things that first year. They shoulda let him burn. That would have been "radical".

heh. well, it *did* rain. Not very much, but it rained. And it was beautiful! Double rainbows too!


Well as I'm sure you know by now they DID rebuild the man and it DID pour rain -- or rather mud from the sky! Fucking awesome year. And rough. Yeah baby!

How I feel about this. I would be outraged if this was someones art. Well, I guess it is - I'm sure a ton of folks put unbelievable amount of energy into make the man. At the same time, there's something facinating about the focal point of BM burning early - like now all hells gonna break loose.

BTW - amazing photos!

According to the Chronicle, it was one of our own:

"Paul Addis, 35, of San Francisco, was booked into the Pershing County Jail in Nevada on the arson charge and misdemeanor possession of fireworks, Sheriff Ron Skinner said."

...the thlng is, everyone liked Hunter Thompson...

Is it just me, or does the 'pavilion' underneath the man look really lame this year.... shade cloth and zapstraps? (can't see it in Brad's photos but I've seen some on other sites where it's all lit up and it looks, well, not very attractive)

Hmmmmm. I'm curious about what Paul's intentions were. Simple vandalism/arsonist kicks? Protest of corporate products in the pavilion below? Forced de-emphasization of significance of Saturday's Burning of the Man event? (The last paragraph of the Chronicle article illustrates that factor:

"... A festival-goer who identified herself as simply Erica said she and her friends were "upset by the fact that someone would take this away from everybody who comes to the event just to see the man burn. To try to sabotage him is completely wrong. We wait all year long. This is an adult's Christmas party."

Another factor is the "come early/arrive late factor". Most burn vets agree that the full BM experience requires a week's stay; arrive monday or tues, ease into it, feel the energy build etc. With the increased popularity in BM's mass appeal, I would guess there is an increase in "short-timers" trying to cram the experience into a slightly lengthened holiday; arrivals on thurs, friday, or (gulp!) saturday. Thus, there would be a situation of "Ooops, ya missed it! Ha ha!" That actually is pretty funny...they should have let the motherfucker burn...but it doesn't surprise me that they didn't. Chaos and anarchy are on their way to extinction at Burning Man.

So many people have threatened and speculated about this for so long. Inevitably one of them would be weak-minded enough to actually live out other people's dream. I wonder how it feels to be arrested for such a lame cliche.

BMORG said that the man would be rebuilt so it could be burnt on Thursday.


Ok, it is a big drag for the event to have to scamble and rebuild the man just so they can burn it on Saturday, but I have to admit, this is the most radical thing that has happened in years...It makes me sort of admire the guy's insanity.....Burn baby re-burn...!

To all those who say that it's OK to commit arson on the playa, perhaps they need be reminded that all City, County, State, and Federal Laws apply at all times during the event. Therefore, if you think it's cool what Paul Addis did, then perhaps you would think other felonious activities against other Burners is OK as well!? What do you think would happen if Paul Addis
set fire to a National Forest? Would you think that is OK too?

Now for those seeking chaos, take a plane to The Middle East. WHAT? AFRAID? WHY? You wanted chaos!!

So this brings us to the corporate products issue. No, I personally don't like it. When a small group of people tried to organize a protest, I noted that very, very few Burners were willing to join that group. Perhaps now we know why!

One man's arson is another's art.

Don't give us diarrhetic bullshit about what if he burned this or that other thing - he didn't. He burned the brand, the icon, the totem, call it what you will. Taken out of context it's arson, no debate, but context is the cloth we weave in the desert, don't you get it?

Would I have done the same thing? No. Is judging the act all cut and dried, black and white for me? In the default world, yes, but I don't go to the desert for more of the same...


Take a plane to the middle east...burn down a national forest...hmmmm, reachin way out over the left field fence on that one. So the guy burnt the man early, now everybody hasta pitch in to fix it, if they wanna get it fixed. Kinda sounds like a burners without borders deal to me. Pretty much says at the top of every ticket i've seen that you are takin youre life into youre own hands and may die by attending this event, which pretty much means what it says--youre ass could die from attending this event, anything beyond or including that is fair game--yes or no--did he burn down a camp site, no--did he burn down something built to be burned--yes, have we ever done anything premature that made no sense--I have.

Wow. I thought I was uptight. You know the United States was founded on felonies. Just ask the Canadians.

Thank you so much for the photos. I posted the last one on Tribe with a link to this post.

My mixed feelings about the arson are slowly congealing into mirth. I'm glad there's been a bit of chaos out on the playa to get everyone talking about the whole "why" of the event. Glad no one was hurt, hoping the art in the pavilion is ok, applauding the firefighters, smiling with great amusement.


Excellent photos, I should have known you would be out there with the camera. AND blogging on playa with the internet connection you set up yourself. Thanks for bringing the views home to me and dirk. Hi to everyone at camp I am! Save The Man!

Nice photo's Brad. Glad to hear he was repairable. Save the man! Burn that idiot!

Some folks posting on Laughing Squid and other sites are calling Paul a hero. One has even made a shirt with his mug shot and the word hero emblazoned below. I don't agree that he's a hero. I think he's a loser with a new form of ADD...he wasn't getting enough attention, thus he had Attention Deficit Disorder and needed everyone to pay attention to him. Well, I made a different shirt that expresses how I feel about this guy. If you'd like to have a look at either shirt, feel free.

One is here:

And the other is here:

BTW, nice photos Brad!

That Fuckin Rules! Fuck BM!! I've been over it for years!! And I loved it in the beginning many, many, many moons ago when it was REAL. I don't have to go to the dirty desert to express myself and live my life as an artist or anarchist. I live, eat, sleep, shit, fuck and wear what I want, when I want and how I want. Burning Man Died a long time ago people... wake up! It reminds of the Dead heads that can't accept the fact that Jerry is dead. All is Sacred, nothing is permitted... Kaos Reigns!!!! Burry the Man!!

Truer words couldn't have been written. It's sad to see people hold onto something that burned out so long ago. I say if you feel like you have to pay money to go the middle of the desert inside a compound to feel free then your mind is more controlled than you realize. This is like any other cult who demands payment from vulrnable persons looking for "the way". Who writes the scripture that these BM zombies follow so religiously? It's great to glop onto any form of religion when you can't find your own way. Snake oil salesmen would envy the scam of "give me your cash, follow me into the desert for a week and I will show you the way. You only have to do this once a year and you will see the light that so many others can't". HA! What crock of shit. These aren't individualists these are goddamn puppets. Wake up people!

[Sniff] H'mmm. Methinkes' think I smell a double-standard hereabouts.

Every year, we hear about some other artist's work getting ripped off, vandalized, messed with by malevolent persons unknown. And we all screw up our brows in artistic sympathy and go, "Ohhhh, they're so uncool! That's just bad, the perps should be ashamed of themselves. BTW, have they caught the jerks who messed with [placeholder for vandalized art installation/camp of record here] from last year yet?"

But when the CENTRAL FIGURE of the festival gets torched, the guy who did it gets showered in glory and praise and everyone says he saved the festival from itself! (Tell me again...we need to be saved WHY?)

Whether it's the Man, the Temple, or a bamboo rack hung with sand-cast bells, or a spiral labyrinth of handsewn silk flags waiting for someone to come play hide-and-seek or make love amongst them; whether it's a grant-funded project aligned with the theme or a "just-because" labor of love; whether it's 30 feet tall or literally least one person busted their ass and poured their heart into making it and getting it there. Doing an installation at Burning Man is HARD. Getting there is expensive. But what inspires its attendees to stretch themselves like that, is that they know that once they get there and set up, they'll be paid back many thousands-fold, because everyone else did the same. A beast that's more than the sum of its parts.

So what's going on here? How is someone's installation getting stamped flat by a rampaging Shark Car NOT okay but a lazy, nose-in-the-air little Napoleon hijacking the Man' Burn IS okay? Chaos is fine, but R-E-S-P-E-C-T is just as good. Today's Headline™, they needn't preclude each other.

Yep, that's definitely Double-Standard spoor I smell here, mmmm-hmm.

All I need to do is go out in the fucking heat, blow $ 350.00 and watch a buch of yahoos get fucked up. Jesus people the guy is ripping you off.He makes close to $ 10,000,000 on the "event". You ever wonder what this piece of shit clears? I resfuse to pay out the nose on general principle!!!

I totally agree Drew the fruit has never been closer to the ground or people farther from what is really a big scam! I don't get hot the King rat sleeps at night. It's just wrong. Charge a little more than you make or have some music if or something . Don't just rape the poor idiots who drive all the way out there looking for fun. Hypocrisy! Harvey is as crooked as a 2 dollar whore and will screw you just as quik!

Hey people don't get caught up in the burning scam hype and become just anouther burn victim. Nothing would be better than a huge sand storm covering the entire shit pit with sand. Losers and all! Call it thinning the herd or pluck the weeds. I agree FUCK the scam and fuck burning man!!!

Makes me want to go there just to break some trippy hippy shit in an artistic way! I have friends that just go there to thrash the stupid shit people bring. Once there was some sand dollars and shit hanging from this display on a surfboard. That had to go! was funny watching stupid hippies come back to a bunch of broken shit. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Rex has it right on! I hate nonsense and stupidity. Break it all man. I'm heading down tomarrow be back on sunday.

AS a kid I grew up near this salvage yard and thats where I really got into break shit. So when I went to BM it along with the drugs brought back memories of breaking windows and light. I just began to trash about like a shark taking out all kinds of displays. Like in life it's the little things that suffer the most. If it was small and down low it got stomped! I didn't get to go this yeah but my stomping buddies did. I'll let you know what happened.

I agree that good comes out of Chaos.. especially when in an artistic way.
BUT.. It;s sad to see the attitudes of the people who think it was OK or even COOL that this guy burned the man early. And the ones of YOU that mentioned that you have been going for years and think it was acceptable what he did, sounds like you are bored with BM now or some of you sound like you need your heads adjusted.
How about getting outside of your (been there done that), attitude.
How about a good attitude! Such as .. caring for the other people who are enjoying this tradition for the first time.. people who were told how cool it is going to be.. how then it happens at the end of BM ..A really cool TRADITION... that they burn the man on the last day ..( gosh..remember your first time?) ..
.really...some of you sound like old bored,burned out hippies that can't accept it anymore.
( hey ... maybe the early burning was meant to be.. kind of a karmic type thing for those of you who need to realize something about yourselves.maybe YOU are bored with BM now? maybe it's time to let go and not go to BM anymore ?..)
Bm is still growing..and new people hear about it every year. If it wasn't for that purpose of sharing with these new people then there would be no future for the BURNING MAN..
Maybe you didn't understand how or why any of this started in the first place. So then I am sorry for those of you because you went all this time and missed the idea ( this often happens to people who are too self absorbed ) ... and about that one guy who even feels he has to tell us all about his shit and he is too cool for us all. HE IS WHAT WE ALL CALL A KILL JOY!! well who cares what an icky guy like that thinks anyway.
My daughter is at BM for her first time. I can't wait for her stories and you know what.. next year I hope I can go for my first time and I hope there won't be any Kill Joy idiots who ruin other peoples art work


I'm sorry there are people like you alive on this earth.. you are a bunch of creeps!! get some help sick kids!!

Hey mom clean out your headgear and listen up. We all know what buring man is about we all have been there and all have been ripped the fuck off by harvey. It this is really for the spirit of thing why then do they charge so fucking much? It's a great scam to get a bunch of people to drive out into middle of nowhere and then price gouge their eyes out. Fuck Harvey and fuck burning man. I'm sure your daughter is going to come back a whole new girl-lol.

I was at bm and there was a display of mirrors on a sunglass rack across from us. I was really hung over and the mirrors were hurting my eyes. I asked the guy to move it but to no advail. I watched him leave and mustered enough strength to walk over and proceded to distory his "art". I didn't stop at the sunglass rack I continued through all his crap until it looked like area 51. The guy came back and started howling he was so upset. He looked at the sky and asked "WHY". This is something that had to be done but now I don't feel so bad becase I see I'm not alone. Thanks for sharring your moving stories guys!

I broke some things.

Herodotus tells of the guy who burned the Library of Alexandria to get his name into the history books. I have been careful never to learn it.
Congratulations on finally saving the man. Did he stop, drop, and roll?
Now that this has finally been acomplished, I suggest we change the camp name next year and seek a new cause.
Greetings from Mexico. I miss you all. Love to Metty Moop (Dana) especially.

I would really enjoy some pics of things people broke at buring man. I too felt like a "burn victim" after dropping cash on something so stupid. I didn't break anything but now I wish I would have! please post some pics of vandalism. I really like the ones where somebody set it on fire early!! Let that mutha burn!!

You guys are fucking crazy!

I love it!

Thrash on


Some of the posters above think it's cool to destroy someone's artwork? They are quite obviously intellectual and artistic retards. Unable to create anything themselves, they tear down what others have made to satisfy their jealousy and impotent rage. Some people are simply worthless. Worse than worthless, because they cause so much harm to others. These sad, sick, ruined people contribute nothing to the world. They are nothing but users, abusers, confusers, losers. A waste of space. A cancer on society. They are what hurts Burning Man, not the longtime Burners and not the growing numbers of people who go to participate, to experience, to learn and grow. True Burners are true creatives, original thinkers, intensely interested and interesting, fun-loving, generous with their gifts. These others? They suffer - now and especially eventually, even if they are currently too stupid to realize how they are wasting themselves - for having nothing to show at the end of their useless lives.

If I pay 300 buck to do what I want whats wrong with having a little or a alot of fun? I thought you were supposed to do "whatever" you want there? So what if one guy breaks some mirrors or anouther sand dollars on surfboards! Thrash on! thats the spirit of BM! They even burn a man in the end as an example of true destruction to the utmost!
BM is turning into one huge mosh pit and some of us like it!
If we pay then we can play. Get off our backs.
Thrash on bros I'm there next year. I have
this cricket bat perfect for ultimate
destruction of anything standing.
the ultimate show of anarchy
is when the government
thinks it's too
dangerous and
bans it!

Thrash on brthers and sisters!


It appears to me, that there is an incredible amount of stupidity expressed in these responses and tiny amount of wisdom. Few will know the difference. Less will even think about whether what they express has any kernel wisdom what so ever. That is one reason our world is so fucked up. One thing that rings true to me is that if you advocate anarchy you must also advocate with equal strength for responsibility and respect. If you want chaos and/or anarchy without responsibility and respect you end up with the powerful dominating and folks that have lesser abilities or are less aggressive suppressed. Watch what happen when the US criminal military force is withdrawn from Iraq. You will learn a lot. Most of the so called modern anarchists I have meet, and I have met many, have no clue how they would make such a society work. Most don’t understand the need for respect and responsibility. Most that I have met are angry, white boys rebelling against their parents with little understanding of history, politics, psychology, economics or ecology. I suggest you grow up, read a lot, learn to manage your anger, study the past, discover the present, create the future. Most importantly don’t believe everything you think. How does setting fire to the BM early further your goals?


I heard alot of talk before burning man
about people going there just to tear things
up. Alot of people justify this with talk
about how much they charge and how angry people
get over paying that much. All around campus
people talk about what a big party it is and because
they pay so much they think that they can trash it. I'm
thinking maybe they shouldn't charge so much so people
wouldn't be so mad. Just a thought :)


Wow, you guys go there to trash stuff? and are all proud of yourselves for it? ok, next year i will come to your camp while you are sleeping and bash your face in with a brick. Shattered bloody face, now that is art! Anarchy rules! ok no, i would obviously never do that. but you guys are idiots!

Wahhhh... little baby can't handle sunlight in his eyes, so he goes and breaks mirrors. how about, put on sunglasses? don't stare into the light? or don't go out into the hot sun in the middle of the desert? maybe other people got some enjoyment out of the shiny mirror install. It's not all about YOU, you self serving fucks.

You want to break shit? Bring a bunch of YOUR shit to break. 'Camp Smash Shit'. sounds cool! Just be sure to clean up every last spec of it when you leave.

BTW cool pics! love the last one!

"Charge so much" - anyone who utters these words about the tiny $300 ticket price is obviously not at all informed about what goes on at Burning Man, the expenses involved, or the effort. $20 for tickets to a stupid movie is a rip off. $300 for tickets to Burning Man is a bargain. It would be for twice the price too.

"He makes close to $ 10,000,000 on the "event". "

you obviously have no business sense at all. ever heard of a thing called 'expenses'? 1 million to blm and local agencies just for them to let the event go on, 1/4 mill for insurance, 1/2 mill for portolets, then you have infrastructure, building materials, fuel and equipment, year round staff and office that it takes to make the event happen, and it goes on and on. yah their 'payroll' for last year was listed at 2 million. but so what. you want everyone to bust their asses all year long to make this happen, and do it for free? how about you just tell your boss that you don't need to eat or pay your bills anymore, and do that for free.

Who ever told you that it costs a half million to bring in some plastic crappers also told you that $300 is a steal! Lol get real! You just don't want to feel like a dumbfuck for paying so much! Where do you get your figures from guys?


sorry, thought i linked that...

there is a 'shitload' of portolets out there, and they run good service on them. all the waste has to be sucked out multiple times a day, who knows how many times the fleet of sewage trucks has to drive out to town and back, probably all the way to Reno, to 'dump' their load... all the dudes that drive those trucks and gotta clean out the portolets and clean up other peoples waste, well they aren't gonna be out there in the heat doing it for free... add toilet paper, the chemical solution in the portos, hand sanitizer and dispensers, well all that stuff costs money and adds up. yah it sounds like a high figure, but thats what they say it costs. when is the last time you got a price quote on portolets for 40,000 people, to be delivered and serviced in the middle of nowhere, for a week or more? maybe you can get them a better deal? hook a brotha up!

no i am not trying to make myself feel better about it. i can blow $300 in a night at the bar... $300 for b-man aint a big deal to me. what is it that makes you think that is such a 'rip-off'?


huh? yes, it is a total rip-off, a scam, a con, and it is the worst time you will ever have in your life. please don't ever go! jealous maybe? enjoy your bitter prejudice life!

$40.00 to $45.00 a night to camp in the desert? I recieved a brochure from The Nugget casino in Reno not far away and it had rooms for $49.00. And don't say they make it up in gambling because most people go to downtown reno to gamble. What if you just go there for three days? $100.00 a night to camp in the desert and one fireworks show? Why do they charge everyone for the entire week? Why not charge at the gate from that day on? Some people have jobs and can't get an entire week off to go screw around in the derert so we have to pay costs for the entire week? That's bullshit! I would like for somebody to explain that without sounding like a clone.

Paul M

I meant to type 45 in the heading above and I also spelled desert wrong so don't give me crap about that.

Burning man has rolled over and took it in the but by making BM 2007 look like a science fair. I shake my head and decieded after so many years of asking myself why I go will no longer. I mean look you have vandals, yuppies and now coperate sponsorship? And for those of you who hate it and wished it ruined....... It already is! This is mainstream now and like everything once pristean and fresh once it hits the yuppies and the weekend warriors it's fucked. Look up above you have moms sending off their daughters and kids around the campus making it seem like a goddamn themepark.. Jeez! Shame on you BM HQ should of keep it small and kept it real. So sad!

Burned out

addis for prez


The military should set up a recruiting staion there. Alot of wingnut misfits and liberals with nothing better to do than squat in the desert and hum mantras to their pagen gods.

Hey 'burned out', yah i agree, in some ways it is a parody of itself, no? it is not being very creative when 'furry boots' and 'furry hat' have become the 'standard required gear'. it is still a fun time though, and there are still plenty of people pushing the limits.

Hey Paul, good question... (start my opinion:) my thought is that they don't want it to be a 'come for 2 nights' kind of thing... IMO you should be in it to win it, or not. you start selling 'day passes' and you will end up with a bunch of tourists that aren't into it, and it will change the event (some say its too late). people already complain about people that just show up for thursday-sunday. not that you can't show up for a couple days and do it right... but to really get into it, i think you need to be out there a couple days just to acclimate and get settled in.

it's not just 'camping', you can go to KOA to camp. this is a radical self reliance experience... you should be coming out, trying to build your own unique camping structure out of a bunch of whatever materials (and make it look sweet!), not just pitching a Costco tent for a couple days. you gotta bring all your water, all your food, safety supplies, tools, structures, you can't buy a darn thing there except ice or coffee. it is meant to be an outside the mainstream experience. you are participating in the wild and crazy city that springs up out of nowhere. look at pictures from burning man, and then compare them to pictures from your local KOA. quite a different experience! have fun at a reno casino for a week, that would blow! and my understanding is that it is a 'participatory' event, IMO meaning you should be displaying some cutting edge or alternative art, or dressing crazy to freak people out, or setting up a camp with free drinks for people or giving massages, or bringing some crazy homebuilt vehicle to give people rides in, or shooting flames out your mouth, or whatever, those are just examples... just something that is contributing to the overall experience. not just showing up like a tourist that is 'going camping for a couple days'. So I guess for me the overall experience is why it is worth it to me, and why it is worth it for me to save my money and take weeks of time getting ready and schedule my vacation time to go. If it is destined for you to go, or if you really want to go, then you will figure out how to make it happen. It ain't for everybody I guess, it is what it is. that is just my opinion, hope that helps! (//end my opinion)


it's human nature that we mourn for better things and for an alternative.. when we get them we rejoice for a while, but then we can't help it.. we just have to trash them.. like it or not it's the state of the human condition... perhaps we need to do it to feel human..

What a bunch of assholes have gathered on this forum...Burning Man is a rocking party and so much more... the only problem I had one year was a few complete
arseholes showing up for the saturday night. Burning Man may be over for you, but i'm goin to hang on to it for a bit longer. So the fuck what, there a charge to get in,
can you even begin to consider the organization involved with Burning Man!!?

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