Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Burning Man : The Lee Coombs Story 2008 (part three)

Friday – 29th August

Friday was a blur and I slept for most of it.

Night time came and I had 2 more gigs. The first one was @ Tantalus which was way out on the playa, 1000m north of the man I think... There were 2 massive art cars, The Garage Mahal and Shagadelica buses meeting and joining their systems together, this is always a great laugh and really something that only burning man can do well.

We all had a good time grooving around in the playa. I got to play a totally different kind of set opting for a more low slung tripped out groove in my music, the only way to have it out in the open desert I think.

The next gig was at Nexus which was closer to Opulent Temple, this is run by the Santa Cruz posse and they do it up well. They play all sorts there but their big sound right now is all the west coast glitchy grimey dub step. Bassnectar and the Glitch Mob are their biggest names. It’s seriously underground and always a solid vibe. But guess what? I got stuck on the Shagadelica bus out at Tantalus and totally missed my spot. Bummer I was really looking forward to that one too. Next year hopefully…

Saturday – 30th August

Saturday was what you call a ‘White Out’, this is a huge dust storm that gets everywhere, I mean everywhere! These are the moments that decide whether you are a true Burner or not. It was painful. There was about 8 hours or so of wind and dust. If you don’t have an RV you have walk around with a mask, goggles and hat on. Your tent gets full up with playa dust and everything you have brought to BM gets trashed. The only thing to do is sit in a car or someone else’s RV if you can.

I had stayed on the other side of the playa Friday night with Kim and my only salvation was all the way across the other side. There is no way of getting there in the storm because you can’t see more than a few meters in front of you. It is very dangerous to try and go somewhere because if you get lost you are basically up shit creek!
Kim was in a Burning Man fashion show at about 6 pm with some of the people we were camping with on that side. I have to say this was a lot of fun but when I looked round at the people who were watching it all I saw were burners who looked like they had been sand blasted and thrown out the back door. Very surreal but cool at the same time.

The dust storm went on so long that they were talking about cancelling the Burn.

This is the highlight of Saturday night and everyone comes to the playa to watch it - about 50,000 people. Luckily the storm calmed down and disappeared when it started to get dark. I wasn’t DJing and had a night off, Saturday is by far the craziest night with everybody having been there for at least 3 days by now, some about 2 weeks! Kim and I were travelling home on Sunday so we took it easy and slept in the tour bus. At last some comfort! Saturday day time was harsh to say the least!!

Sunday – 31st August

So it was time to go, it is always a bit sad leaving BM as you really get adjusted and acclimated to being there, you meet wonderful friends new and old, and have some of the most exhilarating experiences in your life. We packed up and picked up all our MOOP (this is strictly a leave no trace festival, everything must leave with you including your cigarette buts, dirty water etc).

We had a flight out of Reno @ 7.40 PM. So when we got stuck in the line to get out of BM we soon realised that we were going to miss that! It was a bit stupid really thinking that we could drive out and catch a flight in the same day. It took 4 ½ hours to get to the exit gate in the searing heat of the afternoon.
The only thing to do is to get to Reno and find a hotel. Guess what? All booked up on Sunday night. This was a real shame as we could have stayed for the Temple Burn which is the last thing to get burnt on Sunday night. This really is a special thing because it’s a shrine to all the people that you miss. Our close friend and San Fran ‘Legend’ Otto Schutt had just past away with Cancer and there was a huge amount of people staying to give their respects for him.

Monday – 1st September

We had a flight out of Reno on Tuesday so we checked into the Sierra Nevada Hotel and Casino for the night. You can get a room for $49 if you book it right and it is nice with everything you can imagine, especially a pool. So there was an after burn party at the pool put on by some of the Nexus friends. As I was there I offered my services and played the end set of the day. It was loads of fun playing and hanging with friends that had decided that they just didn’t want to go home yet, and definitely the best way to become acclimated into the real world again…even if you are doing shots of Patron all day long.

Can’t wait till next year!
Thanks to all for tuning in & for sHack for coding all the postings up!

1 comment:

chadnorth said...

wow - thanks for sharing your experience this year lee! the blog and the tour diaries really bring a sense of community to this board and to the scene... i feel very fortunate to know exactly what you were feeling out there!! :)