Can you guess where I am?
Where geometric shapes are found next to haunted mushroom forests?
Where artful guardians welcome the sunrise alongside stages with electronic music and light shows?
Where people from every walk of life and background gather to dance, drum and celebrate fire?
In Second Life, it’s called Burn2. It not only embraces all the principals of the real life Burning Man Festival, but it brings it’s own unique twist. Where else could you set up your tent next to an alien crash site? Where else could you hop on a hot air balloon guided tour? Where else could you stroll casually along, and as the music stream changes with each camp you meet what will become your future family.
If you’ve followed my blog and project the last few years you may remember my first year at Burn2 where I met Gypsy and the Happy Clams and then when I became a Lamplighter. I can’t believe it’s been two years, in a way it’s an anniversary of sorts. A benchmark in this blog, in my relationships, and in my Second Life.
The one thing I notice about both my first year at Burn2 and my second is that each came at time when I was often absent from SL or having a lull in my creative energy. However, both year’s events were followed by a flurry of activity, new adventures, and friendships that have stood the test of time. I have a great deal of faith the same will hold true again this year after getting a sneak peek at the build tonight.
It wasn’t just that chaotic perfection that is the hallmark of Burn2. It wasn’t the fond memories, the chance to see new works and take new pictures. It was when I walked up to the lamplighter’s camp.
I caught my breath when I saw it. My fingers tingled, my heart raced, I had that crazy expression that was half smile yet my vision was blurred from tears. My friends know how much Burn2 has meant to me over the years, that being a lamplighter has been the highlight of my Second Life, but truly it’s been of the most difficult thing to describe or write about.
How do you describe the wind? How to you explain water? How do you help someone understand sound when they can’t hear you, or write about a flavour they’ve never tasted? I know what Burn2 means to me, but it won’t be that for you, it can’t be and I realized why tonight when I read the notecard at the Lamplighters camp.
We don’t require volunteers, or any structured commitments. Anyone who wishes to contribute time, talents, or resources is welcome to do so, but not required. All we ask for is simply this: when you are at one of our events, participate! Cheer us on, get a drum, dance with us, even walk with us in our processions. This is, after all, the true spirit of the Burn.
Yes! That’s it. That’s what Burn2 is, that’s why it’s different for every person, because it’s about participation. Whether you come to try out some of the fun vehicles, or listen to your favorite DJ, or see some new art, YOU are as much part of the experience you will have as the camps and entertainers are.
In cooperation with the BURN2 core we set a schedule and route for our nightly lamplighting processions. As you know, Burning Man is not a spectator event. It’s about participation! And so, in Second Life too, all are welcome to join in with us in the processions. In a very real sense, we bring the Burning Man/BURN2 community together.
I wish I had thought to describe it that way. Burn2 is not a spectator event, not at all. You can come, walk around and see things, that’s of course welcome and encouraged, but to truly experience Burn2, to understand what I’m trying to convey, you can’t just watch, you have to talk to people, to try things, to dance… you have to Burn.
Following the procession, we assemble with all who care to participate; at The Temple, The Village, Center Camp or elsewhere, and spend the hours of darkness, dancing, drumming, socializing and celebrating fire and community.
We love to inspire the sense of community that the Burn brings, through our drumming, dancing and welcoming others to simply share in our joy of being and doing together – this is the very essence of the Burning Culture.
We invite you to join with us in our processions and drumming events, to celebrate the spirit and fire of Burning culture.
The lamplighters gather every night at 7 pm SLT at their camp http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Burning%20Man-%20Deep%20Hole/1/21/24 and the procession will drum and dance it’s way across the playa lighting lamps. If you’ve never experienced this, and I don’t mean just watching, if you’ve never tried to dance or walk as a group in Second Life towards a common purpose, laughing until your cheeks hurt, being part of community with this much joy, please do come. You won’t find another experience like it.
How do I know? Well, once again, I’ll defer to the excellent wording in the Lamplighters package.
There are no bystanders at BURN2 – Welcome Home!
More information about Burn2 can be found on their website http://www.burn2.org/
Be sure to check the calendar of events http://www.burn2.org/calendar