This One Time at Burning Man, by Justin Brown

“I acknowledge and fully understand that as a participant, I will be engaging in activities that involve risk of serious injury, including permanent disability and death, property loss and severe social and economic losses.”

My first year attending Burningman was 2001. I hadn’t heard a lot about the event at the time, other than it was a big art festival with fire. Being an avid survival camper most of my life it was easy for my then girlfriend to convince me to go. Art? I like art… Fire? I really like fire… I know how to camp in the desert, let’s go! So we set off with two of our friends, not knowing really what we had gotten into. (The whole trip was a whirlwind adventure, way too much to get into here.)

Fast forward to waiting in the gate line. As soon as we got through the gate, we stopped at the first spot we saw to make camp (around 7 & I) not knowing how much space the event covered or how incredible everything was. After setting up camp, we made friends with our neighbors, a nice group of British kids (also on their first year) who brought their entire living room including the telephone and London phone book. This kept us at camp all day, and at sunset we decided to go out and explore. As we got deeper into the city, the sensory overload began to set in.

With so many amazing things going on at once it was hard to process it all without feeling dazed and amped up on adrenaline at the same time. This feeling stayed with me all week, slowly building as the days went on.

One day around three or four, I was wandering through the playa at night when I saw in the distance what I call “The Flaming Tetherball.” This mechanical contraption has a tetherball, on fire, that automatically wraps itself around a pole, and then unwraps itself to do the whole sequence all over again. By this late in the week, I had been stumbling around with childlike wonderment, fascinated by everything I came across.

Not thinking, I made a bee-line to the swinging fireball, determined to figure out how it works. As it was dark, I couldn’t make out the mechanics of the contraption and how it winds itself around the pole. So I get really close to get a better look. Just as I start to make out the armature I hear a click. My approach was in time with the start of another wind up cycle and here comes a flaming tetherball towards me, right at head level. I remember thinking, “This is why they mentioned possible death” as the tetherball closed the distance to my face.

Thankfully I have decent amateur ninja skills to rely on and avoided, at the very least, burning my right eyebrow off. My acrobatics thoroughly impressed my friends and my girlfriend, who all thought I was going to catch myself on fire and require some sort of medical attention. I have seen that piece on the playa many of the other years I have attended, and I appreciate the lesson it taught me about not letting my excitement level outweigh my level of caution.

Camp Lip Bomb Placement for 2017

7:30 & C

It’s that time again folks, we’ve received our Burning Man placement. We’re happy to announce that Camp Lip Bomb has received placement at 7:30 and C for our second year of mischief, chaos and misfortune. We’re excited to show you all of the bada$$ shit we have in store for you this year kiddies. Things are going to get rough with our brand new wheel of misfortune. Only those with  strongest will and booties will survive it’s wrath. Plus, we’ve got a shitload of new parties for you to check out, we promise it will be a spectacle.

Check out our 2017 Program for a full schedule of events. 

Our full party schedule is now available too!  

Burning Man Placement

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The 10 Principles of Burning Man (+1)

There are 10 official principles of Burning Man, but we like to believe them to be the 11 principles of daily life (not just at Burning Man). We cannot force anyone to abide by these principles, however we can make sure that if you choose to ignore them, we will ignore your request to be a part of our camp in the future. Below is our version of said principles.

1. Radical Inclusion

​We accept all who wish to be a part of this amazing experience no matter how bat sh*t crazy you are.

​2. Gifting

We are devoted to the act of gift giving. This does not mean bartering. The act of gift giving is unconditional and the lack of desire for anything in return.

3. Decommodification

I know it’s a hard one to pronounce but pay attention! This means, NO BRANDING, ADVERTISING AND TRYING TO SELL YOUR SH*T ON THE PLAYA! We are bombarded with 1000’s of commercials and advertising everyday so cover up your Nike logo’s or Coors t-shirts. Better yet… Don’t wear that sh*t.  ​​​

4. Radical Self-reliance

Black Rock City is one of the harshest places in the US (aside from Death Valley, but pretty close). Don’t show up with a fanny pack full of drugs and a bottle of water in the hopes someone is going to carry your dumb a$$ for 2 weeks. BRING EVERYTHING YOU WILL NEED TO SURVIVE IN THE HARSHEST OF ENVIRONMENTS. ​

5. Radical Self-expression

This arises from the unique gifts of the individual, meaning you. No one other than you or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. The giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient. As a Tank Girl themed camp, we like to express ourselves as such; in the way we dress, interact, gift, and our camp events.

6. Communal Effort

Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

7. Civic Responsibility

We value civil society. We assume responsibility for public welfare and aim to communicate civic responsibilities to participants at our camp events. We must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

8. Leave No Trace

Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and whenever possible, make effort to leave such places in a better state than when we found them. We will do this by following the camp’s LNT plan.

9. Participation

Our community is committed in the ethics of radical participation. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve BEING through DOING. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.​

10. Immediacy

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

11. Kindness

We are all on this small rock floating around in the vastness of space. Treat everyone with Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. Forge new friendships, strengthen old friendships and be kind to everyone. Whoever you come in contact with, we challenge you to give them a 20 second hug. Serotonin is one hell of a drug, and it’s natural.