Like so many other Burners said before him and will say after him.
Still, watching Playa personalities unfold via a screen gives yet another good impression of the mind-blowing journey of a people & nature spectacular Burning Man is. And of what to expect this year. For old Burners and Burners-to-be.
Oh, forgot to say… I JUST GOT THE TICKETS FOR THIS YEAR TOO!!!
I’m thrilled to see the fashion industry trying to take more responsibility for their impacts on the world we live in. The reveals about poor working conditions in textile fabrics in Asia have been going viral, huge corporations have signed codes of conducts for improved practices and high-profiled fashionistas and bloggers are writing about brands that seem to take some extra steps.
Now Greenpeace are running a campaign too, and I just saw they had posted this:
Around the world a growing movement of people are using their creativity, design skills and purchasing power to demand fashion without pollution. United by a shared belief that the clothes we wear should carry a story we can be proud of, activists, bloggers, designers, scientists and models have been able to convince big brands including Zara, Mango, Valentino, UNIQLO and H&M to commit to toxic-free fashion. There is still a long way to go, but our successes so far prove that when we work together, big brands are forced to stand up and deliver.
Here is the video to the campaign:
You love fashion too? And consider yourself a concerned consumer? Then please engage and help spread the message!
I’ll tell you all about our wonderful time in Yosemite national park A S A P – but first Ill take you on a visual journey of the road trip getting there from Fresno.
Starting with a breakfast at a good old American diner.
In places like these (I refer to the more remote, local diners) pancakes are pretty much the only veggie option (if you remember to tell them to skip the bacon).. And they are yummy! Our waiter (also from Mexico) even told us they’re healthy!?
Next on the bucket list before departure was to find a bike for Burning Man, thus we Googled markets in the area, and sure thing; Every weekend there are two separate (flee) markets in little Fresno. We only made it to one of them, which was enough as it was a huge Mexican market with dream bargains. We got ourselves a cowboy hat, zebra scarf, socks and a BIKE.
Walking around on the market was practically impossible due to the heath (35 degrees and no shade to hide in), but when I got to the – in my view surprisingly large – bird sale section I had to stop for some serious purchase considerations.
Why not take some of these poor birds to Yosemite or even Burning Man, and free them free, I thought. After discussing whether they’re better of in these cages hoping for new kind owners, or in the Nevada dessert, we decided to trust the salesmen saying “They are happy birds.”
“So are we” I told myself when we next hit the road for a three hour long journey towards Yosemite National park.
Things we saw on the way:
Oh, America, you little clown.
The last picture is from Nevada, very close to the Black Rock desert where we soon will enter what everybody tells us will change our lives, the Burning Man festival.
Peace & Love
During my first visit to South Africa in 2009 I got hooked on its culture, and over the past three years I’ve traveled in and out to what became my favourite city in the world; Cape Town. Like I said after the visit in 2009, I can say again after having spent two longer periods there: The city has everything: Wonderful welcoming people, an interesting and vibrant culture, breathtaking (and extreme) nature, amazing weather, delicious food and one of the things that fascinate me the most: a thriving MUSIC scene.
And I don’t know if you know this, but South Africa – and other African countries – are on a very interesting roll these days what concerns expanding their electronic musical scene. Without Europeans knowing much about it – as Eurocentric as we’ve become – South African musicians have for long indulged in various electronic beats and developed their own specific sounds. Kwaito is one of them, and from there a certain local House music style emerged.
In the country’s fashion however the electronic scene has been very divided according to race, having blacks and whites predominantly producing and listening to separate styles, and this was one of the things we found a bit curious when first there in 2009. Wherever we went to party we found that the crowd was either white or black. And the music seemed to change according to it.
Though the explanations to this situation are many – and any situation obviously always is evolving and changing – observing what we did in 2009 gave life to the idea of a project based on the believe that electronic music is a universal language that can be used to break down socio-economic boundaries.. Two years down the line the launch of Bridges for Music became a reality and its first events took place in South Africa together with national partners and local and international DJs this year.
The below picture for instance is from the day Bridges for Music arranged a workshop with a following free popup party featuring Richie Hawtin and local artists like Culoe de Song, Euphonik, Dj Fresh, Vinny da Vinci and Nastee Nevin. It took place in Kliptown, a neighbourhood of the township Soweto in Johannesburg, and I’ve never ever been to anything like it really.
Seeing how people in all ages and from different communities and races came together through music in these surroundings – dancing nonstop for over seven hours – was an eyeopening and unforgettable experience. In fact, Richie Hawtin later said: it was the proudest moment of his career. Personally I will forever recall that day and look back at it with a big smile on my face.
As much as the mentioned event was a success, so were the ones with Skrillex and Luciano who both joined Bridges for Music for township workshops and events in Cape Town and Johannesburg. And I can confirm that Luciano took some South African house tunes with him back to Ibiza where he made the audience go wild last summer.
Sure thing; bridges are being built from Africa to Europe as it suddenly seems as the global electronic music scene finally is opening its eyes to African sounds. A good example of that is South Africa being the topic of the upcoming Amsterdam Dance Event this year’s October, to what many South African artists are invited (some for their first journey outside of Africa).
Yup. Good stuff is going on in the world with regard to the spread of South African electronic music. Check for instance what BBC News just reported:
If you have spent any time in Johannesburg or Durban, South African house is a sound that you will have heard. This music is played everywhere, from taxis and barbers shops to bars and parties. Now that the hypnotic township sound has reached Europe and other parts of the world, it has helped some young Africans to reconnect with their roots.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely want more of this!
Watch BBC Africa’s Lebo Diseko report from the London underground club scene here.
Go here to see the video of Richie Hawtin’s visit in South Africa.
Phui, what a weekend! What a year. What a master’s course!
I’m officially graduated! As a proud holder of a Master’s degree in Responsible Tourism Management I traveled to Leeds for Graduation day July 26th to wear the gown & silly hat, reunite with co-students from the course as well as our teachers – in order to celebrate this fine event.
As I had to go straight from and to work I flew in to London on Thursday, took the train to Leeds on Friday and trained over to Manchester the very same night to catch a plane back to Norway. Flight tickets were horrendously expensive this weekend so this route was my best option.
But: I missed the plane on my way back. Due to my never ending fashion of gambling on last possible transports to an airport and trusting the options being on time. This time it wasn’t, so I arrived to the check in desk too late.
I had to go back to Leeds (1,5 h) and drown my sorrows (the new flight ticket I had to purchase cost 300 pounds) there together with an already cheerful crew of graduates. Not the worst of options, but oh my, do I regret my ‘fashion’!?
You live, you learn.
So hold the press motha f’ers: FINALLY IT’S CONFIRMED: WE ARE GOING TO BURNING MAN!
Oh God, how I’ve wanted this so badly for so long!! And as I wrote about a time ago, my long time beloved, yet distant, thus missed friend, Monika from Canada is FINALLY getting married to her Tom in the US mid September, which gives us the perfect opportunity to do a much wanted West-coast journey prior to the wedding, and maybe some more traveling in the region afterwards. As Burning man happens in the transaction of August / September, we instantly started dreaming about and planning how to for once get there.
Thing is with Burning man, tickets are sold out ages ago, and left overs or second hand tickets aren’t as easy to get for this fest as for many others. However. Thanks to my man’s industry contacts we didn’t even have to suffer much to get the tickets, because yesterday we got two left overs confirmed! I am soooo happy and excited and just spent the morning reading advices for fresh men, looking at house cars, masks and bikes, temperatures etc.
So. What is so special with Burning man? As said on their official website; “trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind”... Fair enough.
That around 30,000 people leave their homes in order to live for a week or more in the middle of the dessert, far away from cities, shops, traffic and a hectic society, where the day is as hot as the nights are cold, may be weird to some. However, community is the word. The need to escape perhaps, but if so, with a desire of creativity, alternative life style or a more meaningful way of spending time on this planet. With a will to share love and open-mindedness with others. “Burners” as they are called after having been once, will never be the exact same person again, many claim.
Hah! Well, bring it on, I’m ready.
Personally since I discovered the festival through some random Norwegian media articles, I’ve kept an eye on Burning man, dreaming of once attending, mean while getting updated on the fest yearly through blogs, pictures and stories among friends that have been there..
What happens during Burning man is that “once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever”.
I mean, look at this:
One of the reasons of its success, as well as its uniqueness is that “Burning Man isn’t your usual festival, with big acts booked to play on massive stages. In fact, it’s more of a city than a festival, wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the event”.
I like! All sounds very much like Responsible Travel and Consumption to me.
Still keen to learn more?
Here are the festival’s ten principles, as seen on the official website.
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
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.
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
Leaving 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 endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. 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.
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.
Ha! To be continued then 😉
The internet has revolutionized the world in many ways; one being the way we’ve shared and got access to new music. But whilst file downloading facilities for long has been an issue of concern in the music industry because music artists earn a lot less on album sales than what used to be the case, the new paradigm for music sharing has indeed contributed to many positive trends; like for instance the clear increase in live music events.
Think about it. Today’s musicians can share, promote and sell their art via the internet in so many new ways at the same time as they deliver it all in person to their audiences in terms of concerts. Because indeed, the new paradigm has led to new music events popping up, and old ones becoming even more popular. And then I’m particularly speaking about festivals.
As a devoted concert- and festival goer since my early childhood I’m personally very thrilled about this development. And I’m not saying that solely from a hedonistic point of view, but out of the strong belief that we all earn on a world where competition within art sectors is more fair. People become better and happier in a world where we more often get together to enjoy art, created by many more artists because it generates new sources for inspiration and creativity as well as an increased feeling of community.
Therefore I’ve put together 4 reasons why to LOVE festivals:
1. Festivals cultivate a special type of atmosphere. Festivals are massive events, they become experiences. Think about it, if you go see Coldplay on their own, for example, you might go with one or two friends, you might have a good time, and then the whole thing’s over in two hours. But if you go to a festival, you spend the entire weekend surrounded by a (bigger) group of friends and tens of thousands “alike” people and there are plenty of concerts to choose from.
2. Festivals are great places to discover newer artists. At a regular concert, you go because you know and like that band and want to see it, but at festivals the lineup is varied and really diverse. You can read about unknown bands and go to their set and discover new acts.
3. Festivals offer several alternatives to music acts for peoples’ get-together and inspiration, and cater for more diverse group of people. This means you are more likely to meet many interesting people (like yourself) on a festival. Hours spent in your camp, in toilet- and food & beer queues often means new friendships, or at least a fun flirt and timely deep random conversation with people you don’t know. And trust me, many of these talks wouldn’t be as natural to get into while queuing for an ATM on any high street during a working day. Because people relax and loose up when at a festival. This is what I refer to with ‘the feeling of community’.
4. Lastly, festivals are good for the economy – many ways. Recently I read that according to Steve Baltin from Rolling Stone magazine, the trend of festivals selling out earlier and earlier each year is a reflection of how people are watching their spending these days. He said that “due to recession people don’t have a lot of money, and the economy is struggling, therefore people rather spend $300 to go see 50 bands and get a feel for everything, or go spend $70 to see one of these headlining bands on their own”. I’m not a victim for recession, but follow that strategy anyway, because I feel I get much more value for the money.
Besides, how many concerts have you seen organised as non-profit events? Not many, right. What I early on loved with festivals like Roskilde and Glastonbury is their non-profit structure and choices of worthy causes. I’m confident that this attracts certain people and energies that we have to keep finding place for in this capitalistic world…
Here’s to a very happy festival summer!
Please note: This post is also published on www.RhythmTravels.com