I was in Gerlach last weekend. The place can’t help but come alive as truckload after truckload of Sani-Huts rumble through on their way to Outer Slobbovia (Li’l Abner!), also known as BRC. Even on Sunday the 21st, eight days before the festival begins, there were a few Burners driving through, all easily spotted by the garishly-colored bikes dangling off roofs/backs/sides/fronts of vehicles. These would be volunteers, I reckon, all hot to get out to the playa, help build The City, and then set up their own theme camps. That means they’re looking at a minimum of two weeks out there. Now, I love the event as much as the next guy, but … well, maybe I don’t. Because two weeks, man, that’s a long time to be flossing playa dust and listening to the relentless slamming of outhouse doors.
As for tickets, it appears the initial madness that sprang up on websites like eBay after the sellout was confirmed in late July has greatly abated. In fact, if you were smart enough to wait the bastards out, you just might snag one via Craigs/eBay right now for close to face value. This happens a lot, where a concert/festival sells out, and immediately, there’s a huge gouging/scalping that erupts on the various ticket sites. Generally, if you wait 2-3 weeks, that initial freak-out factor, fueled by those who will actually pay ridiculous prices because they’re so completely gonzo to attend that money is no object, well, that gonzoness subsides and sanity inevitably slips back into the mix. In that first week after word of the BMan sellout, the action on EBay was beyond ludicrous. Guys asking 1500 to 3 grand a ticket, that sort of thing. Hey, if people were really paying that much, I guess you can’t blame the scalpers. But in the future, remember not to succumb to the initial spazzout, whatever the event might be. Usually, you’ll get your ticket and save hundreds by just being patient.
As usual, the weather here in Northern Nevada the week before BMan is deluxe—sunny, hot, windless. This makes veteran local Burners uneasy, and for good reason. It’s rare for us to get two consecutive weeks of perfect weather, even in August. Something always blows in or up, sooner or later. So the vets love to see sucky weather the week before The Man, knowing that the stage is then set for a solid high pressure lock ’n’ load for the perfect big week. As I write this on Monday the 22nd, the outlook for the next few days couldn’t be nicer. So what’s this mean for Burn Week? Too soon to tell, since no advance forecast is really worth a damn more than four days out. But for those who don’t like Burning Man—too many strange Californians with penile jewelry runnin’ around out there—the stage is set for the arrival of one of their favorite weather systems of the year—the notorious and nastily Puritanical “Schaudenfreude Low.”