On Wednesday, August 26, a buddy of mine by the name of Brooks Hassig arrived in the “playa,” the stretch of Nevada desert that’s been host to the Burning Man festival for over 20 years.
His goals: to build a camp, officiate a few weddings, and summon lightning bolts.
Luckily, Brooks brought a camera with him.
This is what he saw.
It was Brooks's second time at Burning Man. 'I like to get caught in the windstorms and have anything go wrong and fix it all,' he tells Tech Insider.
A 27-year-old graphic designer who lives in the Bay Area, he came to the Playa as a techno-futurist version of the Norse god Thor.
Fittingly enough, he found a lightning bolt. 'I maintain that I summoned that art with my Thor hammer,' he says.
The thing about Burning Man is that you have to bring everything with you to the playa. Which means, Brooks explained, shipping containers.
... and a steel firepit, which weighed a full ton. Which was needed, since they'd be burning 10 tons of firewood over the week.
There are no cars on the Playa, so you get around by bike. Here was Brooks' noble steed, ready to store his Thor hammer.
'Probably my favourite part of Burning Man is seeing the lengths that people go to create excellent artwork,' Brooks says. 'This was a big art fish, might be an angler fish. You can see two people in there in the lower-left tooth, could probably fit 15 to 20 people in there.'
OK, there are SOME automobiles: Art cars. 'They're Mutant vehicles,' Brooks says. 'It's a skull of maybe a reindeer or a caribou or a bison? That's my buddy Matthias. This pulled up playing A Tribe Called Red, native american dubstep. You have to listen.'
There's also the drinks, like this watermelon cocktail that Brooks's friend Thomas enjoyed. 'I learned all my best dance moves from him,' Brooks says, and you can tell why. Look at those patterns.
Brooks also officiated not just one -- but two -- weddings. The first was the lovely Lenny and Michelle, who got married while riding bikes.
Brooks also presided over Matthias and Kate, who got married in the middle of a white sandstorm. 'Welcome home,' he told them as they became man and wife.
Black Rock City also featured a huge carnival area. The most popular attraction: fire skeeball. 'Man, was there fire,' he says. 'It was a blast.' Literally.
'Any description that I give you would be too limiting,' Brooks says. 'It's one thing to say that it's a giant party in the desert, another to say that it's a celebration of art.'
'The thing that you only discover once you get there is that Burning Man is about freedom and expression on levels you didn't know that you could be free,' he says.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.