There's a wonderful alternative to Burning Man in Amsterdam, and you can book for it on Airbnb

UPSIDE DOWN YOU TURN ME by Rob Sweere. Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

Tickets to this year’s Burning Man festival sold out in under an hour.

The week-long festival in the desert north of Reno, Nevada, is the hottest item on calendars of artists and techies alike. It starts on the last Monday in August and has been since 1986, when it was inaugurated as an experiment in art, community and “radical self-reliance”.

It’s still spectacular, as you can see from these images. But in recent years, with tickets capped and crowds approaching 65,000, it’s losing sight of those founding principles.

Especially, the “radical self-reliance” bit, summed up best here by a team making $US3745 for each of the 50 air-conditioned, fitted containers they hire to wealthy techies who want to be able to call themselves “Burners”.

But if you missed out on a ticket, and still want to spend $US3745, you could probably get to Amsterdam, where there’s another way to get that sun, and an alien planet vibe.

It’s called UrbanCampsite, and it’s an art installation that occurs every year in a different location around Amsterdam.

This year, it’s actually in Amsterdam, but in very un-Amsterdam place. About 6km east of the CBD lies IJburg, a neighbourhood still under construction on a group of artificial islands being raised from the bed of the IJ Lake.

Picture: Debot from nl./Wikimedia Commons

It’s a controversial project, mainly due to environmental concerns, and while it was originally meant to house 350,000 people, its 10 islands will eventually be home to 45,000 residents.

Centrumeiland (Centre island), has a large empty stretch of sand waiting for houses. Large enough so an entire temporary community can be set up and still maintain some sort of isolated vibe.

Excellently, you can book one of the bizarre pods through Airbnb, for as little as €85 per night. Here’s what you get:

Urbancampsite has been here since June 1, and has another three weeks left to run on its “installation”.

Universe 7 – you can turn the house with the sun! Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

Surely, the hottest ticket must be for the “Trampotent”:

Trampotent by Vince Vijsma. Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

Do we need to explain why?

Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

All of the installations have a bed and the campsite has toiletries and cooking facilities.

But you have to bring your own towels and toiletries. (There’s that radical self-reliance.)

Tribal Toilet Tower by Atelier van Lieshout (and showers). Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

OK, so you get coffee in the morning and there’s a supermarket a five-minute walk away.

And you can even work on-site by booking use of the KantoorKaravan during the day. They’re calling that option a “workation”.

Picture: Urbancampsite

But the campsite is beautiful, and there are also lots of workshops and performances.

Superfire. Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

There’s even a shrinkwrapped house:

Ibc shrinkwrap house. Picture: Urbancampsite

Here’s a couple more – they’re all wonderful. You can check them all out on Urbancampsite’s web site and book them through Airbnb.

Solid Family. Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite
Carved from wood. Picture: Urbancampsite
Val Ross made by Mud Projects (Boris Duijneveld). Picture: Airbnb/Urbancampsite

*H/T to the brilliant MessyNessyChic for bringing this to our attention.

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