On The Playa With Patrice Baumel

What's up Piles? If you couldn't tell, we just started this pretty little website you're looking at. The goal? To host all things Pile Palace. While our camp hits the Playa for one week a year, that doesn't mean we aren't up to something the rest of the 51 weeks. This is the place where you'll be able to see what we're up to, listen to live sets from Pile Palace on the Playa, read interviews with our beloved guests, and find out where you'll be able to fill up your mug with Porkchata next (Mmmm!). In kicking off the new site, we wanted to bring you something special --Patrice Baumel's set from Desert Hearts Spring 2016, along with an interview with Patrice about his time at PP at Burning Man 2015. We can't wait for his return to our beloved camp, but in the meantime, we'll make due with his words and sounds as they continue to send shivers down our spines.

We hope you enjoy! - PP


What was it like rolling up and playing at Pile Palace?

It was on a Tuesday night, my second night ever at Burning Man. I was still in that shock & awe phase of total sensory overload, especially at night when the playa is a different beast altogether. But from the moment I arrived at the Palace I was taken in like family. Mikey, Lee and Deep Jesus made me feel super welcome, fixed drinks, set me up behind the decks.


 How does it compare to other Burning Man camps?

There is a shortage of camps that have tasteful dance music at night and provide a comfortable shelter against the elements at the same time. Pile Palace fills that gap in the market. I love that you can get horizontal and trip out with a bunch of smiley people and dance whenever you feel like it without having to change venue.


What does it mean to be a Pile?

It means being part of an amazing collection of positive and creative human beings. It means having each other’s backs when needed and watching out for each other. The group comes first. For me that was one of the most important lessons of Burning Man. I felt my ego wither away and become part of something bigger and stronger. That night at the Palace taught me more in that respect than any other place at Burning Man.


Thoughts about the Pile Palace community?

Just a bunch of beautiful people, inside and out. Amazing outfits wherever I looked, eye candy galore. You could sense that it's a very tight-knit community, the way people made sure the camp was in order at all times and moop was taken care of immediately. I could feel how much everybody loved spending time with each other. It was one big pile of warmth and happiness. It's an awesome camp with a strong identity.


And how has it affected you life?

Most notably it connected me to the Desert Hearts crew and brought me back to that festival. That alone is an unbelievable gift – I spent some of the happiest hours of my life with you guys. It showed me some of the best that California has to offer to the world. I want to introduce that same creative and socially super-progressive mindeset back in Europe. We need more participation at our parties and social gatherings and move away from the consumer mindset that plagues so many parties back home. Participation is empowerment, and that is the key to positive change.


Thoughts about returning to Pile? 

I will jump at the first opportunity I can get. It is much tougher for us Europeans to do Burning Man every year – a week costs the equivalent of 2 major holidays in other parts of the world. With a heavy heart I will probably skip this year but most definitely be back with you guys in 2017 and continue to strengthen the beautiful bond we have built. Pile for life!