Do you Burn? Keep a journal. Or try to. Or don't at all and attempt to recollect your experience after, then put it down on paper. Trust us, you'll be happy you did. But we totally understand if that's just not in your vocabulary. We are Piles, after all, and some of the best moments are destined to live in the dust forever.
Even if your Burn turned hazy, there will always be little reminders around us: That trinket hidden in the pocket of that one jacket you work on Tuesday, the dust that lines the pocket of your extravagant hat you still haven't worn since Burn night, or maybe it's that one track that you haven't heard since that beautiful sunrise you caught Deep Playa, bringing back all the feels. For many of us, it's those moments spent in our dusty little home, listening to the ones we love, dancing about, and participating in all sorts of fun and debauchery that make Pile Palace like nowhere else on the planet.
Our very own Mikey Lion just dropped his live recording from our ripping Tuesday party and we're sure it will bring you back to that wonderful day on the Playa. Press play and attempt to read your way through Mikey's personal Burn journal while you're at it. Chances are you'll be up and dancing before the second bass line drops into the mix.
I’m finally back on the grid after 2 of the most unbelievable weeks of my life. My 6th Burning Man proved to be my favorite one yet, even though a lot of my personal growth actually happened during my week post-burn. This is going to be long as fuck, but I wanted to chronicle the past two weeks so I don’t ever forget what happened. Here we go!
Hollyyyy shit we kicked off Burning Man with the ultimate all day Dude Cruise. I feel like Mondays are always some of my best days on the playa because excitement is at an all-time high and I usually don’t have any responsibilities. With about 10 of my best homies on bikes, we all got piss drunk and adopted the shittiest New Jersey Jabroni accents imaginable and went on a shit talking warpath lead by Spederico Falconi. I challenged one of my best friends Mike Iwata to a Bike Jousting tournament and he straight up A Knight’s Tale’d my ass into oblivion. This lead to arguably my favorite scar on my body. One of the best days of my life!
As most of you know, I camp with and curate the lineup for Pile Palace, which consists of the most unbelievable group of people I know who I like to think of as the heart and soul of the Desert Hearts movement. These are the people that inspire me most in life and I love the with every fiber in my body. Our Tuesday kickoff party is always a mack-daddy of a party and I think it was probably my favorite Pile Palace party to date. It was just a hedonistic wonderland in there with vibes thicker than Lil Kim’s backside. I got to play a super housey set amongst legends like Robert Babicz & Lee Foss while some of my favorite up-and-comers like wAFF, Sacha Robotti, m.O.N.R.O.E., and my brother Porkchop, absolutely destroyed the place. Once our party ended, about 300 people from our party followed Porky and I on bikes as we road out to Robot Heart to throw a tech house beatdown for our debut b2b on the bus. It was really exciting to play music while the bus was in motion while roughly 1000 burners followed us on bikes into Deep Playa. Hell of a day!
Wednesday was what we in camp call a “LAY-DAY!” Pretty much our entire camp had partied themselves into submission for 15 hours the day before so we were feeling extra pile. The entire day was spent bullshitting and cracking jokes around camp until it was time to head to my friends Liz and Anael's wedding. It was so beautiful as hundreds of friends turned up. I have so much love and respect for these two and can't wait for them to own the next chapter of their life! After the wedding I went on to host my night on the Kalliope Art Car at Camp Walter. After epic sets by Mason, Justin Campbell, & Tara Brooks, I ended up playing b2b2b with wAFF & Porky for 4+ hours. I think this was my favorite set on The Playa this year as we were just completely locked into the groove for hours. Be on the lookout for this set soon as I can’t wait to share with you guys.
We hosted another Pile Palace party with a much more musically whimsical vibe set by acts like Atish, Thugfucker b2b Nico Stojan, YokoO, Oona Dahl, & more. Despite the more relaxed and sonically beautiful vibe, this was my day to work the Pile Palace Bar and I was about to raise all hell as my trog-ass transexual alter-ego, Mikaela. I was trading hidden talents for cocktails. No talent? No cocktail! To me, the ultra sarcastic, snarky culture on the Playa is part of what makes Burning Man so great. Running Desert Hearts the rest of the year I dedicate my time to spreading love and positive energy as far and wide as possible. But at the Burn, I just want play pranks on my fellow burners. If you had the misfortune of coming across full-blown Mikaela on Thursday, I would love to hear about your experience because I was on a sick one! To my buddy Chris, I apologize again for kicking you out of camp for wearing a DH shirt! Mikaela is a mean bitch!
So before the Man Burns on Saturday, our camp hosts the Piley Awards which is pretty much an Oscars style awards ceremony where our entire camp votes for winners of categories such as M.V.P. (Most Valuable Pile), Piley Cyrus (Biggest Camp Slut), The AA Award (Drunkest Pile), Rookie of the Year, Steeziest Pile… you get the idea. It’s honestly my favorite part of the burn as all 60+ camp members are present with the chance to share their funniest stories and memories from the week. If you have a camp at Burning Man, I can’t recommend doing your own version of an awards ceremony enough. It’s a great way to gather your entire camp before venturing out to the man burn, and probably the best way to create a continuous camp culture. After the man burn we all went back to the palace for one final rager that lasted till sunrise. Epic, epic day!
IT’S A LAY-DAY! You can just put an X through the whole day. I even slept through the Temple Burn for the first time in my life. Killin' it fersure!
OK I know this post is getting unbelievably long, but my Post-Burn Decompression was the most beautiful transition back to normal life I’ve ever had and I’ll never miss an opportunity like this again. Instead of driving home after spending a night in Reno like I normally do, I decided to completely disengage from real life for an extra week and spend it with some of my best friends and girlfriend in Tahoe. Completely ignoring social media, emails, and any outside responsibilities, I was able to properly reflect on my burn and plan out exactly what I want to do with my life for the next year. I usually leave Burning Man incredibly low on energy and no matter how good my burn was, I used to leave with a bad taste in my mouth telling myself I probably don’t need to go next year. That will never happen again. I’ve learned the importance of a proper decompression in nature and I’m already making plans for decompressing in Yosemite next year. I’ve never felt better and I can’t recommend this enough.
Thank you for taking the time to read this if you’ve made it this far. I wanted to write this for myself just as much as I wanted to write it for you so I’ll remember it forever. This was hands down the best burn yet and I want to thank all my beautiful Pile Palace camp leads for running the show 365 days a year, all my camp mates for stepping up and crushing it, The Jabroni / Speddy Crew for cracking me the fuck up all week, my angel of a mother Annie for absolutely dominating her second burn with us, Robot Heart, Camp Walter, Distrikt, & Big Imagination for hosting me behind the decks, my wonderful friend Carolyn for hosting us in Tahoe, Grant Pa & Kinsey for being our ultimate Post-Burn Roll Dogs, and finally my beautiful girlfriend Cookie for continuing to be the best soul mate anyone could ever ask for. We did it babe!