Four days on the Playa. Three days to build up our Opium theme camp tent. One night to take it down. Monday hit us right after that. Looked like a typical start of the week in the default world … Part five and final part of our AfrikaBurn series.
Monday. The festival begins. Our tent looked worse the night before. After half a day we were back to where we left off before the party. Everyone from the build crew really deserved to go out and celebrate. So did I.
One of my favorite stages was the Lighthouse. Slower music tempo but very good and different. The Lighthouse also had a nice story – a story about collaboration instead of competition:
There were two Lighthouse crews. One from Switzerland, and one from the States. Both were accepted for AfrikaBurn this year, and both came. Here they discovered that there is another Lighthouse and the dilemma an identical art stage would bring up … so what to do? – The simple solution:
Teaming up. Bigger stage. Bigger project. More people. More fun. And no confusion. – Pure awesomeness!
I programmed myself to go big tonight. Bad mistake.
So the stage now consisted of three towers. The enlightened one from the swiss team was for the musician(s), and two others for the crowd. In the first night there a rope ladder to let people climb to the top. It was a gorgeous view from up there. But when I wanted to climb it for the 3rd time, a gust of wind kicked me off the ladder. I landed in this pile of construction wood next to it. Higher spirits protected me and prevented from something really bad happened. The pain came the next day. Also the next day the ladder was fixed. I guess I was not the only one doing some acrobatics here.
I lost my jacket that night. Three days later it travelled back to me. I simply love the dynamics of the Playa. Same thing happened to my green cup. Left it somewhere on some art installation in Deep Playa. Next morning it was standing on the kitchen table – someone from our camp picked it up. How big the probability that someone from 14.000 people will be from our camp and pick my cup up? Yes, not too big.
Opium Gentle Man Club meets The Spirit Train meets Flow Arts Commune
Wednesday. The Spirit Train and the Flow Arts Commune were our guests tonight. Big time.
The Spirit Train easily grabs your attention, but this time Flow Arts Commune was stealing the show. Amazing fire spinners and dancers, supported by heavy drumming from our side. Kate with whom I came to AfrikaBurn debuted in their circle. And nailed it. People all over the place. Also our tent was packed to the roof.
At 11pm I took over, and it was never been easier to get a crowd going. 4 hours of pure joy. I played all the stuff I don’t play in Berlin, and people were raving about it. The best things at festivals, finally all the years of digging and collecting these tunes were valued in just one night.
Supercharged by this experience I collected my wingmen and women to explore the deep Playa.
The Space Cowboys
Thursday. The Space Cowboys attended the night before the official start our Opium pre-party and invited me to play their stage on the Playa next to the X. I should play directly after the Tintin rocket was burned. Again I saw the parallels to Burning Man. Playing amidst the playa after a burn … and the rocket was huge! I prepared for a massive sand storm. The sound system was kind of decent, but a monitor box was lacking. We also had a problem with the signal going out of my Allen&Heath multi channel mixer into their Allen&Heath multi channel mixer. What? Yes, don’t ask. These are the moments that you hate at that moment while performing. But when you look back to this event, it is saved in your mind as one of the best times.
So I embraced the situation. No monitor, bass to low, high frequencies too sharp, sand if your face, sand in your equipment, sand in your mouth and a guy constantly in your way trying to fix the situation. Boy, how boring would life be without these moments? 🙂
What counts is the result. The audience was happy, lots of people came up to me and showed me their love and I got another invitation. Who needs a perfect set?
Bubbles’n’Bass and Rave Rover
Saturday. The wedding of our camp lead Jojo with Rick the drummer. They chose the right day, the weather and the sun were simply perfect.
Deniz, Dolores, Stefan and me strolled in the afternoon across the playa to look at more art installations. We ended up at Bubbles’n’Bass, also one of my favorite Burning Man afterhour parties – who can say no to champagne? Another perfect moment: the sun came slowly down, the music was pumping slow enough you can easily move, a fresh and smooth breeze was clearing the heat of the afternoon and in your hand a glass of tasty bubbly, which is tingling alike your vitality. And on top off all sharing this moment with your new friends. Priceless.
The sun disappeared behind the mountains and the temperature dropped quickly. So we headed back to our camp to get ready for the night. It was the last night, so no Opium party today.
It was a good night to go to our favorite camps and stages: Spirit Train@Hauptbahnhof, Lighthouse and Rave Rover. I liked the music played at Rave Rover best, they really had some decent Techno DJs. Especially the ones who played this oldskool ’90s techno. Reminded my of my early years and first impressions of electronic music. A good moment to revel in nostalgia.
So I had had it all that night. Sharing moments of luck and love with your old and new friends is what you take back. From the Playa and from anywhere else. Eternally stored in the database of your life. Ready to be rediscovered in the future and gifting your life a meaning.
Decompression. Cape Town
Saturday. One week later. The Spirit Train invited for a Decompression party in Cape Town. I was supposed to do the interview with But from The Spirit Train. So I carried all my camera equipment + a tripod to this party. Thanks to Dorrie who got me there. The party was packed. So it won’t be an easy mission to find him. A lot of people from my camp where there as well as my german friends. Happy to see them all, gave the whole burn experience that extra polish.
But where is the guy? The scavenger hunt began.
After asking several people working there and running from A to B I caught him.
“Oh, you are too busy to do the interview now?” – Yes, I could see that, he definitely was. The excitement of finding him and finishing this final task subsided in seconds. Damn. Need a break now.
I discovered this woman smoking a cigarette next to the DJ booth, and I felt like smoking one too (I stopped smoking 2 years ago). One thing immediately struck me. We both wore black and white clothes with the same symbols and signs. Our looks matched, then our thoughts. We laughed synchronously. But the best thing was still to come. It turned out that she is Lil Black, one of the five founders of AfrikaBurn! Man. I was looking during the 4 build days and than another 3 days during AfrikaBurn to meet someone of them. And now on the very very last chance to connect to the people I ran into her!
Well universe – that was special.
Missed the other parts? Have a look here: part one, part two, part three, part four. Next stop: Nowhere, Spain. If you don’t want to miss this adventure and like Burning Man (Regional) stories, like us on Facebook, use our RSS or subscribe to our newsletter. And in the meantime see how we roll in Berlin …