Burning Man LIVE

40 Episodes

By: Burning Man Project

Meet those who make Burning Man happen, beyond the desert and out in the world. Artists, activists, and innovators. Builders and Burners, freaks and fools. Burning Man floats on a sea of stories, and the Burning Man LIVE podcast is a plucky little boat with a microphone.

The Gift of Things Going Wrong

We’re back from Black Rock City, and we miss it already. If you miss it too, or you missed it altogether, here are some sounds and sentiments of being there. 

BRC is filled with amateurs, people doing it as a labor of love. When things go wrong, we celebrate it as a glorious opportunity to adapt, or simply as things going the way they go. When the going gets tough, and it’s tough going in the world these days, spaces like BRC allow for joy, mourning and reflection. Spaces like BRC are practice grounds of possi...

Candace Locklear on Culture Jamming and Welcoming

When Candace found Burning Man in 1996, she jumped right in to help the media tell the whole story of Black Rock City, not just the sensationalism. She also jumped right into culture jamming, twisting iconic characters, from Cacophony Society’s santas to public pranking as porn clowns, and playfully pushing people in immediate theater. 

She also brings the transformative power of interactive art to public spaces around the world, as part of a non-profit We Are From Dust, and she’s working to have all people feel welcome at Black Rock City. Hear the old and the new...

Pro Tips for Black Rock City

Listen in as longtime Burners talk about the aspects of thriving in Black Rock City: mental, physical, material, and relational.

Andie, kbot, Molly, Stuart and Vav explore:

· socks secrets· FOMO variants· saying yes and saying no· giving and accepting help· No Friends Monday· and all else!

Featuring cameos from other longtime Burners: Anjelika, Chef Juke, Crimson Rose, DA, Dave X, Halcyon, KJ, and Lulu Lurine.

They discuss doing it all, doing it right, and doing it wrong as access to being real. Don't just pack. Prepare. Here’s how to have BRC be overwhel...

Kay Morrison and the Overall Wonderment Quotient

Who can share about the beginnings of Burning Man Project’s Board of Directors, the Meta-Regional Committee, and a blacksmithing collective? Kay Morrison can.

Who can tell of getting banned from a country, cooking at Fly Ranch, and hosting a croquet match between Army burners and Navy burners? Kay Morrison can.

She laughs with Stuart Mangrum about how everything in Black Rock City (in VR and in IRL) is seven times greater, be it a win, a loss, or a sandwich. 

Warning: This eloquent and expressive conversation contains many casual curse words.


Desert Arts Preview: Artists of Waking Dreams

It’s really real. Makers are making. Planners are planning. Crews all over the world are creating installations for Black Rock City. Katie Hazard, Head of Burning Man Arts, speaks with ten of the 400 artists whose work will rise on the playa. Hold onto your headlamp: We’ve got an alien drive-thru, a library for solar power, and architecture that defiles the laws of physics. We’ve got stories from France, South Africa, the Netherlands, and oh so much more.

Ezra Livingston: Shrine of the Macabre

Jared Ficklin: The Solar Library

Madeline Fried & Matthe...

Remember How to Burning Man: Steven Raspa

For 25 years now $teven Ra$pa has directed discussions for Black Rock City and Regional communities. Hear him and kbot explore why this Burning Man thing is so important for humanity and the world.

BRC is a city of imagination, a social experiment, organically cultivated and running on pure encouragement.

They discuss the inspired interactions that allow for reinvention big and small for one and all.

Burning Man Journal: Raspa


Sweaty Dynamite: The Dave X Story

When dynamite is aged the wrong way it gets sweaty with little crystals that can cause spontaneous explosions.

Dave X. Man of fire, bacon, and “the ponytail of approachability.” An enigmatic shaman of fireworks, flame effects, and deep thoughts, his stripper name is Sweaty Dynamite. His spiritual calling is to bring joyful, fiery experiences to the masses. His secret weapon: a thick binder. Huh? More on that later. 

Could one man be a hippie and a redneck, and in charge of Fire Art Safety in Black Rock City, and also fill the role of Cake Marsh...

Return to Black Rock City

In May, staff and core collaborators gathered to disclose what’s new and true in the big community experiment that is Black Rock City.  

How Center Camp changedTurning down turnkey campingThe bumper crop of inclusive artThe hive platform for teaching, learning, and up-leveling leadership

Listen as they share about jobs, classifieds, and the Survival Guide, about behind-the-scenes machines for emergency response, decommodification deals, sustainability solutions, and diversity discussions.

This is a glimpse into how it all works.

BURNING MAN LIVE: RETURN TO BLACK ROCK CITY (stream, transcript, pics)

Black Rock City 2022

Tom Price and The Benefactor’s Dilemma

Stuart talks with 'Burners Without Borders' co-founder Tom Price, then shares an interview from the deep well of 'Culturally Attuned,' a podcast by the US Institute of Peace in collaboration with Burning Man Project.

Tom talks about community resilience and his attempts to bridge cultural gaps around race, color, privilege, and the legacy of colonialism.

He extols the need for humility and personal agency, and developing relationships of mutual trust and respect - from Kenya to Liberia, to the Native American lands of Nevada.

He also presents Burning Man as a place...

The Magic When Art Happens

Tyson Yunkaporta is an artist and scholar of the Apalech Clan in Australia. Caveat Magister is a Burning Man philosopher. They explore ceremony, circumstance, and how art is not about the object. They talk through the power of play, mining the margins, and what indigenous peoples have known that modern people are rediscovering. 

They discuss Black Rock City, Regional events, and the impact of Gifting, Radical Inclusion, and the ‘wrong’ white people. They explore ideas that are uncommon and uncomfortable: 

· the ethics of creating spaces where magic is more likely to happen

· taking art back...

Thinking Big in a Small Town

Laugh and learn in a collage of conversation with 'Chef' - Matthew 'Chef' Kwatinetz, Senior Director of Nevada Operations and Board Member of Burning Man Project. He shares with Stuart about the ongoing work to convert our Nevada properties into year-round hubs for bringing Burning Man culture into the world. So much more than an infrastructure project, our teams are busy upgrading Gerlach’s services, helping locals and staff develop skills, opening up new employment opportunities, and visioning a maker space for Black Rock City creators.

They explore urban planning, tradition and what’s possible beyond our ephe...

Stuart Mangrum’s Serious Philosophy of Shenanigans

Director of Burning Man Project’s Philosophical Center, longtime co-conspirator of founder Larry Harvey, Cacophonist, playa newspaper publisher, billboard liberator, art theme writer, and suspicious character (according to paranoid people), his most realistic alias is Stuart Mangrum.

He holds our legacy, and helps guide our story, while occasionally philosophizing. A Communications Strategist named kBot gets Stuart talking despite his anti-interrogation training. This is a story of pranks and participation, of 90s Burning Man and modern day miracles. Note: Funny can be deep. This is both.

Burning Man Project’s Philosophical Center

Burning Man Jour...

Charlie Dolman The Dust is in the Details

If Black Rock City were a ship, Charlie Dolman would be its skipper. The SS BRC is already taking shape in the dry docks of our collective effort, and at some point later this summer it will slide into the dusty seas of northern Nevada. As the event operations director, Charlie leads a crew of leaders responsible for pretty much all aspects of city infrastructure, and for planning for just about every operational contingency, from fire and rain to, who knows, a downpour of frogs. On fire. 

If you see him on playa he’s the fast-moving, sof...

Burning Man is Not a Place

People all around the world create annual events that align in principle. Some have over 10,000 participants like events in Israel and South Africa. Some have under 20 participants, like “Melting Man” in Fargo, North Dakota. They are collaborative art experiences, celebrations, healing rituals, mutual aid, and fun for a good cause. For 2 decades our global community has been bringing people together.

Andie Grace and Michael Vav talk with Iris Yee, Head of the Burning Man Regional Network, about how various groups activated during these strange times, and what they’re creating next. Here we are re-reminded that it's not ab...

Dr Graham St John, Playa Pataphysicist

The vibe is real. Playa magic. Secret sauce. Atypical serendipity. Whatever you call it, it’s being studied by social scientists around the world and written about in the annals of academia. 

The vibe is real, but that doesn’t mean we must deny our Dada roots. We can yield a toilet plunger like a royal scepter. We can celebrate porta-loo beautification, and its absurd juxtaposition, as a legit art experience. We can invent a vibe-sensing device that has no sensors. 

Stuart Mangrum talks with Dr. Graham St John, cultural anthropologist, author of many books and ac...

Shouting Fire Radio: The Shout Heard ‘Round the World

How can we bring the magic back from BRC and Regional events? How can we connect and reflect year round? Radio. 

Out of BRC's BMIR (Burning Man Information Radio) came the internet radio station Shouting Fire, which provides real world radio for Regional events, streaming to listeners everywhere. It’s now the Global Burner Radio Network connecting Texas to South Africa, Michigan to Argentina, Denmark to Spain, and on and on.

Michael Vav talks with General Manager Bobzilla, confessional host Contessa Luna, roving correspondent Steve Hippie Trap, and illusive maven "Sophie from Brussels." Tune in to...

Beloved Community in Our Midst

Lifelong social justice educators Shirley Strong and Simone Torrey share about Beloved Community, an inclusive interrelated space based on love, responsibility, compassion, shared power, and a deep respect that transforms. They also talk with Stuart about a new community engagement and learning platform. It’s not social media. It’s not e-courses. It’s a versatile hub of like-minded interactivity. 

This conversation started with Civil Rights in the 1960s, and is now evolving on a global nexus called Hive.  

Ten Ingredients for Building Beloved Community and Creating Belonging (on HIVE)

Burning Man Project’s Radical I...

Chef Juke's Wild Art Car R.I.D.E.

Let’s take a trip from Burning Man in 1994 to Sotheby’s Auction House in 2021; from the Department of Mutant Vehicles to the Radical Inclusion, Diversity & Equity stewardship; from Oregon to Nebraska to Las Vegas; from a sense of wonder to BRC 2022. Listening to this may inspire you to do something you hadn’t considered before.

Burning Man Culture: Radical Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

Burning Man: Sotheby's Art Auction: Boundless Space

Burning Man Staff: Patrice Mackey aka Chef Juke


Burning Man: Henry Chang and Artgineering


Danger Ranger

Founder. Catalyst. Mythic character. Michael Mikel (aka Danger Ranger) shares stories of pranks and potential in the wild west (rural and urban) - this time with twists that tie together his other tales.

Stuart talks with him about what happened, what's happening, and what might happen next - from tough topics to rebel realizations.

It starts with "stuff no one has ever heard."

Some of the topics explored:

Prank activism / Coyote teachingFrom PaperMan to a non-profit CorporationBeach pagans and “Satanists with guns”The harshness and opportunities of the high desertThe BRC mono-story of “...

Stories Around The Burn Barrel

Miss swapping stories around a fire? Start a show and name it The Burn Barrel. Know people you’d like to know better? Ask for the whole long story, and share it with the world.

Stuart Mangrum talks with Doxie from Detroit, Kay Morrison and Peter Durand about creating their long-form story show to keep us all connected until our next free-form social.

This episode includes stories about

Doxie & Burner Exchange: South African artist Braai describes the participant exchange between AfrikaBurn and Michigan’s “Lakes of Fire,” thanks to Chicago Regional Contact Richard "Heyu" Kelly (R...

Philosophy Smackdown with Jason Silva

Stuart and Andie talk with Jason Silva, philosopher, futurist, and host of National Geographic’s Brain Games, and the Shots of Awe video channel. Their talk is a wild ride through the nature of reality. It’s a mind-melting mind-meld of meanings as burners and as earthlings. It’s a hint on how to — as Danger Ranger says — “wash your own brain." 

They discuss life, death and how a bicycle can induce synchronicity. They explore how psychedelics cause pivotal mental states of suggestibility to brainwash ourselves for the better, or succumb to delusional thinking, or both.

They schedu...

Boundless Space: The Sotheby’s Experiment

Sotheby’s is exhibiting and auctioning the work of 180 artists from around the world inspired by Burning Man culture. More than a third are women, and more than a third are people of color. Sculptures, paintings and photographs, as well as experiences, mutant vehicles, and NFTs. 

It’s a collaboration and a collision. It’s an experiment with an institution historically known for overt commodification. It’s an appreciation of art based on intrinsic aesthetic value. It's a nod to artists. 

Stuart talks with Kim Cook, Director of Creative Initiatives for Burning Man Project, the bold lead...

The 10 Principles in Modern Times (IRL & in VR)

Larry Harvey wrote the 10 Principles 18 years ago, after the Man had been burning for just as many years. 

The 10 Principles weigh in at only 412 words total, and yet the interpretations and translations develop and deepen the global community. 

This is a deep dive into how the 10 Principles apply in modern times, in real life and in virtual reality.

Stuart talks with:

Athena Demos, a 15 year Burning Man organizer and Producer of BRCvrStephen Raspa, Associate Director of Community Events for Burning Man Project

This talk reveals dynamic facets of the text.


Narrative: Control & Liberty Through Stories

Guest host Rosie von Lila takes us on a journey through the form and formation of the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we teach, the stories we collectively assume are true. She explores the narratives of conflict and collaboration, of domination and partnership, and how they shape and shift the self and the culture. 

She speaks with 

Caveat Magister, Burning Man philosopher and author of "The Scene That Became Cities" and "Turn Your Life Into Art"

Catherine Connors, author & CEO of The League of Badass Women

Harley K Dubois, Chief Tr...

Burning Sustainably Part 2: The Road to Regeneration

You and I, we have living laboratories for embracing new ways to do the Earthling thing. They are Black Rock City, Fly Ranch, and 90-something regional events around the world. The Burning Man community is vast, diverse, and creative - and can ripple out a cultural shift around new technologies and practices. 

The 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap declared that in the next 8 years we will become carbon negative and regenerative. How can we make it better for the ecology for Burning Man to exist, than for it not to exist?

Stuart talks with the champions of t...

Burning Sustainably Part 1: We Can, We Will, We Must

The end of the world? we have been practicing for decades. As more people look down the barrel of climate change, we have something to say (and do) about it. 

What must change for it to be better for the ecology for Burning Man to exist, than for it not to exist?

Our 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap declared that in a half dozen years we will become carbon negative and regenerative. How? 

Stuart talks with David Festa, who brings 30 years of experience to figure out how. 

Black Rock City and regional events aro...

Turn Your Life Into Art With Caveat Magister

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll believe in love.

Stuart and Andie take a wild ride with author and philosopher Caveat Magister. 

They discuss how to transform daily life with psychomagical experiences. They illustrate the power of art, ritual and play, and the magic of love. They reveal the secret sauce of Black Rock City, and the triumphs and failures of experience design. They explain engineered disperfection, miracles without religion, and nightlife as a spiritual pursuit. 

Caveat is one of the few who comprise the Philosophical Center of Burning Man Project. For a doz...

Art Happens No Matter What

Life happens. Art happens with life. The arts are a big impact area of Burning Man culture. 

Burning Man Project funds artists each year through our Global Arts Grants and BRC Honoraria. The pandemic put a pause on 2020 grants. Now with no Black Rock City for a second year, we feared the arts grants would also be a no. 

However, thanks to generous philanthropy, Burning Man Project is funding a million dollars to 59 art installations from eight countries and 14 US States, for placement wherever is clever. Bringing the art to the people!

Stuart an...

Resilient Do-Ocracy: Tales of Texas Burners

Black Rock City. We sometimes call it an unnatural disaster zone. We cooperate, survive and thrive in one of the harshest environments. Each year we iterate new ways, and we do it all because we want to. 

Black Rock City attracts people who are resourceful, or it turns them into people who are. 

The resilient burner community does disaster relief well. The nature of most residents of Black Rock City is reflected right there in the 10 principles: Radical Self-Reliance, Communal Effort and Civic Responsibility.

Here in the US, the State of Texas is ho...

Bonus Episode: Culturally Attuned with the US Institute of Peace

It’s true. Really. The United States has an Institute of Peace. It’s also true that they partnered with Burning Man Project to create a new podcast called Culturally Attuned, about how we can all work effectively across our world’s cultural divides. 

That podcast complements USIP’s online, self-paced course on Cultural Synergy. Stuart talks with the Executive Director of the Institute about cultivating the skills to do good work in a diverse world. 

They share an episode featuring Kim Cook, Burning Man Project’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. 

The title of that episo...

Radical Inclusion: Fab 5 Freddy & Rachel McCrafty Talk Tokenism

Andie talks with artists Fab 5 Freddy and Rachel McCrafty about diversity in and around the Burning Man world. Rachel is the executive director of ACE Makerspace in Oakland and Freddy is a hip-hop pioneer, filmmaker and a board member of Burning Man Project. 

They discuss tokenism, bridge-building, and how people with open sensibilities can widen the path for those who have not felt welcomed before. In the same way that a forest fire creates space for biodiversity, we as a community have the opportunity to intentionally reinvent our shared culture, on and off the playa.


Mike Zuckerman: Culture Hacking and Gonzo Humanitarianism

Operating far outside the lines of what he calls the “humanitarian-industrial complex,” freelance culture hacker and FreeSpace founder Mike Zuckerman goes into refugee settlements around the world, and works with their citizens to create spaces and places that better serve their communities. 
While the NGOs wrung their hands over how to deliver aid in the pandemic, Zuck spent most of 2020 in Uganda, working with the people of Nakivale, a refugee settlement of 120,000 near the Tanzanian border. Together they built civic spaces including an amphitheater, a library, a radio station, and a Virtual Reality room in a shipping container, which...

Mike Zuckerman: Culture Hacking and Gonzo Humanitarianism

Operating far outside the lines of what he calls the “humanitarian-industrial complex,” freelance culture hacker and FreeSpace founder Mike Zuckerman has been going into refugee settlements around the world, working with their citizens to create spaces and places that better serve their communities. While the NGOs wrung their hands over how to deliver aid in the COVID-19 pandemic, Zuck spent most of last year on the ground in Uganda, working with the people of Nakivale, a refugee settlement of 120,000 near the Tanzanian border. Together they built civic spaces including an amphitheater, a library, a radio station, and a Virtual Real...

Holiday Special: SantaCon from Home

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (And boy has it been a year!) 

Following in the footsteps of show-biz luminaries like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and the cast of Star Wars, we hosted a HOLIDAY SHOW (non-denominational) in front of a live online pseudo-studio audience. 

Stuart and Andie entertained guests:

Santa Zero - originator of the now-infamous SantaCon phenomenonMrs. Claus - founder of Burning Man’s first-ever theme camp, Christmas CampTubatron and his Flaming Tuba performing a Hanukkah songReverend Billy and Savitri D of the Church of Stop Shopping

And it wou...

Kristen Berman and the Science of Transformation

Does Burning Man really trigger transformative experiences, and if so, what does that look like? Stuart and behavioral scientist Kristen Berman go deep on the psychology of change, and what that looks like in Black Rock City and beyond. Can participating in a Burning Man event really make you more generous, more tolerant, more civic-minded? What’s the role of the 10 Principles in all of this, and how important is the physical environment of Black Rock City?  

Kristen Berman is a behavioral scientist who’s explored human behavior at Duke University, at Google, with her consulting firm Irrati...

Dr Scirpus and the Majestic Fly Ranch

Fly Ranch is in the middle of nowhere, and yet it's the center of the universe for many bugs, birds, animals, and, uh, thermophiles. 

Down the road from the dry lake bed that hosts Black Rock City, Fly Ranch is 6 square miles of hot springs, ecosystems, and a unique variety of life, from wildflowers to wild horses, antelope and mountain lions, eagles, and cicadas.

Stuart and Logan talk with Dr. Lisa Beers (aka Scirpus) about her work as the Burning Man Land Fellow for Fly Ranch, and all the life, death and artifacts on the 600 a...

The Legacy and Artistry of Building the Man

The Burning Man figure started it all and has stood at the center of Black Rock City for decades. Many myths and legends of its origins have been passed down through the years. It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. We took a deep dive with the earliest builders of the Burning Man to chart the evolution and decode the mythology. We also spoke with members of the current team that bring the figure to life year after year. We explore the craftsmanship of the build, the rituals of the crew's process, and the secret details that...

Culinary Camps of Black Rock City

Culinary excellence in a temporary city in the dry desert? Oh yes, and some decadent offerings too. Andie and Vav rebroadcast a delicious episode about culinary camps at Black Rock City from the podcast “Food Wine & the Culinary Mind.” It’s a montage of interviews from theme camps that gift the perfect food at the perfect time and place. The perspectives on creativity, community and cuisine bring us back to what it’s like to be together in the dust. 

Mat Schuster interviews “fascinating culinary badasses” at the most recent Black Rock City, and it’s about more than just...

Studying Subversive Creativity and Gratitude

What is it like to walk around Black Rock City as a staff member and an academic in participant-observer mode? These tales are of BRC at the turn of the century, and the study of ineffable experiences, ending with old school stories of the organic formation of BRC’s support services, and a healthy respect for law enforcement. 

Andie and Logan talk with Sheila Hoover, the Associate Dean of Libraries at Texas Tech University, and Duane Hoover, Professor of Practice, specializing in negotiation and organizational behavior. At BRC, Duane (Big Bear on the radio) ran the Black Roc...

Vote Hard with The Voter Party

The U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout. The thought that your vote doesn’t matter, or that there’s no good choice - some say that thought is manufactured or perpetuated to prevent people from exercising their power. Some say voting is not fun. 

Stuart and Logan discuss voter apathy, voter ho-hum, and creative solutions to election spectators.  They talk with Mark Rosenberg, aka Winkel, from The Voter Party. Inspired by the participatory culture of Burning Man, TheVoterParty.org teaches individuals how to use art, music, and costuming to get out the vote in their...