Behind the Scenes: The Build at Burning Man

Sabrina Merlo

Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire's global licensing program for locally and independently produced Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

115 Articles

By Sabrina Merlo

Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire's global licensing program for locally and independently produced Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

115 Articles

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Embrace, one of the largest sculptures at Burning Man this year

Before Monday’s rainstorm, before gates opened for attendees, over 10,000 makers and artists plus materials and heavy equipment had already descended on Nevada’s Black Rock desert for the build.

“Early arrival” passes are granted to the people who come and install the content that makes Burning Man so famous. You really have to be a maker to be there before the gates open—either working on an Honararium project or on your approved, larger scale theme camp or prepping your art car.

This is the time that feels like Burning Man 20 years ago: people working together, enjoying teamwork and new friends and being outside, assembling and rigging projects that have been in the planning for months.

Making is the real origin story of Burning Man. And it was everywhere in evidence last weekend on the playa: ingenuity, planning, resourcefulness, focus, fabrication, collaboration, community.