Craft & Design
Behind the Scenes: The Build at Burning Man

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.

8 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: The Build at Burning Man

    1. Those makers are awesome! Was so much fun, such a great extended community. And the weather was spectacular ;-)

  1. Thanks for sharing, these are great pics! Nice to see our Yee-Saw towards the end of here as well. And you’re right, “forklifts and cranes are critical”…although we’ve done it without and that is WAY less fun for our backs:) Two years of work for a few days of show…and it’s so completely worth it!

  2. Validate the placing. Turquoise emerge gold definitely will pull in many more dollars a result of the setting. Turquoise set in metallic can still get good fees, particularly if the environment is handcrafted and Native National in design and style.

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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.

View more articles by Sabrina Merlo