As soon as I knew I was moving to Spain, I had one mission in mind: to go to Nowhere. Even though this festival has been on my burning desires list for years, I had no real idea what I was diving into when I got a ticket months ago. That’s a lie. I have been to Burning Man and regional burns before. But it’s been a while since I spent time in the desert. The regional burns I’ve been to in Canada and New Zealand were more comfortable in the sense that they were immersed in lush forests and rushing rivers. And without a 30 degrees difference between night and day.
As I was packing my bag in the heat of Valencian evenings, I was feeling ridiculous. Do I really need a raincoat, scarf, warm sweaters? I mean, wearing underwear was making me sweat. I was coming in hot and prepared. I went to the pharmacy with a long list of electrolytes, probiotica, eye drops, antihistamines, mosquito repellent and more. I have never felt more ready to survive ten days in the Spanish desert.
The festival itself lasts one week – enough to make some people weak in the knees – and I spent a few extra days volunteering in the cantina, cooking up a storm for other volunteers. That’s what you do at a burn: you participate. Whether it’s by volunteering some of your time and skills, hosting workshops, bringing your ultimate dream camp to the desert, creating art, giving gifts, there are so many ways to be a part of this wonderfully dusty community.
But why on earth would you take time off work to go out into the desert, get every nook and cranny covered in a chafe heaven combination of dust and sweat and work… for free? Ah, that’s the good part. Let’s just get right into it. This is my opinion, but I never in life experience so much playfulness, silliness and ridiculousness as at a burn. All senses are heightened (with or without drugs) because the situation is just so out of the ordinary and intense in all the right ways. Your daily routine now involves meeting up with friends to walk your invisible dogs, interact with cool artworks, play fights, pool parties (yes, we’re still in the desert), psychedelic siestas, no-pants aperitivo, awkward dinner parties and getting dressed up in fairy lights for the night.
You see, it’s not only about parties. I mean, it is and it isn’t. There is something for everyone in the desert. If, like me, you feel like letting your inner child out to play, you have options day and night to satisfy your inner Dora the explorer. If you’re feeling in a rather sexy mood, oh darling, plenty of themed orgies, kinky olympics and tantalising workshops for you to slither into.
Of course it’s not all party, play and sexy times. I mean, it is and it isn’t. There is the opportunity to really feel at home and comfortably continue your morning routine with yoga, breathwork, meditation and journaling. Which sets you up for more important life enhancing workshops like: make your own tutu, reveal your inner cat, find your gangsta name, powerpoint roulette, self award ceremonies, calimocho blind tasting, cuddle parties, sock wrestling, Spanish grandmother hour and you’re pretty much ready for whatever life will throw at you.