It’s my enormous pleasure to kick off our planning for the 2014 burn. For those that don’t know me, I’m Major Tom, one of the founders of More Carrot in 2009, making my triumphant return to the playa after a two year break spent breeding a carrot of my very own.
This will be my sixth burn and I’m super-excited to be back. I’ve been so thrilled and so proud to see More Carrot continue and grow and evolve over the past couple of years, investing in infrastructure and solidifying our status as a core theme camp providing a much-loved service on the playa. We’ve learned how to do so much and put so much in place, so this will be a year of consolidation, bedding down the core activities of our camp and better balancing our work with our fun.
More Carrot began in 2009 as part of the Oasis 47 village, a motley group of camps and crews without a core theme. We built a chill space and held the first Countless Carrots March, to stand up to those bullying bunnies. But 2010 was the year we really came into our own, with a completely self-reliant stand-alone camp which featured the Black Rock Farmers Market for the first time.
The idea for the farmers market was a response to that year’s theme of Metropolis. We asked ourselves: what do all our favourite cities have that Black Rock City lacks? And the answer emerged: a farmers market! Since then we’ve added a mobile market, a participatory smoothie maker and other elements but the core ideas is the same: amazing produce, much of it organic and most of it grown locally, kept fresh on the playa and gifted to our fellow citizens in the morning Tuesday-Friday. Let me tell you, sharing a fresh watermelon or apple on the Friday of a Festival in a brutal lifeless desert to someone who probably hasn’t eaten any vegetables for four days is practically a magic trick. The joy and gratitude it creates is spectacular and very energizing. And best of all we’ll be done for the day well before noon. (And you’ll only need to do this one morning.) Civic contribution: tick! 😉
The Countless Carrots March has also gained in strength, becoming literally countless (if you’re lazy and not into counting) and really holding it’s own (in terms of noise and passion) against those damn bunnies, who would otherwise seek to dominate the playa with their greed and insatiability, their funky house and pink ears. It’s a wildly hilarious experience which is always everyone’s highlight of the week.
This should be obvious but we’re a gifting-focused camp. So we do stuff. We put effort and intention into our contributions. We take seriously the personal responsibility to be self-reliant, to know what we’re getting ourselves into and be ready (this includes you first-timers, read the First Timers Guide). And we take seriously the communal effort required to create our camp, our home and our community, and provide a unique and interactive gift to our fellow citizens of Black Rock City. There’s heaps of time to party, to go dancing, do yoga, take photos and look at art or whatever constitutes your own fun, but the starting point is the magic we create together and share with the rest of the city. Black Rock is a city built on magic, on thousands of personal contributions big and small which make the playa home.
Being part of More Carrot means being truly part of this communal effort. There are no tourists and no spectators at our camp. We ask for your participation from this point onwards, as we plan and execute the elements that go into making More Carrot happen: working in teams to ensure that our infrastructure, décor, kitchen and events happen without a hitch, fundraising the thousands of dollars we need to buy, transport, maintain and gift hundreds of pieces of produce on the playa, two days of building and prep in Reno and two days of building the camp on the playa (these overlap, you’ll do two days in one place and one day in the other, depending on which entry team you’re in), one morning working on the market, one night cooking a meal for the camp, constant respect for our Leave No Trace policies and participation in camp maintenance and the sad but necessary work of breaking it all down at the end.
But this is actually the fun stuff! Burning Man is about this participation and communal effort, it’s about what we can create together as a camp and as a city, the awe-inspiring community that emerges from the dust as a result of that effort and then disappears without a trace. Burning Man is about what we all put in and the spirit with which we do so and there’s nothing else like it in the world.
If this sounds like your style, you’re in the right place. If all you want to do is party and get drunk this might not be the right camp for you (although as I said, plenty of time for that also. But be responsible).
I can’t wait to see what we’ll create together this year. I can’t wait to get out there and feel the dust on my face, to see old friends and make new ones, to dance until dawn then gift produce until late morning, to ride art cars, climb on art, discover new camps and re-visit my favourites, to protest the bunnies, build a city, and be part of More Carrot again. And I can’t wait to share all that with you. It’s going to be AMAZING.
PS. Announcements like this will be sent by email but in general we’ll be using online tools to stay in touch, not all of them totally decided upon. But we are definitely using a facebook group – More Carrot 2014 – which I hope you’re a member of already. If not contact Jessie or I. Let’s all introduce ourselves and start chatting there. More info on teams and how to get involved in them will be shared soon.
PPS. Thanks for reading this far. Even if I don’t know you I like you already.