Give Love Burn a Chance

[Editor’s Note: Continuing our reporting from Love Burn in Miami, we have this report from Ski Rodge addressing some of the skeptics in the Burner community.]

I come from a community of hardcore burners. To them, surviving in a challenging physical environment is a critical part of a burn. This view of burning makes it easy to decide which regional burn to attend in February. Frostburn – which is held on a cold mountain top in West Virginia – offers much harsher conditions than Love Burn, which is held on a beach in Florida. A number of my friends thus tried to convince me to attend Frostburn instead of Love Burn. However, I ended up deciding to go to Love Burn, and I was very glad that I did! I was able to connect with some great people, and there was a large collection of spectacular art. 

The biggest warning I was given about attending Love Burn was about the types of people I would encounter there. The nice weather combined with the proximity to a major city supposedly attract people who are more interested in partying than abiding by the 10 principles. Some of my friends refer to Love Burn as “Miami Rave Burn.” I was prepared to see trash thrown in porta potties and people vomiting from drinking too much. But I didn’t end up seeing either. Almost everyone I came across at Love Burn was respectful and in control. People were responsible with their MOOP, and I didn’t come across any trash thrown in toilets or porta potties. An event with good weather, flushing toilets, and showers might seem cushy by burner standards. But people looking for a rave are probably focused on events with lineups that include their favorite DJs. At least for now, the people who attend Love Burn are great! 

The rest of this post contains my thoughts on a few aspects of Love Burn. I hope to convince Love Burn skeptics that there is a lot to love about this event, and provide some information about what to expect.

Love Burn Art is Amazing

The art at Love Burn is spectacular, and there is a lot of it! There were also a number of art cars. Most of the art cars were built on golf cart chassis, but XUZA and El Pulpo Magnifico (two large art cars that are brought to Burning Man) were also at Love Burn. There were no multi-story art pieces to climb, like at Burning Man. However, there was a lot more art at Love Burn than I have seen at any other regional burns. Love Burn offers art grants to make this happen. Perhaps the best part of Love Burn’s art setup is that artists are often camped next to their art. In my experience, the artists are very willing to talk about their art and how they created it. 

El Pulpo Magnifico, the Love Burn Effigy, and Tesla Coils created this scene at Love Burn 2024. Photo courtesy of TK Wanderlust.

There was Music in the Cafes at Night

Love Burn had a number of sound camps, with a large range in sizes. Many stages had DJs playing drum and bass music, but genres weren’t limited to this, and there were even a few acoustic stages. I never struggled to find a sound camp that was playing good music, and had enough room for me to dance comfortably. Some of the sound camps were right on the beach.

Getting There is Easy

I was initially hesitant to attend Love Burn because I thought I would have to rent a car. The event doesn’t offer shuttles. However, it’s easy to travel from the airport to Love Burn using Uber/Lyft. It cost less than $40 each way, and there was no line of cars at the entrance. When you get to Love Burn, you get out of the car and then wait to check in. Unfortunately the wait to check in gets long, but you get to wait in the shade for most of that time. 

There is a camp that will transport items from NYC to Love Burn and back again for a fee, and there are likely camps that do this from other cities as well. I managed just fine with items I took on the plane with me. I took a tent in my checked bag, and an air mattress in my carry on bag. 

Join a Theme Camp

The open camping areas are far from where most of the action happens. Joining a theme camp will allow you to camp next to all of the other theme camps. This will reduce the amount of walking you need to do, but it might make it harder to fall asleep due to the noise from sound camps. In addition to being a great way to meet people and contribute to the event, being part of a theme camp makes the event logistically easier. In exchange for camp dues, theme camps may provide food, cooking supplies, shade structures, and a communal hangout space. Cooking is often done in shifts, which reduces the amount of time any one person has to spend cooking. It also turns cooking into a social activity. 

Theme camps are allowed to let a certain number of camp members arrive on Wednesday, to help set up camp. In my experience, there was a lot happening on Wednesday. If you’re able to arrive this early, I would recommend doing so.  

Prepare to Walk or Bike a Lot

The event is spread out. Walking from one end to the other takes between 20 and 30 minutes. There are shuttles, but I didn’t see them around a lot. I took a shuttle from the gate to my campsite when I first arrived at the event with all of my bags. But I only used the shuttles twice after this. 

Bikes are allowed at the event, but some of the paths are pretty narrow. I found it harder to bike around Love Burn than I did at Burning Man. It was also less necessary because the event was smaller. If you are local and have a cheap bike to bring, it’s probably worth it. But if you’re flying in, I wouldn’t worry about not having a bike. There are also bikeshare bikes, but I rarely found one that was free. 


The weather in Miami in February is generally pretty comfortable, but it also isn’t perfect. I know of at least one year when Love Burn was unbearably hot. The temperatures in 2024 were pretty reasonable, but my tent was still pretty hot by 10 AM most mornings. There was also a storm on Sunday that brought strong winds and a fair bit of rain. 

Final Thoughts 

Love Burn is a great event that will be enjoyable for both veteran and virgin burners. At some point, I would like to attend Frost Burn as well. I think there is a lot to gain from an event like that. But there’s a lot to gain from Love Burn too, and I think people write it off unfairly.

— Ski Rodge

Report from Love Burn 2024

[Editor’s Note: We just got back from a terrific regional burn in Miami called Love Burn. With over 8500 participants this year, it’s already the biggest North American regional and has a huge and growing Queer presence. This blog post was contributed by Hammer from the Banana Hammocks theme camp.]

I’ve been burning since 2014 with Midwest burners. My home burn started out with about 50 people and today has grown to about 350. Unfortunately I haven’t been around them since 2018. I have a great mix of Festival, rainbow traveler family gatherings and attend all the burner sanctioned and burner-like events I’m able to.

Last year I joined a small camp at Love Burn hoping to make some good queer connections here in South Florida. I originally came to Love Burn in 2023 with a camp named Gaysayers. At that time certain political figures were pushing unfortunate laws through. So I joined this camp and hope to learn and give awareness to the current issue. This was my first queer and inclusive burn camp.

I came out as pansexual in the middle of 2020. I separated from my ex-wife on mutual terms for the new path of self-discovery. I definitely got to say that I feel like a whole different person and wish I would have been my authentic self years ago. Love Burn and South Florida has really helped me become who I am today. As well as many individuals over my lifetime have also been a great influence.

This year I was fortunate enough to make the connections to be able to join camp Banana Hammocks. While I’m an introvert by nature and had struggled in the first few days talking to others, by the end of the event I almost seemed as if my flow was only keeping me around those who were queer tolerant. But the zero judgment of the event from others of all walks of life really made me feel safe to be my authentic self.

I take great pride in being a part of a theme camp. I’m the type who likes to be there before anything starts: helping with the build, helping with little things people may forget about, chipping in or even organizing camp meals. Obviously I do love enjoying some down time and cutting loose and maybe even getting a little reckless. But when it’s all said and done I enjoy being around other like-minded folks like myself.

I’ve been nomadic for about 4 years now and enjoy the travels that present themself as a vanlifer. However seeing so many happy couples within our camp really made me wish I had someone to experience everything with. They may have even made it easier for me to be able just to walk up into welcoming theme camps or just start conversations with unknown individuals.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming years and returning to this camp or possibly joining other queer friendly camps at Regional Burns and hopefully make it back to the big burn in Black Rock City hopefully in 2025 if not by 2030.

This summer I turn 40 and my birthday falls on the Lakes of Fire Burn regional event in Michigan in mid July. I’m keeping in communication with my friends from banana hammocks and hoping a good portion meet up and join me in my celebrations with my Midwest Family of burners.

I try to live by the motto “Live positive, and keep true connection close to the heart.”

It truly is a mindset that things will always work out when you focus on the positive and push out all the negative that surrounds oneself.

Instagram: @outdoorshammer
Facebook: EmBARKingwithMig / 2024exploration

People: Mario

Mario CisnerosMario was a lead for a camp called Moonbow Camp that was, when I started my burner adventure, a special place on the playa. They were at 3:30 and A when I first went to their camp for the Official Gay Burner Meetup in its day. He brought us the official gay meetup and the Gay Pride Parade that started at the man.

Up there to the far left is Mario with the bullhorn. This to the right is also him in his better days. He was a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration for me in the work I have done to make Queer Burners into something. Because of him and a parcel of other people it is why I am determined to make this project a success.

I put a link to the picture above, taken by another amazing human in our community from Burner Buddies. It shows the first Gay Pride parade at Burning Man orchestrated by Mario and his friends in 2008.

When Mario passed in 2012 it was a deeply felt shock. I wish people could appreciate that someone like him had such a brief and profound impact on me in the community. We spoke a matter of days before he passed on the phone and he cheered me on. I had no idea how sick he was. He cheered me on and spoke words of encouragement. Then I left memories of him at the temple and tried to carry the torch he carried a few more years longer.

  • The previous posts talking about our burner leaders was posted under the collective name. This one is more personal. This one is from me.   Toaster


Community Care in the Big Tent

(x-post from Comfort & Joy mailing list)

As many of us prepare to leave for the Playa in a few days, I wanted to bring up a subject that I feel very strongly about —- caring for our community in our big tent (and our camp in general).

We are not anybody’s mothers, but we need to keep in mind that for some of our guests our big tent is a completely new (and hopefully magical) experience. They may NOT be ready/able to fully practice self-care, and may need us to look out for them.

If you see anybody who looks out of it, lost, or freaked out, it is always good to politely ask “are you OK?, “Do you need some water?”, or “Can I help?”. If needed, find out if they are here with friends and get them. If you need to wake somebody up because you think they may be out of it, then do it. If you feel someone needs medical attention, then insist on it. Someone passing out is a medical problem and should be handled (with love and without judgement).

Part of the magic of C&J is our sex-positive energy. This can be abused (especially against people experiencing it for the first time). Excess alcohol/etc can cause people to lose the ability to provide consent. This loss of consent can result in unwanted sexual advances or non-consensual unsafe sex. If something doesn’t look right, you are empowered to step in and investigate. If you feel that someone is out of it and unable to consent then end it. You may make someone unhappy or cause a scene, but this is our camp and we need to care for our guests. If you can’t do this, then find another camp member who can.

I’d love to hear any discussion from others of how to best keep ourselves and our guests safe while we are in Comfort & Joy.


Photos by Dot on the Playa

This year I will once again be bringing my camera to the Playa. This is meant to be my gift to the camp, and I also want to respect everyone’s privacy. Here is how I approach my photography:
  • I will try to always ask permission before taking photos of people at our camp. The once exception is people who are doing a performance on stage. I will not be offended if you do not want to be photographed. On the other hand, I will be delighted if you approach me and ask to be photographed with a special outfit or friend.
  • Photos by Dot
    Photos by Dot

    Feel free to ask if you want photography for your event. I may not be able to accommodate all requests, but will do what I can.

  • I never take photos of sexual activity in the big tent (and neither should anyone else)
  • I will make all of my photos available to the camp (and the public) via Facebook, and other internet sites. I will honor any requests to remove any photos of you that you decide should NOT be shared. I am happy to give you full resolution files for any photos that you are in. This allows you to print/edit photos for your own use. I do NOT tag images on FB unless I know you very well and am confident that you will approve. My account does not allow 3rd party tagging in FB. Thus you should NOT find unexpected photos from me suddenly showing up in your timeline.
  • Photos may be used for C&J promotion and fundraising. No other uses will be allowed without permission of folks in the image.
  • Photos with nudity are always an issue. On one hand I want to capture the full joy and freedom of C&J, and on the other hand people may not want nude images of themselves around. The last few years I posted black censor bars over genitals in photos unless I was told directly by participants to remove them. This has a weird anti-body feel, but is the best I’ve found so far.
  • I do most of my photography at dusk when the light is best. I don’t do a lot of night photography. Ask if you want to be sure that I’ll capture your special look.
  • let me know if you want to do a special photo shoot on the Playa. I’ve done this in the past, and its been lots of fun.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Stiffy Lube 1

Talked with Tim Bates today ~ an old Stiffylube team leader who helped deal with media inquires as far back as 2001 (projects include media liaison about the infamous nude assfucking mural censorship drama from

Tim Bates sports a classic playa Fyerfli original embroidery vest.
Tim Bates sports a classic Fyerfli original embroidery vest.

Comfort & Joy’s first year that you can read about here). He’s volunteered at Touch (for me directly, he was great with some surprise errands, very constructive/low-drama, independent do-er, etc.)

Fun Facts: When Comfort & Joy was throwing our first series of “play plus” dance parties like Afterglow at Antler’s, many of our group attended Stiffylube events organized by Sister Porn to learn about how playparty dynamics work.

Now Tim lives in Wisconsin but is driving to Reno a week prior to construction to visit friends. He’ll meet the Comfort & Joy Opening Crew on Monday & werque the full construction week (IF we can get him an Early Arrival pass from one of our sister camps that had to cancel, which I’m 70% sure will happen). Tim is a trained former chef & bringing 400 pds of food so I’m hoping he can connect with Mona about integrating this into our supplies. I also encouraged him to prepare his tray offerings when his faerie senses tingle as Guest Services tra in the main tent.
Tim Bates on Facebook: