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

Burning Man GLC: Foxy Trip Report

4 days of great sessions, based on tracks such as Civic Activation, Community Events, Leadership Skills, and Organizational Development.

I attended: Effective Leadership Skills in the Burnerverse, Creating a Culture of Consent, Danger Ranger’s (the founder of the Rangers) talk ‘Coyote goes to Burning Man’, Cultivating Strong Regional Rangers, plus the closing Plenary.

What struck me personally was the idea of the ‘grey area’, not only in leadership, but also with consent.


Many of you have been in situations where you are asked to make a decision as a community leader on something that does not have a black or white answer. Looking at both sides of the equation, might not garner enough information. What I took from the session, is that we as leaders should exercise good judgement, be empathetic, listen, give and get advice, look at what is good for the community as a whole, and then make a decision based as best you can. If you do your due diligence for those grey area situations, and be open to revisiting the situation if new information arises, you may not make everyone happy, but you have led in an ethical and thoughtful way. Embrace the grey area, you can learn a lot from it.


Creating a culture of consent is top of mind for many of us, which is awesome. Again, that grey area came up, and I heard an interesting concept, that of Consent Mistakes. Verbal, sober consent should be the norm, but what if you thought you had consent and you actually didn’t. What if you consented to something, but for reasons such as peer pressure, you weren’t actually consenting. I think we can all take a deeper look into what it means to really have and give consent. Even just acknowledging a Consent Mistake, can be empowering if you had an experience that just didn’t sit right with you. You are then able to take steps, have conversations, or get help if you need it.

Regional Rangers

In this session, a lot was discussed about the different cultures of the regionals. Did you know Rangers have to deal with issues with Whales in Victoria BC.? There are many Regional Rangers, that don’t go to TTITD, they just do the Regionals. Perhaps that is something some of you might be interested in doing, if you aren’t set on becoming a Black Rock City Ranger. If so, let me know and I can start the ball rolling for you.

Coyote Goes to Burning Man

This was an amazing, insightful, inspiring, wander through the history of pranksters in San Francisco which ultimately led us to Burning Man and it’s culture. The Coyote as a symbol of pranksterism in Native American culture, was fascinating. In England, the Fox is our prankster, this made me very happy. If you have a chance to listen to this talk, it’s well worth it.

I learnt a great many things, met wonderful people, and heard amazing stories from Burners without Borders, makers, and community leaders. We Queer Burners have an amazing culture, let’s share it!

Trip Report: GLC 2014 by Toaster

Burning Man Global Leadership Summit #bmglc14 happened April 3rd-6th in San Francisco and Inside CELL Space for GLScould not be contained a single space. It was in three large buildings with 300+ attendees with a mass of workshops and meeting spaces. This includes Burning Man HQ and the infamous CELL Space.

My name is Toaster and though it is my policy (with the exception of 3 previous posts) not to make posts in the first person; so apologies by a slightly more personalized position of this particular trip report. I am hoping that Gloria and Bobby will also give in depth reports from their perspective.

Day 1: April 4

10168035_820639437950897_1230827200_nI skipped the pre-conference schtuff at the BMHQ for a variety of reasons mostly due to the fact I had to go to work after the daily meetings and wanted to minimize the stress on my weekend. So, I opted to come in Friday and had a rather interesting day.

After meeting some queer community partners like Bobby, Jim from Atlanta and more, I dug in to listen and hear about all the changes happening at Burning Man and the welcoming of so many leaders from all over of the world.


  • Larry Harvey & Micheal Mikel are effectually retired.
  • Marian Goodell is the Burning Man CEO
  • Burning Man is almost completely transferred over to Burning Man Project; a non-profit

Day 2: April 5

We got a great sneak peek of the temple and a variety of other art projects, community regionals events and more being produced all around the world. There were many workshops, deeper conversations, and a party later that evening. But, Larry and Marian talked to the crowd, too.

Day 3: April 6

The wrapping up… the slow cumbersome completion of the event that some people had to flee in the middle of in order to catch flights all over.

Is that it? No…

Starting off, this is my 3rd Burning Man Global Leadership Conference (2011, 2012) and each year has been vastly different. This year cam with some baggage so note or ignore the items in italics. Having skipped 2013 and just came out of the Queer Burner Leadership Summit a week ago I came with something of an agenda to help positively promote the Gayborhood and other queer camps.

Side Note: I was also dealing with some real issues still pending with the Regional Network of Burning Man where there have been a number of challenges. Seeing Meghan R, Marian and others have been a challenge.

Major Topics

There always seems to be some vein of topics people want to know more about each year and come up at these events. This is beside the normal topics of discussion like getting people motivated and whatever ticket drama is going on.

Conflict /  Physical & Sexual Assault: There were two sessions on this subject. I attended the second and ease dropped on the first one for a bit. Part 1 seemed to be filled with a lot of emotion while the second was more focused on processes and mechanisms in place combating this issue.

  • Transformus: North Carolina Burners have an acculturated process already in place for their Regional Event; it has virtually eliminated these problems and given them the mechanism to confront these issues quickly as a community. (web site)
  • Secure Sanctuary: New project looking for people to start jumping on board. It seeks to add a new layer of acculturation for camps to provide a very temporary safe space for people in trouble while on the playa and speed them into whatever services they need: EMS, Rangers, Etc… (Facebook front page / Facebook group work project page)

There is some genuine concern on this issue and it seems that the Boston and N.C. community have made huge strides into this subject on their own local levels.

Secure Sanctuary is a bit of shameless self promotion as it is something that a group of us started to visualize out of a recent burner meetup. Although I have been the loud voice on it so far I am hoping to see this get wings.

Getting the Burning Man Project Word Out

The word of the day is Art and Community. If someone were counting the repetition of words out 10009317_820639474617560_2124767676_nthere those two might have seen themselves more than any.

According to Harley K. DuBois, Burning Man is coming to the fruition of many changes this year and is almost fully migrated to the Burning Man Project as a Non-Profit. Her core expression was about the Community of Burning Man. This project will help promote art in every way possible.

While Harley spoke about Community “…in any form…” we are still missing something important to this writer; an acknowledgement of LGBTQ++ needs and the realization that part of the physical threat on playa includes homophobia.

This is a capital concern for me and something the Regional Network does not seem to be able to wrap their heads around. They refuse to deal with the LGBTQ community stating our needs are really the same as any member of the community and are not special; that from a group of stright white people.

The Regional Network, with all it’s flaws and successes, falls under that new non-profit. Regional Contacts (R.C.’s) are all volunteer liaisons to their communities and guardians of the Burning Man brand.

Jim “Ron John” Graham – Burning Man PR Guru

“Larry Harvey is interested in community and all the manifestations that it brings…”

Burning Man Regional Network

There are some new and old faces at the wheel for the this part of Burning Man that is an active doorway to the Burning Man communities. They have official representatives called Regional Contacts and they represent geographical locations and 1 cyberspace location of Burners.

For most of my engagement with the Regional Network there has been this passive denial of right to exist from the Regional Network for the LGBTQ community within Burning Man like the one created with Queer Burners. It has been quite frustrating as their occasional support would be helpful in the building of this community. Network Guru: Sauce spent a lot of time with me at the GLS promising to renew this relationship in a positive way and let see what happens.

While Marian Goodell is now CEO it seems like the Regional Network has become the project for Meghan Rutigiano (aka Megs). Since she is is the remaining voice of the network since Marian and Andie Grace moved on (another story) it comes with a lot of hope that the future will be brighter.

What could the Regional Network offer that is important? There are a number of things including resources and support that are generally helpful in building community. Tools for leadership and the occasional voice of reason.

  • An LGBTQ set of regionals? Why not?
  • A channel into their closed off network?

Our own Kitten has been a voice for me more often than I can count. He is of the feeling that we really do not need the Regional Network anyway. I feel that this community is a self evolved and important service to LGBTQ++ people. We do not deserve anything. We do, however, deserve the same respect as the other communities in the Burning Man culture and not to be discounted just because LGBTQ++ is attached to the name.

This network also helps keep community leaders above board with Regional Events like Lakes of Fire, Element-11, Apogea, and Forgotten City. Check these out on your own.


Along with the new Burning Man (Project) there is still a lot of the old Burning Man people still around. Harley spoke of those so in love with their roles that they refuse to leave and it makes the flow of growth stagnant. Some people have been pushed along while some remain steadfast in their places.

We cannot so easily brush off the dust and cast out the ghosts. There are A LOT OF Burning Man Regional Contacts who hang on the network and get the perks but do nothing to advance it.

Change has made an impact on the Burning Man culture, but the many of the same people at the GLS were the same people from 2 and 3 years ago in the same outfits, same hair, same ideals. Many are in the same clicks with all their fame wrapped up in their burner personality. How creative is that?

We cannot evolve without change. Burning Man itself is radically evolving right now and faced with having to be more commercial and maintaining their identity and commitment to the 10 Principles. The Org (Burning Man Organization) is doing a pretty good job overall. The GLS and local leadership events springing up all over the world are proof of that. However, we have to get them to be more sensitive to people needs even if they do not fit perfectly into a utopian dream where we all are one loving culture. Because, there is homophobia and hate out there and some come to Burning Man.

I arrived at the GLS and kept largely to myself burdened with a feeling of being spurned largely by the community because I want LGBTQ++ needs heard. Safety is important. Plus, I personally want the community at large to know the Gayborhood has an important role for people. There have been a few incidents where leadership withing Burning Man has been disparaging of LGBTQ people and derogatory about the Gayborhood and the people in it. Making them understand it is a place of safety and a part of the city the really dives back is important. If not to quell snide remarks by calling it the Gay Ghetto, but to be just a bright part of the city with neon flags at the center of it all.

Leadership in the Community

While the discussion is heating up for the upcoming Queer Burner Leadership Summit (QBLS) and Community Building Conference (Facebook / Eventbrite) there is another event that this

2012 Global Leadership Summit at the Kabuki Hotel
2012 Global Leadership Summit at the Kabuki Hotel

one is designed to bleed into. Burning Man will be hosting their Global Leadership Conference (GLC) the following week.

In attendance representing the Gayborhood and the LGBTQ++ Queer Burners will be your Toaster and the new Mayor of Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls – Glo.

The Burning Man (Burning Man Project formerly Burning Man, LLC) has had this conference for years. It used to be called the Regional Conference, but in/about 2011 they started including local leaders who are actively engaged in the community. That was when Toaster was first invited.

What we are bringing:

In the past we have brought what the overwhelming voices of leaders at the QBLS to the GLC have noted as community issues. This has been about safety and viability of the Gayborhood; especially in the wake of the 2012 ticket fiasco where we expected an outpouring of tourists who could not appreciate burner ideology.

qbls2We have set to face the misrepresentations of the Gayborhood as a space where LGBTQ++ persons have made a place to separate themselves away from the rest of the city. AND! That the reality that there is homophobia and danger to our people because of gender and other physical differences.

  • we will bring what / if any items from the GBLS
  • we will talk about LGBTQ++ history in Burning Man

*we is in the royal sense as Toaster plans on doing the usual networking and chatting people up through the GLC hoping to get people more on board with seeing the Gayborhood as an important part of Black Rock City as much as a Castro is in San Francisco.


by Mark DemmaWhen considering if you are a fit for the conference for the community consider how much people have walked away with every year. There is a refreshing and amazing network of people who typically attend. It is:

  • A gathering of leaders who share and learn from others
  • The net step to taking your idea or project from launch to spring board
  • Community Town Hall

In the past

2011 was this Toaster’s first year at the GLC and it was an amazing experience.

2012 your Toaster went to the event as a voice/set of ears for the Queer Burner community realizing we were not really a voice. The result was a really ugly reality that official leadership of Burning Man had a distinctively low opinion of LGBTQ++ participants who dared to celebrate our own voice within the scope of the Gayborhood.

  • the Regional Chat private message board had a destructive message string that was outwardly abusive (unfortunately I only have the word of queer participants on the message system who passed on the information verbally and it was confirmed by multiple people at the 2012 event)
  • the Regional Contact board manager Meghan/Mega equated LGBTQ++ needs with lifestyle groups like the BDSM community and summarily dismissed any concerns brought to the table relating to the Gayborhood

2013 Toaster skipped the GLS to focus on the QBLS.

See all past details here:

2nd of 3 announced

The 2nd of 3 projected events by Queer Burners was “announced” this week… but only in the planning stages. Almost as quickly as we started planting seeds we got growth and will keep working to make these great things happen:

  1. Sweet Think & 2013 QBLSMarch 2013 “Sweet Thing” Camp Out and 2nd annual Queer Burner Leadership Summit all at the same time; YOU DO NOT have to attend any leadership summit stuff to enjoy the camp out.
  2. July 2013: “The Village Q” at Salt Lake City’s regional event called Element-11 (
  3. Although it has not been released yet, the 3rd event is a proposed presence in the 2013 San Francisco Gay Pride parade

These things sound pretty cool, huh??? Well, a lot of this focus on these projects is being driven on Facebook, but we do have resources here online. There is the Queer Burners page (where one would presume you are reading this entry) and the Quire Page: Queer Burner Leadership Network.

Do you access Facebook?

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The first of 3

The first of 3 major QB events has hit the airwaves today on our Facebook page. This is your chance to discover a Regional event if you have never been to one. Better yet, having a wicked good time with a bunch of queers rep-prez-zentin’! We do have a lot of members and friends in Salt Lake City, which is close to the event, it is their Regional Event after all.

This is the exploration stage to see what kind of steam we can get behind it. Of course we are all amped up being less than a month after Burning Man itself. We have a lot of time to work it out.

What about the 2013 Queer Burner Leadership Summit – you ask??? Yes, that will be announced soon too. Stay tuned! XO