19-Year-Old Virgin

First up, people who know me will attest to the fact that I am NOT 19-years-old, neither will I admit to being a virgin, BUT this story started in 1998, when I made my first trip to the USA.

Working backwards (so kindly bear with me), I am going to Burning Man again – this is 2017, and my experience in the desert will be quite different from every one of the 18 times that I have attended the event. I did miss one year, which I call my ‘leap year’, but¬†have been involved with the organisation in one capacity or another for the past 18.

So much of the event has filtered into, and governed my life for the past two decades, it is almost impossible to disentangle things. I’ve helped create a European burn event, hosted a film festival, met business associates, and made great friends, become a community leader of sorts, it even inspired me to change my career.

So why will this year be different? I hear you ask. Well, in all the times that I have attended the event, I have not once been a real participant. My first trip was as a reporter for the BBC, making a documentary, while subsequent years have been spent protecting the integrity and image of the gig as an active member of the Media Team.

Having ‘stepped away’ from all my roles and responsibilities I will now attend the gig properly for the first time. I have a fear that I could even come away hating the experience all together.

I have no preconceptions as to how this will turn out, other than believing it will change my whole perspective of the week long activity. This year I will be camping in Illumination Village, which is at 3:30 and Esplanade, I’ll also be hosting two radio shows on Burning Man Information Radio (BMIR), as well as DJing at several theme camps.

While my first year was spent filming, this time round I am taking a 30 year old Hasselblad to take photographs.

So…. I’ll hang up my pen, and report back on the other side.