What follows is a short photo essay of last night’s Early Burn. These photos and captions are from Todd “portaplaya” Gardiner, who will be working with some of the bloggers here during the event this year.
The Early Burn is a celebration of the accomplishments of the staff and volunteers. Many of the people out this early have been building the event for more than two weeks without a day off. and this short event allows each team to make an expression of their specific contribution and provides an evening of R&R before going into the last week before the event opens.
Small core teams of artists were formed by various larger groups. The projects are rather competitive and the results range from crass to classy. The next few photos show what these builders created in two day’s time, often from scrap materials.
Many of these works were rigged with fireworks, adding an explosive punch to the celebration.
Fireworks shot overhead and fires roared as the crowd surged left and right to the most recent ignition. Daredevils lit their projects once their neighbors confirmed that their pyro is spent. Roman candles were passed out and people take aim at the sculptures while others with cameras shot photos and video.
Afterward, the crowd lingered, sharing beers and whiskey. Some depart for bars or parties set up in their work camps. Others stay here watching the embers. It was a late night for most. But work started up again the next day. Later than normal, of course.