Photo Gallery: the Carnival of Mirrors Midway

The 2015 Carnival of Mirrors theme was fully embodied in the Midway surrounding the Man, with its interactive carny booths created by 33 Regional groups and artists from around the world. All sorts of shenanigans took place as participants engaged with clowns, hucksters, shamans, doktors, professors, snake oil salesmen, kings of fun, mystics, fortunetellers, palmreaders, and harlequins.

One could compose and play music on a mysterious altar, win cotton candy at a ring toss game, get healed at a medicine show, build a drum, get exploited by corporate overlords, journey into the mind of the Man, create a mask, or become infinite. One could spin Fortuna’s wheel, consult with an Oracle, talk to an Oracultang, play pinball, get your chakra shocked, play an ice fishing game, spin a wheel of misfortune, marvel at freaks and oddities, and test your love, among other attractions.

The Mystical Midway by Barron Scott Levkoff; photo by Dan Adams

One entered the Midway through four charming gateways created by Hugh D’Andrade; two grand stages hosted performers of all stripes, and after dark, fire spinners lit up the stages with their artistry. The whole grand and glorious sideshow was anchored by, of course, the Man itself, standing on a crazy red maze into which were tucked intriguing art treasures — if you could find them! Among other oddities, a gigantic skeleton was seen engaging with playful visitors day and night.

After five days of intense activity, our Midway vanished. Left behind was the Man and the Maze, which of course went up in smoke after a spectacular pyrotechnic display.

Please enjoy this gallery of photographs.

About the author: Christine "LadyBee" Kristen


Christine Kristen (a.k.a LadyBee) is Burning Man’s Archivist, Art Collection Manager and Photo Gallery editor. She was Burning Man's art curator from 1999 to 2008, where she dealt with all things visual and aesthetic, including managing the art and the art grant program, photo-editing the Image Gallery, writing art content for the Burning Man website, working with the ARTery, managing the archives, and lecturing and writing about the art of Burning Man. She is the co-author of "The Jewelry of Burning Man", with Karen Christians and George Post, and the curator of the exhibition "PlayaMade: Jewelry of Burning Man", which debuted at the Fuller Craft Museum near Boston in 2017. It opens at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Seattle in January 2020. She has an MFA in sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago.

5 Comments on “Photo Gallery: the Carnival of Mirrors Midway

  • Dustin says:

    Best theme yet! Wish I’d seen everything. Half of it all. A third. Ok, more than 10

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  • chowski says:

    Bravo to all involved in the Midway. It was a huge improvement over the Souk. Significantly more interaction, day and night. It made the Man a place to visit over and over. Loved it, every bit of it. Here’s hoping that we continue to build on the idea of the interactive Man base for years to come.

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  • Killbuck says:

    It was such an honor and privilege to have been part of (I thinK) the best man base interactive experience ever, despite the pesky dust storms.

    To the best of my understanding, my Bannerline Project (my set of 32 hand painted banners around the man) retains the world record for the largest contiguous Sideshow Bannerline, at more than 320 linear feet or 1,210 square feet.

    And no, the banners were not burned.


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  • Vulfie says:

    I had a great time making ‘You are Who?’ for all of you!
    I’m looking forward to many more projects in the upcoming years.

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  • Shellstar says:

    Thank you Kimba!!!!!

    You rocked it sister!!!!

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