London Decompression kicked off in traditional British style: with rain. Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t actually rain in the UK constantly, unless you’re trying to dispel stereotypes! This year the event was held at Electrowerkz, an old warehouse stretching across three floors, with its very own mini cinema and tube carriage-cum-bar. Much like the real Burn, there was a crunch for tickets, which were strictly limited to 1000. With people coming from both Europe and America, I never realised Burning Man was so popular on this side of the ocean too!
Once again, I was part of the fire performance, though in a location less spectacular than the Black Rock Desert. We fire spinners were to be in the street, entertaining the people in the smoking area or those queuing to get in. Despite it’s lack of glamor, we had a military tank for company (now that would be an excellent Art Car)! It was a literal showstopper when cars drove down the street looking for parking, but hey ho, all in the spirit of the Burn. It was a good spin with some familiar faces and some new ones too. We span fire for a good four hours, but seeing as volunteers had to buy tickets too, I think we were all aware of missing out on all the action! So we packed up our tools and headed in.
When the venue had been initially announced I have to admit, I was sceptical. Having been to Electrowerkz on many occasions, and I could not see how they could bring out the spirit of Burning Man (although the venue is very Mad Max). Nevertheless, the volunteers did a spectacular job with decoration and art, and you knew it was a slice of home when you walked through the entrance and got hugged by 5-6 greeters with candy! There was a mixture of areas within the venue, a cabaret room, the tattoo parlour, tarot-reading and tank-playing room, with the dance areas upstairs. At first I found the music pretty subdued (unfortunately in one room there is volume restrictions), but as the night turned into early morning, the beats became harder and we danced the night away under neon-coloured tampons (actually, CO2 canisters!) hanging from the ceiling.
But of course, as always, the real stars of the show were the participants. London has some crazy, unhinged parties like Rumpus and White Mischief, but Decom certainly brought out the creativity in people (excuse me photobombing my own pictures!). We even had naked people – now how often does that happen in London town?