Ringin’ In the New Year Burner Style: Sea of Dreams

[Originally posted on BurnerPrep.com]

On New Years Eve, I ventured for another AnonEvents & Sunset SF Party, Sea of Dreams. I had never been to this before, let alone been in San Francisco, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I figured it’d be similar to Ghost Ship given it is organized by the same people but I wasn’t sure. It turned out to be just as awesome

Photos of the whole event on Flickr: http://bit.ly/WMnHan

I entered the Concourse at 10 pm and expected there to be a huge line. Thankfully, there was not and I was in the venue in minutes.

Right when you enter, there was a giant octopus in the entryway. It was pretty wild looking, check it out:

Mad Tentacles
Mad Tentacles

The main headliners were Gogol Bordello, Shpongle, Glitch Mob and Opulent Temple was there as well. There was a total of four stages in this large venue.

I checked out Shpongle for his Goa-influenced psychedelic trance music. It was enchanting and he had the whole crowd rocking along to his hum. He had someone performing aerials near the middle of the crowd too which heightened the effects of his music as did the violin player. There was a technical glitch early in the set that prevented us from hearing him but they got over that pretty quickly.

Glitch Mob was throwing down some pretty heavy tunes as well and combined it with bright white flashing lights for an overwhelming experience.

However, my favorite acts of the night were at Opulent Temple. Syd Grys was laying out some trancy beats that were perfect for rocking out too. He read the mood of the room and allowed the crowd to get loose. His stage had a really cool screen with fast paced psychedelic patterns. It looked like the same one I saw at a Julio Bashmore show a few weeks before. The last person on the stage at Opulent Temple was also great – Cosmic Selector. The music was pretty energetic and was able to keep people going till 4 am.

The view of the whole place was pretty gnarly:

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There were also numerous amazing performances. The Vau de Vivre society was on between 11 until a little after midnight so I got a chance to see them when it became 2013. They had a few different performers who all had pretty amazing physical feats, including balancing people, crazy flexing, and they had a whimsical streak as well. I was extremely impressed by this group.

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Throughout the night they also had numerous performers doing aerials in the middle of the audiences. They had one during Shpongle and during the Vau de Vire Society right before midnight.  Check out the pictures below.

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However, in addition to base heavy music to dance to and performances to watch, there was also a ton of other stuff to do at the event, which is why I like these so much. There were numerous booths to check out and interact with: a face painting booth, photo takers, and a fascinating attraction called ‘Light Painting’, put on by http://auroralightpainters.com/. The light painting was definitely a highlight of the event. It was one of the most unique photography experiences I have had. They take a picture of you and then you wave around other colorful lights in front of the screen making for some really cool effects like:

aurora light painters

There were also a few art pieces which, even though I have seen them before, never fail to blow my mind:

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And a few new ones:

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They also had art available for sale from fuckmeimanartist.com and a few other folks which made for some great eye candy.

My favorite part however was the tea garden. It was a calm oasis in the middle of a storm of beats and NYE craziness. You could hear the music it was more subdued and it was extremely easy to talk to people. It fostered a great environment in which people could sit and chat while waiting for the next act or to just relax after dancing and walking around a lot. The tea was served by volunteers from Om Shan Tea so it was organized and done by people who actually know the proper ways to serve and steep tea. They had the space done well too with tons of carpeting, pillows, seats, and cool decor. It really encapsulate what I like about these events – they’re not just made for people who want to rage and party and dance. They also appeal to people who want a calmer New Years or want to rage and dance but realize that they’ll want a place to calm down and relax some as well.

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The crowd was very interesting. I saw everyone from hardcore Burners & BM staff to people who had never been to it before and everyone in between. These events definitely have crossover appeal for Burners and non-Burners alike. The vibe was also very open especially since it was New Years Eve and all the activities around the venue made it especially easy to meet people. It was nice to get the Burning Man vibe so far away from the actual event.

I am so thankful for these events that make New Years a spectacle, something interesting and new to look forward to with some real novelty and pomp. It makes the night much more special than just going out to another bar.

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