Burn The River: Sacramento Decompression

Despite having a few burns under my tutu, I’ve got to admit that, I’ve never once made it to an official decompression event, before now. Oh, I’ve been to parties with friends for the purpose of decompressing; we burned stuff, talked shit, and drank lots of beer. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when going to to an “official” Burning Man event.

So to pop my decom cherry I signed up to volunteer as a greeter.  I arrived on time (hey hey, this is not the playa!!) and started hugging people like there was no tomorrow. Having taken a relatively early shift, many of the people coming in were volunteers that had been there all day working, but  because I didn’t know them they got hugged too … and since I have a horrible memory often more than once!

The thing that first struck me about BTR was the vibe: faces lit up with happiness upon walking through the gate, some people sighed with relief as I wrapped my arms around them, and the BTR bell chimed loudly with the force of people overjoyed to be back home for a night. I felt like I had been transported, not just to a sweet spot on the river, but to a magically tree-lined camp on the Playa.  Getting to welcome my friends home was the dust on my cake.

Having made it through my greeter shift, I took off to explore. A shaded path twisted gently through large oak trees.  With the river peeking through the branches and burner art everywhere, it was a joyous sight. I found boobie domes filled with trampolines, artists painting faces and bodies, bars, chill spaces, art cars, and fur-clad friends. When I reached the end of the path I stopped for a beer at Endorphin Orphan Camp. After watching a beautiful sunset and enjoying some conversation I struck out again, along the way getting my bottom smacked with an over-sized dildo (evidently this is called horse cocking?) and finding a fantastic group of new friends to share dinner with.

The evening progressed with a very HOT fashion show, fantastic Playa-worthy fire performances, the burning of a large pile of oak branches entwined into a sinuous pyre, and great music: Nick Nyquil and Paul Baltic had me dancing my costumed ass off until 2 am. Sadly the night was over at 2 am, reportedly because they weren’t sure if there were enough volunteers to pull off an all-night event – a very reasonable concern given that Sacramento isn’t the hugest community.

This is BTR’s second year, and with an estimated 800+ people in attendance, I would call it a rousing success. If it’s volunteers they need to make it an all-night event next year, they can count me in! Thanks to the BTR team for creating a beautiful night! If this is what decompression is all about, I look forward to attending more in the future!

2 Responses to “Burn The River: Sacramento Decompression”
  1. Ian Flux

    It was a great party. Good to see all of our fellow burners out there and the contributions made by the community were absolutely wonderful! Thanks for the wonderful writeup, and next year I too hope it goes a little longer than 2 AM


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