Community Feedback at Black and Light Ball VII

See all of Will Tanksley’s photos of Black and Light Ball VII here!


Kostume Kult & Disorient are two components of the New York City burner scene that have proven time and again their commitment to creating immersive experiences. The scene explodes when the two merge their energies into a gala as impressive as the cutting edge costumes and decorations that almost overwhelm the senses at Black and Light Ball VII. With the sub-theme of Mad Science to play off of, these ingenious creators obviously had a lot of fun putting together what panned out to be an incredible event.

 This event was not a fundraiser party for the un-affiliated, off-the-street night lifers that are keen on tracking bass beats to a nice time. The black light atmosphere was total, setting off the huge central art pieces that literally braided themselves around every spare inch of railing, balcony and staircase. Thin surgical tubing crisscrossed the entire upstairs balcony and lounge areas. It was filled with a streaming green liquid that constantly ran throughout the venue, giving this organic el-wire an effect that was positively mesmerizing. The centralized sound system in the main floor was pitch perfect and kept the room absolutely humming as the intensity rose all night long, while the basement set up was just as smoothly handled thanks to a deft mastery of acoustics by the sound technicians present.

For this event, Burn After Reading was hoping for a more personalized set of viewpoints, so myself and the keen William “Gumdrops” Tanksley tasked ourselves to get a few notes from crowd to see just what was it that drew them out.


B.A.R. MAG : What brings you out to these events?


   Justin Zeigler: It’s the community, the way it embraces everyone.

                  Pico: Well, I have a lot of friends from Disorient (a NYC/LA based burner collective) that I know from Playa Del Fuego. I’m always happy to support my Disorient friends.

 Woad: I really feel the burner spirit. I love the atmosphere, especially the decorations, and how they really want you to just express yourself.

Becky Knock-Out!: The dancing, my friends and fur.

 Tanya Everywhere: I’m a bodypaint model, but I also help to expose other models. I love the scene and the people, they are SUCH good people!

Khalid: I’ve been going to Kostume Kult events since 2010. Its always been about the music and the deco for me, but I love the judgment free atmosphere.

Sinnabunz: The music, costumes and community. Oh, and I’m just CRAZY about that EZ Almighty!

 Lifesaver: I’m drawn to the self expression and the community. The empowerment of the community, growing together and coming together to facilitate that growth.


Lolli: All my friends! I can’t not come when all my favorite people are right here!

Boris Burning Elf: I just follow Lolli around… a bit like a puppy, I guess.

 B-Shyne, the Cabin Boy: The open atmosphere that accepts your persona. I embrace the culture of freedom and I just love to dance. *busts a move*

Matty Fuckin’ Weiss: The people, how they come together. I love these beautiful art spaces. The music started out as the driving force for me, but I stay for the community.

Izzy: I like crafting things. I heard about Burning Man and how it was based on a decommodifaction system, I heard the principles and decided I had to go. I went in 2007, and even though it was a bit depraved, I knew I found a home here.

Mike G: I love my job! I love talking to people and meeting people, I love helping people loosen up.

Raven: It’s all about the dancing for me! I love to dance.

Kara: It’s the creativity and the silliness. I like coming together with no judgment.

 With a resounding chorus, we can conclude the draw is certainly the complete effect. If it were just a great place to hang out with an interesting and stimulating crowd, we’d all hang out at your house. If it were just the art and the music, then you’d be drawn in to a crowd of creepers and socially malformed club-kids* who fancy themselves next-level artists.

The atmosphere provided by a judgment free community within the confines of the weird, safe space created is how you draw in multitudes of people, from across collectives and cliques, instead of just throwing hollow parties for yourself.


*(Some of my best friends)


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