5 Signs You’re Not At Burning Man

Hipster Best Friends Taking Selfie At Etosha National Park In N

With so many festivals dotting the summer horizon, it’s easy to lose track of where, exactly, you woke up under a pile of discarded glowsticks feeling incredibly dehydrated and lacking any accepted form of photo ID. Sometimes, it can feel like all arrows point to Burning Man – but what if that’s not actually where you are? And what if that feeling of dread building at the back of your mind is actually an overwhelming sense of a destiny about to be fulfilled?

Check out these 5 signs you’re not at Burning Man.

1. Everyone Has A Shirt And/Or Pants

The easiest Burning Man acid test is a quick up-and-down of the people surrounding you to determine just how much clothing they’ve managed to keep on their bodies throughout the week/weekend/3-month bender. If they’ve got no shirts, but pants, you could be at Bonnaroo, but if everyone’s wearing an all-black uniform, and you’re in a cage, and there’s a metal chain wrapped around your neck, and someone’s chanting, well, then, you’re not at Burning Man, are you?

2. You’ve Got A Metal Implant Just Behind Your Ear

Hey, your ear’s bleeding – and wait, what are these stitches? And whose voice is that whispering that you need to ‘release’ the soul of the child sitting on the shuttle bus next to you? And why does it feel so good to know that killing feels so good? Pretty sure you’re not at Burning Man, dude.

3. All Of Your Friends Have Been Replaced By Androids

So you started the weekend with Dave and Kenny, but then you hooked up with Suzy and had breakfast with Viola and Roger, and then when ran into Dave and Kenny again they were actually almost-perfect android replicas of themselves, instead of the real deal. And for some reason, they took you into a windowless room and you all stared into a perfectly-smooth pool of liquid mercury for seven hours. Don’t remember seeing that on the Burning Man Instagram feed.

4. Your Name Is Now 987458939485938495-1

No one seems to remember your actual name, but everyone’s really good with numbers, and now, so are you. In fact, you knew your previous self was dead and 987458939485938495-1 was the future as soon as you woke up, didn’t you? Transfiguration is only allegorical at Burning Man, bro.

5. Everything Is Speaking To You All At Once

You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are the receiver of all voices. You have enveloped the universe, and judged it, and found it to be, beautiful, and lacking, and ephemeral, destined to be rebuilt in your own image. Hmmm – could be Burning Man. Someone call a paramedic.




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