Blogging about mutant vehicles at Burning Man is always fun for me. Each year brings a new crop of these marvelous creatures, as well as old favorites. How can you not love dragons and cats and fish and ships and trains and planes and tennis shoes and Mad Max vehicles as they make their way back and forth across the Playa— blasting out music on occasion, and at other times blasting out fire.
Here’s the thing: you are not allowed to drive a regular vehicle in Black Rock City or out on the Playa. You can drive to your camp when you arrive at Burning Man and out when you leave. Beyond that you have to get creative and build a vehicle that doesn’t look like one. And you have to get a license. The Department of Mutant Vehicles, DMV, is waiting for you… and hundreds of other Burners who have built the creatures of their dreams or nightmares. Is your vehicle weird enough? Is it safe? If the answer is yes, are you turned loose to wander. Thousands of people are eager to see what you have created.
Mutant vehicles or art cars come in all sizes as well as shapes. Some will barely accommodate two people while others may accommodate 50. Most big ones are built by camps and provide transportation for their members. (The rule is, however, that anyone can hitch a ride.) They also provide a convenient viewing platform for special events, such as the Piano Toss, or a dance floor for anytime/anywhere. I once watched one crawl by in a whiteout with riders gyrating like the end of the world had arrived. I could barely see them 50 feet away. It could have been a scene from Dante’s Hell.
I decided to do two or three posts on mutant vehicles. There are simply too many to feature in one. Today I am going to focus on fire-breathing, magical dragons. Aren’t they all? I think it has to do with their genetic make up. There have always been dragons at Burning Man— at least since I started going in 2004. They deserve their own post.
NEXT BLOG: More incredible mutant vehicles.