Burning Man

The Worst of Burning Man 2013

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Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Curious Josh
The 27th annual Burning Man came to a close Monday with thousands of camps, art carts and stages broken down and packed away in moving trucks. In just a few days the temporary city of Black Rock, inhabited by more than 60,000 people, disappeared like a mirage in the desert.

And while we love Burning Man, don't be fooled by the peace signs and hippie hugs -- this experience is not for the weak. Now that we've shaken off the dust and came back to reality, here are our worst moments of Burning Man 2013.

See also: The Best of Burning Man 2013

5. Getting to Black Rock City

For many, the 600 mile trip to the site took a full 24 hours. People's rides bail, cars break down, flights get delayed and shit always happens as your trying to make it home.

But the worst part was that when we arrived on Thursday evening, the gates were shut down. Officials said authorities had put us all on lock-down with no explanation; turns out they were at capacity and we couldn't enter until others left. That anticipation of waiting outside with no idea when we could get in, after all we had endured on the way there, was excruciating.

Curious Josh / LA Weekly
The not so fabulous bathrooms


Burning Man has a "leave no trace" policy, with no trash cans available and attendees required to pick up after themselves. This includes the portable toilets which in previous years had been some of the nicest, cleanest shitters around.

This year, because there were more attendees, many clearly forgot about the clean up policy. The porta-potties were filled with beer cans, waste and piles of tissue (you're supposed to only drop one ply biodegradable toilet paper). Every time we opened the door it was like Apocalypse Now.

Losing and Breaking Stuff

While exploring this flat, prehistoric alkali lake-bed, it's remarkable how families survive the cold evenings, dust storms and extremely hot days without technology. While one girl had to be taken to Reno after falling on an art installation and breaking her ankle, injuries and medical issues are fewer than most music festivals.

Luckily there are plenty of medical camps, bike and RV repair camps and all sorts of amenities and friendly people willing to share their lamps or water canteens. The biggest issue we observed was bike theft -- though unless a lock was cut they're not considered officially stolen until after the event).

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