The most important thing to keep in mind from the start is this: While most Theme Camps and Artists have done their thing and are tearing-down by the weekend, Burn Sunday is when we do our thing. After an exhausting, life-altering, mind-blowing week, we have two huge performances! We send folks home with a final inspirational reminder of what this  raw amazing journey we are all experiencing together is about. With words of wisdom and music from the heart, we touch our audiences and send them home feeling lighter and truly moved to make that transition back to the Grand Playa.   

Burn Weekend: What To Expect!

OK, so you’ve been working and building and creating and participating, and partying all week, attending Choir rehearsals, dancing your ass off, riding your bicycle hither and yon, all agog over the massive Art Installations, and hyper-stimulated from all the fabulous Theme Camps and Art Cars. You’ll probably be dehydrated, hungry, frazzled, worn-out, and ready to scream “Jane, get me off this crazy thing!”

Well, I’m here to tell you that by then, Choir Camp will be just getting started. Your intestinal fortitude is about to get a real workout. Here’s an idea of what you’re in for:

Burn Saturday

After our Final Rehearsal and Camp Meeting, you’ll be free for the rest of the day. We’ve worked, played, partied and tried our best not to do stupid shit for a week or longer, and the Man burns at 9:00 p.m. Woo Hoo, we made it! 

Burn Sunday

Our Longest Day…

Sunrise Service

Not kidding. Ladies and Gentlemen (and all those in-between), here’s the harsh reality: the Gong goes off at 4 o’clock in the morning, getting your sleep-deprived, exhausted, cranky butts out of bed. It’s going to be tough. Put the coffee on – believe me, you’re gonna need it. 

Because you’ll have about an hour to get your act together, and make it to the Temple for our 5:30 a.m. Call. Yes, that’s Five Thirty O’clock in the morning!  It will be dark, very cold and likely windy; best travel as a group, leaving around 5:00 a.m. Make sure you’re well lit! We’ll need time to get out there, meet on the East side of the Temple, and set-up the Band and PA system. Our performance begins at 6:15 a. m.

Dress warmly, bring fluids and/or a snack, and be prepared to face the mental and physical challenges ahead. As a singer, you’ll know it’s a bitch getting Dressed and Performance-Ready at that hour of the morning. But it’s gorgeous and powerful when the sun creeps up over the mountains, and we touch many hearts and souls. We should be finished, packed-up and ready to return to camp around 8:00 a.m. or so.

The Dome Performance

Once we’re done at the Temple (which is an extremely moving experience), it’s time to stagger back to camp. Please try not to dawdle. At that hour of the morning, the City is just waking up from the previous evening’s Revels. You will see and experience some amazing things, and meet people reawakening to a glorious morn. You will be tempted to linger.

Try then to remember, you’ll probably only have a couple hours to rest, eat, rehydrate, refresh your makeup, and embellish your costume.  You need to be ready for our 10:00 a.m. Call in the Dome. Madi will need that hour to crank us up for our big performance at 11:00 a.m. We’ll need to be alert, energetic, and ready to Bring It!

Performing both Sunday services together is the epitome of all our hard work. It is an experience that will get you through the next 364 days until you can do it again. BMIR usually simulcasts our Service to their global audience, and many folks listen during their Sunday Exodus. This is our Big Moment! Everything we have worked so hard for culminates in the next hour and a half. You will have tears in your eyes once all’s said and done, and you won’t be alone.

And after all that, if you feel like assisting, everything inside the Dome has to be cleared out: risers, sound equipment, instruments, cables and lights and carpet and the flooring underneath, and the 12 sectional dome panels taken down. By 3:00pm we expect HEAT to send a crane with a 5-point harness, and once connected we begin taking down the Dome, one section at a time. It goes amazingly fast – a team of four with impact drivers make quick work of it, but we gotta collect all those nuts ‘n bolts in buckets, and bundle hundreds of color-coded steel tubes together.

And once all that’s done, then we can relax, eat, drink and be merry. We might start pre-loading the Cool Bus. The Temple burns later that evening, but the real work of our Strike begins on Exodus Monday.