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Fire Conclave

The immense energy of the totality of those that dance and play with fire around the Man was awesome and amazing in 2002. Once again, the protective energy of those that weave, spin, and work their magic gave us the best, most powerful send off ever yet seen around the Man.

The Arena where fire dancers and performers shine the brightest-one of the largest such gatherings in the world-is on Saturday night before the burning of the Man. The 600-foot diameter area we call the Great Circle is defined by L2K-2,000 red-orange light-emitting pods. Following the theme of "The Floating World," this year the Great Circle became a compass rose with eight arms extending beyond the L2K circle of lights. Each extended area held a platform where premiere members of the Fire Conclave showed off their flaming presence. This change enabled more people to sit around the circle and see the processions of the night.

Processions of energy around the Man proceeded in order for 2002. The "Walkers of Light" began the procession, lighting the way around the circle with huge torches and finishing on top of the platforms. Fire Art Cars of DPW followed, along with Bone Fire Brigade, The Encompassments, and finally the Fire Conclave. All of this activity was the foreplay leading to the release of the Man in pyrotechnic delight.

Fire Art Cars of DPW
Eight fiery art cars parade around the circle in all their beauty as a tribute those who build and dismantle Black Rock City.

Bone Fire
Twenty members of this flaming group showed off their personal recreational flamethrowers.

Directional Vessels of Fire, The Encompassments
Four blazing fire cauldrons on wheels were driven by groups of participants acting as the navigators and crew en route to their own destinations. These four distinct directional markers represent symbolically four main directions of the Earth marked by the compass.

Fire Conclave

Thirty different fire groups from eight states made up the Fire Conclave for 2002. That union added over 570 fire dancers and fire watch members (those in charge of fire safety). Each group, organized by a team leader, accepted the responsibility to choreograph a dance for the night of the burn. The invitation to join in creation with other fire performers from the same locality encouraged interactions among like-minded souls not yet known to one another, creating a community founded on the love of fire.

  • Burning Otter - SF Bay Area
  • Capacitor - Oakland
  • Dealan De - Berkeley
  • Fire Conclave Jugglers - Sacramento & beyond
  • Future Trybe - Bay Area
  • Liberty Fire Dancers - Big Sur
  • Los Angeles Fire Conclave
  • Nocturnal Sunshine - Santa Cruz
  • P' Revenge - San Francisco
  • San Francisco Fire Conclave
  • Saturnalia - Santa Barbara
  • Sintillation - Oakland
  • Thunderdome - Oakland
  • Xeno - San Francisco
  • Zonerhill - San Francisco
  • Heebee Jeebee - Colorado Springs
  • Controlled Burn - Reno
  • 1337
  • Liquid Flame
  • Iznami - Portland
  • The Alchemists - Salem
  • Portland Fire Conclave - Portland
  • Playa del Fuego
  • MV2
  • Phoenix Rising

For the first time, those involved in the burn had a theme camp to check in ahead of time. This practice has become mandatory for anyone that is allowed into the Great Circle. The camp also became a meeting place and repair station for fire tools. For the first time, the giant map showed where every fire group had their spot around the Great Circle.

Earlier in the year, Crimson Rose had traveled to New York, Nevada, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego creating Show Me Salons. These demonstration and auditioning opportunities brought new fire performers into the Fire Conclave and helped to establish ties between performers and their own community. For further information, e-mail: crimson(at)burningman(dot)com or visit the fire conclave section of this website. Our ongoing outreach efforts have confirmed what we already knew: The primal nature of fire is a compelling force. Burning Man continues to evolve into one of the largest venues for fire arts in the world.

Submitted by,
Crimson Rose

Click here to read the 2001 Fire Conclave report.