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AFTERBURN REPORT 2003

BURNING MAN INFORMATION RADIO (BMIR)

Burning Man Information Radio (BMIR 94.5 FM) exists to entertain and inform the residents of Black Rock City. Programming features a mix of music, public service announcements, interviews, late-breaking theme camp news, and -- if the need arises -- emergency information. BMIR is a resource that facilitates the smooth flow of the event and of participants' playa lives.

Now in its fourth year of operation, BMIR experienced significant growth during 2003. A playa-style, kinetic sculptural sign created by Jon Griffith graced the station's brand new building (courtesy of DPW). An exponentially expanded music library ensured that you could sweat out for days with BMIR and not hear the same tune twice. We stretched drop-in hours from noon to 4 p.m. each day, when hundreds of Black Rock citizens took the opportunity to record theme camp announcements, add their music to the mix, or put a shout out for that vital playa item that had disappeared during the previous night. This service will continue in 2004, so be sure to come by and contribute, while chilling (literally) in the station's air-conditioned comfort. Better yet, send your MP3s or CDs of theme camp info, public service announcements, or your own musical creations to BMIR in advance of the event to give them the greatest chance of receiving maximum rotation.

BMIR's only major playa problem this year was a high-pitched whine that permeated the station's signal the first day and a half of the event. We'd like to claim this feature was only a test to ensure that no participants were violating the dog ban, but the reality was otherwise. The problem was solved, however, and we hope no one's nerves (or ears) were frayed by our frequency.

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The goal of BMIR is to sound like radio you've never heard but have always wanted to hear. All participants are invited to help shape the station's future. Since the spectrum of playa radio stations has been whittled down, BMIR will be moving away from automation and into a greatly expanded schedule of live programming. This change in programming will help the station better serve the Black Rock City community and more fully reflect the dynamic nature of the event. Consequently, we are seeking volunteers to help staff drop-in hours, DJs to sonically pound the playa at all hours of the day and night, and anyone else who thinks they've got a great idea for a show. If you've always wanted to dabble in radio or production but never thought you had the skills or the chance, email us at bmir(at)burningman(dot)com. No prior experience is necessary, although we certainly welcome it. All that's required is a willingness to learn and an acute sense of responsibility.

We have an additional need that does require prior skills and experience: We're looking for a few technically minded souls to assist with set-up and tear-down before and after the event. So here's the mantra for your personal radio nirvana: If you've liked what you've heard from BMIR in the past, dive in and help us make it even better. And if you haven't, get involved anyway, because you have no one to blame but yourself if you don't.

Remember, BMIR is not just a radio station... it's a broadcast resource solely for the purposeful pleasure of YOU -- a bunch of radically celebratory self-expressionists living in the middle of the desert for 7 days, creating the single greatest (wo)man-made miracle ever to grace the face of planet earth.

Submitted by,
Eric Myers

Click here to read the 2002 BMIR report.