2 hours outside Tel Aviv, the Israeli Burning Man community (many who have never been to Burning Man), arts, technology and start-up community came together for their first ever full week event in the desert.
This was my first time attending a regional event. I especially wanted to go to this one to identify points of transition between creative cities and transitional years of Burning Man culture growth and development internationally.
Additionally, some of my tech friends such as Daniel Perguine from BillGuard built theme camps at the inaugural Genesis themed event.
I look at Burning Man as a pop-up-city and my friend / colleague Peter Hirshberg and I have done a lot of research on how Burning Man culture manifests into the mainstream. Moreover, Peter and I were just on a panel at DLD NYC a few weeks prior to Mid burn where Gideon Schmerling compared Tel Aviv to Burning Man. He said that it is a kind of startup city: People came to the desert a hundred years ago and wanted to create a utopian city, there is a creative class that is still there. All of this made it clear that this would be the most relevant regional event forme to explore first.
Upon arriving at Mid Burn we discovered that they had to change locations only 3 days prior to the start of the event, however they still some how managed to come across as if they had been building Mid burn for weeks.
There was a a very strong sense of pride among the largely virgin city that seemed like there was no selfish group or leader, they were all apart of this right of passage. There was arts and crafts, many children a large participatory spirit and tones of gifting.
CEO and founder of Burning Man Regional Network, Marian Goodell had the opportunity to make it down to the event as well which was a really proud moment. We were able to spend time with many new leaders, artists and participants.
I envision Mid burn becoming a very international and European alternative to Black Rock City very soon. There were many people from Africa Burn there as well as from the Uk and Germany. Since Tel Aviv is becoming such a hot spot for start-ups and creative industries, I believe that this organic offshoot of Burning Man will become a very popular alternative to Black Rock City very quickly. Given that it’s only a hour drive from Tel Aviv also helps.