You may have read it on Reddit, and SFist has tracked down the organizers and confirmed that the rumors are true. The 747 jumbo jet that was promised to appear at Burning Man this year is not going to appear at Burning Man this year.
The engineers at Big Imagination Foundation who’d been planning to take the big old jet airliner admit they got carried too far away in their plans to build the biggest and baddest-ass art car ever in under eight months. They insist that plans are still in effect to haul the aircraft to Burning Man 2016, and they will still have an elaborate, large-scale 747 theme camp for Burners to enjoy this year. But Burning Man 2015 will not have an actual 747 jumbo jet on which to cruise the playa, nor will it have a Burning Man project crowdfunding campaign this summer.
“We’re going to do that in the fall after Burning Man,” Big Imagination engineer Ken Feldman told SFist this week.
“The 747 is going to land in 2016. We’re sorting out some of the details on the plane, the purchase price and where we’re going to build the plane. This is a very big, very complicated project. This is a two-year project.”
That said, Big Imagination is still planning something epic for this year’s Burn, and it still has the word “747” in its camp name. Big Imagination is building Camp 747 (video below), an air-conditioned ‘VIP departure lounge’ that brings turnkey camp luxury to the proletariat Burning masses with a 50-foot dome, 20 tons of air conditioning and a VIP cocktail lounge with DJs and trippy art.
“It’s VIP, but it’s radically inclusive exclusivity,” Feldman told SFist. “‘VIP’ is everyone at Burning Man. We want everyone to experience it.”
To that end, Camp 747 will have flight attendants on duty serving cocktails on actual airline drink carts, DJs and projected art installations and a TED Talks-style lecture series of what Feldman calls “world-class speakers”. The big Camp 747 happy hour throwdown will be Thursday, September 3 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at their 8:30 and D location.
Burners who wish to take in the first-class accommodations of Camp 747 will begin their trip itinerary at a ticket counter outside Camp 747. Once ticketed (free of charge), they follow a red carpet to the Insecurity Checkpoint and then are coaxed to drop their drama at the Emotional Baggage Checkout before enjoying the air-conditioned VIP lounge. Big Imagination aspires to bring the VIP turnkey camp experience to the full, egalitarian spectrum of Burning Man muggles and millionaires.
“It’s completely paid for by camp members,” Feldman told SFist. “This is their gift to the playa.” Big Imagination will be hitting you up for crowdfunding support after the Burn, though, to finally get that 747 to Burning Man in 2016.