We'll keep the negativity to a minimum because obviously we're not there and can't speak to its glories and wonders, but Burning Man officially began Sunday with the first arrivals of RVs and cars, all of whom apparently just missed a few dust storms that blew through on Saturday.
As one early-arriver setting up a camp said on Saturday, to USA Today's camera, "I'd rather it be windy and dusty than 105 degrees."
Reportedly some 60,000 people who wanted tickets this year could not buy them, but 70,000 people are either on their way or already out there. And this year, the festival will boast more cell service than previous years, which will lead to more live tweeting of the festivities and art than ever before.
Also, as usual, there was a significant traffic backup at the gates, but no one seemed to be complaining too much on Twitter.
Cell reception on the playa this year?! Now I can livetweet Bman which I know is what everyone (no one) asked for! pic.twitter.com/qNdFRIGZ63— Nellie Bowles (@NellieBowles) August 30, 2015
New York Magazine has a correspondent out on the playa this year, Nellie Bowles, who's filed her first dispatch on the ongoing effort to purchase a nearby plot of land, dubbed Fly Ranch, on which BM founders hope to build a permanent Burning Man community with the help of wealthy tech investors.
Also, Bowles wants to dismiss all notions that Burning Man has jumped the shark, saying, "[This] move toward permanence, toward investment, toward a city, toward secrecy is why Burning Man is now more interesting than it has ever been."
The GIF below might be of the set-up this year, through August 27 (via Google's Skybox satellite), or it might be from 2014, because the only other evidence I see of these images is from 2014.
And here's a peek of this year's temple, still under construction.
And apparently Susan Sarandon is there again this year, having fallen in love with Burning Man in 2013 and skipping it last year because her daughter was due to give birth. As she told the Daily Beast, "It’s fabulous... I went all around on a Segway and a bicycle, which was great, and even though people sometimes recognized me and said, 'Oh, it’s so cool you’re here!” it wasn’t like walking the streets of New York.'"
Also, the 68-year-old actress admitted to doing a little tripping, and toking, while out on the playa. "I’ve done Ayahuasca and I’ve done mushrooms and things like that. But I like those drugs in the outdoors I’m not a city-tripper. My attitude about marijuana or anything is, 'Don’t be stoned if you have to pretend you’re not.'"