it was the best of times, it was the muddiest of times
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Hello Reverbians!

What a challenging and amazing year 2023 Animalia brought to the annals of our camp history!

The northern tip of a hurricane pounded the Playa with flood waters, delaying our Build Team by 2.5 days...yet when Wendy and I got to Playa on Friday Morning...we were amazed to see all but the Embassy and unskinned quonsets awaiting their finish.  What an exceptional Build Team, led by Christian, with Rockstar Leads/Co Leads:  Zook, Seva, Kata, Kai, Cobalt, Alden, Yona, Clif, JP., and Bex mentoring our team to completion.  Thank you to Will and Adam for your Power contributions when last minute, Maestro Distro Colin, could not attend.  Thank you Matt for spearheading Placement!  Thank you to the Build Team for finishing each project!

Our Monday Camp meeting quickly set the gauge for what kind of community we would have in the tougher days enthusiasm and participation was showing strong signs early in our over 50% New Reverbian population.  And indeed the weather would not make life easy for Reverbia, nor the Burn.  
Due to early moisture, the air during Build Week was dust free...and the great temperatures…made progress from the Build to Early Burn Week.  Then on Tuesday...a huge dust storm struck the camp and left 1' sand dunes on our Shade Stage carpets.  However, the next morning, our newly formed mandatory Moop Squad came to the rescue and we were able to shake out carpets of dust well before yoga began.
During the week, our shows were well attended,  but the much anticipated 50th Anniversary of Darkside of the Moon was indeed epic...and became our largest attended gig in the history of Reverbia.  Crowds extended across the Esplanade as Art Vehicles pulled up to watch the show.  Anyone in the concert bowl got a it was sooo good!!  Thank you Scott Page (Sax player for Pink Floyd) for coming in 2 days to the Burn during your busy schedule, just to take our show to another level.  Thank you Cassandra Lewis for coming to Reverbia just before your tour…to sing the challenging soprano parts.  Thank you Charlie Moon for your solo on Breathe. And Many, Many Thanks to Eminence Ensemble for executing the music of Dark Side of the Moon to perfection.  Thank you to all of our Artists for performing on our 4 Stages and your participation in my favorite program…The Tribute to Lost Musicians.  Special Thanks to Joey for performing  our Classical Concert at Sunset solo.  Thank you to Claire, Majik, and Katie…for The Reverbia Children's Hour which became exclusively for our 11 year old Triplets in camp!  Thank you to all the Yoga and Dance instructors for your participation and all the musicians who accompanied your workshops.  Thank you to all of our production and sound team and the engineers who made everyone sound so good.  So much to be thankful for as you can see.
And then came the Friday rains…where for about 10 hours…the main rain cell would not blow away from the Playa…forcing an automatic R&R shelter in place all day/night for all Reverbians.  This was my first real day to catch up on sleep in a month and from word of mouth, this was the same for a lot of you. Some Reverbians were in lower ground areas, which became small water logged mud bogs... and we moved their tents to the Band Quonsets and into the Embassy.  Some of our RVs with a little extra space also took in Reverbians.  Thank you to all who assisted with our displaced.

For the first time since our camp began in 2010…with this crazy rain, we cancelled shows.  But not all music was lost, as Acoustic Musicians played in the Embassy Teahouse…which became a special intimate hub for connectivity on a forlorn day.

And all through the storm…Our kitchen team produced food for the camp!!!  Thank you to all the Kitchen Staff headed by Chef Erik and Majik…for your diligence and desire to keep the people fed!!!

Saturday, for the first time in my 20 year history of this event, The Burning Man Burn was postponed due to weather conditions.  Reverbia moved our sturdy waterproof Shade Stage speakers to the Main Stage…and we put on a rare playa show, which drew an incredible crowd.  
On Sunday, the rain came again and the Burn was postponed another day.  Our Tear Down Day became another Bear Down Day.  Later that night, to lift Playa spirits,  I contributed an antithesis of our camp…and played a Spotify Set of Dance and Sing along Songs…and Reverbia celebrated in a very special way.  Bohemian Rhapsody seemed to be a favorite moment for the growing crowd, which now reached the road…I shouted "Be the Opera" and the entire participants sang and dramatically acted out the song with jubilation.  So wonderful to hear and see the crowd from the stage!

On Monday, the sun came out and dried up all the rain!  And the Eensy Weensy Burner could participate with break down again.  Our Exit Team, led by the indefatigable Tarzan, and with the help of other Reverbians, took down almost every structure! The Burning Man was a pyrotechnical wonder! Black Rock City came to life again! Elation and good times ahead filled the spirits of many.
On Tuesday…The Exit Team and other Reverbians staying to assist…took down the rest of the camp and packed most of it into the containers.  That night, our Exit Team headed to the Temple Burn and the warmth of the night, starry sky, and group connection…was one of my favorite 2023 Burning Man moments. After the Temple Burn, we had a lovely fire as we shared our favorite Burning Man moments, followed by a short Tribute of Lost Musicians by Jimmy Leslie.  I was then asked about how Wendy and I met…which was at the Burn in 2012.  Bartosz, who had also been at the Build…shared about his amazing grandmother who had recently passed. This night was the perfect decompression before our final Wednesday packing and mooping push…it was something we all needed.

On Wednesday afternoon, we finished packing and mooping, then took a team photo.  Only the kitchen remained….and at 6pm, they too finally departed. Reverbia was quiet once again.

Special mentions have to go to Beth and Rachel Anne for leading our LNT efforts on playa this year. The rain put a stop to Beth's diligent compost drying...but over half our compost managed to make to Compost Camp before the floods came. And for the first time in the history of our camp, Exit Team did not get left with 20 bags of garbage at the end! Thank you, Rachel Anne, for keeping on top of everyone and making sure they took their share. Thank you to those of you who took more than your share...that did not go unnoticed.
Other leadership members that deserve all the love, too!: Henni for her fancy, mathematical, volunteer shift spreadsheets of wonder....Randy for filling every admin and logistical gap all along the way, and Dan for his email prowess.
Thanks again to all Reverbians for your live music contributions and for helping operate the Largest Themed Camp on Playa this year.  

Havenroot Camp in Veneta, OR

Join us in 2024…it is a long ways off and you have much time to prepare…or better yet…JOIN US FOR THE REVERBIA  CAMPOUT  Sept 29- Oct 2…at Havenroot Camp in Veneta, OR…not too far from Eugene. Details on this coming to your inbox soon.

Take care and keep shining!

Doug of Reverbia
Camp Director

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Reverbia Live Music Camp at Burning Man
3:45 & Esplanade
Black Rock City
United States of America
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