Injuries Near the Crude Awakening or elsewhere

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Injuries Near the Crude Awakening or elsewhere

Post by scootert » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:27 pm

I heard of at least two injuries caused by people crashing into unlit pipes and hardware that was part of the Crude Awakening project after it burned. At least one of these required an ambulance. My friends who helped that person were shocked at how much dangerous, unlit stuff was out there. I bet there were more injuries occurring unless the rangers or artists were able to make things more safe and visible quickly.

On Tuesday night I crashed into an unmarked, unlit gas pipe laying on the ground. Me and my bike survived unscathed, which was kind of surprising because I crashed big time.

There's probably lots of injuries from different causes, but for people to leave unlit debris lying around...sheesh.


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Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:04 pm

I visited the Crude Awakening site several times, and never got the impression that it was a place where it was safe to be around in anything other than a cautious and highly alert manner. Sorry you took a spill but you must have been moving pretty fast through the area.

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Post by Porky » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:22 pm

The Whole crew was actually pretty on top of the safety of everyone.....If you noticed the heart beating sculpture had at least 6 staff members at all times keeping a safety perimeter ...I felt very safe both on and around the Crude Awakening...I do agree this year there were alot of un- lit obstacles on the light ??

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Post by joel the ornery » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:26 pm

safety third, dude... safety third.

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Post by DoriumLux » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:49 am

My favorite thing of all was watching some guy go up to one of the crude awakening sculptures while it was lit and shaking it as if to test it's stability. I loved how he acted surprised when one of the crude awakening people came up and asked him to stop.

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Post by Wrath7sins » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:04 am

I wonder how suprised he would have looked had the flaming sculpture fallen over on him? It amazes me how quick people are to touch and test things, even knowing that they should be hot or fragile. I had a few people actually come up and roughly grab and handle the wings on my dragonfly art car. Even after I asked them to be careful, and explained that the wings were fragile and had already taken damage (plowed into by a cyclist who was looking backwards), this one guy was still sticking his head through them and grinning like an idiot.

Next year they'll have a tazer in 'em, you watch. ^^

I know that people are tactile by nature, and to touch is to make real that which the eyes percieve, but seriously, some art is "Eyes Only". Some things are just too fragile or dangerous to make contact with. I'm glad that most projects survived the event, and I sympathise with the creators whose projects did not make it. We've learned, we'll adapt. We're burners.
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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:13 pm

Read the back of your ticket. Your own safety is your responsibility. In my opinion crude awakening was an especially good experience specifically because of the danger and unknown involved to me was so great. For the Burn they probably did not want the orange trash fence up by the pipeline. Every other time I went by it there was a fence up. I don't want people to get hurt. I want them to take the right precautions to prevent themselves from being hurt.
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saftey 3rd

Post by dia » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:49 pm

Afraid that you might get hurt at burning man this year?
Want to make sure that you won't get run over by an art car?
Thinking about petitioning BRC to put up standards and routine safety inspections?


(you might want to try Disney Land as an alternative)

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Post by scootert » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:40 pm

I know and accept that Burning Man can be dangerous. I'm okay with most of that. We all had a good laugh at my crash in fact (since I wasn't hurt). I wasn't going very fast, but I guess it was too fast. I had a light, but was it on? I don't remember. I'll accept about 80% of the responsibility for my crash, maybe more, but any reasonable person could see that the debris could have been consolidated at least, if not lit.

I just think it's lame to leave dangerous unlit debris lying around on the playa. Others apparently have no problem with that. So next year, let's all just take leftover metal scraps, car parts, pipes or whatever, and dump them on the playa at night without any light or protection and deride anyone who thinks there might be a better way to go about things. That girl taken away in an ambulance - let's laugh at her too. Then we can pat ourselves on the back at how enlightened we are and what a great community spirit we have.

Safety third? I'm cool with that. Disregarding safety altogether? I think we can be a bit smarter than that. Injuries are a serious buzz kill.

Let's reduce the 10 Principles to 9, by deleting this pesky one:

"Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws."

Crude Awakening was an amazing thing. I'm not knocking the artistic merits. And they weren't the only people creating hazards. My little crash on Tuesday had nothing to do with their stuff.

Anyway, it's all done now! On to next year. Happy preparations to you all during our long wait. I guess I could help next year by bringing some blinkies and glow sticks to "gift" to any debris I think could use it.

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Re: saftey 3rd

Post by pbmaniac2000 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:52 pm

dia wrote:Afraid that you might get hurt at burning man this year?
Want to make sure that you won't get run over by an art car?
Thinking about petitioning BRC to put up standards and routine safety inspections?


(you might want to try Disney Land as an alternative)

This thread may have even inspired my art project for next year. throw a bunch of radom pipes out on the playa in one spot. Other (non impailing) items maybe thrown in for good measure. Then put grandstands on one side, and let the show begin. :twisted:

Ok probably not going to happen, but admit it it would be funny to watch. All the darkwads eating eating playa.

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Post by barnz » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:56 pm

scootert wrote:... the debris could have been consolidated at least, if not lit.
I never noticed any debris around the Crude Awakening, but you are right that debris, materials, whatever needs to be consolidated. It's a crappy job to move heavy stuff, especially knowing that you will most likely have to do it all again when conditions change and the location of your pile becomes the new thoroughfare. I spent many hours around my own camp moving and re-moving piles of rebar and lumber in case anyone was wandering around too close to the perimeter without a light.
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Post by trilobyte » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:49 pm

Sorry to hear you took a spill, man, but rule of thumb on the playa. If something moving hits something that wasn't moving, then shame on the moving object. If you weren't moving, you wouldn't have hit whatever you hit, right?

Yeah, it may not be lit. Or lit well. Or have all the lighting you wish it had. But if you didn't see it, you either didn't have enough of your own light, or were moving too fast to process all the stuff you were moving past.

If it had been a piece of driftwood or some other playa-colored object hidden from view that would be one thing, but this sounds like something you should have been able to see.

Bottom line though, glad you weren't hurt, and that you got a laugh. As for me, everything about Crude Awakening screamed caution and danger and this is some big scary shit, and for me that was half of the excitement. Never in a million years would we get to witness such a thing in the default world...


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Post by scootert » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:17 am

You're right as usual, Trilo. I was the moving object. We were looking at the brightly lit object we were approaching, which was casting shadows in our direction. Me and the person behind me both thought the black line we were approaching was a shadow.

I'm glad Burning Man is as rule free as possible, and that means increased danger and the opportunity to stage things like Crude Awakening. I don't want to change that.

I just think it is reasonable for artists to also be mindful of safety and avoid creating unneccessary hazards and piles of debris. It's surprising to me that the people who have posted in this thread find that concept to be out of line. And it's really disappointing that some find it amusing when other burners are injured, even if it was their fault. But eplaya is generally the anti-social wing of Burning Man, and there are mean-spirited people in the default world and in the Burning Man world as well. Most on-playa interactions I've experienced have been with fun, kind-hearted people who don't need to put down others to make themselves feel good and would feel empathy and regret for someone who was injured.

I started this thread to see if there were many more of these incidents. Since my friends came upon two of them within a few minutes, I thought there might have been dozens that night. Maybe there were, maybe there weren't. The limited number of people reading eplaya wouldn't really know, I guess.

I don't expect to have any personal bike collisions next year because I'll have a better headlight and I'll be sure it's on (I think some of us were relying on the moon more than we should have). And I'll be mindful that some people either don't have a clue about the safety of others, or they don't give a shit, or they actually want to cause injury.

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I fell down

Post by joemomma » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:27 am

One night I fell off my bike four times!!!!! And guess what? I wasn't moving each time I fell off! Think I partied too hard that night.
[quote]On Tuesday night I crashed into an unmarked, unlit gas pipe laying on the ground. [/quote]
Slow the fuck down! Remember, it gets dark at night.
And quit your bitching.......

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Post by scootert » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:33 am

I'll take Joemomma's good advice and "quit my bitching". Let's drop this thread.

See you next year.

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Post by safetythird » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:48 am

My only injuries happened in camp while pitching and striking and were pretty mild this year.

Most of my campmate's injuries involved bicycles in one way or another. They hit someone, someone hit them or they all just hit each other. In my opinion fully lit bicycles are far more dangerous than unlit debris that may have been overlooked.

I guess that's why I like to walk the playa at night. The slow pace allows me to take more in plus it's easier to avoid dune covered hazards and passed out darkwads. I don't think I kicked anyone the entire week.

And yes... Safety Third indeed!


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Post by Lukky » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:25 am

I didn't get hurt all week. Not anything from setting up/taking down camp, walking around, anything.

Ever see that movie "Unbreakable"?

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Post by draughtergirl » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:34 pm

One of my campmates got tangled in her sarrong pulling into centercamp. She was a pile of linen tied up in her bike for a moment. Small bruises. Someone else flipped out of an art car. Self inflicted looking one way while turning another. We don't usually laugh until we know no one was seriously injured. We refer to the two of them as Crash and Burn.

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Post by Orchid » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:48 pm

I tripped on the door flap of my tent, fell on the ground, and twisted my knee, all while completely sober.

In my defense, the tent was completely unlit. Not even a glowstick! Must have been its first year.

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Post by ibdave » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:42 pm

Orchid wrote:I tripped on the door flap of my tent, fell on the ground, and twisted my knee, all while completely sober.

In my defense, the tent was completely unlit. Not even a glowstick! Must have been its first year.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8) 8) 8)
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Post by Samsa Bee » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:25 am

This is why I like to drive schwilly on the backstreets at night with my bright flashlight. 8)
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Post by skibear » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:44 pm

Only one injury!
"The Little Bitch" had a wagon full of beer in the middle of the street
and offered spanks-for-beer.

I got a beer after she spun around and padaled my bare butt with
totally unreasonable excessive force (Why Me?)

It hurt so bad for an hour I considered going to the medical clinic.
Instead I stopped at the nearest bar and got a handful of ice to
kill the pain and stop swelling. It remained sore till 4 days after
the event. Skin wasn't broken but my butt was red for days.

BM was a pain in the butt

crash & burn ski lessons given

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Crude Crash

Post by V Squared » Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:22 pm

Scootert, not sure if your friends were the ones who helped me out, but i was the one who was taken away by ambulance, and then airlifted to Reno! I totally bailed on my bike because i ran into an unlit pipe, (or so i was told). And really, it's nobody's fault but my own. It happened on Thursday night, and i really wanted to thank those who did come to my aid, it could have been A LOT worse! All in all, i ended up with a bruised face, really black eye, and one hell of a story! If anyone was there for the crash, or know someone who was, THANK YOU! and drop me a line!

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Post by K-mom » Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:32 pm

Hey Steph, glad to see you joined on here - this is a link to the thread I emailed you about - ... 879#343879
- if you wanna thank those people. Welcome to Eplaya! (almost as good as the real thing ......................)

You call it malt liquor, I call it breakfast.

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hey keith

Post by V Squared » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:46 pm

Hey Keith!
Again, thanks for sending me that contact. It's really crazy that A, you found the blog about me, B, we ran into each other on the street and C that you found the blog i replied to! Crazy, crazy, crazy! So thanks for looking out and being so great about it! I'm in the city next weekend hopefully, pending on rides, but i've got your number, so i'll giv eyou a shout, go for drinks, tell you about the rest of Burningman!

Later bud

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Post by Catwoman69y2k » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:34 pm

Reading this kind of makes me feel like I dont go along with common thought when it comes to exploring the playa and the deep playa. This year I was armed not only with blinkies (so I wouldnt be a darkwad) but a flashlight. I figured that since not all the art exhibits would be lit at night (just like there are alot of art exhibits you cant see during the day -- like the Cubitron)...a flashlight might come in handy. It was a rarity for me but there were more than a few times where there was an area in front of me that seemed a bit darker than places the same distance nearby. The flashlight always solved the mystery.

Heck, towards the end of the festival it was helpful once landmarks of the Man, and later the Temple, were gone. The flashlight also offered the side benefit of being helpful for MOOP patrol (yes, even at night I felt the need to account for any MOOP that I could see).

So, I say that while it sucks that people got hurt from the Crude Awakening exhibit (and other exhibits)....maybe a flashlight could of helped??


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Post by Rocket75377 » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:29 pm

While picking up friends/fellow riders in Illinois, I was loading a bike into the back of the bus and fell onto the deer antlers he had strapped to the handlebars. Minor antler damage to the sternum, otherwise, fine.
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I have one word...self-responsibility.

Post by vertigo900 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:54 pm

I have one word...self-responsibility.

I'm sad to hear you hurt yourself. It sucks to hurt yourself out on the playa and can really alter the experience we were hoping to have. However, I am concerned about the blaming of the any others out on the playa unless someone intentionally and maliciously hurts you. f you're cruising at night on a bike in a forest and run into a tree. Do you blame the tree or yourself? The playa is dangerous in the daytime and especially at night. Yes it is our responsibility to keep our art as same as possible. If you were riding a bike at night, where was your headlamp? Where were your eyes? This year we were blessed to have the light of the moon help us see. But there hasn't been a full moon out there in years. What if clouds moved over the moon. Would you still expect to see out there and blame someone else? This is yet another example of how having expectations will lead us to disappointment.

Case Point #1:
My first night of 10 days I fractured a toe on some rebar staking our dome down. Immediately I took responsibility for not paying enough attention to where I was walking and took steps to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Sure someone should have covered the rebar because someone was bound to be injured. The next day I brought the issue up to the camp so we all could learn from it.

Case Point #2:
On Thursday I almost rode into a guyline holding up a recently constructed art piece. I was looking the other way while riding and almost got clothes-lined by it. I took responsibility for not paying attention to the direction I was moving. I asked a few fellow burners to donate some blinkies to prevent someone from injuring themselves. They selflessly helped and I met some great people! The next day the artist had taken down the guylines.

As real as the safety third or safety last motto should is, the safety of ourselves, our campmates, and fellow burners is quite important to be conscious of. And I believe it is all of our responsibility to prevent injuries on the playa. If you're concerned about safety of a particular art piece, contact the artist and tell them about the incident and how you weren't paying attention, didn't have the proper lighting to light your way and accidentally rode into some debris near their installation. Do not attempt to place blame, do not expect an apology, do not expect anyone to give you a hug for hurting yourself. Do ask them to solve the problem in the future. A thank them for their amazing inspiring piece. I apologize if this sounds harsh or parenting, but blaming others for your mistakes once you pass the ticket station is a VERY SERIOUS THREAT to keeping Burning Man from becoming Disneyland! And believe me, with every complaint, every lawsuit, every burner seeks to place blame on others, Burning Man has changed and will change more if we do not educate our fellow burner and especially the newbies and jaded burners on this issue. Even the Greeter's tradition of spanking the virgins and welcoming home has been stopped because of a dumb lawsuit.

Further, the negative experiences we encounter in life will always be negative unless we attempt to look deep enough to find the positive gift of lesson. For only when we can begin to forgive each other and ourselves, can we begin to learn and grow. I've certainly had my share of pains and loss, as we all have. I don't care what has happened, there is a gift there and we all owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to learn from these experiences. The sours of life help awaken us to the delicious taste of the sweet.

I hope any of this helps. I am not perfect and have learned these lessons the hard way and have many more to learn. Have a wonderful year and come by Black Rock Lemonade Oasis for some delicious refreshments and playa rousting and next time you're in town!

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Post by Valkyrie » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:16 pm

I am thinking I am missing something here. Is the point of this topic a request that moop be lighted? Why not just pick it up? It seems to me that makes more sense than worrying about it.
It's hard to have a normal conversation with someone with 6' acrylic rods strapped to your back.

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Post by scootert » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:54 pm

Thanks for the comments, Vertigo. Yes, you sound like a parental lecturer, but I believe your intentions are good. If you really read my all my posts in this thread (long, I admit), you'd see that...

I started the thread to see if there were many people injured by running into Crude Awakening stuff, or other stuff on the playa. I was just curious. So far, I've learned of at least two, probably three, people that crashed into the big black pipe and were airlifted to hospitals (there's another thread about one of them). The two I know of for sure had fairly happy endings (no serious, lasting injuries). Cool people that they are, they mostly blame themselves, and I agree the moving object (bicyclist) bears almost all the responsibility.

I was not hurt. I take responsibility for my silly crash. It had nothing to do with Crude Awakening. I accept responsibility for running into the stuff I ran into. I started with 80% blame, now I accept the full 100%.

Like you, Vertigo, I think it is reasonable that everyone take responsibility for their actions, movement and their stuff on the playa. That includes artists and participants. (And I am VERY grateful for the artists!) I think it is unkind to knowingly create hazards for burners, if that hazard is not an art object, and could easily be lit or moved or protected in some way. Safety third, or fifth or whatever, but at least give it some thought. Actual artworks are an exception - maybe it is supposed to be dark, for some artistic purpose. If so, it should be dark. It's clear most posters don't share my view about stuff on the playa. Some think people should be able to put whatever stuff they want there, artistic or not, dangerous or not and caveat bike rider is the only rule. There's validity in both opinions and let's just agree to disagree. For what it's worth, I brought an art car project to the playa this year, and we definitely considered the safety factor, and spent more time and money (not much, really) making it safer. I would hate it if someone got hurt in relation to our art car, even if it was totally their fault.

I don't want to change anything about Burning Man (except maybe by passive encouragement for people to be safer). I don't want more rules. I know some things are inherently dangerous, and I don't want to change that. Your point about the event being vulnerable to change because of stuff like this is well taken. None of us want it to be like the default world, so constrained by liability concerns.

Like anyone would, I guess, I've found it annoying to be lectured for my post, which was a question about injuries. People interpreted it as a whiny rant. I was annoyed at some of the debris, and I expressed that, so I'll admit there's an element of rant. Is it too late to take it all back and say I thought Burning Man was perfect and the interactive debris was my favorite part? I'm really not a complaining kind of person, and I love Burning Man as much as everyone else.

Valkryie, I hope you had a great virgin burn. The items in question could not have been moved without a truck, and I wouldn't haul away property I didn't own in any case, unless I knew it had been discarded. I did what I could to make the pile smaller in hopes it wouldn't happen to someone else. Next year, I'll bring extra blinkies and glow sticks in my small effort to prevent others from being injured. I just want happy, happy, joy, joy for everyone there, and I think most burners wish that for each other. But the Death Guild was there way before I ever was, and happy happy joy joy for everyone is probably a laughable goal to them. Just different viewpoints. And when I saw moop, I did pick it up just like most of us do.

I've learned a few things about the real playa, eplaya and myself in the process. I should be less idealistic about the citizens of BRC. There's 48,000 of us and we have differing opinions and different levels of concern for each other. I should always take 100% responsibility for my safety and assume a hazardous environment (I knew that already, now I know it better). I'm good with all that and I can't wait till next year's burn.

We don't like negativity, and this thread I started is kind of inherently negative I guess. Can we drop it? Or Trilo (the moderator), can you nuke it? Wish it into the cornfield?


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