Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Mar 05th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

School of Black Rock

ae leadUnScruz returns to bring Burning Man home 

The spirit of self-expression and inclusiveness is the prevailing culture of the Burning Man community, and with tens of thousands of people flocking to Black Rock City, Nev., every year, its influence has spread around the globe.

Santa Cruz has its own subculture of people dedicated to abiding by Burner values, and this weekend’s two-day celebration of music, dancing and art known as UnScruz puts it front and center.

“In a nutshell, UnScruz is a Burning Man regional event that abides by the 10 principles of Burning Man,” say Mandy Whiting, Regional Contact for Burning Man in Santa Cruz. These 10 principles, which include radical self-expression, radical self-reliance, communal effort and decommodification, are what make Burning Man events the peaceful, anything-goes gatherings they are. Whiting explains that the UnScruz event, now in its fourth year, is a showcase of what Burning Man is all about for people who may not be able to make it out to the Nevada desert for the main event.

In essence a mini-Burning Man, the UnScruz weekend at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds will include many things that Black Rock City has become famous for including music, dance, creative costumes, art—and of course, lots and lots of fire.

“We want people to experience that same feeling of community and open mindedness, friendliness and peacefulness,” Whiting says. “Our events are extraordinarily peaceful and whimsical and creative. They have a really unique vibe.”

At Burning Man, “you’re not the weirdest kid in the classroom,” as one Burner memorably put it, and that spirit of individuality and inclusiveness is what defines UnScruz, as well.

“There are so many factors to the Burning Man community,” Whiting explains. “There are people who like to build large-scale art, people who like to do dance performances, people who like to play music and people who just like to camp and hang out by a fire. The UnScruz event really has all of that,” she says.

This is the first year the event has been held at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, which will allow even more people to participate in the festivities. Samba Stilt Circus and Nocturnal Sunshine Fire Conclave are among the groups that will be performing, mutant vehicles will be on display, and music and art from many members of the Burner community will be present in one creative way or another throughout.

If you’ve never attended a Burning Man event, be prepared for some surprises. “The whole ethos of UnScruz and Burning Man in general, is that we provide a canvas, a big blank space, and then say ‘OK guys, come fill it with who you are and what you want to contribute,’” Whiting explains.

In addition to UnScruz, the local chapter is doing its part to keep the Burning Man spirit alive and well in Santa Cruz all year round.

“The goal is to involve the community in many different ways,” Whiting says. “UnScruz is one of those events, but we also do beach bonfires, Burner happy hour once a month, and last year we did a screening of a Burning Man documentary called Spark at the Del Mar Theater. The cool part about Santa Cruz is how the Burner spirit is already engrained. There’s a lot of art, a lot of creativity and a lot of whimsy,” she says.

While Whiting knows some people perceive Burning Man and its related events as a hedonistic free for all, she says UnScruz is really about art and community and being precisely who you want to be. “There are crazy things that happen, but that’s not necessarily your journey. Your journey is to go and see what you want to contribute,” she says.


The fourth annual UnScruz Burning Man regional event, Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4. Tickets are $35 per person in advance, or $45 at the door. Visit unscruz.com for more information.

Comments (1)Add Comment
A Fun Family Weekend!
written by Haley Like the Comet, May 02, 2014
With the beautiful lawn at the fairgrounds, and such mild and sunny weather, this will be the perfect weekend to gather! I've got my costumes just about packed and ready, and I can't wait to meet up with friends at UnSCruz. For those who haven't been to Burning Man, this is a great place to have fun and be part of a highly creative and inclusive gathering.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Crop Circles

How the confusion over GMOs is undermining the organic movement

 

Week of Festivals: Full Moon, Lantern Festival, Purim, Holi

It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of March 6

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Water Street Grill

YOLO gets reincarnated

 

What would make Santa Cruz better?

A lot more outdoor activities such as outdoor movies and concerts, food and art festivals, and more multicultural activites. Emmanuel Cole, Santa Cruz, Bicycle Industry Product Developer

 

Thomas Fogarty Winery

When looking for a bottle of something to have with dinner, Gewürztraminer 2012 is not the first wine to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir—to name but a few—Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole.

 

So Long, Louie’s

Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar closes, plus Back Porch pop-up, and 2015 Outstanding in the Field tour