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international news _ 30th May, 2007

No Burning @ Burning Man @ Glade

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Nectar Temple chief Bem Jahman chatted to Skrufff this week about the Burning Man art installation groups plans for their upcoming stage at Glade Festival, and revealed that their focus will be firmly on art and music rather than fire.

"We will be representing artists such as Robert Venosa, Luke Brown and Spectral Eyesccom and we are currently in Bali, working with some of the best wood carvers here to bring the Glade something they have never seen before," said Ben. "Luke has a temple installation that will blow your mind, but there will be no burning going on," he stressed.

The American arts organiser described Nectar Temple as "a multi-dimensional event stage merging cutting edge alternative intellectual speakers and presenter presenters, interactive workshops, cinema and 'prayerformance' and said music will be mid tempo experimental electronic music".

"Festivals today act as a modern day tribal meeting ground, they present the opportunity for alternative culture to thrive within itself with minimal commercial influence. They give people hope and inspiration to manifest their dreams," he added.

"With the idea of sacred ceremony weakening in western culture, these festivals spark the deep hidden offerings of our souls to the earth. The dance floor is where it all happens."

Burning Man has long been recognised as being America's most significant (and hedonistic) counter culture gathering of today, representing a dramatic alternative that makes it radically different from even Glade.

"Burning Man is an art installation dominated festival, there are no paid DJs and there is no buying and selling of anything," Ben pointed out.

"But where Glade does meet Burning Man is its willingness to give sufficient art budgets to stages like the Nectar Temple to actually make Glade more than speaker stacks and "havin it".

Its reputation for experimentation has also attracted increasing interest from US authorities, Ben admitted,

"The DEA and undercover vibes are definitely an issue at Burning Man especially in the last three years," he agreed.

"Last year, a friend of mine got asked for some drugs by these guys dressed up like any other freak, who were driving around in an ice cream truck that was converted into an art car. He brought them back to his camp to ask his buddy for some mushrooms, in the full spirit of giving these guys a gift so that they could have a good time".

"Next thing you know, two black pick up trucks arrive and raid the whole camp. Two people got arrested. It was a real f**ked up situation. There are police around in and out of uniform, but on a whole it doesn’t really affect the event. People are getting pretty loose out there and there are no limits as to how you can express yourself."

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