I went to Burning Man thinking that the best part would be meeting and talking to people, and hearing their stories. In reality the thing that I had to most fun doing was going to classes or events. I had no idea that it was organized enough that they could hand out a list of things that would be happening. As their part to contribute people would offer to teach classes or hold events. This meant anything from learning Yoga, advice of different kinds, to cognitive science on how the brain perceives itself as being aware.
Events varied from pimping out your bike, giving out free costumes, sending postcards, and a lot of free alcohol for doing certain actions. Of course not everyone signed up in time for the schedule of events to list their way that they wanted to give back to the community so a lot of events were announced on the big board or I just come across things while riding around. It seems like a lot of people chose to give out alcohol and were very persistent in their desire to “give back to the community”. A few times I was stopped by people jumping out into the road holding stop signs trying their hardest to persuade me to visit their bar. Some of the impromptu events that I took part in was a renaming and free cookies ceremony (where I got the final name of “cream” and a tasty cookie) and another one with free ice cream that was mostly melted and vegan but still some of the best I’ve tasted and I wasn’t about to complain.
Any time there was a line of people, people in line would inevitably start swapping stories “So this one time at Burning Man”. Pretty much the standard way to open a conversation with anyone was to ask them how many burns they have been to, or what was the last burn they were at.
Since my art idea did not get finished the way that I gave back was through volunteering. I did the lamp lighting one night and trash pickup another.