20 years ago… 1989. The Wind Sculpture Festival was being organized by Mel Lyons, a Berkeley artist, during the Labor Day Weekend on the Black Rock desert. Some people from the Cacophony Society attended the event then. Inspired by the event, and the desert environment, Kevin Evans and a few others started to make plans to come back to the desert the following year through one of their Zone Trips. A Zone Trip was a way to step out of reality, get out of this world and experience something extraordinary for the group.
The following year on June 21st 1990, the Burning Man event was preparing for their 5th burn on Baker Beach, but the SFPD caught the gathering, 600 people at that point, and stopped them from burning the effigy that had become pretty elaborate. This was going to be a major road block for the carpenters and their friend Larry Harvey that was “supervising” the construction of the man every year. The Cacophony Society that had been attending the beach event for 2 years now, offered generously to bring the humanoid effigy to the desert for the Zone Trip of Labor Day 1990, 2 months later. This was going to be the historic move to the desert, where many people actually think it’s always been now… and the 20th edition onto the desert flat is happening right now, with the burn of the Man tomorrow night.
The Cacophony Society was instrumental in helping Burning Man to continue and survive on the desert. The carpenters helped rebuilt a new effigy, but the Cacophony Society truly defined what Burning Man was going to be for the next few years, until another major influence came into play, but you will have to watch the film to know about this…
More information on that mythic 1989 Wind Sculpture Festival, and the 1990 move to the desert.