Southern Hospitality at Your Local Burn
If you find yourself in the south in mid-October as I did, may I suggest you make your way to Georgia and attend the Alchemy Burn. This local burn is located just a few hours outside of Atlanta and this year was hosted in a new location, that consisted of an open field that was surrounded by a dense forest.
Preparing for the Alchemy Burn
This was my first regional burn after spending six years burning in Black Rock City. I know how to burn in the desert, so I was a little nervous at the prospect of a rainy, wet burn. Weather concerns aside, I quickly discovered the nicest thing about regional burns is the ease of prepping and packing. I just grabbed a simple nylon tent, a duffel bag of clothing, some snacks, a cooler, three bags of ice, and I was out the door.
Arrival was a breeze! I only waited five or ten minutes to get my wristband and sign my waiver before I headed to open camping to find a spot. Once my spot was secured in the 'burbs, it took roughly 90 minutes to put up the tent, unpack my belongings, and blow up the air mattress. Compared to Burning Man, which can take hours for arrival and set up, this was a dream.
The weather was pretty cold the first night, and I was grateful for the extra layers I brought, and my extra pair of boots. Although it never rained, the dew in the morning kept the ground moist throughout the weekend.
The days were warm and I was able to walk around in some of my sexier outfits, but the moment the sun went down I was bundled up for the cold.
Conclusion: If you're used to the taxing entry at Black Rock City, this festival will feel so easy. You can skip your most robust setup, and stick with a simple tent. Definitely be ready for cold weather at night, and warmer weather during the day. I would recommend a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat for this burn. Also, there was a lot of gifting, so if you have something you can share, bring it!
My Experience of Alchemy 2017
My first impression of the Alchemy Burn was how friendly everyone was. I was greeted over and over with "welcome home," "happy burn," and "fuck your burn!" I was instantly reminded of my first burn where people repeatedly said things like this to me throughout the event.
The event was surprisingly lacking in house music, so I spent my time checking out theme camps, watching performances at Circus Combustus, enjoying an all-male twerk off, and much more. In summary, I loved this local burn! Most of the attendees had never actually been to Black Rock City, but that didn't change anything about the vibe. Everyone dressed up, gifted, participated, and followed the 10 Principles and the art was beautiful!
I spent most of the weekend thinking over and over again, "I bet this is what Burning Man was like ten years ago." Pleasant greetings aside, I was gifted a multitude of handmade items, crafted by attendees. I got to know all of my neighbors and was fed many times (without waiting in line), and never had to wait for a drink at many of the local camp bars.
In summary, this burn reinvigorated me to be more friendly, return to gifting, and remember that no matter the size of the event, we are all a community.