Opening Day

Missed a couple of days of blogging, there’s been so much to do. Getting the spine erected is  a lot like building a house. You get the walls up and you think you’re almost done and then you remember plumbing, electrical, etc. Same thing here.

We got to light the piece the night before last, just a preliminary test of the continuous fire and a couple of poofs. We are so used to running our own show that we were surprised when the Coachella staff came racing over in a panic because we had the Serpent lit. It was totally under control, though.

The fire marshal came last night. He is a total professional  and he “gets” the piece.  There are concerns about having a crowd of this size come up close to the piece, especially since few of them have ever interacted with a fire sculpture before, but the marshal is working with us to  get the audience in as close as possible, while keeping them safe. The perception is that Burning Man is unsafe, but concert goers who don’t expect to look out for themselves are more of a concern to us.

Our new vaporizer, Thelma, is just brilliant. Perhaps too smart. When we did the test last night, she reacted to having all the poofers turned on at once by shutting down. She thought we were pulling too much fuel at one time. I guess we have to earn her trust. The plumbers think they have come up with a solution which involves turning on the poofers at the ball valve farm one at a time so the pressure equalizes and also changing the way the vaporizer is plumbed.

We meeting with the fire marshal again this morning and running our first show tonight.

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