Scumfrog sunrise at Burning Man 2020: a virtual multiverse


Sunrise at Burning Man: It is high on the list of the things I could write a book about.

The relentless wrench that is 2020 forced us to consider and reconsider almost every aspect of our lives and routines, including Burning Man. In the quest of finding solutions for all this disruption, we all came up with some pretty cool stuff so far, and the creative forces that take the spectacle of Black Rock City to increasingly bigger heights each year went into overdrive to create and a virtual version of our beloved dust bowl.

Comparing the virtual Burning Man to its IRL counterpart is as foolish as comparing ‘2019 Burning Man’ to the 1998 edition. Each year is different, and 2020 forced us to adapt to a new kind of different. Playing a sunrise set on the real playa is incomparable to doing one in VR, where only one out of the 24 global time-zones experiences the actual sunrise while the music unfolds; where there are no collective goosebumps, shivers and hugs, and where you can probably not feel the bass like when you’re standing in front of a battalion of dusty sub-woofers.

However, there were elements of yesterday’s sunrise that made it uniquely special for me. The most important element was the inspiration to make a long three-hour Deep House journey again, which I had not done in months. Quarantine had made me explore different genres and moods, dismissing Deep House as something pointless that should only be played in the presence of collective energy. But even though a streaming event and a VR event are ‘cheating’ when it comes to collective energy, this one still had that feeling that the moment is being experienced by many people at once.

I very much enjoyed the act of imagining the full extent of collective energy, even though my screen only revealed the implication of this energy. I am very proud of this musical journey and I published it for re-listening. I hope you enjoy it too, and you too can close your eyes when listening, and imagine the moment when we are all standing in front of those bass-bins again, and we can scream, shout, gaze, and hug. The power of music is an incredible force, and I am honored to be a link in its chain. Listen on Soundcloud (link below)