Critical Northwest, the Seattle area’s official regional Burning Man event, has taken place for over a decade in Granite Falls, WA. This year’s event is scheduled to take place July 11-17 with an Electroluminescent Menagerie theme.
Regional burners are ecstatic to gather together again as the event has been canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This event is a great way for curious potential Burners to dip their toes into burner culture. The experience includes art, theme camps, fire performers, mutant vehicles, music, and more.
Burning Man Brief History
The first Burning Man took place in 1986 when Larry Jarvey and Jerry James burned an eight-foot-tall wooden sculpture of a man on Baker Beach in San Francisco. This tradition continued until 1990 when police intervention forced attendees to relocate to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, where Burning Man now takes place year around Labor Day weekend.
Since then, attendance has risen to up to 78,850 attendees in 2019. In 1997, the pilot Regional program began as a way for Burners to stay connected to one another in their hometowns.
About Critical Northwest
Critical Northwest is organized by a local nonprofit organization, Ignition Northwest. Their goal is to bring the elements of “la playa” to the Pacific Northwest while maintaining the 10 principles of Burning Man, founded by late founder Larry Harvey: Radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.
“La Playa” refers to the Spanish word for “beach.” It is the term that also refers to the dried designated lakebed that is now Black Rock City. Ignition Northwest also organizes a recompression party: Reignition, and a decompression party: Seacompression.
The Critical Northwest Experience
We had an opportunity to chat with Matt, a local Critical Northwest attendees who describe their experience:
“It’s like spending a week with your best friends, new and old, building experiences and community together in the woods,” he said. “Mostly during the evening and into the night it’s electronic, but some camps enjoy other genres of music. Bad Decision Boot Camp usually has a couple of live hip hop groups and rock bands.”
Attending Critical Northwest
Interested in attending this year’s Critical Northwest? Here is what you need to know.
Burners of all ages are welcome to attend. Membership with Ignition Northwest is a requirement in order to purchase tickets (free). While first-tier tickets in May sold out within hours, there is a second chance to attend through their OMG Sale Monday, June 27, at 7 pm. Volunteer options are also available.
Already planning on attending? Check out the 2022 Critical Survival Guide to be fully prepared for a week of adventure, creativity, and connection!
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