Saturday, March 3, 2012

Las Vegas First Friday - First Vegas Burn Video


 Original Video by RoyVegas.

First Friday
Las Vegas, Nevada
Lucky Lady Lucy Fire
Las Vegas's Burning Man
I want the last few hours of my life back.

The experience in the crowd, waiting for Lucky Lady Lucy to be torched, was in the vicinity of unbearably painful.  All the reports that I saw said that Lucy was going to be torched at 8pm.  The expected duration of the burn, I thought, was to be an hour.

I am not the only person in attendance who thought that.  Thousands of others thought the same thing.  They were there with me, getting pissed off.

Too many people, crammed in too close, for too long, while FEELING DELAYED by entertainers who were being resented by the crowd, who wanted to see the thing get torched, so that they could then do whatever they wanted to do.

On video, I have the crowd booing.  They screamed out for them to light the thing already.

Light it so:
I can go take a piss.
I can relieve my shoulder pain from holding this camera over my head.
I can get something to eat.
I can walk around and see what First Friday has which might interest me.
I can go have a smoke.
I can walk back to my car.

At 20 feet tall, the Lucy thing was not something giant, seen well from a distance.  People.  People with their arms over their head with cameras.  Light poles.  Annoying dude on a ladder.  Annoying girl who kept creeping up his ladder, even though he kept telling her to get off the ladder.

The area was flat, had many visual obstacles, and the figure to burn was too small.  All this led to the need to be close, as far was not a viable alternative.

Much of the performances prior to the burning WHICH DID NOT OCCUR UNTIL AFTER 9PM!!! were dull as a result of repetition.

Guy blew fire from his mouth.  Again.  Again.  I didn't count but 20, 30, 40 times?

The sound system was not loud, not at all.   I was not too far from the fence and often could not hear anything being said by whoever had the mic.

Before setting Lucky Lady Lucy aflame, parts of it were removed, such as colored light tubing.  Finally Lucy was set ablaze at the base.  (Over an hour late mind you!!)  Slowly the fire crept up from the base.

Very soon after Lucy was put on fire, and long before the flames actually engulfed all of Lucy, many in the crowd felt liberated to move away from the Lucy burn area, at 3rd and Colorado, (north by a few blocks, of the Stratosphere).  Many turned their attention to some hot girls dancing on two levels to some DJ music.  Food trucks rapidly got lines.  Gimme a funnel cake.  Gimme some pizza.  Gimme a pickle.

I did not see too much art, but I saw a lot of food.  From the area where I was, it seemed like a food festival, not an art festival.

Now here is the catch.  I lost my desire to walk in a direction other than the direction of where my car was parked.  I am very energetic, and have no problem walking, streets, stairs, whatever.  But I was really drained from waiting from 745PM to whatever time it was, after 9PM, when the burn finally took place.

The burn did not really last too long.  It took a few minutes for the flames to travel the entire figure, and then I looked away and walked closer to the dancing girls, and then the Lucy thing was burning in a small pile.

Maybe there was a lot of art - elsewhere, but the area I was in (where Lucy was) had food trucks, car groups, and just a few art places.

I wish that they had burned the thing at 8 or a few minutes after.  If they had, then I would have felt good enough to walk much more around to see what else was in the famed, and frequently deolate, 18b art district.

Let's be clear, this wasn't Burning Man.  I think I would have had more fun if I had completely disregarded the burning event, and walked around checking out the art and whatever else was there.

Alternatively, they could have announced, (had their PA worked) we're gonna torch it at 910PM SHARP, then people could have stepped away, spent money, used the can, whatever.

Once leaving the area of the burning Lucy, and dancing DJ girls, I photographed some of the food trucks at 3rd and Colorado.  One of them was a funnel cake truck, which surprised me because funnel cakes suck.  I'm sorry, I take that back.  I've never even had a funnel cake.

Maybe funnel cakes suck, and maybe they don't.  But I was surprised as I had written about funnel cakes in a recent post, and one rarely hears the word.  Funnelcake.

Some guy was jumping up and down like a hyena, while holding a sign over his head.  I'm sorry, I take that back. I don't even know how a hyena jumps.

Maybe he was jumping up and down like a hyena, and maybe he wasn't.  But he was jumping up and down.  With a sign over his head that said, Support Independent Artists.

Maybe it said...
(To Be Continued, with more photos, and maybe some more video too.)


FireBreathinJester said...

Hey buddy.. Im the Firebreather.. our sound wasnt loud because they didnt give our D.J. a sound check and they messed up by givin us a faulty cable. Sorry i couldnt Appease you with my fire, but you try it and get the size i get. Maybe then you will respect it. and it was a total of 10 times just by my self. when the whole crew was there then ya the numbers went up. but befor eyou go making it seem like anyone can do what I do.. try it first. then complain.

Roy said...

Glad to meet you Firebreather. If you like, I have some videos and pictures of yourself from the First Vegas Burn.

Actually I am the sort who respects all manner of achievement, and that includes your fire and performance talent.

The preliminary performances would have been more widely appreciated if the crowd had not been as uncomfortable as they were.

I promoted the First Vegas Burn in this blog. And I continue to have an interest in First Friday, and the art community.

The people running the event should without resentment, (I have no anger,) look at what went wrong. Make the event smoother next time.

Got a website you want to promote? I'll do a post on your firebreathing.