A 747 Jumbo Jet Is Burning Man's Mobile Nightclub
The Big Imagination Foundation's Black Rock City project is BIG.
A massive airplane is touching down on the Playa, but instead of air travel, it plays host to a mobile lookout bar, a lounge, and a music venue. The creative pioneers at the Big Imagination Foundation are in the business of making the impossible a reality, and their 747 moving art car project is a testament to this claim. Their small army of mechanics, architects, welders, and electricians spent the last several months in the Mojave desert salvaging an abandoned 1985 Boeing 747 commercial airplane for what they are calling the “largest moving art experience ever made.”
The body of the plane has been completely hollowed out and transformed into the music and art venue. The interior of the plane has a nightclub vibe—the rows of seating have been pulled out and replaced by swanky couches and lounge chairs. The tail wing of the plane has been removed completely, and the wings have been snipped into much smaller nubs. A portion of the ceiling towards the front the plane has been removed entirely, turning part of the plane’s upper deck into an open outdoor rooftop area.
You don’t realize how big the interior of a 747 is when it's full of seats and passengers. Big Imagination’s remodeled plane is about 135' long, 64' wide, and 34' tall. Weighing in at roughly 100,000 pounds, the plane will be dragged around Black Rock City, day and night, by a 48,000-pound aircraft tug car—one of the tractor-like vehicles you see escorting giant planes from their gate before takeoff.
The creators of the project are making efforts to create a reflective psychological experience as well as a visual one. Before they board, passengers are asked to create an ‘Emotional Baggage Tag’ by writing down an answer to the question, “What baggage do you need to lose?” There is also a boarding pass component that asks, “Where are you going?” Burners write down their answers with a marker and post them up on a wall with the others.
For all those who can’t make it to the festival this year, the Big Imagination Foundation is developing a VR application that will allow people to enjoy the 747 project from the comfort of their home. For more information, check out the project’s crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo. Or you can head over to Big Imagination Foundation’s website.