The Burning Man festival in the Las Vegas Desert is not known for being restrained or even orderly. The festival is known more for people getting creative in a temporary city built in the middle of the Nevada desert.
In a yearly tradition that brings out the creativity in the people who get to attend, the news is going around that a construction firm is actually planning on bringing a giant inflatable Disco Ball to the festival.
Yes, a giant Disco Ball, in the weight of 50 tons. It is being put together by BIG, a group that designs a lot of big things. The plan now is that the ord will be around 83 feet in Diameter and represent a 1:500,000 scale of the planet Earth. The metal mast to hold this thing will be around 105 feet tall.
Now, while it is being announced as a giant “Disco Ball” you can start getting into brass tacks about it. Disco Balls are generally covered in Mirrors to reflect beaming light. More accurately BIG is labeling this as The Orb. The plan here is that this going to be reflective, but not in the way of mirrors, just a reflective surface. I am no engineer, but I would guess something that big covered in mirrors would way a LOT more than 50 tons.
That brings up another issue I see with this. It IS reflective and is for a festival in the Nevada Desert for late August and into September. Is there a way it’s not going to blind everybody within eye distance with the Sun bearing down on it?
At least this project will have some kind of rigid framework going into it. A 105-foot steel mast has been planned to help anchor the giant ball in place. That is a lot of metal. Hopefully, it stays in place. That kind of steel structure doesn’t need to be falling down anywhere or a giant inflatable ball doesn’t need to roll around either. But as I said, this is a firm with experience behind them. So steps hopefully are being taken for this to go out of control.
A project like this does take money, and a chunk of it is being raised by online crowdfunding. These folks currently have an Indiegogo site up in an attempt to raise $50,000 for the project, but as of this writing, they are only up to $8,900. An admirable amount to raise on the site, but with the festival next month, they are gonna need a lot more help. Funds have already been supplied to cover the sewing of the Orb as well as all the welding involved. So it is not entirely funded by online fundraising, and that is probably for the better.
What is going to happen when the festival ends hasn’t been announced. The Orb itself is being designed to deflate when things are over, but then what? What do you do with a giant inflated and reflective orb? The steel and metal work will probably be torn down and recycled somehow. With some of the other project that BIG has done, they sound like a creative enough group for all this stuff. Let’s see if they have any idea and a place and funds to do it. I don’t have a clue of what to do with this, do you?
Burning Man starts August 26 and runs until September 3 this year out in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.