“Burning Man Festival is an event for all types and for all reasons. It is a place where prejudice is left at the gate along with your wallet and phone.”
A staple on the infamous Nevada desert festival scene, Ashley Wild is an electronic DJ with a hardcore affliction for everything techno and house. Immersed in new UK talent, Ashley’s production skills are accomplished and his passion for churning out challenging mixes is unequivocal. Playing every major club capital over the years, Ashley’s cult club night ’You Are We‘ acts as a platform to the underground dance music scene’s most exciting rising DJs. i-D online caught up with the Hot Waves, Electronique and Mexa Records signed artist to find out more about his recent Burning Man experience.
“So for me and my crew the trip started in San Francisco. Our home within a home was to be a 29ft RV complete with enough food, drink and party supplies to last a week or four! The festival itself is based around a central playa with camps lined up on a clock dial from 2 till 10. It stretches some five miles in length around the dial and some three miles in diameter across the playa.
To talk simply of music and partying there would be to tell just half a story of what the festival is about. Artists invest there creativity hugely, building sculptures and works of art and art cars, vehicles that slowly travel around the playa playing their music to their passengers or providing a mobile world within a world to escape or relax within. The ever-present focal points of the site remain the effigy of ‘The Man’ in the middle of the playa who is burnt on the Saturday night. ‘The Centre Camp’ and ‘The Temple’ offer a spiritual base or sanctuary that will burn, albeit without the fireworks and flare of ‘The Man’ but to a silent and emotional crowd on the Sunday.
My wardrobe for the week took a slight shot of colour and lycra for if ever there was a time to dress yourself up this is it. No matter what you wear and how you wear it, there will always be someone else taking it to another level.
Music is a big part of why I go back each year and I have been honoured to play in the festival with friends against unforgettable scenery and to crowds large or small that are full of love and craziness. This year I played at The Music Savages camp, run and hosted by friends in LA and I also played at Oolligen Alley a camp based at 3 o’clock on the dial and at Bass Coach, a little nearer to home for Road to Nowhere’s Sunday post burn party. The most inspiring and unbelievable sound system ever built is Robot Heart. Literally the throbbing heartbeat of the festival’s electronic soul. This is effectively a bus with a built in wall of sound that drives deep into the playa and provides a soundtrack to the night and sunrise, like nothing you have ever heard.
This year for me Damian Lazarus playing ‘Time’ by Pachanga Boys through sunrise is a moment I will never forget, and as a producer and DJ there is no better form of inspiration for making and playing music. I have made music inspired by the festival these last two years and within this mix, just before the end, you’ll find a track written especially for this year. I hope you enjoy it.
For me my home from home, Burning Man, Black Rock City, and the experiences I have had and have shared, restores a little faith in humanity. It shows that in a unique setting, people can come together to share and create and also have that childlike opportunity to be free in the most amazing of playgrounds.”
Introduction: Milly McMahon
Photography: Images courtesy Ashley Wild