12th Annual SOAK Gathering Preview

buring manTickets are on sale tonight starting at 8 p.m. for this year’s SOAK, Portland and western Oregon’s annual regional Burning Man gathering. The gathering will be hosted May 26 through May 30 at the Justesen Ranch at White River Canyon in Tygh Valley.

Attendees can expect a Memorial Day weekend of typical Burning Man-esque subcultural phenomena, at the steep price of $100 plus shipping. Volunteers can shave the cost through an implemented point system. Pre-event involvement gets volunteers half a point per hour of work, while on-site production doubles to one point per hour. Volunteers earn a 50% discount upon reaching 12 points, and one free ticket at 16 points.

This year’s theme is science, and the Major Burnable Structure (MBS) is said to be a mothership “capable of carrying a person to innerspace [and] returning them safely to Earth” all before being “consumed in a blaze of glory!” More specifically, the theme is said to encompass  “lab coats, mad scientists, wacky inventors, massive experiments, test tubes, Tesla coils, plasma balls… educational talks and activities, A-B testing” etc. etc.

SOAK-goers are expected to comply with a non-discriminatory, zero-harassment code of conduct and Burning Man’s usual “experimental community” will roam the grounds, strewn with theme camps offering a variety of arts: performance, installation, immersive. Among camps anticipated this year are Cirque de Licious, featuring fire performers, projection mapping, and live art, and Wine Bacon Disco Ball, offering a “world where the oceans are wine, the land is bacon, and the planet sparkles with the force of a million mirror tiles.”

If interested in meta-traveling to inner and outer dimensions, then ritualistically charring one communal spacecraft to the ground, tickets and volunteer information can be found at http://www.soakpdx.org./

By Stevie Beisswanger