The enchanting world of Apogaea, the Colorado regional burn of Burning Man, came to life once again this year with its captivating theme: Space Glam Rodeo. From June 8th to 11th, the picturesque town of Valdez, Colorado became a haven for burners all gathering to celebrate the spirit of Burning Man in a unique and inspiring way.
Embodying the ten principles of Burning Man, Apogaea 2023 was a testament to the power of communal effort, self-expression, and radical inclusion. The festival showcased an array of remarkable camps, vibrant art installations, pulsating sound camps, and engaging workshops, inviting participants to immerse themselves in an experience like no other.
Apogaea: The Camps
The heart of Apogaea lay in its camps, which formed the backbone of the event. Each exuded its own distinct flavor and welcomed fellow burners with open arms. The festival grounds gave a home to many exceptional communities, each serving as a microcosm of the broader event’s creativity and collaboration. These camps brought together individuals from all walks of life, united by their passion for self-expression and the desire to create an unforgettable experience for all attendees.
One of the standout features of Apogaea 2023 was the presence of over ten food camps, offering a mouthwatering array of cuisine to satisfy the appetites of festival goers. From questionably hygenic hotdogs served by a kid camp to midnight grilled cheese made with unicorn sweat, these food camps embraced the spirit of gifting by providing nourishment and sustenance to all who crossed their paths with no contemplation of receipt in return.
The spirit of giving and communal effort was at the core of Apogaea 2023, with camps going above and beyond to create inclusive and engaging experiences for all. Workshops, game shows, and interactive activities were scattered throughout the festival grounds, encouraging participants to engage with their surroundings and connect with one another. The atmosphere was one of joy, curiosity, and an unyielding desire to explore new horizons.
Another highlight of the festival was the presence of free garage sales in several camps. This unique aspect allowed attendees to delve into the world of self-expression and fashion, embracing the vibrant and flamboyant spirit of the Space Glam Rodeo theme.
As participants explored the festival grounds, they were greeted by an awe-inspiring display of art installations that captured imagination and stimulated senses. From towering metal sculptures to interactive art pieces, the festival was a playground for artistic expression. Among the captivating installations were a flying machine that allowed adventurers to soar through the air and a massive climbing tower that challenged participants to conquer new heights. Not only that, but there were art cars.
Among the vibrant and eclectic art cars that graced the grounds of Apogaea 2023, one standout was Octopussy. This imaginative creation transformed a gutted Geo vehicle, stripped of its doors, into a rolling work of art. Perched atop the car was a magnificent giant octopus cat, an awe-inspiring fusion of two iconic creatures. Octopussy was a moving spectacle, cruising through the festival with music thumping from its speakers. It offered burners the opportunity to embark on whimsical journeys, transporting them from one area of the festival to another. All while immersing them in an enchanting world of art and music. Octopussy exemplified the spirit of Burning Man art cars, capturing the imagination and creating unforgettable moments of joy and wonder.
The Sound Camps
Apogaea 2023 was also a haven for music enthusiasts. Its vibrant sound camps hosted a diverse lineup of DJs and bands. The festival pulsated with an eclectic mix of beats and melodies, keeping the energy high and the dance floors alive. With music serving as a universal language, these sound camps fostered a sense of unity, transcending boundaries and bringing people together.
Apogaea: The Big Burn
As the festival drew to a close, burners gathered to watch the Effigy burn. Participants departed with hearts full of cherished memories and a renewed sense of connection to themselves and their community. Apogaea 2023 reminded us all of the transformative power of art, music, and community.
Apogaea 2023: Space Glam Rodeo will be remembered as a remarkable event that captured the essence of Burning Man while forging its own unique path. It invited individuals from all walks of life to come together and embrace their inner creativity.
Featured image credit: John Sondericker
All other images: Chanel Berumen