Playa Life: Mutant Vehicles

You have one week to experience a vast amount of art and social stimulation. How do you spend it? Or, to put it another way, what catches peoples’ attention at the Burn?

The Mutant Vehicles are a large focus for many of us on Playa, and define the space. Getting from one place to another, you don’t just hop on a bus … you hop on a monster robot disco bus! Or you ride on a ship, or a mobile welded steel carousel horse.

So for how many participants are these mutant vehicles a draw? How much are they integrated into peoples’ experiences? We have some idea from this graph here:


Clearly, the mutant vehicles play a significant role on the Playa, with 65.7% of the 2013 participants riding one. About 75% of riders seemed to develop a healthy love of our Mutant Vehicles, coming back to them for multiple experiences.


Among people who did ride, about half did so in true Playa spirit – spontaneously and with only the goal of experience. We can conjecture that many of the people who rode these vehicles for both fun and to get somewhere could have used another method of transit, but chose to explore the playa on these large, fantastical people movers. A very small portion – around 3.1% – of the users however, seem to take a pragmatic approach.


Will you ride on a Mutant Vehicle? Do you think there are too many of them, or not enough?

Written by: Becka
Edited by: Tabicat


3 responses

  1. I know it has been written about before but … My husband and myself are aged 59/60. I have wanted to get a ride on mutant vehicles but never have.(have been at 4 Burns) When I have tentatively approached, I have (kind of) gotten the vibe that we are not young/attractive enough to join. I don’t believe I am making this up. I have not felt welcome. And I am a pretty friendly person.
    This year I will really pay attention to riding a mutant vehicle and, in non-BM spirit, will check out the age of the driver. See if there is a correlation.
    You’ll hear from me next census.

    Oh – and a BIG thanks to the people who let us borrow their Segways. Neither myself nor my husband had ever ridden one, and had been looking forward to the experience. Just made it that more special that it was on the playa.

  2. Pingback: Playa Life: Activities in Black Rock City | Black Rock City Census

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