Did you try to go see Rüfüs Du Sol or Kerala Dust at "Dusty Throwdown" at 8:15 & B on Tuesday night/Wednesday early am, only to discover that you couldn't find the show or the camp? Perhaps you came to the same area to see Alison Wonderland early Thursday am?
You can blame me (Dr. Yes) for that. I could tell you I'm sorry, but do you really want me to lie to you? Watching thousands of burners fall for my prank was the absolute peak of my Burning Man experience this year! Why'd I do it? I'll explain at the end of the post.
This is what the view from 8:15 & B normally looks like at night:
Here's what it looked like somewhere near 1 am early Wed morning, when Rufus was scheduled to perform.
For those who don't know what I'm referring to, I submitted a fake camp called Dusty Throwdown and a fake lineup for it to the Rockstar Librarian, who publishes a partial guide to who is playing where and when at Burning Man each year. Camps/art cars submit their lineups, and she puts together the guide, to be released around Tuesday before the gates open each year. 8:15 & B was my camp's (Friendgasm) address this year, and as we were having an event that night I thought it'd be fun to have some foot traffic on the the street, which is normally pretty sleepy at night.
I was worried that the Librarian (she has a real name, obviously, but I'll use her pseudonym here) would catch me if I was too lazy about the prank, but I also knew that she's quite busy in the runup to BM, so vetting listings is not her priority. I made sure that none of the big draws - Kerala Dust, Rüfüs Du Sol, or Alison Wonderland - had conflicting tour dates, and really only included the Thursday lineup with Alison because I felt like it wasn't believable to have a camp Rüfüs would play at only have one night of music. It was already seriously straining credibility that an act the size of Rüfüs du Sol would be at a camp at 8:15 & B, and I thought that alone would give it away to many people, but hope springs eternal!
When an early version of the Rockstar Librarian (RSL) leaked, and it not only had my fake lineup in it but also a star next to it indicating the Librarian called it out as a recommended event, I was pretty confident this was going to work. Seeing my campmates react to the listing confirmed that:
I knew my campmates were largely big Rüfüs fans, but I had no idea at least a couple of them were very into Kerala Dust, and were especially excited because apparently Kerala Dust has never performed in the US before.
Unfortunately, their love of Kerala Dust ended up revealing the joke to them when the group got word that they were 'scheduled' to perform at Burning Man, and posted on social that it was fake.
And really, that was ok, because my campmates were always going to figure it out once we got to playa and they realized there's no Dusty Throwdown in the neighborhood. That plus the straining you have to do to believe that an act the size of Rüfüs would be playing at 8:15 & B would give it away to them.
In the meantime though, I got to enjoy seeing comments like the below:
All day Tuesday people were stopping at our camp to ask where Dusty Throwdown was, and campmates were reporting they were hearing talk of the supposed Rüfüs show all around the playa, but it really picked up once it got dark. Quite a few people were looking for Kerala Dust (who were supposed to play 9pm-11pm), and we knew the crowd would be much larger for Rüfüs.
I had scheduled some random DJ I'm unfamiliar with called Persephone at 11 pm, during which we had a bit of a break and things emptied out temporarily, but by about 12:30 am the street was so packed that we killed our plan to blast Rüfüs' music at 'showtime,' for fear of starting a stampede. We probably didn't really need to worry given that we can all guess what substances many of them were on, and alcohol wasn't one of them, but we didn't want to risk it.
Everyone in our camp, and in a couple of the neighboring camps I'd let in on the joke earlier that day, thoroughly enjoyed the people watching as well as interacting with the crowd pretending we were just excited to have Rüfüs playing in our neighborhood and wondering where they might be, although strangely almost nobody was interested in coming into our bar to enjoy a nice, fancy hand-crafted cocktail. It's almost like they were preoccupied with something else that wasn't happening and weren't in the moment....
The crowd eventually dissipated on its own, leaving a remarkable lack of moop behind, though some die-hards hung on until at least an hour and a half after Rüfüs' scheduled 'showtime,' really hoping beyond hope that maybe the Aussie trio was just on playa time or something (although again, there was no camp in our neighborhood that looked even remotely capable of hosting Rüfüs). We did get some people inquiring about Alison Wonderland two days later, but she's not nearly as popular with burners as Rüfüs, and no doubt word had gotten around about Dusty Throwdown being fake by then as well.
Why I Did It
I could tell you I did it to "teach a lesson" to DJ chasers or something, but no, that's not why I did it. If you want to go listen to DJs every night at Burning Man, you do you.
I could tell you I did it to demonstrate the value of immediacy, but that'd be pretentious bullshit.
I did it because pranks, shenanigans, and fuckery that don't hurt anyone are some of my favorite parts about Burning Man, and I saw an opportunity to create a prank that a lot of people could be part of, if unknowingly in the moment. And lest you forget, Burning Man was founded out of the Cacophony Society.
As a campmate phrased it, "You saw a chain, and you yanked it." That's true, but I yanked that particular chain because it was one connected to a lot of people and one I could pull on without anyone getting harmed. I wanted to create a prank that was harmless enough that the people who were the 'victims' of it could easily remember it fondly in the future and smile, even if a bit ruefully, at the memory. I've heard a couple upset people say their 'time was wasted' but I can only laugh at the absurdity of that complaint at Burning Man.
Ultimately, if you fell for the prank and are still reading, I hope you're chuckling along with me. Most of us weren't there when Daft Punk didn't play, but you were there when Rüfüs didn't play! You were right there listening to them not play! Years from now, you'll be able to regale new burners with the tale of the epic night that you didn't see Rüfüs du Sol play and they will only be able to widen their eyes and gasp a little as you suddenly become 3x as sexually attractive to them.
No matter how many times any of us see Rüfüs du Sol play in the future, we'll all always have that one magical night together that we were Rüfüs-less. No Rüfüs at all. Not a Rüfüs in sight, even when that RV slowly rolled past and everyone cheered thinking that might be them.
It was glorious, and you were there.
P.S. Ms. Librarian - I feel silly calling you that as I know your real name perfectly well, but I just wanted to apologize for using your publication for the prank. It was nothing personal at all, and I know you put a ton of work and time into it, which I and many burners appreciate.
9/6/2022 06:12:12 pm
Thanks a lot for giving me my first serious panic attack. You say that jokes that don’t hurt anyone are cool. Well your “joke” did hurt me. I was having a bad trip and rode all across playa to calm down to Rufus only to end up having a 5x worse trip. Way to go! I do see some positive for myself though since I became a part of BM history with this. Still not cool.
9/6/2022 06:21:53 pm
Oh, no, it was very cool. You just couldn't tell 'cause you were trippin' balls. ;)
9/6/2022 09:48:29 pm
Hahahahaha. This is amazing 😂
9/7/2022 07:15:16 am
You are responsible for your happiness not everyone else. Your bad night didn’t happen cuz someone made a prank.
9/7/2022 07:26:15 am
'You ruined my night because of what I chose to ingest!'
9/7/2022 09:06:41 am
All I heard was "I took too many drugs and only 3 Australian men could calm me down, you owe me 3 aussies!"
9/7/2022 10:52:26 am
Congrats on your first panic attack! 🏆 now you know you can handle it 🎉
9/7/2022 10:55:47 am
Sorry to hear that Sasha. I had some new burners who gave up on looking for the shows after that night because of the disappointment of traveling all over the playa to see shows that didn't happen. That, plus the heat, and they decided Hawaii would have been a better vacation. I think Dr Yes should become Dr. Ass Whooped. I also think that our rockstar librarian, who had her dedication, hard work and integrity compromised due to this prank, should retaliate. So revenge should be our next move.
9/7/2022 04:13:56 pm
Thin the herd, thin the herd!
9/8/2022 09:56:03 am
This has to be the single most clueless comment about Burning Man I've ever read. I'm soooo sorry that your attempt to turn the playa into a music festival wasn't successful. It sounds like Vegas or Hawaii would indeed be better places for you and your crew. You could even file a complaint with the manager in a Vegas resort if a show didn't happen, Karen.
9/7/2022 02:53:49 pm
No, it was cool. I am sorry you had a bad trip but you have only yourself to blame Did you think going to a mega popular DJ surrounded by enormous crowds dancing and partying would calm you down? Did you think it would be a relaxing intimate environment rather than the sensory overload the playa is known to be? Did you think the performance would be a mild chill session?Chasing DJs while having a bad trip is more indicative of your poor decision making than it is of Dr Yes.
9/7/2022 04:05:07 pm
Here, fixed it for you...
9/6/2022 07:17:49 pm
Met new friends in the fuckery! It was a great time. All week if people asked if we saw Rufus we said yes and that it was the best set ever and that it made our burn! Ya got us! Fuck your burn :^)
9/6/2022 08:46:34 pm
I had prank fomo as I knew of the daft punk trash fence joke ahead of my first burn this year. I laughed the deepest most rewarding belly laugh finding out I was Rufus’d 😂😂 Fucking epic. THANK YOU
9/6/2022 11:48:07 pm
Best set of the entire week!
More Prepared (Ian)
9/7/2022 08:13:20 am
Great prank. Great night. I wished someone in that raised stage had a device and a single RDS song to play on a loop. Sprinkles on the cupcake.
10/6/2022 01:01:08 am
I love your fucking camp!
9/7/2022 08:49:19 am
9/7/2022 09:33:50 am
Fuck you from 8:15 and A. It would have been nice if you said something so that we could better secure our camp in advance. Funny prank, but dick move to your neighbors that you didn’t tell.
9/7/2022 11:32:09 am
It’s almost like the nature of a prank involves not telling everyone ahead of time.
9/7/2022 01:00:15 pm
Its almost like telling neighbors the night of wouldnt have affected the turnout at all but would have been the courteous thing to do.
9/7/2022 10:11:24 am
So epic, thank you for doing this! My bf and I were tripping on mushrooms and I was so embarrassed to watch all the people getting pranked but he was ecstatic and wanted to stay and watch. He would have been rolling on the floor laughing had it been safe to do so. We recounted the story so many times that night and died laughing for hours and hours afterward. A highlight of our burn.
9/7/2022 06:15:00 pm
L! This story and the pictures of you guys joining the mile high club were such a treat! Glad to get to meet you and your hubs and hope y’all have a great year!
9/7/2022 10:26:07 am
I was there. It was a great moment of my first burn. I’m sad I missed the craft cocktails. We tried to check some things out around the area. I remember a cool underwater tunnel. After waiting about 15 minutes my husband and I just decided to leave the area. The rental RV’s driving down the street were making me nervous with that many people around haha
9/7/2022 11:17:43 am
The amazing traffic jam made it a worthy prank. We suspected it was fake based on the mismatch of camp size but biked by anyways. Well done.
9/7/2022 11:31:54 am
Not a big deal and I'm glad you had fun with it-- just want to say I did not have a good time with it at all. I was very sure it was fake (because of the various clues you mention in your post) but multiple camp members are huge Rufus fans and essentially cajoled our camp to go under the auspices of "well it can't hurt to check it out." Our camp was actually all together and planning to go somewhere else but instead we trekked across the playa (we camp deep on the 2:00 side) only to get split up / lost in the zoo over there. So instead of a fun night all together with the camp, many of us ended up solo and trying to find others. Just kind of ended up a bummer of a night. Anyway, just wanted to share another perspective. No sour grapes, etc. All good.
9/7/2022 12:44:07 pm
It would have been a fukery even if Rufus did show up at that location, you would probably have lost your friends. Don't blame the prank on a "bummer night", don't blame your campmates who were fans, don't blame not being around specific people, you could have had the night of your life without your camp mates - but you didn't.
9/8/2022 02:52:22 pm
9/7/2022 01:42:39 pm
Our friends at Butt Disco put innerbloom in repeat and had a blast watching people come in and be confused, thanks for that!
9/7/2022 02:11:56 pm
My campmates called it getting Booty Rolled and laughed about it the entire Burn, and now are obsessed with the Booty Man song. Thank you for this epic prank!
9/7/2022 02:27:17 pm
Our camp is the Altitude Lounge, the tower at 7:15 & B. Our tower became the proxy for the the mythical Dusty Throwdown. Although we had to deal with randos coming through our camp and extra moop, we thought it was epically hilarious. Thank you for shaking things up and giving DJ chasers an unexpected experience of immediacy 🔥
9/8/2022 09:53:13 am
Oops I meant 8:15 & B, the tower in you photos.
9/8/2022 09:58:25 am
I'm glad you guys weren't pissed! Honestly, I felt like I should have warned you in particular since you were the obvious target. Plus, when people were asking where Dusty Throwdown was, we kept playing dumb may have suggested a couple times that we were suspicious that perhaps your camp was actually Dusty Throwdown, because it's the only 'big' thing in the neighborhood.
9/8/2022 10:07:18 am
Definitely not pissed, though some of us had to stay and protect camp from those who were disrespectful of our property and space. It would have been bad if we’d all been gone. Our tower has expensive gear and lighting that was vulnerable, but no real harm was done and no one fell with all the scrambling. Thanks for the riot!
9/7/2022 02:35:44 pm
Thank you for the prank. We fell hard and reveled in our hard-falling. It was way more memorable than actually seeing Rufus. We’ll played my friend!
9/7/2022 03:45:48 pm
Thank you Dr. Yes for giving me the opportunity to play Booty Man for thousands of new Tim Wilson fans. Far and away the highlight of my DJ "career". Best Butt would be honored to camp near you again
9/8/2022 08:45:39 am
Thank you for your service. "I promise, Rufus is coming on, just one more track..." (Booty Man plays again)
9/8/2022 09:59:39 am
Hahah, yeah, that was awesome. We'd be honored to camp near Best Butt again too!
9/7/2022 03:55:17 pm
HA HA So NOT Funny. All of BM is based on Cacaphony, your creation was hardly inspiring. Glad you came clean about being a wanker. I went with friends to wanted to see Rufus as I didnt give a fuck and we missed other things that were better. Boring.
9/7/2022 04:06:20 pm
Get better friends?
9/21/2022 12:42:27 am
Send me your address and I'll gift you an "I got my feelings hurt at burning man :,( ' sticker in the mail
9/7/2022 04:10:25 pm
I’ll always remember the night our camp got Rufied!
9/7/2022 06:09:08 pm
I noticed this in the What Where When and thought 'That's Bait!'
Broose on the Loose
9/7/2022 06:25:07 pm
So fucking good. Great job. I was suspicious of Rufus playing at a camp but went along and my whole crew got totally Fd by this. We went deep into the mob and had to spend 30 minutes extracting ourselves through the hordes. Grade A level fuck your burn shit. Prime.
9/7/2022 10:13:14 pm
This is amazing. My favorite thing about burning man IS the pranks. Actually, we need more pranks. My first burn, a man came up to me at 10am during the kazbah party and yelled in my face "YOU NEED TO KEEP IT DOWN!!!!!! SOME OF US HAVE TO WORK AT THE OFFICE THIS MORNING" and then picked me up over his shoulder, ran into the playa and dropped me there then ran off. That memory sticks with me forever. I was high and actually thought he was going to work his 9-5 office job until I realized I am in a desert (on Mars in my brain) and then laughed as I walked back to the party. Keep em coming
9/7/2022 10:25:44 pm
Haha over the course of a few days I had several people in my camp that 3 people died during the Rufus riot. At least until I couldn't hold back the laughter
9/8/2022 07:34:22 am
Best prank I've seen in a long time. We were at 8:00 and B on the corner and we all thought this was hilarious. We even started playing some Rufus from our camp. We salute you for your epic prank.
9/8/2022 03:29:55 pm
9/8/2022 03:46:36 pm
Hi - Well, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience! Fuckery at the burn is a core part of the burn, and while I don't mean to diminish what you went through at all (as a White person I can't truly understand the challenges of being a POC in a White-dominant culture), if you continue coming to Burning Man - and I hope you do - it's likely not the last time you'll be pranked. It's just a core part of the culture, and if it makes you feel any better, almost everyone was right there on the outside of it with you. The only people that were on the inside were my campmates and a couple camps across from us that I told, and anyone else who figured it out (although a lot of people who say they figured it out still showed up for the supposed showtime....)
9/8/2022 05:50:22 pm
Absolutely agree. I love a good prank but time at BM is limited and precious, and there are more things to experience and appreciate in one burn than one could possibly hope to get to. This motherfucker stole all of our time just so he could have a laugh—and this was not his to take. And that doesn’t even begin to mention the ways this collective time could have been reallocated to appreciating the other artists and contributors to the festival. I might not ever be able to go back. Fuck you dude.
9/8/2022 06:21:29 pm
Sounds like the real problem is that you're a spectator-tourist who wanted to be at Coachella or EDC, not Burning Man.
9/9/2022 04:34:30 pm
Hahah. I hope this is an ironic complaint, but if not, I hope you never make it back to Burning Man. LunaTom is right - you sound like a terrible fit for Burning Man and would feel more at home in a safer place where no 'mean people' will prank you and hurt your little feelings. FFS. Grow up.
9/19/2022 04:29:20 pm
First of all, Burning Man is not a festival. Second of all, be here now. Let go of attachments and expectations and learn to enjoy the present moment. You don't get to choose what happens in life but it's your choice how you react. You can choose to whine about your time somehow being "stolen" or you can have a laugh and CREATE the experience you want to have.
9/14/2022 08:12:41 pm
I'm honestly unclear if this comment is a joke or not. You can choose to make this about your racial background, but that's on you – it's a prank.
9/19/2022 10:41:48 am
WTF does your skin color have to do with this prank!!?? No one is responsible for your shitty burn but YOU! My first burn had some very shitty moments as well but it was because I was in a bad place in my life back then. Look in the mirror! Nobody can fix your issues but you. And thinning the heard also has nothing to do with skin color! It’s about people (humans of all shapes, sizes, color, etc..) who just don’t get it and take themselves way too seriously. Keep casting balme for your issues and you won’t get to experience the magic✨✌🏽
9/19/2022 07:13:04 pm
9/8/2022 06:43:21 pm
As I read thru these comments, I feel like I'm a priest in a confessional booth listening to butt hurt burners trying to rationalize their sense of entitlement. You might find here those with empathy toward your crisis, fine, but get this:
9/9/2022 07:04:55 am
When I find out who you are, I’m going to reciprocate and you’re not going to think it’s funny.
9/9/2022 08:44:51 am
Lol. First year burner huh? Go back to your mom’s basement where you can continue to issue meaningless threats that you’ll never follow up on, like the rest of the incels.
9/9/2022 04:31:51 pm
I think the best part about all of this is the butthurt comments from the people clueless about Burner culture. It's too bad that these folks weren't introduced to Burning Man by someone with a clue so they could be acculturated properly instead of raging like an entitled brat about a prank.
9/9/2022 11:43:59 pm
Absolutely epic prank. I remember discussing this with my camp on Monday… somehow we knew their tour manager and they confirmed they weren’t at the burn.
9/10/2022 09:51:17 am
Legend! Best prank of the decade at Burning Man! Much love from Blighty - keep up the bollocks.
9/12/2022 01:15:52 pm
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!!! Well played sir!
9/13/2022 12:42:34 am
This is so epic and hilarious.
9/15/2022 08:08:04 am
This is amazing, and I’m truly sorry I didn’t know about it beforehand! I would have love to have been a part of this ‘history!’
9/16/2022 10:57:52 am
This prank was literally the funniest thing I've ever seen at a Burn. I was struggling to walk through the crowd because I was laughing so hard.
9/21/2022 09:41:56 am
This reminds me of the time this old lady told me about the flaming piano trebuchet that was gonna happen out in deep playa the next day. “They’ve got a full sized piano that they’re gonna light on fire, then catapault 200ft into the air!”
9/21/2022 10:07:50 am
We were camped at 8-8:15 and B and many in our camp fell for it. I was dying of laughter because I fell for the daft punk prank during my first burn in 2009, and this just took me back to the spirit of burning man. We had hundreds of bikes in our camp, everyone kept asking us where RFD was playing. Some thought our small, 20 person camp, was where it was going down. Like… where? So, We connected our phone to an speaker and started blasting RFD and started our own party, and we’re shocked how many people were super pissed about this. Fuck your burn!! Will say that we had multiple people pee on one of our trailers at the corner of the camp, which was really annoying considering the bathrooms were at 8 and C…. Get it together people.
9/24/2022 10:36:21 am
You think your prank was harmless? So much time and planning go into attending the burn, and I have so few precious hours there. I scheduled my whole day around seeing this. 1/7th of my super precious burn time to reconnect with my two very favourite people in the world that I never get to see was lost.
9/25/2022 02:57:47 am
Waaah. Cry some more. Best prank of the year. Love the whining from fake burners like you who have no clue what Burning Man is about. I hope Dr. Yes continues with the awesome pranks. Maybe just go to Vegas next time you want a lake, predictable experience.
9/25/2022 10:55:31 pm
Love it! I was there for the OG Daft Punk prank in 08. Correct me if it was 09. I was chasing a better time while leaving a good time. 14 years later I still laugh. As a prankster- I got, got.
10/6/2022 01:14:01 am
I was actually mixing at a camp on Esplanade that night around 1am. Several of my friends apologized for not staying for my set because they wanted to see Rufus.
Comments are closed.
I'm Dr. Yes. I run this site, lead a theme camp called Friendgasm, and make Burning Man videos. Just say yes, folks, and help keep Burning Man weird!