Oh! And then there was the pyro guy!
Which sounds way scarier than it is. "Pyro" is the name for the team that sets up the man burn.
I won't give away too much for those of you who might go some day and have stayed away from videos of Burning Man (which you should because... they're just all curated and give a false sense of what it's like out there) but when it comes to time to burn the man structure they don't just walk up and throw a match on it.
And so I guess it was Monday (?) when many folk had cleared out (and there was a shut down of exodus but that's not relevant!) and I was hanging out and chatting with the new friend I'd made. A ways away from us was a camp that it turned out was the pyro folk. One of them came over at some point (on his way to the porta potties I think) and we got to chatting (as one does) and I got to ask all sorts of questions about pyro crew and set up and it was awesome!
I confirmed a few things I'd thought I'd noticed and learned a few things and while I don't think I could handle the pressure of putting on a show that so many people would see, I do think it would be fun to watch them or learn how they do what they do.
Fire is cool. But dangerous and scary. Or, it can be. And should be treated as such. I know Burning Man "isn't what it used to be" but it's also not a couple thousand people anymore and so safety regulations have to be put into place. And man, do they ever take their fire crowd safety seriously. And impressively so.
Even if you only went to Burning Man to learn about how it was all run, it would still be fascinating.