Music at Burning Man that’s Not EDM

photo by Lung Liu

Yes, there is a ton of house, trance & other electronic music at Burning Man but you can also find live music, classical music, jazz, hip hop, and everything in between on the playa. And, while I love a four-to-the-floor beat, here’s some of my favorite places to find music other than techno:

Classical Music

With 2 orchestras, you might think Burning Man is all about Bach, rather than beats:

Black Rock Philharmonic is Black Rock’s biggest orchestra. This year hear them at: Wednesday 5:30pm at Frozen Oasis, Thursday evening 6:00 pm at Chapel of Babel (artwork in the inner playa along the 3:00 road), supported by the mega art car Titanic’s End, which will provide the rich and multi-dimensional sound, and on Friday morning 9:00 am at the Temple.

There’s also the PlayaPops Symphony Orchestra which has four performances throughout the week, each an hour long. Tuesday, find them at Skinny Kitty Tea House, Wednesday at Red Nose District, Thursday at The Temple 10:30am, and Saturday at Center Camp 12pm.

Live Music

Crossroads is the biggest live music camp at the Burn, hosting large concerts of world-class bands and performers across many genres. This year, they have 2 day parties, including a disco-themed one (count me in).

Playa Jazz has live Jazz Jam Sessions every night from 10pm – 2am. During the days, they hold workshop and classes for musicians, aficionados & the jazz-curious.

Reverbia is an All Live Music Camp with 4 stages and an interactive orchestral sound bath art installation.

Black Rock Piano Lounge is a 2-story piano lounge with flame throwers & live music.

Center Camp always has a stage with performances, but since they ended coffee sales, last year was very quiet. However, it sounds like they are trying to get the space more activated this year, so it’s worth checking out, especially if you have some music of your own you want to share.


Playa Choir performs their major concert at Sunday sunrise at the temple (which I try to catch each year). If you don’t mind the heat created by their large choir and standing-room only audience, you can go to their dome for the Playa Choir’s “non-denominational, non-religious and entirely spiritual and moving Service” at 11:00am the same day. Rehearsals are open to spectators, Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 1:00p.m. No audition required.

Like the choir, the playa also has its own marching band with Burning Band Camp.

Other Music

Conscious dance camps like Rhythm Wave, Camp Contact, and the partner dance camp Partner Dance Adventures offer a range of music to move to, rarely playing EDM.

Then there are the smaller bars and camps and art cars that play their own tunes. DPW wouldn’t be caught dead playing EDM, tending to blast metal and rock from the Ghetto’s bar. Last year, I caught an epic hip hop set at One Love‘s art car during Saturday’s whiteout. Harmonic is a synthwave-themed restaurant featuring synthwave music. And so far, people have let m.

Sound Baths

Gong Wrong will have gong baths & sound baths. And there will undoubtedly be other sound baths at the playa this year accompanying some of the breath work & ceremonies at camps like Playalchemist, Camp Mystic, and Anahansana Village.

Have some non-EDM music at your camp you want to promote? Email me to be included in the Downloadable Event Guide available the week before the festival.
Especially if your camp plays hip hop.

More Burning Man Guides

Events Near You