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Be a part of the team that brings Balloon Chain back to Burning Man in 2013 +NEW Reward:SPARK DVD for past and future $100+ pledges
Be a part of the team that brings Balloon Chain back to Burning Man in 2013 +NEW Reward:SPARK DVD for past and future $100+ pledges
303 backers pledged $10,263 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,263

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As you look through the dust towards the moonrise above the playa you see a faint line disappearing in to the sky. As the night progresses you swear it's getting longer and brighter. You say to yourself, "I've got to know what that is; what's at the end of it? Could it be a leprechaun? Is it a laser? What's controlling it? It must be complicated for sure; perhaps it's radio controlled."

Night flight
Night flight

As the line becomes brighter you start to make out dots. You can see where it meets the ground. There's a crowd gathered around the end. Finally you are about to solve the mystery. You see the man with his line of lights projecting outward from his hands. You approach with caution, trying to understand it all, and suddenly you realize what you are looking at: balloons, lots of balloons, simply tied to a string, gently swaying in the wind.

You refuse to take this explanation as the answer and demand to see the technology. A balloon is pulled down for your inspection and you examine the soft glow of the LED light attached to the end of each balloon. The man offers you the string and suddenly you are now all that is holding the line to the ground.

This is a story we see over and over again at every Balloon Chain event. When people finally find out who's running it and how simple it is they can't believe it. It never gets old. 

New Balloon Chain lighting technology for 2013
New Balloon Chain lighting technology for 2013

History of Balloon Chain

The project goes back to the artist's second year at Burning Man, in 2006. He and his friend would ride their bikes out to deep playa and didn't want to lose each other. To make it easier for both of them to find each other if they got separated, he had the idea of attaching a few helium-filled balloons to each bicycle.

This idea developed into Balloon Chain.  Robert has been bringing Balloon Chain to Burning Man at Black Rock City every year since.

Risks and challenges

Bringing the balloons to Black Rock City year after year is an amazing challenge. Our team originates from the East Coast, so everything (helium, balloons, line, lights, and tools) is flown out or bought in Nevada or California prior to arrival. Like all the great projects at Burning Man, someone ultimately has to front the bill. Our goal is to help offset that cost so we can focus on making the project as mind-blowing as it can be.

Your support will also go towards helping fund the design and fabrication of a new, interactive, and brighter lighting system, which is being developed to make Balloon Chain even more amazing than it's ever been before.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR
    Your name included in the thank-you list posted on the side of our RV at our base camp for the project. A hi-res photo will be posted of all the names.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    MESSAGE ON A BALLOON
    Your own personal message (30 characters max) will be written on one of our balloons, added to the Balloon Chain, and flown above Black Rock City during Burning Man 2013. After the event, we will e-mail you a digital image (photograph) of your balloon. Plus bonus NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR reward.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE Two handmade LED lights used on Balloon Chain mailed right to your door. Plus bonus NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR and MESSAGE ON A BALLOON rewards.

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    29 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MINI BALLOON CHAIN KIT

    Delivery of a mini Balloon Chain Kit (10 balloons, 10 LEDs, fishing line). You provide your own helium. Plus bonus NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR and MESSAGE ON A BALLOON rewards.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MINI BALLOON CHAIN KIT + NEW BONUS AWARD: SPARK: A Burning Man Story DVD

    Delivery of a mini Balloon Chain Kit (10 balloons, 10 LEDs, fishing line). You provide your own helium.

    NEW BONUS REWARD: A DVD copy of the new documentary SPARK: A Burning Man Story will be mailed to your address.

    Spark Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbSUyYXH8hs
    Spark Website: http://www.sparkpictures.com/
    Spark Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/burningmanstory
    Spark Twitter: https://twitter.com/SparkPictures

    Plus bonus NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR and MESSAGE ON A BALLOON rewards.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Be on the Balloon Chain crew at one of our upcoming displays. This could be a private event, music or art festival. Possible future events may include rock festivals such as Coachella, Treasure Island Music Festival, or any other event that Balloon Chain is displayed at. Transportation and lodging not included. Plus bonus rewards NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR, MESSAGE ON A BALLOON, and MINI BALLOON CHAIN KIT.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    We will do a one day display of Balloon Chain at your event. Transportation and lodging costs not included.
    Subject to FAA and local government approval and weather conditions.
    Plus bonus rewards of NOTED BALLOON CHAIN CONTRIBUTOR, MESSAGE ON A BALLOON, MINI BALLOON CHAIN KIT and a DVD copy of SPARK: A Burning Man Story (November 2013 delivery date for DVD only)

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Funding period

- (59 days)