Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 21, 2013.

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The Zeppelin will be a massive airship made of color and light flying across the Burning Man playa at night.

Updates!

Last funding update!  We're at the end of our Kickstarter- be sure to make any planned adjustments to your reward tier or contribution amount now.  Thank you all!

STRETCH #2 ($7,000): FUNDED! At $7,000, backers will receive a laser-cut wood sculpture of the Zeppelin, suitable for framing! This is by far our favorite and most unique backer reward. (For all donors $25 and up)  

STRETCH #1 ($5,500): FUNDED! Bracelets! Your choice of a silicone band or a hand-crafted bead bracelet- something to wear and share! (For all donors $5 and up)
ORIGINAL GOAL ($4,500): FUNDED!

It's not too late to contribute- our original target of $4.5k is the bare minimum needed to get The Zeppelin on to the playa.  With additional contributions, we'll be able to install our dream lighting and audio systems- to make this art car what we truly want it to be.

We've added stretch goals to reflect the importance of additional contributions- both existing and new contributors will receive new rewards if these goals are met.

What is the Zeppelin?

The Zeppelin is a new art car that we want to bring to this year's Burning Man.  It will fly you away to a fantasy world- we will be incorporating many airship-inspired elements into the design.

She will be an amazing ship- it will literally look like it is flying, with the top mast at almost four stories over the desert floor.  It will be covered in lights, through which motion will be conveyed.

This is a massive undertaking, and that is why we need your help on Kickstarter!

Why?

Because it is so awesomely over the top.

The Vehicle

For our base vehicle, we are currently in the process of restoring an old military medium cargo truck.  This truck was used on the playa as a Department of Public Works vehicle for multiple years.

Once the truck is back in top shape, we will be adding a roof viewing deck.  The vehicle is a workhorse, and our deck will be able to support as many passengers as the largest current art cars!  The deck will also have room for live performances and maybe even a DJ booth.

Above the deck we will be assembling the zeppelin structure.  This will be a large geodesic lattice which we will literally be covering with LED lights.  At night, it will be bright enough to be seen from a mile away.

The Team

We are a diverse group of individuals, comprised of both Burning Man veterans and non-burners alike.  The combined team has many years of experience on the playa, with multiple theme camps founded.  Asian Fetish Camp, Domo Arigato, and *CATS form the core of the team.

A substantial portion of the team have backgrounds in engineering- as such, we expect to be able to go above and beyond with both the large scale of the structure and the lighting on it.

So far over 25 people have worked on this project, and we expect that number to grow as August nears!  This project requires a lot of help, so join in if you are interested!

Money goes where?

Art cars are expensive projects, and The Zeppelin will be no exception.  Your donations will go directly towards the materials needed to build the airship.

Our current conservative estimates for materials:

  • Zeppelin shell $2,500+ (conduit, fasteners)
  • Structural support for zeppelin $1,500+ (aluminum members, guy wires)
  • Roof deck $1,000+ (steel, plywood, railings)
  • Electrical $500+ (generators, power cables)
  • Audio $500+ (lots of bass)
  • Lighting $1,000+ (led rope, microcontrollers)
  • Total materials, barebone: $7,000+

Our dream budget will let us make the lighting High Definition and turn the audio up to 11.

  • Dream lighting $5,000+ (programmable LEDs, microcontrollers)
  • Dream audio $1,500+ (lots of bass)
  • Total materials, dream budget: $12,000+
In addition to what is above, our operational expenses are large- we need to rent warehouse space for construction/storage, obtain flatbed shipping for materials, purchase over 100 gallons of diesel for the week, and repair/maintain the base truck.

Our barebones budget for all this is $13,500. Our dream budget is  $20,000!  Every dollar you donate is matched in kind by team members- we are raising about a third of the budget via Kickstarter.

Thank you!

Casey Ho and The Zeppelin Crew

Like us on Facebook! https://facebook.com/TheZeppelinCrew

Special Thanks:  Snook and everyone at NIMBY in Oakland.  If you have your own project, space is available.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are risks that may prevent us from completing this project. Historically, they have affected a substantial percentage of Mutant Vehicle projects. We will do our best to mitigate these risks, but they should still be mentioned.

THE DMV: The Department of Mutant Vehicles, run by BMorg, pre-approves and inspects every vehicle before it is allowed on the playa. Unfortunately, every year a sizable number of mutants are denied entry- the ultimate decision lies in the hands of the bureaucracy and not us.

Our team is well-prepared for this portion of the process. We've interviewed a number of experienced art car veterans, and we're confident that our design will far surpass the bar the DMV hotties have set.

THE HARSH PLAYA: Playa dust is not kind towards a constantly driven mutant vehicle. It is possible that our vehicle may suffer a breakdown at some point during the week. Our truck is weathered, and broke down on the playa in 2011.

But that's actually why we chose the truck for our base vehicle. It's a military machine designed to fight wars and absorb bullets. It can even ford a river: http://youtu.be/okfmSGdT3rA We've been restoring the truck back to tip-top shape, and our team is full of seasoned mechanics who are now very familiar with how to fix it. At worst, our vehicle will not be functional every day of the event- meaning you'll still see it out there at some point.

tl;dr; There is a chance this project may hit a major roadbump, but we're going to do our damned best to make sure that doesn't happen.

FAQ

  • Oh, the humanity! No :)

    Last updated:
  • Absolutely!

    For those of you who live in the Bay Area, we can definitely use your skills! Engineers, builders, designers, organizers, videographers, people who want to try something new- we've got plenty of fun work to do! We could especially use assistance from experienced structural welders.

    On the playa, we want to run the vehicle for as long as possible- so we'll need more help to have multiple shifts to drive/operate/run logistics for the whole week.

    We will happily accept donations and loans of supplies- generators, LED lighting, conduit, audio systems, fabric, construction fittings, heavy machinery, and the such.

    If any of this sounds appealing to you, get in touch and we'll make sure you get to contribute!

    Last updated:
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    6 backers

    STARVING ARTIST: This year's pricey ticket put a huge dent in your wallet? That's okay, you can still contribute! You'll get project updates and our sincerest thanks.

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    27 backers

    SPARKLE PONY: You live to spread the love! You will receive a zeppelin sticker which you can rock with pride. Plus: updates and our sincerest thanks!

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    47 backers

    PARTICIPANT: You are the backbone of this project, You'll receive a zeppelin pendant crafted by the team. Plus: updates and our sincerest thanks!

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    3 backers All gone!

    FOUNDING OFFICER: The founding triumvirate of officers will receive their commissions for $85. You will get the team uniform- a t-shirt with the zeppelin logo. Wear it...or set it on fire. Also, your commission grants you an entry in the ship's roster, which will be on board the airship and included in the photobook. Plus: pendant, updates, and our sincerest thanks!

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    19 backers

    OFFICER: You will get the team uniform- a t-shirt with the zeppelin logo. Wear it...or set it on fire. Also, your commission grants you an entry in the ship's roster, which will be on board the airship and included in the photobook. Plus: pendant, updates, and our sincerest thanks!

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    3 backers

    LIEUTENANT: You will get something special to remember the project by- a photobook documenting our journey from conception to the playa. The book will be signed by members of the team. Plus: t-shirt, roster entry, pendant, updates, and our sincerest thanks!

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (7 left of 7)

    COMMANDER: A toast to you*! Enjoy a special dinner banquet on the deck of the airship with the team as you watch a beautiful sunset. Bring a guest. (*You must not be associated with a champagne producer) Plus: signed photobook, t-shirt, roster entry, pendant, updates, and our sincerest thanks!

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    Ships within the US only
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    HONORARY CAPTAIN! Command of the airship will be handed over to you for an evening on the playa! You'll get to plan and run the party- choose the destinations, music, attire, and more. Plus: banquet invitation for you and a guest, signed photobook, t-shirt, roster entry, pendant, updates, and our sincerest thanks!

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  • Pledge $1,337 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    CREATOR: NAME THE AIRSHIP! Yes, that's right, you get to name it! The name you choose will be prominently displayed on the airship. You are also invited to be the person to break the bottle of wine at the ship's christening before it leaves for the playa. We reserve the right to decline a name and ask you to select a different one. But don't worry- we're game for almost anything. Plus: honorary captainship for an evening, banquet invitation for you and a guest, signed photobook, t-shirt, roster entry, pendant, updates, and our sincerest thanks!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (27 days)