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all photos: Ben Droz
all words: Tom Risen

Xmas came early for all the (naughty) girls and boys this weekend with a rousing rave Friday night with some of the area’s best DJ talent and beautiful people. Some 500 Santas, elves and reindeers dressed up as a prelude to the parade and bar crawl Saturday morning.
(There are so many photos we’re doing this one as a two parter-check in on Santarchy photos later this morning-ed)

Naughty Snow Ball:Friday

The D.C. Burning Man crowd welcomed all other costume connoisseurs to the Crucible warehouse in Southwest for its massive rave. ince the place is normally a bondage / fetish club, the owners were very cool with requests to dance with fire hoops and put psychedelic lights everywhere.

In true D.C. fashion, many in our city’s Burning Man crowd have security clearances or government jobs, so they requested I use their super-cool D.J. names. It’s not every city where you’ll find lobbyists and intelligence analysts juggling fire or spinning dub step.

“They let us spin fire in the middle of the dance floor, that’s really the main reason we chose Crucible,” said organizer DJ Sir Lix-A-Lot, who also spun dub step. “We get to do what we want to do.”

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Burning Man in Black Rock Nevada hosted more than 30,000 people this year and when they all return home, some form chapters in their hometowns to continue the creative spirit, sometimes even hosting burns of their own. The D.C. Burners has been a vibrant social network of young professionals for some time, and host a burn festival in Delaware twice a year called Playa del Fuego.

You might have seem them around town having dub step and costume parties at Station 9, or Kostume Karaoke nights at Solly’s U Street Tavern. A number of them, including DJ Sequoia, formed an event-planning group called Mischief D.C. this year and want to use the Snow Ball’s success to plan bigger events next year.

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“Our first party as Mischief was here back in April, which we called Mischief: Pageant of Unearthly Delights, and we want to throw another in April for its one year anniversary,” said Sequoia. “We can’t throw big events every month, but we throw a lot of smaller events- looking into doing a monthly at the Rock & Roll Hotel and the Looking Glass. We have a younger Burner party chapter than some others, and we’re starting to attract people from other cities like Philadelphia. But we’re also more professional so we can’t throw renegade warehouse parties like they do in Philly or New York.”

The DC Burners’ turned all four rooms of the Crucible into their own Black Rock City playa, with a jungle gym tent lounge toward the bar, and three DJs playing different beats all across the warehouse. One the second floor there was a projector screen that created psychedelic shadows of the people dancing in front of it.

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In the back of the warehouse, the Devil’s Den had some of the trappings and decorations of the bondage club, while other parts like their “private rooms” were closed off for the night. Cameras weren’t allowed back there, so here’s my way to gift-wrap the madness with “The Naughty Snow Ball Before Xmas”:

While the cold outside Crucible was something to dread, inside the music and costumes were as hot as Club Med;
All the hoes down in Whoville were snug in their tights while the DJ’s sick back-beats synced up with the lights;
I drank in a tent with Santa and his girlfriend elf, and I laughed as they cage danced in spite of myself;
The Devil’s Den flogging cross line arose such a clatter, so did dub step dancers jumping and laughing mad as a hatter;
Fetish fans were hung from their harness with glee, while Naughty Santa let you take pics with his boner for free;
Fire jugglers warmed the crowd and LED hoops bristled, while the drum and bass boomed and the ravers blew whistles;
Sexy costumes, fun music, ice and lasers so bright
Merry Christmas to all for throwing such a great night!
Known for playing many other D.C. venues, DJ V:shal Kanwar hoped this event will bring more attention to the Burner’s party planning after he finished spinning his electro beats in the back room.

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“The Burning Man crowd is family, man- they’re automatically welcoming to everybody, you can’t beat that,” said Kanwar. “And my kind of Afro-beat, Asian fusion and Bangra stuff doesn’t drive the D.C. scene being inspired by classical Indian music- but the Burners love it, along with my dub-step. Santarchy D.C. is going to be a madhouse- if you follow it all day you’re hammered by 6 p.m.”

And with that sentiment we move on with the gallery!

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