About Atom Cult 2.0


Atom Cult theme camp was first created in 2013 as a reproduction of a modern nuclear power plant with bamboo and camo netting structures as our interpretation of the Cargo Cult theme. For the Caravansary theme last year it was reincarnated as a steel beam and conduit nuclear-and-steam-powered outpost of humanity in the middle of a harsh desert. This year, building on this year’s theme, Carnival of Mirrors, we return as a shiny desert attraction with a 25’ tall steel Cooling/Clock Tower, reflectix covered 17’ dome, welcoming food stand with aluminet shade, and a sea of hexayurts.


Enter the Atom Cult - the most radiant camp at BM: http://www.atomcult.com.

Imagine a mix of steam power and nuclear engineering in an attraction in the middle of a giant carnival maze: a child of the Industrial Revolution of the past and the Science of modern times.

The centerpiece of our camp - 25’ tall Cooling Tower - represents a true four-dimensional reference point, a lighthouse in the chaos of BRC universe - its tall lit-up silhouette marking a spot on BRC spatial map and its high-visibility clock marking your precise location in time. For the uninitiated and otherwise lost, climbing the tower to find their bearings may be the only way out.

The obvious way to the top is provided by a rope ladder running full height of the tower, but for the more adventurous climbing holds are mounted on the inside surface of the tower and routes of varying difficulty are set with bottom trampoline playing a role of the bouldering pad. Multi-sport helmets will be available.

By popular demand top-deck trampoline is making a comeback this year, complete with a proper 6’ tall safety net. For the benefit of photographers among us, the net will feature portholes with velcro closures labeled with names of city landmarks visible through each.

Also at the top of the tower is the Twinkle, six blinking square LED panels, which will provide a highly visible time signal for the city. A short glance and basic arithmetic skills is all that is required to tell the time with 5 minute precision, but guessing the actual encoding is left as an exercise for the viewer.

Tours of the tower will be open every afternoon.

Next to the tower is the "Reactor" in the shape of a classic dome. A chill-out place, unlike the innards of a real nuclear reactor, it will also serve as a scene for our DJ/live music entertainment and include sunscreen giveaway stand. As a tribute to this year’s theme, a cool mirror-covered drum contraption will be hoisted on top of it, driven by wind and/or a motor. With the help of DJ lights, this will provide a cool light show at nighttime.

Off to the side, evaporation pool doubles as the plant's cooling pond, decorated with UV lights and tinted with fluorescent paint. Add fake barb wire all around the camp, Geiger counter background soundtrack, cheerful hosts in gas masks, and you have a mutant size freak show in the making.

This year, we continue our tradition of delicious culinary offerings. Just as last year, we will serve FUSION SPANCAKES with jams and syrup every morning (7 AM - 10 AM). In addition to customary hot tea, fresh coffee will be brewed as well. And afternoons (3 PM) will see our best FISSION ICE CREAM in waffle cones. The food/drink giveaways have been a huge success, attracting crowds and art cars from the whole neighborhood. That’s what it looked like two years ago: https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=burningman%3Acamp%3D5907 and last year: https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=burningman%3Acamp%3D6002.

And in the ultimate expression of gifting economy, we are making money into gifts again this year! Hundreds and hundreds of pennies will be pressed into Burning Man coins and medallions with our amazing minting machine and given away to the public.



Atom Cult Camp is firmly built on Ten Principles of Burning Man.

Anyone can find something fun to do at our camp. In the spirit of radical inclusion touring the Cooling Tower takes you on a journey of self discovery, starting from a completely safe ground level trampoline contained within the tower, via a rope ladder on the outside of the structure or using bouldering routes inside protected by the trampoline below, on to fascinating views of BRC from the observation deck/bouncing trampoline 20’ high above the ground. The sky (and self-preservation instinct) is the limit to how high you can get.

Those overwhelmed by the immediacy of this experience, can chill out in our Reactor Lounge decorated by our yoga masters to provide shade, comfy pillows, and relaxing music.

Even our evaporation pond with its tracer dye and UV highlights will educate uninitiated on Burning Man Leave No Trace ethos.

Gifting will culminate with our super cool ice cream and super hot pancakes served daily. Because “everyone likes ice cream no matter who they are”.



  • Our floor plan calls for 150ft x 100ft lot.
  • The interactive structures occupy the front row of the camp. The centerpiece of the camp - The Cooling Tower stands in the middle, its base diameter 16’ and its height 25’. The visitors find the Reactor Dome (17’ diameter, 12’ height) to the side of it. There’s the fluorescent Spent Fuel Pool right next to them. A carport by the Reactor Dome ia used as the food giveaway station.
  • The second row ia dedicated to semi-public functions: the kitchen, dining and chill-out areas. Four 10’x20’ carports are used for that. The back side of the camp is occupied by private sleeping quarters: tents and yurts under a military camo netting and 4 monkey huts.
  • Vehicles are parked in two driveways on opposite sides of the camp, the left driveway hosts our main RVs and in their shade we set up our generators and gasoline storage.
  • 40-50 camp mates cover 10 half-day hosting shifts with opportunities to lead pancakes and ice cream tastings, live music and DJ performances, (and search and rescue missions around the tower as needed).