Rainbow Bridge is a 75 ft long, 30 ft high, 4 ft wide walkable sculpture covered in multicolored LEDs. This cheerful arch rises from the playa, something to behold and playfully traverse. Rainbows evoke love, magic, hope, inclusivity, and wonder– some of our favorite aspects of Burning Man.
You aren’t in Kansas anymore, honeys. There is no Kansas. Turn up the magic, turn on the lights, and meet me under Rainbow Bridge.
Rainbow Bridge will include 15,000 lbs of steel for the frame, clad with wood panels painted the iconic colors, and emblazoned with over 27,000 individually addressable LEDs. That is nearly 1 miles of total LEDs, and these will be sound-reactive and beautifully animated. This means that the experience of the Rainbow Bridge will be forever mutable, much like the experience of Burning Man itself. The apex of the walking platform of the Rainbow Bridge will be 27 feet high, giving participants a stunning view of the playa and an opportunity to take in the event from a new, exciting perspective. A protective railing will run across the bridge at 40 inches high, so the view from above can be beautiful and safe.
The Rainbow Bridge team is helmed by artist Josh Zubkoff, who in 2017 created Phoenicopterus Rex, a massive 40 foot tall climbable lawn flamingo that garnered attention from Rolling Stone, W Magazine, National Geographic, and Artnet.com. Leading the LED project is artist Srikanth Guttikonda, a veteran from P-Rex. Here's a scale model (1:24) of the bridge, in our workshop:
The build is on track for completion in mid-August 2018. Dozens of people have helped so far, including artists, structural engineers (RBHU), welders, and volunteers, designing, cutting, drilling, painting, wiring, and coding. This will be another stunning addition to the playa, bringing iconic size, color, fun, and interactive whimsy back to the Playa again for 2018.
The sides of the Rainbow Bridge will have a few steep climbable stairs before reaching the main arching platform. Participants will walk the bridge from either side, engage with one another, and take in the whole playa from the apex.
Aside from the natural community intrinsic to the Rainbow Bridge installation, the art site will have aerial silks performers, swings, DJ Performances (with LEDs programmed to react to the music), and reading of Children’s Books during the course of the festival. Most importantly, the Rainbow Bridge inherently welcomes everyone, a big bright reminder that will be built with love, and built with the intention of giving that love back to the community.