Burning Man is a sensory overload, jam-packed with innovative artworks, the brightest of them best viewed at night, all of them temporary. This year, at Burning Man 2022, there were more artworks than ever, and it felt impossible to see them all.

But then I looked up from my LED-strung bicycle as I pedaled across the nighttime desert and gasped at a massive art piece that was impossible not to see. There in the black sky was the best of Burning Man art — its cutting-edge, nocturnal, and ephemeral qualities — cranked up by a thousand.

A thousand drones, that is.

Each night at Burning Man 2022, Amsterdam-based Studio Drift illuminated the sky with its astonishing drone art — shining stars in a multitude of colors gracefully morphing from one giant object into another. An ominous mask-like face overlooking Burning Man’s Playa spun slowly, before becoming a grand blue bird gently flapping its wings.

@explorerbaee #burningman #burningman2022 #burningmanvibes #dronevideo #drones #burningmanart #droneshow ♬ Cornfield Chase – Hans Zimmer

In the most remarkable Burning Man drone show, purple and blue lights danced in an enormous whirl that seemed to create a pair of legs out of glittery dust and then an entire being — a 100-foot-tall version of this year’s Burning Man effigy.

Then a white Stetson hat appeared, and the giant Sky Man put it on — and there was Larry Harvey, the Burning Man founder who passed away in 2018. He raised his massive sparkly arms, gently laid himself down, spun slowly, and dissolved into a myriad of stars wafting towards Heaven.

Or he was dissipating back into our reveries, as this year’s theme was “Waking Dreams.” This year’s Burning Man drone show couldn’t have been more fitting. Like the rest of Burning Man, it was the stuff of our imaginations brought to life.