The Best Reason to Get (Or Stay) Up At 5 AM at a Festival

Header image by Ali MacDoodle

Dayburner was given his Playa name because, every morning at Burning Man, he would be up to see the first rays of sunshine hit the desert. Yet, watching in silence, he felt like something was missing from his experience. No one was there to witness the sunrise with him. So, Dayburner composed a soundtrack– the first music he’d ever written– to keep him company. This is the moment when the idea behind Dawn of the Burning Sun, an interactive morning meditation, was born. Dayburner wanted to help other people feel the same sense of awe that he held during a sunrise.

This hour-long, three-part meditative experience will start at 5 AM on Saturday morning at Gratitude Migration. The participants begin the ceremony with a Mindwaves Meditation which, brace yourself, is based in science. According to the House of Dayburn website, this form of meditation “fuses scientific brainwave entrainment method (Isochronic Tone) and Dayburn’s emotive music to provide an effective, tangible and musical meditation platform. Participants will be guided to the super-learning Alpha and Theta states where one can neuro-program their own unique positive affirmations.” Since this form of meditation isn’t centered around any religious beliefs, it’s accessible to meditators of all levels– even people who haven’t gone to sleep yet.

Next, the early rising Migrators will transition into a Moving Meditation. This slow-moving, simple yoga will allow the participants to get their stretch on, all while watching the beauty of the rising sun. Finally, once rays of light are visible on the horizon, the group will begin a sun salutation.

“We want people to connect with themselves, and come back to the sun. We believe the sun is such a universal symbol, and it can connect people with various backgrounds and beliefs,” Dayburner told us. “When anyone sees the sun, they are in awe and feel like there is something higher that connects them. Then you come back to that energy.”

Dayburner feels that yoga can be intimidating– especially when teachers use terms that might be unfamiliar to students, or mention religious philosophies. “Like, when someone says ‘heart chakra,’ it’s hard to understand what that concept means,” Dayburner said. “I wanted to do something that is very scientific, but also very emotional.”

If you’re going to Burning Man this year, you’re in for a treat. Dayburner told me that he’ll be doing the Dawn of the Burning Sun ceremony again but, in his words, “times a million.” Let’s just say there will be skydivers.

Also, if you’re a part of the sunrise ceremony at Gratitude this year, Dayburner wants to hear from you! Him and everyone at House of Dayburn want your pictures, videos, and stories. If you want to share, send your stuff to, or tag them on Instagram @houseofdayburn.

Written by Jillian Richardson