Burning Man’s famous Mayan Warrior art car has been destroyed in a fire that happened earlier this week in Mexico.
The car was en route to an April 8 fundraiser in Punta de Mita — a beach town on the country’s central Pacific coast — when, according to a social media post shared today (April 5) by Mayan Warrior organizers, it caught fire and “burned to ashes.” The cause of this fire has not been given.
“Over the last twenty-four hours, I have felt a roller coaster of emotions, from sadness, shock, and devastation to immense gratitude while reflecting on what the Mayan Warrior family and this community means to me,” Mayan Warrior founder Pablo González Vargas wrote in the post sharing the news.
Since debuting at Burning Man in 2012, Mayan Warrior grew into the event’s biggest, flashiest and most beloved art cars, becoming a prestige stage for DJs on the playa. Over the years, Mayan Warrior hosted sets from DJ Tennis, Jan Blomqvist, Damian Lazarus, Bedouin, Carlita, Francesca Lombardo and other stars of the underground house and techno world, along with artists from the Mexican electronic community that the Warrior is focused on showcasing. Producers today expressed their shock at the events, with Adam Port commenting “Please no….” and BLOND:ISH writing simply “all love.”
Based in Mexico City, Mayan Warrior more recently become a traveling venue, going on tour throughout Mexico, Europe, the U.S. and points beyond, drawing in the community it had developed at Burning Man while pulling more people into Burner culture. Money raised from these shows funded Mayan Warrior’s return to Burning Man each August, with González Vargas last year telling Billboard that costs of bringing the car to the event hit around $300,000 annually.
Funds raised also went to Planet Buyback, a charitable initiative that works to protect habitats and cultures in Mexico and beyond, with whom Mayan Warrior has a partnership.
Mayan Warrior will host three more fundraisers in Punta de Mita, Mexico this Saturday (April 8), in New York on July 8 and in Los Angeles on Halloween. According to the Mayan Warrior team, these will be the final Mayan Warrior shows.
In the post González Vargas also notes that the team will return to Burning Man in some form, writing that “as a community, we will continue to thrive and return every year to our beloved home in the desert. We strongly believe it is in these unplanned moments the universe finds ways to amaze us and plant seeds for growth. Only time will tell what our next artistic expression to the world will look like.”
Check out Vargas’ full post and see photos of the fire below: