The Fish Bar: An Iconic Part of Burning Man

The Pathogen Trackers theme camp, being avid believers in the Burning Man notion of radical self-reliance, have often run into naysayers in the past. Each year brings with it new challenges, and this year was no exception. The target? Our beloved Fish Bar.

The Fish Bar went under fire at the beginning of this summer for “not being mutated enough.” Needless to say, Control was shocked. After spending countless hours reshaping scrap metal to completely redesign what was originally a 1989 Dodge Caravan, we were told that it wasn’t enough, despite the art car’s appearance at Burning Man for several years prior.

The Fish Bar enjoys a snack.

Hesitant to relent, The Fish Bar was displayed with pride at Burning Man 2019. The Infected were thankful for the purifying drinks served by the infamous art car. Those without the virus were just grateful for a cold beer in the hot sun. The Fish Bar provided both.

During the cooler nights, the Fish Bar was host to dancing burners, car-shaking music, and plenty of drinks served. It is a well-known favourite hotspot of, not just the Pathogen Trackers, but all of those who have participated in The Burn.

© Bill Butcher. The Pathogen Trackers Fish Bar is prominently featured in this image by artist Bill Butcher as one of the iconic art pieces of Burning Man.

Artist Bill Butcher disagreed with the sentiment of the art car not being mutated enough.

“I absolutely loved the image of the Fish Bar on a landscape of sand and sunshine. I thought it was both incongruous and ingenious!” He said.

Butcher was so taken by the artistry of the Fish Bar that he depicted it in the picture shown above, commissioned by The Financial Times.

This breathtaking illustration shows that the Fish Bar is undeniably an iconic part of Burning Man. It is recognizable, even to non-burners, as is obvious in its presence in the Financial Times image.

The Fish Bar will be making a return at Burning Man 2020.

Plus, Pathogen Trackers’ new acquisition of an 80-acre plot of land just outside of Gerlach will afford more opportunities to work on our new art car project: the DUST Collector. Everyone needs a friend, even the Fish Bar.

Join Pathogen Trackers (and the Fish Bar) for Burning Man 2020.