Balsa Man Founder Heads to The Desert

August 16th, 2012 by Colin

The Black Rock Balsa Regional is the longest running Balsa Man regional event. For the past 3 years, an seasoned desert camper has lead the Regional as a small bit of entertainment for other (likely bored) desert campers out in the Black Rock Desert.

Colin at Balsa Man 2008 - photo by romzelino

Colin at Balsa Man 2008 – photo by romzelino

This year, the Balsa Man founder, Colin Fahrion, has decided to head to the desert to see for himself what it’s all about and to lead the Black Rock Regional himself. He will be traveling to the desert on Sunday and staying a few days to check it out before heading back to San Francisco for the Balsa Man main event.

The regional will be held this year at Phage (5:00 and Esplanade) on Wednesday at 5pm. Please bring your tiny art and celebrate with other tiny revelers on the small scale! Phage will also be hosting a Tiny Art Build party at 2pm prior to the regional for those of you who have yet to make any tiny art.

Black Rock Balsa Regional

Wednesday, August 29th

Phage (5:00 and Esplanade)

2pm — Tiny Art Build Party
Come build tiny art for the burn! Supplies available!

5pm — Balsa Regional Burn
Arrive on time because balsa burns fast!

Facebook event page


On a side note, Tuesday Aug 28th is Colin’s birthday so you if you are one of those crazy desert camper’s say wish him a happy one! Who knows he may even give you a Balsa Man sticker or even a ticket to Balsa Man!

Balsa Bingo, Aug 11th

August 1st, 2012 by Colin

It’s the first ever Balsa Man Bingo! Don’t have a ticket to this year’s Balsa Man? What to get on the special location announcement list. This is your chance!

Due to the new ticketing rules, only ticket holders get on the location announcement list; if you do not yet have a ticket, you must either be an artist and submit an art grant or come to one of the Ticket Casino Events. The Balsa Bingo Event is the first such event (others are TBD). For more read our Updated Ticket & Location Announcement Policy.

Balsa Bingo

Music! Snarky Bingo Announcers! Photo and art gallery from past Balsa Man! The band Ghost Town Gospel! Did I mention bingo?!?

August 11th, noon to 5pm

Chez Poulet,  3359 Cesar Chavez


  • Doors at noon; first game at 12:30
  • 3pm musical intermission with the fabulous band Ghost Town Gospel
  • Ends at 5pm

Door charge $2 or more sliding scale*

*$2 gets you in the door, 1 bingo card and one sticker or die of your choice. More $ gets you more bingo cards, Balsa Man patches, stickers, and dice.

PLEASE RSVP on Facebook if you are coming as we would like to get an idea of how many bingo cards we will need.


  • Is this Balsa Man Bingo a real event? … YES!
  • I mean really you’ve never done one before and it sounds ridiculous? … I know right, but YES IT IS A REAL EVENT!
  • Why should I come? Will it be fun? … YES! What better way to support tiny art than to play bingo on a Saturday afternoon!
  • Can I join even I show up late? Yes you can join or leave any time as there will be several games throughout the day.
  • What do I win? you win two Balsa Man tickets and your name on the special location announcement list.

Balsa Bingo Rules

  • Each game is played until someone gets 5 in a row.
  • First person to yell BALSA! wins (as long as it is a valid win)
  • Winner gets two tickets to Basla Man and their name on the location announcement list.
  • The winning card can no longer be used in future games, though the winner can continue to play with other cards.
  • New game begins as soon as winner claims their prize and sits down or decides they are done playing.
  • People can join or leave games whenever they want.

Ticket Design for 2012!

Balsa Man Ticket 2012

Updated Ticket & Location Announcement Policy

August 1st, 2012 by Colin

We have received a lot of feedback over this year’s randomized ticketing policy. First most, we want to say we hear you and understand that the new rules are confusing and we are sorry that this has been a hardship on the Balsa Man community. The Balsa Man higher ups have had numerous meetings over the past couple months trying to figure out a way to make this work for everyone — from the tiny artists that make Balsa Man the wonderful creative place it is to the puny theme camps that fill it with vibrant community to the little new faces who bring fresh energy to Balsa Man.

We know the new revised rules won’t make everyone happy but we have every confidence that even though it is tiny the Balsa Man community is strong enough to come together and heal the small rifts of these trying times.

Revised Rules for Ticketing

  • As of today August 1st, new online donors no longer receive tickets as part of their donation (all donors prior to Aug 1st will still receive their tickets as promised).
  • Artists who receive art grants receive a ticket (additional tickets can be requested for large tiny art projects). Please submit for an art grant today!
  • Dept of Tiny Works, and other Balsa Man volunteers receive a ticket.
  • Any other people that the Balsa Man Org deems important to the event receive a ticket.
  • Everyone else who wants a ticket must play to win at the upcoming Balsa Bingo event (Saturday 11th) or at another TBD Balsa Man Ticket Casino Event.

Location Announcement Policy

  • Due to certain troubles at last year’s Balsa Man, the location will no longer be announced on the main Balsa Man tiny mail list.
  • You must be a ticket holder to get on the location announcement email list.

Balsa Man Custom Dice!

March 20th, 2012 by Colin

In celebration of this year’s theme “Chance” we are getting custom Balsa Man dice made by Chessex! These custom dice will be available at the upcoming Balsa Man Ticket Casino events and Tiny Art Build Parties (stay tuned to the Balsa Blog, twitter, or facebook for announcements). Also, high level Micro and Nano Donors will be sent a set of dice as an extra award.

Balsa Man 2012 Theme Announcement!

February 13th, 2012 by Colin

The Balsa Man Theme Advisory Committee has settled on what it truly believes is the ultimate theme that truly represents the year 2012 in the grand narrative of the long history Balsa Man!

Balsa Man 2012 - Chance

Balsa Man 2012 :: Chance

Instead of damning the whims of fate that resulted in last year’s hullabaloo, this year Balsa Man will celebrate serendipity and the fortuitous fiascos which make Balsa Man the wonderful event it is!  …it is 2012 after all, the year the world ends, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it. ~ Frank Wedekind

Small Event, Big Changes

As a result of last year’s fated turmoil, Balsa Man is faced with multiple conundrums. It truly was a year of Growing Pains and the Balsa Man Org is getting it’s engines moving early this year in order to tackle these dilemmas.

Where should we host Balsa Man 2012?

This is a big important question and we have created a new location committee to tackle it. Nothing has yet been decided but we want you to know we are taking it seriously as this more than any change effects the future of the event and the Balsa community.

How will we deal with the ticket scarcity problem to keep it both fair and free of dirty rotten scalpers?

Another important question and one we are pleased to announce is solved! We have come up with an innovative solution that is fair, eliminates the problem of scalpers, and best of all is inspired by this year’s theme!

Donors who donate prior to August 2nd 2012 will receive a number of tickets equal to the roll of a 6 sided die +/- their donor level modifier. (see the BPAF donation page for more info)

Additional tickets will only be available at any of the Balsa Man Ticket Casino events leading up to the main event. At the ticket casino, participants can win tickets by playing any number of games of chance including craps, roulette, and bingo! While obviously not everyone will win a ticket to Balsa Man, all participants will have a fair shot!

No tickets are required for kids 12 and under since as tiny humans they are considered art.

Give Us a Little Feedback

September 9th, 2011 by Colin

How was your slight smidgen of experience? Let us know! Each year after the event, Balsa Man staff play video games, read books, and generally procrastinate as a means to avoid having to do anything to do with Balsa Man. This year we promise to at least think about it a little, maybe when we are in the shower.

This year our theme of “Growing Pains” became quite literal what with the chaos of ticket sales, our very hastily trained Gate staff, and the necessitated moderately dramatic relocation. There are may questions and small hurdles for Balsa Man going forward and we would like to hear your feedback — as long as it isn’t excessively loquacious.

A general response highlighting the most prominent feedback will be posted later on the Balsa Blog. We want to hear from new and old Balsars alike. Please email your comments both good and bad to or in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the tiny amount of time to contribute your thoughts. We promise our intern will at least glean what you have to say. Looking forward to 2012!