A friend and I went to Seattle’s Gas Works park last night to check out the view when what should we see but a huge blast of fire burst out into our peripheral vision. My first thought was that I had witnessed some sort of horrible lighter mishap, but when I got a little closer to investigate, I soon noticed it was no accident at all. To my surprise there was a group of approximately 20 people gathered around a cement terrace, all taking turns practicing some sort of “fire art.” There were fire twirlers and fire spinners and fire jugglers and even a few drunk guys attempting to play the djembe who were most definitely “not on fire” in the musical sense of the term. A crowd soon gathered to take in the spectacle, seemingly undeterred by the fact that amateur pyros were hurling open flames all willy-nilly on the grounds of an old gas refinery. After asking around a bit, I learned that the fire-aficionados were actually part of a group known as Rouge Burn. They meet every few weeks at various locations around Seattle to practice their craft and hang out with friends and maybe drink a beer or 12. I asked one of the performers with the group how a person gets started in the field of fire art. His answer? “A lot of drugs and glow-sticks.” I left it at that and watched the rest of performers do their thing, paying close attention for any errant torches heading towards my face. There didn’t seem to be any real choreographed routine amongst the many fire twirlers, and at times it seemed like little more than a few friends practicing their moves for next year’s Burning Man. Regardless, it was still pretty cool to see some Mad Max-like scenes set against the impressive Seattle skyline.
If you’re interested in finding out when and where Rogue Burn will have their next meet-up, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.