Burning Man’s Iconic Mayan Warrior Art Car Destroyed in Horrific Fire

Mayan Warrior art
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Mayan Warrior art
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Photo Credit: Billie Grace Ward / CC by 2.0

Burning Man’s iconic Mayan Warrior art car was destroyed in a horrific fire en route to a fundraising event in Mexico.

Burning Man’s famous Mayan Warrior art car has burned to the ground in a fire this week in Mexico. The vehicle was en route to a fundraising event in Punta de Mita when it caught fire and “burned to ashes.” A cause for the fire has not yet been revealed.

“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,” wrote Mayan Warrior founder Pablo González Vargas.

Since its debut at Burning Man 2012, Mayan Warrior has become the event’s largest, most iconic, and most beloved art car, serving as a prestige stage for DJs. Mayan Warrior has hosted sets from DJ Tennis, Jan Blomqvist, Damian Lazarus, Bedouin, Carlita, Francesca Lombardo, and other numerous stars of the underground house and techno world, as well as artists from the Mexican electronic community that the Warrior was designed to showcase.

Mayan Warrior recently became a traveling venue based in Mexico City, touring throughout Mexico, Europe, the US, and beyond. Money raised from these shows funded Mayan Warrior’s return to Burning Man each summer; González Vargas reports the costs of bringing the car to the event reaches approximately $300,000 annually.

Mayan Warrior will host three more fundraisers in Punta de Mita this weekend, in New York on July 8, and in Los Angeles on Halloween. The Mayan Warrior team reports that these will be the final show for the iconic art car.

González Vargas notes that the team will return to Burning Man in some form, 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,” González Vargas concludes. “Only time will tell what our next artistic expression to the world will look like.”