Transformus is an outdoor camping experience like no other. There are no vendors. There are no overpriced meals being slung, nor will you find kegs selling watered-down beer. The artists are not trying to sell their CD’s or get their names out into the business world; in fact, they’re probably not even using their real names. You will find no business cards being exchanged, yet there is plenty of business going on. The rangers, technicians, and service providers are working tirelessly, yet they have smiles on their faces the whole time; even though they aren’t being paid a dime for their services.
What you will find instead is a wild world of self-expression: music, art, parades, games, amazing performances, gatherings, meals, shows and magic. Where creativity runs wild to produce experiences that are seen nowhere else in the default world. Where one can be mystified, shocked, astounded, exhausted, exhilarated, and yet feel completely safe. Where total strangers are best friends.
Transformus is a Burning Man sanctioned regional Burn experience dedicated to the principles of inclusion, gifting, decommodification, self-reliance, self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy. Everyone at Transformus is a participant; there are no spectators. Everything you see at Transformus is done for its own sake, and for the enjoyment of those who experience it. It is an experiment in temporary community; a small city is formed by and for its citizens for but a few days and then it vanishes, leaving absolutely no trace behind.
The event takes place on Deerfields, over 900 acres of Appalachian paradise: a lush and verdant land of forests and fields tucked into a mountain valley near Asheville, North Carolina. Deerfields features a number of hiking trails, two gorgeous swimming lakes, and miles of streams and pondlets stretching up into the cool shady woods of the valley’s branches. Deerfields is home to a number of festivals, but only at Transformus is the property truly changed into a ethereal, dream-like world of supernatural beauty; a world that the locals call Mysteria.
Mysteria is an homage to the mythic, heavenly planes that are are archetypal to the human experience: Eden, Narnia, Shangri-La, Xanadu, Valhalla, Nutopia, Argonath and the Elysian Fields. For one weekend, these worlds come to life bringing about a mythical experience, elevating us together from the wild journey in, to the communal creation process, to the rejuvenating days and revelrous nights, to the magnificent effigy burn on Saturday night, to the solemnity of the Temple burn after, to the final breakdown and disappearance of Mysteria.
No description can ever do Transformus justice, because it is not about the parties, the fire, the light shows, the music, the lakes, the food or anything that one would use to describe any other festival. At the end of the day, there is only one way to express what this experience really is:
YOU ARE TRANSFORMUS
“The name Transformus was an evolutionary process. It started as Ars Transforma, which just didn’t flow trippingly off the tongue. We kept batting around a variety of names in e-mails, including Transformafest, Transformania, and others. Finally I proposed TransformUs because that was the goal. Not sure when we started referring to the community as Mysteria. Transformus is the event, Mysteria is the community.” -WORDPLAY