¡AXOLOTL! The Earth Guardian Inspirational Art Car Mobile Concert Stage

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BRC 2024!


– A La Calaca Village Project –

Inspiration & Symbolism

¡AXOLOTL!, the renowned and beloved Art Car, is preparing its return to Burning Man in 2023 – bigger, better, and with a deeper commitment to our vision of inclusion, creativity and ecological regeneration – including donations to save the last remaining wild axolotl in Mexico.

Thanks to your help, 2022 was ¡AXOLOTL!’s best year ever, with improvements to our lights, performance backline, decor and musical programming. For 2023, we are preparing yet more improvements – including new subwoofers and a powerful green laser pointed skyward that will be a beacon visible from everywhere on the playa!

We remind everyone that ¡AXOLOTL! is deeply linked to its spirit-animal namesake – a critically endangered salamander native to the dwindling wetland-aquifer of Mexico City which possesses regenerative powers of ‘stem’ cells that could revolutionize medical science. In fact, 10% of your donations to ¡AXOLOTL! will be devoted to the restoration and regeneration of the axolotl salamander’s native habitat in Xochimilco, Mexico City!

Please support our efforts to bring ¡AXOLOTL! to the playa – and to restore its native habitat in Xochimilco! ANY AMOUNT HELPS!


¡AXOLOTL! is a 15.5 meter (50’) art-vehicle and performance-stage featuring a concert-quality sound system and state-of-the-art light and flame effects, creating a unique platform for live performance of all kinds.

Who We are:
our makers community

The expansive community that has given birth to ¡AXOLOTL! unites friends and collaborators of diverse talents and backgrounds from across North America and beyond.


¡AXOLOTL! is seeking support and collaboration

is seeking support and collaboration

And is available for performances and events at Burning Man and beyond.

Artists, musicians, DJs & event organizers seeking collaboration
click here

Click here to make a donation via our Go Fund Me page or contact Bethany Golden.

Click here to volunteer and support
the Build Team

 or contact Jim Reynolds.


Donations of $100 or more to our GoFundMe receive an AxoSwag gift voucher. We will email you a coupon code after your donation.



Artists & Musicians of the ¡AXOLOTL!

Play Video
The ¡AXOLOTL! as a roaming concert stage, has hosted an eclectic variety of live acts, DJs and musicians. From Sol Selekta’s Sabo to folk-singer Jurgis Did, hear some of the ¡AXOLOTL!’s musical artists below:  

A Short film featuring ¡AXOLOTL!

Germany’s National Public Television made an amazing 30-minute documentary about Burning Man — and featured the ¡AXOLOLT! community as its central character!  — For ENGLISH subtitles: “Settings” –> “Subtitles/CC”–> “German”. 
Press & Media

Don’t take our word for it! Hear what the press and media have to say about The ¡AXOLOTL! : Earth Guardian.

For media inquiries contact our communications team:
Bethany Golden (Communications Manager)
Brigham Golden (Production Manager)
Lynn Rawden (Brand Ambassador)


The Earth Guardian

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stalk the Axolotl!

¡AXOLOTL! The earth guardian 2023 ©
Images & video media used by permission
additional images provided by axo team
wordpress design by 


The powerful symbolism of ¡AXOLOTL! is central to its vision. Its name and inspiration derives from a unique and critically endangered amphibian found only in Mexico City’s Lake Xochimilco — the diminished and polluted remnant of a once-great wetland basin where the Aztecs built their ‘floating” capital city Tenochtitlan. Renowned for their rarity, peculiar morphology, and virtually unparalleled regenerative powers, axolotls are not only true amphibians, breathing both water and air through their unique external gill stalks, but also remain in a larval stage throughout their whole lives, making them capable of regenerating any part of their body at any time. In fact, the DNA of this rare and unique creature — which was almost driven to extinction by humanity — are now revolutionizing human medicine by unlocking the secrets of regeneration hidden within stem cells.

It is this amazing story that provides the inspiration for ¡AXOLOTL!, a mobile, multi-sensory art installation that symbolizes the preciousness, resilience and inter-contentedness of life — as well as a monumental reminder of humanity’s responsibility to environmental stewardship and the power of regeneration.

For more information on the amazing axolotl:


¡AXOLOTL! is a 15.5 meter (50’) art-vehicle and performance-stage featuring a concert-quality sound system and state-of-the-art light and flame effects. It is designed to be able to transport all of its art on itself and a trailer which it pulls — making the entire vehicle a self-contained and transportable unit.

  • Capacity: 90 persons total. 60 persons on the open-air bi-level performance stage and viewing platforms located on the Axolotl’s ‘back’, and an additional 30 persons inside the Axolotl’s luxurious interior ‘lounge’ area.
  • Base vehicle : Street-legal 1993 Blue Bird school in excellent condition with a Cummins diesel engine (180k miles).
  • Modifications: The base vehicle has been outfitted with a permanent street-legal galvanized steel U-strut exoskeleton that carries all major art and AV components, as well as rear- and roodeck- platforms connected by twin access ladders.
  • Modular components: Attached to the exoskeleton are a fabricated steel tail, a 16” tall raised ‘howdah’ pavilion, eight steel gill stalks, PA Speakers, illumination, pyrotechnics and 130+ CNC-cut interlocking wood planes that form the creatures head and torso.
  • Generator: AC power for the A/V system is provided by a 25kw diesel generator decorated as a ‘trajinera’, the brightly colored traditional boats of lake Xochimilco

¡AXOLOTL! is a 15.5 meter (50’) art-vehicle and performance-stage featuring a concert-quality sound system and state-of-the-art light and flame effects. Its bi-level stage covers nearly 40m2 (420ft2) and is outfitted with a professional caliber front-of-house and back-line set up, creating the possibility for a wide range of live performance.

  • Main PA: Axolotl features a 20,000 watt professional sound system on its drivers side: two Crown XLS 5000 Amplifiers, two Crown XLS 802 Amplifiers and one Crown XLS 202 amplifier. Speakers include four Vintage Altec Dual Mid bass, two 15″ speakers, four vintage Altec 511 horns and two JBL SRX728S subs. This system is sufficient for up to 1000 people, though supplemental powered speakers can easily double that number.
  • Deck PA / Stage Monitors: A second on-board PA system is located on the “back” of the Axolotl serving as stage ‘monitor’ and on-board audio. It consists of and four powered 12” QSC speakers, and two powered 15” JBL subs.
  • Backline: 24-channel console, microphones, Drum kit, Bass and guitar amps.
  • Illumination: The DMX-controlled illumination system consists of over 150 LED lights and spotlights.
  • Pyrotechnics: The pyrotechnic system consists of seven large flamethrowers (gills & tail) controlled from a station located behind the head on the main deck.


The expansive community that has given birth to ¡AXOLOTL! unites friends and collaborators of diverse talents and backgrounds from across North America and beyond.

The ¡AXOLOTL!’s original concept was created by Elias Cattan, a renowned architect and champion of Mexico City’s endangered wetlands, in collaboration with French designer Ludovic Celle, an expert in 3D illustration, with a penchant for Meso-American archeology. The pair knew it would take a whole village of makers and creators to fabricate this design. Fortunately for them, they already had one.

La Calaca is a village of camps at Burning Man associated with the non-profit festival held in San Miguel de Allende of the same name. Despite being named after a participatory arts festival devoted to the themes of Mexico’s Day of the Dead, the villagers come from all over the U.S, as well as internationally, and from occupations just as diverse as their homes. This is what makes La Calaca the perfect team to provide the various skills needed to produce the amphibious art car.

From artists to engineers, fabricators to A/V technicians, event producers to pyrotechnicians, it takes a large team and a lot of volunteers to build the Axolotl. Although the team is growing and changing every year there are still the core team members we couldn’t live without.


¡AXOLOTL! is a 15.5 meter (50’) art-vehicle and performance-stage featuring a concert-quality sound system and state-of-the-art light and flame effects. It is currently seeking artists, musicians, DJs and events that are interested in collaboration on live events of all kinds — at Burning Man and beyond.

¡AXOLOTL!’s next anticipated appearance, at Burning Man in August of 2024, will see the colossal amphibian roaming the open Playa by day and by night, providing the citizens of Black Rock City with transportation, tours, and commanding views. ¡AXOLOTL!s other main function will be as an illuminated soundstage for performances and parties, often conducted in collaboration with major art installations. In the past, the ¡AXOLOTL! team’s art cars have provided concert-quality audio for Honorarium Installations including: The Digital Dalang (2018), The Tree of Téneré (2017), Pyramid of the Dead (2017), TEDxBRC (2016), ‘Pixle Forest’ (2014 & 2015), Charcade (2013), and PyroPodium (2012).




Every year, ¡AXOLOTL! Is realized only through the generous support of volunteer and patrons — and every year significant improvements are made.  Hundreds of hours of work are done by the team every year, both on and off playa.

To fully realize this majestic, collaborative, volunteer project, ¡AXOLOTL! needs an infusion of funds and human resources. We are seeking your support be with $ funding and/or artistic and construction skills.

Jim Reynolds