About The PartySnail


The PartySnail, created in 2009, is a collaborative art car creation that originated in San Jose, CA. Originally started by Van Hovey, he organized and provided many of the raw materials. Friends from the community came together to work on this art car and added their unique ideas and abilities such as sewing, welding, furring, hammering, and painting. Everyone that attended a work day was able to assist in some form or fashion in the creation process.

Building the PartySnail

As Burning Man approached, the event that this art car was created for, the shape of The PartySnail started to become what we all know it to be today. Between March and August, a lot of people contributed to The PartySnail’s creation. When Burning Man finally arrived, it was an adventure driving the PartySnail from San Jose, CA to Black Rock City, NV. Various different issues came up that almost prevented the PartySnail from ever making it to Burning Man. Through tremendous efforts, the PartySnail did arrive and did get approved.

Burning Man 2009 – Evolution

The turn-out was just as tremendous as it’s journey. The PartySnail was an icon that could be seen across the playa by it’s vibrant blue-purple shell that was lit by UV Bulbs. The unique side seats allowed riders to view the playa in a new way as PartySnail moved across the sea of dust. People enjoyed viewing art from atop the desk, shaded by the shell. At night they danced and swirled on the dance platform under black lights.

The PartySnail – Burning Man 2009

After Burning Man 2009, Van decided he wished to sell the PartySnail art car. Five individuals that had enjoyed and worked on the art car came together to purchase the art car.

Armed with the notes from the Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV), the new owners set forth to continue what had been started. A new dance platform, more lighting, changes to the antenna, and a different look to the front and body of the PartySnail were worked on, again with the help of members of the South Bay Burner community.

Xtian, Wristy, and PowerHo work on welding the new dance platform

The Maker Faire Bay Area 2010

The PartySnail was able to make an appearance at The Make Faire in San Mateo in May before attending Burning Man 2010. Something extra ordinary happened that would never happen on playa. Regular people and their children were able to experience, interact, and view the PartySnail. The children… they REALLY experienced it.

Burning Man 2010 – Metropolis

With all the new changes, it became an issue of getting the PartySnail to the Playa. Instead of driving it, the PartySnail got a ride on a car hauler. This was no easy task. Just barely fitting on to the trailer, the PartySnail was hauled up over Interstate 80 at a meager 45 MPH. Any faster and it would try and leap itself off the trailer.

With great effort, the PartySnail arrived safely, thanks to Christian and Deb! That wasn’t all that Christian did. He fixed the fuel pump, repaired the ignition rod more than once, and performed other feats of near miracle wonderfulness!

Arriving at the DMV for inspection

The PartySnail got to be part of the Meet the Artists art tour with it’s new dance platform. The PartySnail helped out Joyism with a jump start on playa. Added it’s speakers to a performance just off the Esplanade. It was ayear of great ups and downs.

Burning Man 2011 – Rites of Passage

Getting an art car to Burning Man can be difficult, unless you put it on a 53 foot semi-truck. After searching high and low, we found a virgin Burner to help us out. We loaded… more to the point, we squeezed the PartySnail and all it’s parts onto a single 53′ semi-truck. The PartySnail is exactly 96″ wide; the semi-truck entrance was 97″ wide.

Put together on playa on Monday, we were ready to head to DMV! After some discussion and removing of clothing, the PartySnail was approved for it’s third year at Burning Man.

Dancing on the PartySnail

The PartySnail went out for a great number of adventures, day and night, including delivering an entire wedding party out to the Temple for a marriage.

Burning Man 2012 – Fertility 2.0

Our first year hosting a DJ!

Burning Man 2013 – Cargo Cult

What a year to “bee”-lieve.

cropped-1270297_553569124690435_457159488_o.jpgBurning Man 2014 – Caravansary

A new shell, new lights, and a lot of fun times! Lets not forget a giant rain, thunder, and lightening storm! Once again, we had help from all over in the form of people paiting, sewing, lifting, and cleaning. Our friends from Arizona also helped create bright new eyes! Nice and big during the day and hypnotic at night.

Burning Man 2016 – Da Vinci’s Workshop

Packed and ready to roll, this was another year of community effort (after a missed year). With Tie Dye Fundraisers, bacon wrapped hot dogs, and all our friends, we got to return for another fun year on Playa.

Burning Man 2017 – Radical Ritual

Fitted with a new all Pink Nylon Shell and ready to party! What better year for a ritual wedding. The Party Snail carried wedding guests along with Manea and Twisty out to the Flower Tower for a Thursday morning sunrise wedding ceremony.

Burning Man 2018 – I, Robot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *