June 27th, 2008


thought you'd all like to know


RENO, Nev. - A San Francisco performance artist was sentenced Friday to as many as four years in prison and ordered to pay restitution for the early torching last summer of the signature effigy of the counterculture Burning Man festival.

Paul Addis pleaded guilty in May to one felony count of injury to property stemming from the burning of the 40-foot icon on Aug. 28 — four days earlier than planned. He was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution.

Addis, 35, was taken into custody after a hearing this week in Pershing County District Court in Lovelock.

Burning Man organizers rebuilt the effigy in time for it to go up in flames in the ceremonial climax of the annual weekend festival in the northern Nevada desert.

In March, Addis pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts related to an alleged arson attempt at San Francisco's historic Grace Cathedral, according to the city prosecutor's office.

Addis was out on bail in the Burning Man case when police say he was found with an ammunition belt of small explosives outside the Episcopal church. He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered back to Nevada to face the charges there.

Burning Man, an eclectic art, music and performance festival that draws more than 40,000 people, began in 1986 at San Francisco's Baker Beach and was moved to the Black Rock Desert in 1990.