What is Burning Man?
For 1 week at the end of summer, 30,000 of the freakiest, most creative people in the world converge on the barren Black Rock Desert in Nevada.
They start from scratch and build a temporary utopia. For one week they bring enough water, people, structures, streets, and generators to make it the 5th largest city in Nevada.
For one week. Then they break it all down and wait another year.
Why do people come to this dusty, windy, inhospitable place?
For the annual Burning Man festival -- An experiment in temporary community and radical self-expression.
The focal point of the festival, a 100 foot tall wooden man, is burned on the last night in a wild ceremony filled with fire dancers and flame cannons, and lots of screaming partiers. But the Man is just one tiny piece of something much larger.
The event is based on the idea that everyone must participate. (The tickets even say, "PARTICIPANTS ONLY. NO SPECTATORS.") It is not an event to attend. It is event that everyone helps put on. Whatever your skills are, you are expected to share. Dancer, cook, D.J., musician, sculptor, painter, masseuse, carpenter, medic, janitor, pyro, priest. If all goes well, a participant should play all of those rolls and more.
Artists work year round to create work that they share in the desert. They do it not for prestige or money. In fact they pay money in order to participate. And the art (and many other things) are often burned rather than carted home. This is not art for museum walls. This art’s only intention is to be shared with those that appreciate it…and to enhance the magical Black Rock City.
It becomes an annual
family reunion for the world’s most creative (some would say insane)
journeyers of the planet.