With the Summer going into Festival gear, it’s probably time to take a look at one of the more extreme festivals… Burning Man!
Burning Man is an annual art event and a temporary community based on radical self expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Once a year, in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a surreal city arises. Or at least that’s what it looks like. Every year the Burning Man festival becomes the third largest city in Nevada, populated by 50,000 inhabitants from all over the world. All of these festival visitors unite in some kind of tribe, adopting the Burning Man culture and its ideas. They are all under the influence of music, art, love and unbridled self-expression. These creative souls fuel the spark of this bizarre event. Together they construct the city, share food, water and a positive energy to make Burning Man a seven day experience they will never and can never forget.
For a more personal report on the Burning Man experience, you might want to read photographer Nick Onken’s journal. He visited the Burning Man festival to capture the strange but magnificent wardrobe choices of the festival-goers:
“Hard to describe to anyone who has never been there, but I like to describe it as a magical oasis where Star Wars meets Dr. Seuss in the desert, then a metamorphosis to Tron at night. The art and costumes that people create and bring to the desert are like nothing you’ve seen. Hanging out on the Playa with “art cars” and bizarre costumed people strolling by takes you to an imaginary world you’ve imagined as a kid.”
The result of his experience there is breathtaking. Seriously, kudos to whoever dresses up as a unicorn for a festival without looking fatally ridiculous. A sample of some of his astonishing shots:
The concept of the event actually took off by accident during the Summer of 1986. Three friends on a beach in San Francisco decided to burn a doll, which was basically the start of what is now the High Mass of the annual festival madness. The idea took root and its popularity kept on growing exponentially, as did and does the gigantic Burning Man doll. The San Francisco beach got to be too small for the festival and relocated to the Nevada desert. Here, the seven exuberant days of partying manifest in the burning of the giant Burning Man doll.
All in all Burning Man has become a religious experience for most visitors. The festival has been inspiring its visitors for over twenty-five years. Visitors from all over the world… which has lead the Burning Man community to branch out all over the world. Go ahead and look for more attainable events on your continent of preference. And if you plan on going, here are some tips on how and what to pack for a Burning Man event.