Burning Man

2013, Society  -   30 Comments

Burning Man is an annual festival that began in 1986. Tens of thousands of people gather at the 'Playa' in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create a temporary wooden city dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance.

They depart a week later, leaving no trace whatsoever. Let it burn! Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.

There are no rules about how one must behave or express oneself at this event; rather, it is up to each participant to decide how they will contribute and what they will give to this community.

The event takes place on an ancient lake bed, known as the 'playa'. By the time the event is completed and the volunteers leave, sometimes nearly a month after the event has ended, there will be no trace of the city that was, for a short time, the most populous town in the entire county.

Ratings: 6.55/10from 29 users.

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30 Comments / User Reviews

  1. James Haynes

    you should have been there before hollywood got a tent in it. the place has sold out to the mass sea of american capitalism and been nothing more than a place to be seen. yeah, they were on some mdma, but so what? if its good enough for our vets with PTSD, its good enough for me.
    burning man is just like everything else that came from the depths of the underground and was dragged kicking and screaming to the playa or the dance floor or the beach... america realized they could make money off it and the real people disappeared.
    i dare you to try to rent an RV anywhere in the 48 around that week (or effing month) and see what they say... they know its a festival where the rich free their minds to the poverty and grandiosity of simple people facing 1st world problems under the guise of a vacation that they earned (gimme a couple grand) no matter the cost.

    burning man is nothing now. it means nothing just like every other EDC and EDM festival these days. you wanna have a life changing experience around people that care? then come to my house and ill show you what burning man was like before the upper echelon took control of the meaning... it was for us and by us, the minute you have to pay to get on the playa is the minute that its fake as f*ckall.

  2. Lorpa

    Well done documentary. The theme is that of an American Kubhumela sans the sacred substance and spiritual intent. What an awesome spectacle without the disneyland materialism.

  3. Kezuru

    Patients can be active and generally require no specific therapy except endocarditis prophylaxis.

  4. johnny h

    why the pot restriction,seems a rule you do not need,any one know the reason.personaly i do not smoke ,but i believe it should be legal,and a place like this,seems the place you would enjoy a smoke.

  5. Guest

    Steampunks and smelly people in the middle of a desert. Count me out. What a steaming pile.

  6. LISA3347

    You can't smoke pot? So its a CONTROLLED community dedicated to SELF RELIANCE and SELF EXPRESSION that LEAVES a TOXIC cloud in the air? LMBO SMDH SLEEPERS can't live with them ...can't WAIT to live without them!

  7. Yohann Therrien

    look's fun,but the sand in the air is really bad,i would not go for that fact alone,maybe with a gas mask ...

    1. Alec Mowat

      It's just sand. You'll cough it out.

  8. oQ

    Pot is not tolerated at Burning Man but alcohol is no problem.
    Certainly one rule i disagree with.
    (not that it stops people from consuming pot but you get caught you get kicked out.
    Our local festival called Shambhala is the opposite, pot welcomed alcohol denied.

    1. wald0

      Yeah, but if they officially make pot acceptable the po-po man will come end it all or it will turn into just another legalize rally or pot festival.. I think that is why they don't officially condone it, because they want to keep it Burning Man, which was never about smoking weed. That said, I'm all about smoking weed- when and where is this Shambhala? I have never heard of it.

    2. oQ

      The po po man is very present at Burning Man, Shambhala hires private security, about 80 of them, no arrest being made, but the booze is confiscated at the entrance as they do search cars at the entrance (still people manage to slip it inside, many tricks have been used). I worked as an assistant cook for the staff (approx 250), they do get all meals free.

    3. Pysmythe

      I'm sure it's probably a lot more peaceful, too, isn't it? Alcohol certainly strikes me as almost always a bad thing for that (significant?) part of the crowd that's all jacked up on testosterone, and really only there for one reason, anyway, counterculture values be damned.

    4. oQ

      Apparently there is a documentary in the making on Shambhala too. The grounds are absolutely gorgious with a river running right through it.

    5. Pysmythe

      You don't happen to have some idea when it will be out, do you? I enjoyed most of this one, but I think I'd like that one better.

    6. Dean Edgington

      ahhhh Shambhala...I think I remember being there once - or was it all just a dream ;-)

    7. Larissa Pelletterio

      Shambhala is AWESOME... I worked at the festival for two summers, years ago. The second year was a little more crazy than the first, as there were people getting into some harder drugs though. (It's easier to hide crack and meth than it is to stow beers sadly.) I was pretty let down when a dude invited me to chill with him, then offered me a 'bump.' Kinda sad, but the festival is pretty freaking magical. <3 Ewok Village! ;)

    8. Guest

      Sounds a bit like "Reggae on the River" in Norcal. I thought they would mind the 1/2 pound of homegrown in my pack. Security searched it, smiled at me, and waved me in. Good times.

  9. Lucy Lugo

    Totally inspired. I'm 62 and can see me there, maybe next year. Senior camp???

  10. Pysmythe

    WTF...is this business of needing approval for your ride to be allowed on the main strip, and this business of needing approval for a theme you have in mind?! I thought this gathering was all about freedom of expression, short of corporate money. Are they trying to keep big dollars out...or just any idea they don't like? There are undeniably some great ones here, and some great people, too, it seems, but there is also an awful lot of pretension, self-importance, and exclusivity... Good GOD, people and their tribes! Have the cultural anthropologists found these folks yet?

  11. pwndecaf

    I think I would like the art but mostly the beautiful women wanting to hug everyone...er, um...me.

  12. wald0

    Every once and awhile you see three or more people hugging, kissing, all starry eyed, staring at each other- its called XTC.

  13. wald0

    A beautiful desert, Beautiful art, half dressed beautiful women, and plenty of beautiful bud- what's not to like?

    1. Jack Dempsey

      Hey, you're talking about that old time religion!

  14. Bob Trees

    Rated G

    Man there should have been a rating on this thing. The "F word" and the "S word" edited out?!?!?!?!? What the "F word"???????

    Sad to see this grow to an "S word" of RVs out in the desert. It was at the beginning just about exclusively campers bringing their tents. Actually living in the desert! Granted I haven't been in ten years. I'll go one more time just to see for myself how much it's changed.

    Was the "D word" edited out? Wasn't paying attention at the beginning.

  15. oQ

    Let's have a TDF party at BurningMan...i'd be there.

    1. Pysmythe

      A quiet little eddy of hugs, hot mugs and discussions in that sea of madness? Or an old fool like me out there trying to catch a wave? If I ever took a plunge like that, my captain would harpoon me when I tried to climb back into the boat.

    2. oQ

      You could bring the captain and the young foam, you'd be the sailor with the compass.

    3. Pysmythe

      Yeah, and I'd probably need it, too, to locate the captain... She's a much better surfer than I ever was, lol.

    4. djc200

      That would be the best way to get me to BM... TDF camp! :)

  16. Patrick Adrien Varencaus

    modern hyppies ! nothing new under the sun !