Every year, for one week, the remarkable Burning Man festival brings together alternative designers, artists of all types, fashionable hippies and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley in the desert of Nevada.
An extravagant temporary art event
Two young Americans launched the festival in 1986 with the cremation of a giant wooden sculpture on a San Francisco beach. The event then moved to Nevada to be able to house a growing number of installations and participants, in a sort of temporary city in the middle of the Black Rock Desert.
Thousands of artists from all over the world build huge floats on wooden frames, car-sculptures, mutant vehicles, sand yachts and other eccentric creations.
Burning Man is characterized by 10 principles that structure the festival and have made it successful, including participation, gifting, leaving no trace, decommodification, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. A sort of utopia that combines innumerable parties, art workshops, concerts, and classes on unusual topics. It’s a sensory experience that brings together people from the entire world, with over 50,000 attendees in 2014.
Not a festival but a way of life
Moreover, the festival has an environmentally friendly soul. The organizers encourage everyone to use renewable energy and non-fossil fuels, to recycle, and to compost waste and organic matter.
The event takes place every year at the end of August, and I’m sure that now you’re thinking about heading out there for the next edition ☺
There are an infinite number of ways to experience “the Burn”; what’s yours?
While you mull it over, here are some photos of festivalgoers and their often customized Segway PTs:
Did you know that Will Smith was at the festival in 2014?
To see more, check out the documentary SPARK, a Burning Man Story