The famous burning man festival located in Black Rock City, Nevada is one of the most over the top festivals. It showcases art in all forms and is an event out of this world. These photos show a perspective of Burning Man that has not been made public. Read on to see the most unique photos of this festival.
One of the many factors that make Burning Man Festival such a special event is the fact that all participants need to contribute or engage in activities in some fashion. While some attendees prefer to volunteer, others make art. This is an example of one of the many incredible activities offered at the festival. Festival goes are offered the chance to climb this circular ladder, despite being slightly dangerous.
Welcome To Everyone
Burning Man establishes certain laws such as one regarding the inclusion of everyone, known as the Radical Inclusion Law. It says “Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.” The festival welcomes everyone of all shapes, sizes, colors, or interests, but the condition is that all attendees follow the ten rules.
Lack Of Diversity
Despite this law and the festival’s emphasis on including everyone, they have still considerable criticism for their lack of diversity. In 2014 a survey was conducted that found that among all the guests at the festival, 87% attending were white, with only 1% black. Lee Harvey put out a statement to say “I don’t think black folks like to camp as much as white folks… We’re not going to set racial quotas… This has never been imagined by us as a utopian society ”.
The festival creators imagined Burning Man as an experience. A place where people can participate instead of just watching from the side. Their beliefs are based on the foundation that social/individual change boils down to intensely personal engagement. New goers were motivated to learn the special slang and socialize with other attendees.
Most believe assume you can’t shower at Burning Man, however, this is not the case. Showers are possible but they are not your typical shower. They are actually foam baths and they are offered as a social event. In addition, one of the conditions is that you have to wash at least twelve other people before you can clean yourself.
BYOR: Bring Your Own Resources
The festival is located in the center of the desert, so the circumstances are not exactly luxury. Guests with special requests like diet or medicine should plan for themselves. Often people engage in trading for special products but some trades are illegal.
Back in 1986, Larry Harvey did a symbolic act when he built a 9-foot sculpture out of wood and lit it on fire on the beach in San Francisco. This was the start of a summer ritual with him and his group of friends. Each year more people were added and led him to increase the size of the sculpture. The following year 6 inches were added, and by 1988, it was nearly three times as tall.
A few years later special additions were added to the sculpture such as neon lights, to ensure that nobody gets lost in the middle of the dessert. Michael Mikel, the founder of the “The Black Rock Rangers” strived to keep everyone safe and out of physical violence.
1991 was the first year the festival was held and only 250 guests were in the audience. By 1995 this number changed dramatically with about 4,000 attendees. Two years later nearly 10,000 attended and kept growing with 50,000 by 2010.
The Burning Man experience is founded in a shared spirit and lives by the motto of helping another. They emphasize a friendly attitude and extending a helping hand. Whether there are limited resources or something more emotion, everyone is in it together. Members understand and accept the responsibility of being there for fellow festival members.
This festival is not your ordinary event that people come to unprepared. The members are known as “burners” and they are typically well versed in the lingo that goes on. They have their own vocabulary and new members are persuaded to practice the language.
Reference To Pop Culture
This festival is incredibly special and is mentioned in several pop culture forms. One episode of the hit TV show Malcolm In The Middle even references the festival and created an episode devoted to it. Other TV shows and video games have done the same.
Only Iced Coffee
Guests are encouraged to share everything with each other because the only item for sale is iced coffee. They also have designated camps for trading/sharing with each other. Burning Man counts on this community contribution and people are usually happy to be part of it.
Honoring Loved Ones
The festival has interesting features that you would not expect. They have a temple built for people to mourn the lives of those whom they’ve lost. Grieving members are motivated to write notes and place them at the temple. Symbolically, the temple is burned at the end of the festival and essentially the ashes of their loved ones are spread all over.
All Kinds Of People
While many believe that the festival is limited to hippies, this is not exactly the case. Many wealthy people are frequent goers and stay in their RVs. Sometimes they are accompanied by their bodyguards and chefs, which maybe defeats the purpose. Other members bring their own beds or air conditioning. Everyone is welcome to experience the festival as they please, however it is recommended to mingle with other members.
Ruining The Vibe
There have been several complaints in terms of such luxury camps. Those who are devoted to the festival feel like these lavish accommodations ruin the spirit of the festival. While some members are slumming it, trading, and sharing with each other, the rich are attending in a high-class way with deliciously prepared food. However, Harvey does not discriminate against anyone or how they attend the festival, but he does look down on those who isolate themselves since this is considered breaking the rules.
Starting A Movement
The original Burning Man Festival which originated in Las Vegas has inspired similar events to be held in other countries. Although they are not the same experience and have no real connection to Burning Festival, they have the same vibe.
No Cash Allowed
While trading is welcomed, cash exchanges are prohibited at the festival. However, exchanges including gifts are allowed. In this sense, people have to give a little to get a little. It started with favors, and then over the years has progressed to physical gifts.
Nothing For Sale
Aside from coffee, all supplies are acquired through sharing and exchanges. Everyone who is there is ready to be part of the community and contribute in any way that they can. Whether its art, supplies, massages, it’s really a communal experience.
Leave No Trace
In the actual festival, any trash is typically cleared away, however, Nevada locals are less than satisfied with the amount of trash dispersed around the area. Although there is a strict “Leave No Trace” rule established, clearly many ignore it. The festival has several criticizers, such as the Sierra Club, an environmental organization, who claims that there are so many excess water bottles from the event.
Like we’ve said, the festival has its own language which frequent members know perfectly. People who are going for their first time are known as “virgins” and upon entering the camp are instructed to roll around in the sand and scream as loud as they can “I’m not a virgin anymore!” and repeat three times. Then, they are allowed to enter the festival itself. For the entire weekend these “virgins” are supposed to be welcomed with overwhelming hugs.
At the festival, you will see a giant, exaggerated version of a Van der Graaf generator, similar to one that may be kept in your high school. Also, an important assumption that should be corrected is that people think only celebrities or influencers attend the festival but this is so far from the truth. Anyone is allowed to attend, all ages included.
Be Who You Are
The attendees of Burning Man are inspired to be who they want to be at the festival and express themselves in any way they want to. Some make art projects and personal gift, while others express themselves in their clothing choices. From over the top clothing, to no clothing, this a place where creativity comes out.
With the expansion of the festival, Lee Harvey understood that he needed to establish certain guidelines to keep the festival in somewhat of an order. Thus, he created ten rules that include, radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, and radical self-expression, and communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.
Burning Man prides itself on having nothing for sale and handing out free items. In response, the burners have created their own event to give back like performances, wine tasting, art-making, and more. All of these are free and follow specific laws. The leaders must make sure that all of the laws are being followed.
Clean Up After Yourself
All members are expected to follow the Leave No Trace rule and clean up their own mess. The festival grounds should look the same at the end of the weekend, as they did at the beginning. The goal is that anyone who visits the desert after will have a hard time believing there was a crazy festival there. They even hope that it will look better than before!
The festival follows an important term “immediate experience.” This means that all people engaging in the festival present at the moment and see the potential to find themselves in this process. There is no communication with the outside world allowed and there is no chance of reproducing the experience.
This couple piece is one of the many beautiful art pieces at Burning Man. There are several misconceptions about the festival, and a reporter from INSIDER stated that it’s not true that you must always have something to trade at the festival. Instead, she said that as a burner you have to bring a gift to share with those around.
This piece of art makes us think of Alebrijes from the famous Pixar film “Coco.” These are known as colorful spirits that lead the dead after they pass away. These are made by Mexicans and are available to anyone for purchase. Pedro Linares is responsible for this term and art piece after having a strange in an enchanted forest.
The Little Butterfly
The “Little Butterfly” also known as the “Mariposa” was created by American artist Chris Carnabuci. At night the sculpture has a variety of colors and looks beautiful. The art in this desert makes it look incredible enchanting.
All By Hand
This incredible art piece is special because it is designed to burn during the day instead of at night. It is designed and crafted all by hand and made with such precision. Michal Benisty, the artist, was very meticulous in his work and made it all from steel.
There are several tips to keep in mind when attending the Burning Man Festival. For starters, the air is incredibly dry and this causes breathing problems. Thus, there are certain ways to avoid this like wearing a neckerchief or sunglasses. Just be careful because too much alcohol with the sun may be dangerous!
There are so many different kinds of people to meet at the festival and the bigger camps can hold hundreds of people. It is a place to meet friends for life or maybe even your future husband or wife! Many relationships have begun at the festival and have actually lasted.
People really love dressing up in animal costumes but it’s not quite understood why. This trend has developed over the years for whatever reason, regardless it is part of self-expression which is something encouraged at Burning Man!
You may expect to find a lot of tattoo artists roaming around the festival since it is a huge form of art and self-expression. However, given the circumstances of being in a desert, it doesn’t provide the most sanitary conditions for tattooing.
The Whole Family Is Invited
Friends that you meet at the festival tend to become like family. However, some people actually bring their family members such as siblings, parents, etc. During the very first Burning Man Festival, children were not allowed to come, but this changed the following year.
Although this is an environmentally friendly festival, wearing fur is something that is expected and very popular to see. Many burners were fake fur or rabbit fur and people are even encouraged to catch the wild rabbits running around. Then they either eat them or make them into a new wardrobe!
One of the best ways to make a name for yourself is to dress in a thought-provoking outfit such as one covered in sequins! However, since Burning Man is incredibly hot, it is suggested not to wear these crystals as they reflect the hot sun.
It is very common for celebrities to attend Burning Man, and arrive in luxury RVs or luxury homes. However, there are still some famous people who prefer to have the same experience as the other burners. Here, you can see Paris Hilton and Cara Delevigne trying to be more lowkey.
Companies are forbidden from attending the festival, but they still try and advertise in any way that they can. All they have to do is send their workers as representatives and the job is done. Specifically, since 2016, Victoria Secret has been known for sending their models with their faces covered.
Many musicians also attend the festival as its a perfect background for photoshoots or music videos. However, despite their persistence, advertisers have also managed to get in on this action. This is not the purpose of the festival but many take advantage of it.
In an interview with Bored Panda, Travis C. said that Burning Man 2019 was his favorite one yet. Although he had been attending already for 3 years, he realized that as he gets to know the festival more, his experience gets better as well. He has learned what clothes are the best given the conditions, what foods to break, etc. He also says ‘The entire experience is not only a social experiment but also layered with smaller experiments of life in an alternate universe.”
The Big Event
The festival lasts for an entire week, but the actual “burning of the man” is held on a Saturday. Many people are well aware of this event, as the named comes from it, but what they are less aware of is the symbolic Temple bar. This essentially goes hand in hand with the Man burn and is a structure where attendees can go to let go of what is troubling them.
A trading system is creating at the festival based on exchanging gifts for doing or receiving something else.
Everything Has A Meaning
This wonderful structure of bees has incredible significance, beyond its appearance. It actually is a reflection of the fact that there is a lack of honey being produced around the world. This growing stress comes from the fact that this is a domino effect that will lead to no pollination and therefore, no food.
The Power Of Creativity
This week-long festival is not just a place to come and party/ It is a platform for creativity. Unfortunately, the tickets are over $1,000, which makes it difficult to attend. However, if given the opportunity, it is an experience to never forget. Here’s what human beings can create when they put their minds and hearts together to create something beautiful.
Matter Out Of Place
One of the many words from the Burning Man dictionary is “moop” which represents “Matter Out Of Place.” Anyone is welcome to help clean the area of “moop” before the burners come for the week. With this, they will enter with a clean state on clean ground. It is forbidden to throw your trash on the ground and going to the bathroom on the ground may cost you a pricey fine of $125.
Activities For Everyone
There are so many activities to do that everyone will be entertained. Aside from the obvious art, music, and drinking, healthy alternatives are also welcomed. They have interesting parties like roller-skating parties, meditation, pole dancing, and even fitness classes. Also, despite the scorching heat, there are also marathons that you can do if you’re willing to endure the heat.
Business owners and leaders have adapted these ten rules behind Burning Man in their own lives. For example, Dustin Moskovitz of Facebook was inspired by the first rule of radical inclusion and included the Winkelvoss twins to be part of Facebook. This act was made a bigger ordeal in the film the Social Network. The main idea behind these rules was to maintain peace, which is a central theme of the event.