The desert arts festival

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Burning Man is an annual week-long meeting held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA. In this post we share with you everything you need to know to go to Burning Man.

Everything you need to know about Burning Man

Burning Man is many things to many people. For some, it’s a way of life. Burning Man is not a music festival, nor a fair, nor a form of entertainment. It describes itself as a “temporary metropolis” dedicated to art, expression and self-sufficiency, a community rooted in 10 principles.

Even Black Rock City (better known as “BRC”), where the meeting takes place, is not a municipality nor does it have a government, it only exists during Burning Man week, that is, it is a temporary city built by the participants.

The story of this festival, which takes place near the summer solstice, began in 1986 when two friends burned an 8-foot statue on a San Francisco beach.

Today, Burning Man has grown so large that the statue can now be as tall as 100 feet. The event invests in creating spectacular wooden constructions that are burned on the last days of the celebration.

Each year a central theme is chosen and the participants must contribute their own form of artistic expression related to it. For this edition, a stage has been created with a design inspired by the Torii doors of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Japan.

Dubbed The Temple of Leadership, the design consists of wooden arches that form a linear passage to a large central hall. The author of the design is Geordie Van Der Bosch.

The design was made for both a “physical experience and a metaphorical journey” and was conceived as a space that responds to the beach’s shoreline by creating a framework that encourages visitors to travel from one end to the other.

At 55 meters long, 11 meters wide and 11 meters high, the temple will be oriented so that its four entrances are aligned with the cardinal points.

Some of the most interesting aspects of the Burning Man are the art, leave no trace, no trade or branding, demerchandising, and the collective energy of the attendees.

When BRC is dismantled, the desert floor is cleaned until it is left as it was, without the notice of more than 25,000 people.

How to get there?

  • The closest airport is Reno-Tahoe International Airport, located 5 km southeast of downtown Reno, Nevada.
  • From Reno you have to get to Black Rock City, which is 150 km away, so most people rent a car and share it with other participants. Another option is to ask at the Reno airport who is going to the event and join them. There are also the Burner Express Buses that leave from Reno and San Francisco.

Burning Man Tickets: Tickets

  • To buy tickets you have to do it directly on their website. The most expensive tickets can cost over a thousand dollars.
  • There are SALES of 2,000 tickets at USD $425 that are sold to those who cannot pay the full fee.

Advice: What to bring

  • You will have to bring everything you need to live for a week in the desert and what you want to give to other participants.
  • Important: Bring plenty of water, people who have been to the festival several times recommend that you take 5 litres of water per person per day.
  • Tent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, flashlight, first aid kit and garbage bags.
  • Remember that dollars will not help you much. Don’t bring cell phones or chargers either, there is no phone coverage, internet or electricity.
  • Bicycles are the most widely used means of transportation in the desert.

Burning Man Principles

The spirit of the event is based on ten principles that summarize the concept of The Burning Man and what its founders originally intended with their celebration:

  • Radical inclusion: Everyone is welcome.
  • Giving: Festival participants are expected to subsist through a ‘gift economy’, either by giving each other objects or by exchanging favors, even if they expect nothing in return.
  • Demercantilization: Commercial standards are rejected. There is no money. Or rather: things are not paid for with money. The only monetary transaction allowed is related to transportation to the event or the purchase of ice and non-alcoholic beverages, the benefits of which go to different non-profit organizations.
  • Radical self-sufficiency: Virtually all commerce is prohibited and participants must be prepared and carry everything necessary to survive in a place as potentially hostile and remote as the desert.
  • Radical self-expression: Participants are expected to respect the freedoms of others and themselves, and to express themselves freely through art and other forms, with clothing optional and nudism commonly practiced.
  • Communal effort: It seeks to promote the production and protection of a community and common space based on values of cooperation and collaboration.
  • Civic responsibility: Participants are expected to act in accordance with local, federal and state law, and to take responsibility for their actions within the festival.
  • Leave no trace: Leave no trace that any event has taken place in the region; leave no trash, or pick it up if found.
  • Participation: We want people to participate and not just observe.
  • Immediately

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There are several art and music festivals in the United States such as the Coachella held in April in Indio, California.

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