Clear and Unbiased Facts about BURNING MAN FESTIVAL (Without All the Hype)
It is getting closer… the 29th edition of Burning Man will take place between 25th of August and 2nd of September at Black Rock Desert in Nevada. But September 1 is of special significance, as that is when the archetypal man is burned. Unfortunately, it is too late now to buy tickets1 for this year’s event, but the ones for next year will probably go on sale in the New Year. For the present edition there were around 5,000 tickets available for pre-sale registration, with the rest following shortly after, over a period of a couple of weeks. The ticket price (without any extra fees like taxes and administration cost) ranges from $190 to $1,200, if you want to stay for the full eight days. So, right from the start it requires a considerable investment to be made, to which you will only continue adding. Each year the festival is centered on a theme, for this year it is Metamorphosis.
This is certainly one of the most eccentric festivals out there, also because it goes beyond the music and regularly attempts to create a temporary dystopic community in the middle of the desert. It has gained almost a cult following throughout the years, veterans keep going back for more and new enthusiasts become initiated each year, adding up to about 70,000 participants annually. What makes it stand out among all the other music festivals is the specific nature of it and that it dares to dream big. It is much more than just the event, above all else it is the culture and the network that create this almost mystical air around the festival. But we invite you to take a closer look behind the screen and face some facts without all the hype.
Coming to termsBut what exactly is Burning Man? Is it a music festival5? An art festival? A rave?
Well, that is one of the attractions of the event, the fact that it is really hard to label it. It is all of the above and neither. It all began on the summer solstice of 1986 when an 8ft tall figure of a man was burned as part a bonfire ritual. This evolved over the years into the hybrid event of today, which creates a temporary community in the middle of the desert, isolated from the rest of the civilization.
An oasis of artsy dystopia. It has also been described as an experiment in both community and art.
What to expect?Anything. This centers around the concept of decommodification, no acts or shows are booked. Rather than relying on corporate sponsorship, participants are encouraged to provide their own entertainment. There are always many famous DJ’s playing at Burning Man, but no main stages to house these DJ’s, improvisation is key, as with everything else relating to Burning Man. There will also be countless parties, meet-ups, games, competitions, basically anything you can dream up.
Another thing you can expect are the infamous art cars. These get more creative each year and try to incorporate in a plethora of ways the theme of the edition. However, be warned Christina will not show up this year. Considered the Queen of the playa, this gigantic artistic vehicle will interrupt her yearly participation (since 2010!) due to an accident.
Here is a pro tip, you will receive a booklet that contains some scheduled events, but these represent only a small portion. So keep your eyes on their website and forum, and your ears peeled for the more underground and spontaneous events. Your best source of information will be the guide put together by Rockstarlibrarian.com, but we can’t encourage you enough to go off script and seize any opportunity that comes your way, no matter how eccentric it might seem.
So, it is a hybrid event that tries to combine many different elements around the 10 core principles of Burning man:
- civic responsibility
- radical inclusion
- community cooperation
- leaving no trace
In the words of the Burning Man: it “is not a festival. Burning Man is a community. A temporary city. A global cultural movement based on 10 practical principles”.
Survival KitIf you want to participate at this one of a kind experience you must go extremely well prepared. And we don’t mean just prepared to have fun, but you need to take with yourself absolutely anything that you might need, this includes your own water, food, tent, and any other supplies. Participation requires more of a well thought out plan, rather than a spontaneous fling.
Bear in mind that you won’t be able to buy anything at the location, so make sure that you do have absolutely everything you need. The festival will take place at a remote set-up in the middle of the desert, 100 miles from Reno, but the good news is that there will be a shuttle service available to the closest grocery store, in case you need some extra supplies. The ticket for the transportation will be at around $10.
1. Food, beverages & coWATER! Take enough water to last you for the duration of the event. The weather is not the only thing that will get you dehydrated. You will have a very active schedule of fun and games. There will be a lot of dancing, physical activities of all sorts and also chasing involved. After all, there is nothing like the thrill of the chase of another burner to make things even hotter.
Furthermore, make sure that you have all the food you will need to keep yourself in a top physical shape. A pot to cook in can also be helpful, if you are that kind of a guy. However, it is worth considering keeping the option open to invite a special someone for a freshly cooked romantic dinner. Pack to impress.
Last, but not least, fuel for your addictions; come prepared with alcohol, cigarettes, and/or other drugs of your choice. There is always the possibility that you might get these things at the site as well, either through purchase, trade, or if you are really lucky, as a gift. But don’t count on it.
2. A tent to call homeDo not leave without a cozy tent where you can entertain guests. Also a sleeping bag is a must, the bigger, the better; you never know when some extra room might come in handy. Furthermore, a first-aid kit can come in handy as things might get rough out there (try to play nice!). Do not forget a sun-kit coupled with protection against cold weather. You can even pack an extra blanket, or two, if you want to be a knight and save a burner from the cold. Girls would be especially impressed and it will score you some valuable points.
P.S. you could even prepare a small kink-kit. This will be the perfect setting to find a partner to try out your fantasies or experimental things with. Burning Man is a space for free expression, where you test your limits. So, why not do that in this department as well? However, if this is on your mind, be careful how you bring up the topic, try to ease into it and share your thoughts with a girl only once you are sure about the signals that she is interested in you too. Also, no matter how much fun you are having never neglect consent, as soon as you observe that she is uncomfortable or she says that she wants to stop, listen to her. This is a limit never to cross.
3. Dress to impressLet’s start with something practical, like goggles and a mask. These will offer protection against dust and sand, not to mention the added cool factor and the fact that you will blend right in. When choosing the design, bear in mind the overall outfit, make it all fit. However, if you will have a casual outfit, you can still elevate it with some extravagant accessories. Going for steam-punk or Goth will fit right in the post-apocalyptic atmosphere.
But, really… give costumes a serious thought. One of the great things at Burning Man is that you are encouraged to express yourself freely and what might pass as too weird for an everyday context is just right for this occasion. If you decide to do so, keep in mind the topic of the edition, this year it is Metamorphosis. A unique costume will make you stand out among the competition and be more easily noticed by girls. Also, it is a great and natural way to chat up someone, just complement a fellow burner on what he or she is wearing and things can easily kick off from there.
For a more complete checklist and survival tips by the Burning Man himself go here:
The Burning Man festival is certainly an interesting and dreamy experience but it is gritty as well. Conditions out there can get tough and it might take some time to adapt. It is certainly not for those who are accustomed to a high level of comfort. It all takes place at quite a remote location, with extreme temperatures (both high and low), you will need to come with your own supplies and so on. But one thing is certain, in the midst of all the music, arts, fashion and games, you will challenge yourself. Burning Man is indeed more than just a festival, it is an experiment that will take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you like no other festival does.
You can find out more about Burning Man festival straight from them at the following sites:
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