Photos of Burning Man
Here are some photos from Burning Man. It takes place for about a week in the Nevada desert and has been happening every summer for 32 years. Aside from purchasing a ticket to attend, money isn't used there. Everything is gifted and exchanged freely. The festival asks for radical participation, meaning that there are no spectators -- everyone is asked to participate, be self-reliant, and clean up after themselves. It requires a lot of planning and preparation, but many people consider it something everyone should do at least once.
One of the main features are the art cars and mutant vehicles. People drive these around the playa and most of them will pick up random people as passengers for a party ride. Some art cars are huge and double as mobile dancefloors.
But people mostly get around on bicycles, which are usually decorated, because the festival is too big for walking. Burning Man is 7 square miles -- that's exactly the size of San Francisco -- and nearly 70,000 people attend. Burning Man is also known for its crazy costumes. People spend thousands of dollars on wild outfits. Alternatively, many people wear very little; there's a ton of nudity.
Art is everywhere. Some of it's small, and some of it's huge. Many pieces are built for climbing on or lounging in. Some pieces are entire buildings.
There are also activities, classes, events, performances, and camps that specialize in offering more of an interactive experience than a static piece of art. I'll be camping with one of these kinds of camps, called "theme camps". The one I'm participating in is called The Phage, and they specialize in science-themed art and experiences.
At the end of the week, the entire 7x7 mile city is disassembled, and the desert is empty again. Sometimes artists will even burn their pieces instead of taking them home. Fire is a ritual out there, and the pinnacle of the week is when the giant "Man" in the center of the festival is burned. The following day, the "Temple" -- where people have left mementos, prayers, symbols of things they're trying to release or change or heal from, hopes and dreams, letters to deceased loved ones, and other personal items -- is also burned.
A view of the festival from above: