What is Burning Man? This is something I’ve asked in the past. Being from the UK means I often miss big parts of US culture so when doing my initial research on Burning Man, I thought it was just another music festival. How wrong I was.
Burning Man is a music festival bit it’s more than that too. So much more. The location is set up a one big city full of art, music, self-expression and community. It’s a culture in its own right and while the festival itself only takes place once a year, Burning Man lives on in so many other ways throughout the year.
In order to understand the event and the culture in its truest form, you have to go along. Attendees are participants and to participate in the festival could mean anything from creating an art installation to doing something nice for your neighbours in the camp site.
There are all sorts of art installations in the Black Rock City during the festival. From the massive to the slightly less obtrusive. It’s all about expression and freedom and that kind of environment is going to be inspirational for everyone.
As well as the art people set up theme camps, give gifts to strangers and perform random acts of kindness. Strangers are welcomed and the whole thing seems to have a very primal, ritualistic feel to it. People express themselves through art, costume and music.
This is a quote from an article on the Burning Man website by Molly Steenson. It describes the act of burning the man in the way only someone who’s experienced it could write. Molly writes: “You’re here to celebrate. On Saturday night, we’ll burn the Man. As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you’ve never felt before. It’s an epiphany, it’s primal, it’s newborn. And it’s completely individual.”
If that doesn’t make you want to visit the Burning Man festival then I don’t know what will.
Find out more about the festival read Molly’s article, I think it tells you everything you might need to know.