If you look at the different social media between August and October of each year you'll see photos and videos of crazy dressed up people in the middle of a desert.
The Black Rock is the name of the city where the Burning Manhas been taken place since 1991. The number of participants went up from 20 to 80,000 for the past 26 years by word of mouth alone. People from all over the world come there to be a part of the burners community.
This year I was lucky to be one of them and to see the city made of love.
I was very excited to go to the Burning Man and experience it myself. That wasn't an easy decision for me though. I new that I have to be committed for a week for living in dusty and dry climate with a limited access to everything what we have in normal life.
You have to put a lot of work into getting ready before the beginning of the festival and take care of a few things.
There're a Burning Man flash sale twice a year. I would say it's more of the wheel of fortune tho. If you get lucky you'll get a ticket otherwise be ready to go through Craigslist, Facebook and pay twice more.
2. Living situation.
You can go crazy with that. There're lots of options where to stay from a small tent to a million dollar RV or a self-built house. It all depends on your budget and what you're comfortable with. The most convenient way is to rent an RV, it is like a house on wheels. A small advice for you guys: if you getting a RV don't rent it from Cruise America. The worst rental and customer service experience I've ever had! The city is divided into different camps. Each camp has its own location, Art Car, entertainment program, Djs and Artist. Before coming you should do some research just so you have a spot at one of the camps.
3. The way to get to the festival.
This part is also depends on your budget and timing. You can drive to the city but be ready to wait in line to get in from 3 to 8 hours. I know that this year the gate control even stopped the traffic and closed the gate because of the fire. Many people turned back home because it was impossible to get into. The easiest way is to fly in and out. Yes, exactly, the Burning Man even has a little airport inside the Black Rock City. Of course it's not LAX but it's a great way to get to the place with no line and a headache. And the last option is for those who like adrenaline. Instead of buying tickets and planning you way to get to the city you can just skydive into the Playa. Nobody is gonna pay attention to you. Whatever is not normal in the real word is totally normal in the burners world.
There're also a plenty of room for your creativity. Some people spend lots of money and time to get the craziest costumes and some of them just stay naked. I ordered most of the details for my outfits from Amazon. But there're also websites such as Etsyfor handmade details. The weather is very hot during the day so the less clothes the better but it can get freezing during the night that's why you see fur coats and hats on pictures.
Make sure that you have lots of snacks and food which do not go bad quickly. Pasta, potatoes, travel sounds, frozen food are the way to go.
When you get ready and plan your trip to a desert just think of every possible small thing which matters for you. Now, when all are ready and packed let's move to a fun part of the festival.
The city is a clock. The Burning Man art structure is the middle of the clock. That's how you know your location. Each street contains the street number from 2 to 10 and a letter from A to L (the first street is E-Esplanade though). All the camps are located on the streets. The part of the clock with no streets called the Playa.
The Playa is a heaven of Art. The structures on the Playa have built by artists during the entire year. One of the sculptors told us that it took him 8 months to create his art and about 3 months to build it. Besides the art you can see so many different art cars with music cruising around. I can't imagine how people manage to build, handcraft and make it drivable.
Not a word or a picture can describe how talented and passionate all these artists are. That's something everyone has to see at least once.
The landscape of the desert with its white sand, huge mountains and gorgeous pink sunrises and sunsets are a perfect background for art. When you're on the Playa it feels like you're on another planet. This is a calm, relaxing and happy planet where people love and take care of each other and the nature. There're no time frame, no social class difference and no real life problems. When you cruising around at night you see the city lights up. It's like a one huge fire with flashing lights, music, dancing and magic.
There're no official stages or a program for the festival. All the Djs are a part of a camp and they play in honor of art but not money. To find your favorite Dj you have to ask strangers if they know anything about it. It's a networking but in this way you socialize and meet new people. When you get to the gate, volunteer provides you with a guide of all the events happening at different camps. In that book you can find whatever you want. You can go hand crafting, roller skating, book reading, yoga and meditation, day drinking or an orgy. People's imagination has no limits.
The main night during the festival is when they burn the Man. You see the city even more beautiful as before. It concentrates the energy of all the art, burners and nature. The art cars are lined up around the structure and play music. It's like hundreds of different parties and vibes in one place. I felt very grateful to be there and see people who I love having a time of their life. In real life we have too many problems to enjoy little things and ourselves. During the time I was at Burning Man I tried to figure out why thousands of people come there every year but I couldn't find the answer. Now I look back and see that there's no common reason. Every person is unique so as a reason of the journey to the desert. Some people come there to find a meaning of life or face fears. Others come for love. There're people who eager to live and change the life. Some have to remember those who are gone. People come to Burning Man for the art and music but also just to have fun and spend some time with friends. Many of them get away from a daily routine. There're no judgement, no age limits, no racism, no hate. You can be whoever you want in there it all depends on your desires and imagination. Burning Man is a personal experience and only you decide either you like it or not.