4. Burning Man is an eight-day festival that has taken place every year since 1986 in Black Rock City, a city that only lives a few days, on the salty expanse of the Black Rock Desert in the State of Nevada.
The festival is described by the organizers as a community experiment, radical self-expression and radical self-confidence. The name comes from the ritual of burning a large wooden puppet on a Saturday night. There are no concerts with big names and there are no publicized performances. Each of the participants is free to organize exhibitions, art exhibitions, performances, workshops, games and report them, or not, to the organization of the festival.
3. Each participant
Each participant must bring camping equipment, electricity, food and water generators for their survival and the only things for sale in the temporary city are ice and coffee; barter and gift are the only permitted forms of transfer of ownership of goods, food and water. In Black Rock City mobile phones don’t work and besides some sudden sandstorms, during the day temperatures exceed 40°C and at night they can drop by several tens of degrees, for this reason most of the events take place after sunset. It is not recommended to bring children to the event. From 2013 the ticket to participate in the festival costs about 400 dollars.
2. All cameras and camcorders must be recorded upon arrival in the city and those who intend to shoot or take pictures for commercial purposes must agree in advance with the organization of the festival. Not all events can be filmed.
The festival is organized by Black Rock City, LLC, under the leadership of one of its founders, Larry Harvey, and five other members of the committee, which includes Marian Goodell, Harley Dubois, Michael Mikel, Will Roger Peterson and Crimson Rose. In 2007, 47,366 people participated in the Burning Man Project, in 2013, the number of participants rose to 68,000 (to date, the maximum number of participants imposed by the authorities), with a peak of 69,600 on the last day. In 2014, because of the bad weather that blew up the first day of the festival and because of the increased controls on the number of participants, having been exceeded the previous year, participants reached a peak of 66,000 people.
1. What’s great about spending a week in the desert?
The set of performances between music, dj-sets, installations and strange means to try, in addition to the surreal characters who meet in Black Rock City is only part of the answer, because what you like is to feel suspended in a unique and unrepeatable piece of the world (it is not a question of smoking joints or consuming hard drugs, which are increasing, as well as controls and arrests). Age, profession and bank account do not matter, because in the curve dedicated to the camps you live in close contact as a large family; you know each other, you exchange your possessions and you have fun day and night, provided you cancel everything before returning to the real world. The last of the ten commandments of The Burning Man is in fact “leave no trade”: leave no trace.