“Trying to explain what the Burning Man is to someone who has never been there is like explaining what a particular color looks like to a blind person.”
Every year, in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, there is a gathering almost hard to believe: the Burning Man. This huge grouping takes place every last weekend of August. Within 7 days, the desert comes alive and a small temporary city settles there to live the most incredible experiences. The city takes the name of Black Rock City and becomes, during the festival, one of the most populated cities of Nevada, just that! Friends travelers, fond of discoveries, lovers of meetings of all kinds: welcome to Burning Man!
What is Burning Man?
Burning Man is a festival where over 50,000 people come to celebrate the artistic creation. During this week, the limits no longer exist and the exchange becomes the watchword of this utopian city. This festival, incredibly famous in the United States but far too little known in Europe, is described as the most crazy festival that can exist. The golden rule of this festival is that once finished, you must leave no trace. This festival is based on ecology and all artistic creations are partly made from recycled materials.
Also, there is no public regarding performances, shows or demonstrations, the goal being that everyone is there to participate to promote the creativity and spontaneity of people. It is this incredible proximity that makes Burning Man a totally different festival. Trade is prohibited (even for all illicit substances), the motto is sharing, nothing is then paid within the city itself! The festival focuses primarily on selflessness and generosity. If this festival seems completely offbeat and out of time, it is without doubt one of the most rewarding and humane experiences to be made during a trip.
How to get to Burning Man?
Remember that the festival takes place in the Nevada desert, that is to say in the middle of nowhere. For practical reasons, most people land in San Francisco and take the road to the Nevada desert. Reno Airport is also another option and it takes 3-4 hours to reach the festival. Like any dream, you need to be able to finance it, and that’s why I advise you to start planning your trip at least a year before!
The Burning Man ticket is relatively expensive since it takes about $280, but the price of it is quite profitable and definitely worth a few small savings during the year! On the ticket, it is indicated that you are not “spectators” as for a banal festival, but “participants”. Keep in mind that once you get there, you will not have to pay anything, but the price of the plane ticket, by contrast, is far from being a utopia. Also, every ticket for the Burning Man sells at a crazy speed! Everything is done within few seconds, so travelers friends, take your patience and let’s go to the biggest and weirdest party in the world!
How to live on the spot?
One of the rules that governs at Burning Man is that the Burner must imperatively be autonomous! It is necessary to anticipate well in advance your camp, what to wear during the night and especially, provisions to hold a week – we remind it – in the desert. 40 liters of water are more than necessary and it is a minimum that we recommend. In addition, the nights are very short because at 8 o’clock in the morning, the heat is already strongly felt in the tent. If the nights are cooler, going to bed at a reasonable time to be in shape the next day will ruin all the fun of Black Rock City at night.
Burning Man at night has nothing to do with the day camp. Indeed, everything takes another dimension, the creations are illuminated with phosphorescent lights, the atmosphere is then totally different. Between dream and reality, we do not really know what to think.
“We make friends for life that we will never see again but with whom we draw on the sand a better world. The bodies are getting closer. The spirits are forgotten. Until sunrise over the desert.”
A utopian city
The people of Burning Man are smiling, attentive, ready to help each other and that is why the city seems utopian. The people seem unreal, the wonder is met at every “street corner” of this city. In a fabulous setting in the middle of nature, the temperatures are around 35°C, no clothing restrictions are imposed, you can be yourself when you want, where you want, at any time of the day or night. Goggles are however strongly recommended (aviator goggles) to deal with dust and sandstorms that can occur on site.
Moreover, the cars are formally prescribed within the festival, the opportunity to meet “vehicles” unlikely, as straight out of our imagination. For those who were looking for it, there is a temporary space of total freedom and creativity where borders are no longer a problem. So welcome to Burning Man, “kaleidoscope of sounds, colors, sensations brought to boiling by the sun, dust, drugs and techno”.
If like us you’re keen on traveling and are looking for your next destination where to travel, you might find the right spot in our article about the 12 most beautiful islands in the world.