This year, 2012, was the first year I attended the one and only Burning Man. Now, if these two words combined are foreign, I’ll try to explain. The only problem is that there is no possible way to explain the annual event. Burning Man is an EXPERIENCE, and usually a life altering one. If it could be categorized I would call it a festival. Its located in the middle of the Nevada desert and is held for about ten days. Burning Man is a self-sustained community which means that everything at Black Rock City is brought to the location by the people participating. This didn’t sound impressive until I actually saw with my own eyes the massive and creative structures that are out there and the intense amount of creativity brought to the location.
Visually its difficult to describe Burning Man because there are things that one will see there and nowhere else. During the day it resembles a post-apocalyptic town, and so do many of its inhabitants. Everyone looks like Steam Punk had a love child with a rave go-go dancer. Also, along the lines of raving, the one thing there is never a lack of there is MUSIC. Seriously though, I still to this day hear music in my head from being there. I think it’s a special form of Playa PTSD. Black Rock itself is shaped in a half circle. During the day, when looking out from center camp all that can be seen is a sea of playa dust and desert with some gorgeous mountains in the background. I’ve never seen a sunrise as beautiful as that one. At night, the lights come on and the art cars go out into the playa to play. This is where it gets tricky because there are now lights surrounding the Burner in a 360 degree direction. What the problem with this? There is no possible way to know which direction is home. Think of being trapped in a giant lit up snow globe, because that’s exactly what it feels like.
The greatest part for me being there was not just the amazing music and the costumes I was able to dress up in everyday, but also seeing people that I see almost daily in a new light. Part of the community is survival and the desert certainly separates the strong from the weak. Its absolutely amazing to see how creative people can be when I’ve never seen that side of them before. There’s no currency, no bills, very little traffic besides art cars, and no cell phones….Only people expressing and enjoying themselves.
I absolutely can’t wait to go back again next year. This year I heard from other Burners wasn’t the best because a lot of regulars boycotted the event because of how the ticket sales were formulated. Even though my first shower back was heaven, I miss being covered in the white silky playa dust and the distant sound of bass from the sound camps. If you’ve never been, its worth experiencing at least once in your life. Even if its not for you, at least you can say you survived. Here’s a couple photos from the event. Unfortunately I don’t have more because I didn’t want to risk damaging my camera or iphone while I was out there. The camp that were visiting there is Barbie Death Camp where burners can come and sacrifice their own Barbie to add to the collection. Enjoy!