Burning Man is an annual festival celebrated by art lovers and creative minds at the Black Rock City. This city is a temporary one in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada that comes alive in the late summers when performers, dreamers, artists and free spirits gather to enjoy the arts and music festival and share what they have to give to the community.
The festival is a very unusual one with the key aspect being that participants are encouraged to share their artistic self-expression. The communal effort where different creative works are showcased from experimental sculpture to entertaining performances makes it a vibrant festival. People can enjoy quite a variety of art forms at the dusty city. The fact that it is attended by around 70,000 people speaks of its popularity.
The event was held for the first time in 1986 and now it has taken the shape of a major festival attended by art lovers and celebrities from around the world. If you have something to give to the art community then feel free to share it at the festival where you will find plenty of people who can relate to you and appreciate what you have to offer, this is the beauty of this festival.
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Burning Man - The Story Behind
The roots of the festival can be traced back to 1986. The day was 22 June and it was a Saturday evening. It all happened as an impulsive act when two friends, Larry Harvey and Jerry James thought of a novel ideal to build a human effigy. Harvey says that the idea to do so was to self-express and nothing more.
After making an effigy that was nine feet tall, the two of them along with a bunch of friends decided to do a bonfire and torched it on Baker Beach in San Francisco. Since the effigy was big, an open space seemed ideal.
When they burnt it at the beach the entire place was lit up. The sight was a breathtaking one. According to the two friends it was supremely romantic like having the sun come down on earth. This is how the founder of the festival, Larry Harvey describes it,
"... when he was lit he simply incandesced, and for a moment, it turned night into day."
As the huge effigy burnt, the crowd tripled at the beach. The mesmerized fire lit faces of the crowd showed awe and excitement. Sharing the joy of the beautiful evening, a hippie with a guitar from the crowd stepped forward singing a song on fire. Soon others joined in and it became a party where everyone was enjoying the sight, the atmosphere and the bond that they had forged that night. This marked the first spontaneous performance and that is how the Burning Man began.
About the Festival
The event takes its name from the wooden human effigy that is burnt at the festival. This symbolic ritual traditionally takes place on the Saturday evening of the event. Usually the festival begins on the last Sunday of August and continues till the first Monday of September.
Since its first event in 1986, Burning Man has been organized annually. When the event took place the next year in 1987, the effigy made was 15 feet tall and in 1988 around 40 feet tall effigy was made. Not only the size of the effigy grew with time but now the annual ritual was attracting bigger crowds and in 1988 the ritual was given its formal name “Burning Man.”
The essence of the festival has been aptly put by Larry Harvey. He says “Communities are not produced by sentiment. They grow out of a shared struggle. “
That has been the sentiment which has seen this community grow. Guided by the 10 principles that this community follows, it is thriving today and the principles are "radical" inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace.
What Goes on at the Festival
The annual event has a new theme each year. At this time of the year, people from around the world gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City and these people participate actively. Participation is considered a gift you give to others and that is what makes the community so interesting. Anyone can share anything, possibilities are limitless. Participants can share their art or talent, the aim is to share joyful experiences that also give you the opportunity for personal engagement. So you can be a musician, a sculptor, a fire dancer, a juggler or anything that you want to share. Then you come up with theme camps that offer a unique ambiance and also have interesting activities for the festival attendees. At the Burning Man Festival there is music and interesting acts all over the place and you can be party to any. All these are un-staged productions, like you can find any act at any place, as you walk or bike through the streets of Black Rock City. It is like attending a big wild party.
Burning Man Festival Tickets
What started off as a small gathering on San Francisco’s Baker Beach is now an international phenomenon attracting visitors from around the world who come to indulge in this extraordinary experience. The attendance at the Burning Man Festival has been growing with each year. The attendance for 2016 was 67,290. As the numbers are growing, Burning Man Festival tickets are becoming a prized possession. If you want to attend this wild party and have a gift to share, get your Burning Man tickets in time.