“What’s Burning Man?” and “Will you go again?”.
These are probably the most frequently questions i’ve been asked when i came back from my first Burning Man. It was September 2013. I’ve been feeling pretty ready for my big trip to Burning Man, dreaming about it for about 5 years and studied for over an year. But did not know what to expect.
Attending Burning Man was like landing on another planet: a vast desert populated by a peaceful, friendly, out-there people, with a culture all its own; a seven day experiment held on a hot ancient lake bed in the Nevada Black Rock desert dedicated to community, art, radical self-expression and self-reliance; a city – Black Rock – that rises and falls into the dust, each year different, each year unique.
It takes a day to walk the perimeter. Art to experience. Mutant vehicles to ride. Theme camps to visit. There are tens of thousands of people, all doing different things. There is simply so much to do and discover that it’s impossible to experience every bit of it. Amongst all the art installations, theme camps, talks, sound and music camps, workshops and various unannounced oddities waiting to be discovered, there’s a lot of spiritual workshops, yoga classes and quirky installations to choose from.
I never experienced a place with such a diverse and special group of people gathered together to build a temporary city based on a code of morals and ethics that are universal. Never has a group like this come together for not one, but 1000’s of reasons. To commute, to party, to release, to pray, to mourn, transform, network, fuck, express, create, explore and more. Not that it’s all hippies at Burning Man. There’s ravers, California’s high fashion set, nerds, loads of over 40s and over 60s, many of the greats minds of Silicon Valley, lots of well educated and curious Europeans.
In normal life sometimes it’s not easy to socialize and being friendly. Stepping from this into Burning Man is a sort of shock where people welcome all strangers with a big and immediate trust. Out there, it’s real. This is happening at Burning Man since 1986 and the community of people is probably what makes Burning Man most unique. It not just about a huge crowd of people waiting to be entertained. People at Burning Man do Burning Man, help create, help entertainment, help commute.
Everyone has their own experience on the playa. That’s the beauty of Black Rock City. And trying to write a definitive story about Burning Man is like explaining colors to someone that is blind. Burning Man it’s a dose of soul medicine to take back and integrate into our daily lives.
Welcome Home new virgins and Happy Burn 2015 to you all, see you in the dust … again one day.
All images taken by me on the playa with iphone 3.