All About Burning Man

It’s that time of the year again. In honor of the Burning Man festival beginning today in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, we’d like to answer a few common questions about this special event.

What is Burning Man and where does it take place?
Burning Man has been around for over 25 years is now one of the most famous art and music festivals in the world. The event takes place in a temporary city called Black Rock City (or The Playa as it is otherwise known) that is built in a barren stretch of desert and comprised of various self-sustaining camps or

When does Burning Man take place?
Burning Man begins the week prior to Labor Day and runs through the Labor Day weekend. In 2014, the Burning Man dates are Monday, August 25th to Monday, September 1st.

How big is the festival?

In 2013, nearly 70,000 people traveled into Nevada for the event and it brought an
estimated $55 million in economic impact to Northern Nevada, up from $44 million in 2012.

Is it just a bunch of hippies hanging out in the desert?

No. Tech moguls, socialites, heirs and heiresses, and Hollywood starlets have all been
attendees of Burning Man.

How do people get around on The Playa?
Due to the delicate nature of the Black Rock Desert as well as the dust levels, burners are asked to only use their vehicles to reach their campsite and either walk or use bicycles to get around following their arrival.

What’s the deal with the 10 Principles of Burning Man?
The 10 Principles of Burning Man were written by Burning Man Founder, Larry Harvey, in 2004 and were crafted not as strict rules of how people should be and act, but as a
reflection of the community’s spirit and culture as it developed since the event’s founding.
The 10 Principles of Burning Man are as follows:

1) Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No
prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
2) Gifting
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
3) Decommodification
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social
environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or
advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the
substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
4) Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner
5) Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift
to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
6) Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce,
promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of
communication that support such interaction.
7) Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume
responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to
participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance
with local, state and federal laws.
8) Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
9) Participation
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that
transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is
invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
10) Immediacy
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our
culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Burning Man 2014 Theme Caravansary
Theme and text by Larry Harvey and Stuart Mangrum with
acknowledgments to David Normal, illustration by DA of Black Rock
(aka Dominic Tinio), model/photo: Stardust Magick

Are you or someone you know attending Burning Man this year?
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