If you haven’t attended burning man, you probably know people that do. Because Burning Man takes place in the Black Rock Desert, less than 3-hours away, many participants are local to the Tahoe community. So, what is Burning Man and why do so many people go year-after-year?
Burning Man is a celebration that takes place each August in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Participants purchase tickets and prepare themselves for a week in the remote, sandy location where water is scarce, and art is plentiful. A temporary city is built where participants camp. Each camp contributes trading objects and ideas and sometimes hugs in place of money.
A Celebration of Art, Love, and Expression
Burning Man represents a culture that celebrates art, love, and freedom of expression. Burners prepare all year on their contribution. One of its main principles is gifting. Participants are devoted to gift-giving and see the real value in the act of giving instead of the item.
Burners maintain self-expression by offering individual gifts and to act as oneself without the barriers modern-day society inflicts on us.
Phones, Photos, and Judgements
Yes, phones, photos, and judgment restrict participants and damper self-expression and love. Therefore, they are discouraged. As a condition of entry, participants agree not to interfere with the experience of others and to ask permission before photographing or recording anyone. Images from BRC may not be used for any commercial, promotional, editorial, or otherwise non-personal reasons without registering as professional media and receiving permission from Burning Man Project.
Celebration of Change
The foundational principles outlined below help define the culture, it’s beliefs and aspirations.
Radical Inclusion: Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
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.
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.
Radical Self-reliance: Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise, and rely on his or her inner resources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To learn more about Burning Man Culture, visit the Burning Man Survival Guide.