|Burning Man in Black Rock, Nevada|
Burning Man all began with a San Francisco beach, one phone call and three men, sort of. Two friends, Larry Harvey and Jerry James, decided to go burn another man—a wooden one—for the 1986 summer solstice. Throwing some scrap lumber together, they assembled the first “burning man,” invited a few more friends and then set their man ablaze. As the fire brilliantly lit the shore, a small group of onlookers gathered and, with that moment, Burning Man was born.
|Ariel shot of "Black Rock City" where Burning Man is currently held|
It’s not exactly a festival, but more of an event that reinforces the idea that everyone gathered are not just witnesses but an active participant to the event. As people gather in a dry lake bed in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert and set up camps, they work to create the temporary Black Rock City, where art, self-expression and self-reliance are a must. The city and event last for about a week and participants are required to bring their own survival supplies. Think camping, but with some extreme conditions like sudden sand storms, extreme heat and arctic-like nights. There’s a reason Burning Man organizers provide a survival guide and checklist of what to bring.
|From 2013's Burning Man event|
Black Rock City is designed to be a safe, fun and positive environment. More importantly, Burning Man has become a place for people to get away from society including its rules and structure and find a sense of freedom, inspiration and community. The event operates from 10 principles: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy. Taken together, these create a different sense of community and society outside of the normalcy of life that many participants are seeking to take a break from.
|Art piece featured at Burning Man|
Sandra Tsing Loh was not immune to the effects of Burning Man: she had a life-changing realization there, in the midst of a sporadic sandstorm. While highly unconventional, the event has become a gathering place for many that provides new perspectives and experiences.
It’s a perfect place to spark a midlife crisis.
Learn more about Burning Man
A Burning Man Timeline
Learn more about The Madwoman in the Volvo