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Burning Man 2008

Fireworks before the Man burnsBurning Man: “The Man” is burned as a final hurrah for the revelers. Photo by AlmostJadedNevada is the host to one of the country’s (or world’s) biggest counter-culture festivals every year. With over 40,000 people in attendance, the city created by attendees, named Black Rock City after its location on the Black Rock Desert, is the largest in the county when it’s up, and one of the ten largest cities in the state.

So what is it? Nevada Magazine ran a story last year, and burningman.com attempts to explain it also. Here is an excerpt:

Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. In this section you will find the peripheral definitions of what the event is as a whole, but to truly understand this event, one must participate.

Makes perfect sense, right? Well, one thing Burning Man seems to be, from the point of view of this non-participant, is something that inspires art and creativity. Every year, thousands of photos appear on Flickr during and after the event. A simple search returns almost 300,000 photos. That’s a pretty amazing number for anything. There are also groups dedicated to Burning Man, including one with over 1,400 members. Flickr is just the beginning. On any social site where people can talk about and post pictures of events, you’ll be sure to find Burning Man.

Burning Man is located in the Black Rock Desert, which can be reached by traveling past Pyramid Lake and through the town of Gerlach. Gerlach is a small place with one motel/restaurant/gas station and a few bars. From there you trek out onto the playa and head out to Black Rock City. Inside the city there is no use of money allowed, except at the main center where you can buy water and a very limited amount of supplies. The week-long event culminates in the burning of “the Man,” a wooden structure built before the festival and burned to the ground as the crowd watches.

Making the trip out to Burning Man is a pretty serious endeavor. Be sure to check out the first-timer’s guide available for reading, and bring plenty of water. And don’t forget to stop in and say hello at Bruno’s.

  • Posted by Ryan Jerz on July 25th, 2008