The yearly Burning Man festival sees tens of thousands of people gather for at least a week of mayhem and mutiny on a scale that puts makes our muddy misadventures look tame.
Misfits in all walks of life — from surreal artists and far-out families to high-flying CEOs and tech titans — head to the sands for a party like no other.
In the past, electric car pioneer Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook joined the rebellious souls at Burning Man.
From obscure sculptures and wacky outfits to the ever-popular Orgy Dome – Burning Man seems to get more insane every year.
Last year’s festival hosted over 70,000 “burners” including 3,000 rich enough to fly in to its unregulated Black Rock City Airport.
The annual gathering kicks off on the last Sunday of August and runs until the first Monday of September (also known as the US Labour Day).
The official event dates this year are from Sunday, August 27 to Monday, September 4, 2017. The madness doesn’t come cheap – with tickets starting from around €350 per person without a vehicle.
The Burning Man Festival was first held by Larry Harvey and his group of friends in 1986. They named the event Burning Man because it began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice on Baker Beach in San Francisco. Since then, the gathering has been organised by the Burning Man Project and has become an annual event which this year was attended by over 70,000 “burners”.
And for many, it marks the end of summer, the festival is rounded off by living up to its title — with the burning of a giant wooden man-shaped construct.
The Burning Man festival is named after giant effigy which is set alight at the end of the gathering
What is the entertainment like at Burning Man?
Festival goers are encouraged to show themselves and their personalities through various forms of artistic self-expression.There are numerous art installations to admire, performance arts and sculpting classes – but each year organisers choose a theme, so every festival is different.
There are also camps to attend and participation always welcomed, last year they include an annex for spandex aficionados and the famous Burning Man Orgy Dome.
Run by a group called And Then There’s Only Love, the 24-hour giant tent was billed as a safe, “a sex-positive, consensual space for couples and moresomes to play”, welcoming “the combination of love in all forms”.
According to the Burning Man website, the region is “a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance”.