First Burning Man:
As the founding legend is told, in 1986 Larry Harvey and a dozen friends burned an effigy of a man on San Francisco's Baker Beach in a cathartic act of spontaneous creativity. This experience of reconciliation and rebirth quickly grew into an annual ritual with hundreds of people, leading Harvey to move his Burning Man experience to U.S. government land in northern Nevada’s remote Black Rock desert. Today, this is where 60,000 people gather the week leading up the Labor Day, transforming one of the least hospitable pieces of land on Earth into a loving, hospitable temporary village called Black Rock City.
What is Burning Man about?
At its heart, Burning Man is a celebration of artistic self-expression for those who have a utopian vision of the world. For some it’s about creating a spiritual sense of oneness in an intentional community based upon 10 principles . For others, it’s about all-night parties and dancing, riding around on bikes. But no matter what archetype defines you and your experience, anyone who has done the pilgrimage to the desert is known as a Burner, and this may truly alter the course of your life.
Theme camps are the cultural cul-de-sacs that populate Black Rock City. Depending on the year’s theme, these camps help create the festival’s homegrown flavor.
Burning Man is also about discovery, so it’s fitting that approximately a third of attendees each year are festival virgins. For those who want to learn, there are more than 2,000 free classes, workshops and eventsoffered each year during the festival.
Ways to Participate in Burning Man 2017:
People new to Burning Man often assume that it’s a regular “festival” as they’ve come to know them, a mostly passive experience where everything is planned, orchestrated and pre-packaged by the event producers, and attendees just come and enjoy the show. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The people who attend Burning Man are no mere “attendees,” but rather active participants in every sense of the word: they create the city, the interaction, the art, the performance and ultimately the “experience.” Participation is at the very core of Burning Man, and there are many ways to participate.
2017 Art Theme: Da Vinci’s Workshop:
Burning Man’s 2017 art theme is inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when an historic convergence of inspired artistry, technical innovation and enlightened patronage launched Europe out of medievalism and into modernity. Our story will focus on the republic of Florence, for it was here, in a city-state of about the same size and population as Black Rock City, that humanist ideals, a rediscovery of science, and funding from a newly moneyed class of entrepreneurs fueled a revolutionary cultural movement that redefined Western civilization. Five centuries later, the organizers will attempt to recreate this potent social alchemy by combining Burning Man art, maker culture and creative philanthropy to make Black Rock City the epicenter of a new renaissance.