Alastair's Blog

The Burning Man Festival - What an Experience!

- Friday, October 24, 2014

On our way to the Burning Man FestivalIn September I had the surreal and exciting experience of visiting the Burning Man Festival. What an assault on all senses! For anyone not familiar, this is an annual event, first started as a small event on San Francisco's Baker Beach and now taking place at Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It's stated ethos is to be a "vibrant, global, culture of like-minded individuals who seek to live their lives in a more meaningful, powerful & self-expressed way".

The event takes place on an ancient lakebed, known as the playa, and attracts over 60,000 people every year. 

Art is an integral part of the festival and there is a theme each year. Participants are encouraged to find a way to help make the theme come alive and you can see from some of the photos and videos that people really take this on board with great enthusiasm! There are large-scale art installations, costumes and a theme camp. At the end of the festival, they burn the huge wooden burning man effigy.

Lots of people turn their vehicles into art installations, for example this skull car - we helped them unload and set up camp, because they'd helped us with tickets and early entry. It was tricky to get off the trailer!



At night there were thousands of decorated bicycles - virtually everyone has one and so did we, thanks to Tracey and Hayden. You need them to get round the Black Rock City, which covers a huge area.



Here's a short video showing a night on the playa, with the Burning Man effigy in the background, art installations everywhere in the desert.


It rained! They closed the gates for new entrants and banned driving on the Playa as it turns to glue. Here I am trying to clean my feet having been to the blue room (porta-poti) with a barbeque tool! And a picture of another decorated vechicle.


Two Burners in deep meditation! Burning Man, Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert. Plus a picture of me under the burning man!


This structure is known as "The Embrace" and the day after I took this photo, it was set on fire. This is deliberate and is all part of the Burning Man festival. Plus some more of the amazing art installations and some people really embracing the theme of "freedom of self-expression!"



Here I'm trying to show the scale of the festival with a shot of the Burning Man effigy, at a distance. And another decorated vehicle.



People even get married while they're here on the playa, there are lots of these going on. Don't know who that other chap is!


This is the Burning of The Embrace, quite early on, there's a large crowd watching, most haven't been to bed yet at 7:30am! And there we are, outside our motor home, on our last night at the festival.


The last night on board the skull car - and the Sea Monster in action - note the blue rooms in the foreground (these ae the toilets)


We had a flat tyre on the Winnibago on the way home - but with Tracey in charge and excellent team work all round, we managed to get it sorted out without too much drama!


Bit of a panoramic video showing the scale of the event and just how much is going on at all times.



A video showing the Burning of the Embrace.


More videos - a very nice bicycle!


A night time burn, complete with fireworks




Recent Posts