We don’t think the world can be Woodstock … Who’d think the world could be a perpetual carnival? But we do think that the world could rediscover values that used to be automatically produced by culture but aren’t anymore because culture is subject to the commodification in our world. Everything is sold back to us, targeted to demographics. What we have to do is make progress in the quality of connection between people, not the quantity of consumption.
Larry Harvey (1948-2018) Co-Founder, Burning Man Festival

A lot has been written about “That Thing In The Desert” aka Burning Man, this annual event that has been happening in Black Rock desert since 1990 (and before that Baker Beach in San Francisco since the mid-80s). You often hear that “Burning Man is dead” or that “it wasn’t like before”. That could be said of so many things in life. So living in the SF Bay Area, I felt the urge to go see what this whole thing was about.

I think the best way to describe it is that it is not one single thing. It’s not just an arts festival, or a music festival or even just a festival. It’s a bubble that happens once a year (and more often in other places) where cultural rules are different and anyone can bring or receive anything they are willing to put the effort to (it requires a lot of work to go!).

Below is a little snapshot of my own personal journey at Burning Man. It will be different than other person’s experience, even within the same camp. And I think that is what makes the event interesting and beautiful, is that it is not “manufactured”, that thousands of people spend countless hours on projects that they will show during that week in the desert.

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