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Building an experimental community at Burning Man

For a week in August every year, the beautiful Black Rock Desert becomes the most populated community in the state, welcoming some 60,000 people for the famous Burning Man festival. This event begins on the last Monday of the month and runs for seven days, ending on Labor Day. During this time, the area becomes a sort of free-spirited society made up of participants who come to indulge in total self-expression and heightened creativity. If you're interested in taking part in this incomparably unique event, book a Nevada car rental and make the journey to the desert.

History of Burning Man

Burning Man was established in 1986 by Larry Harvey. It started as a small bonfire ritual attended by Harvey and his friends, who would gather on Baker Beach to express themselves by burning a handmade wooden statue of a man that stood 9 feet tall - hence the name "Burning Man." As the wooden effigy continued to get bigger, so did the fest, welcoming more people with each year and relocating to its current spot at Black Rock Desert, which you can access by renting a Las Vegas car rental or Reno car rental.

Harvey captured the spirit of the fest by writing Burning Man's Ten Principles, a set of guidelines rather than rules for maintaining the creative culture of the experimental community. At the forefront of these principles are self-expression and self-reliance - each individual's responsibility to look into themselves, utilize their inner resources and communicate by creating. Radical inclusion is another important guideline that says any person can take part, and communal effort, civic responsibility and participation help make up the other foundations of the experience. The principle of gifting outlines the need to give without the expectation of receiving, while decommodification supports gifting by removing transactions, commercialism and advertising from the culture of Burning Man. In the end, leaving no trace is essential - leaving the landscape in the same or better condition as you found it

What to expect

After arriving in their Burning Man rental cars, participants can step out to explore a landscape taken over by one of the world's most unique events. Unlike other fests, there are no famous musical acts, radio show hosts or beer tents. Instead, it's a makeshift community created by and for the participants in an effort to stimulate creativity and encourage expression. Also called "the playa," the Black Rock Desert is an ancient lakebed, providing the temporary society with a stunning beauty that enhances the spirituality and sense of unity on which the fest thrives.

Each year, it takes on a different theme, such as "The Body" and "The Vault of Heaven." The participants contribute to the motif by dressing in elaborate costumes, creating installations and other pieces of art, organizing theme camps or in any other way they choose. At night, there are bonfires all throughout the desert, and people jump from camp to camp meeting new people. The main event takes place on Saturday night, when a crowd gathers to watch the fest's namesake wooden effigy be lit on fire.

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