Nearly 80,000 revelers are expected to descend into the Nevada desert for the first in-person Burning Man celebration since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burning Man has been a tradition in the Nevada desert for 36 years, but in 2020 event organizers decided to cancel the annual event due to concerns about COVID-19.
The following year, organizers decided to plan a ‘Virtual Burn’, though thousands decided to take matters into their own hands and hold an impromptu event in the desert of their own.
But this year, the week-long event is back on track, with the event organizers announcing on their website: ‘After several long years, we are going home.
“It’s time to resume our Waking Dreams and look to the future as we rebuild and recreate together.”
The theme of this year’s event—dubbed a “temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance”—is “Waking Dreams.”
According to the organizers, “After a long hazy haze of pandemic insomnia, drifting between sleep and wakefulness, it’s time to imagine the future again.”
The week-long festivities finally kicked off Sunday morning at a makeshift seven-square-mile encampment called Black Rock City, where free-spirited individuals — who spent $575 each to attend this year’s event — can enjoy a myriad of parties, art installations and even some orgies as they trade with each other for free food.
It will all end on September 4 with the burning of an effigy – known as the Burning Man.
The Burning Man Festival, with art exhibitions and a variety of events, returned in person to Black Rock City this year
Nearly 80,000 revelers are expected to descend into the Nevada desert for the annual week-long festival
It features dozens of sculptures and a multitude of events from parties to meditation sessions
Among the many events expected this year, there are plenty of planned parties where so-called Burners can meet, enjoy some music and of course some alcohol.
There will be music choices for everyone from Latin music to jazz sessions, to 80s pop concerts and discos.
More meditative activities will be offered for those who want something a little more sedate, including a hammock forest, a hypnotherapy session and communal peppermint bomb breathing exercises, according to the San Francisco Gate.
Meanwhile, more active revelers can stack and climb milk crates, and for those expecting to get physical with one of the many projectile-throwing competitions or a foam weapon fight, a bikini armor-making workshop is recommended.
And for those looking to broaden their minds, Burning Man also offers several educational sessions on topics such as the intersection of artificial intelligence and astronomy, as well as the use of psychedelics in surgery.
Also new this year is a camp on The Playa, the part of the desert where the event takes place, called Consensual Abduction, where guests can climb down a ‘wormhole’ slide to get onto a dance floor for nighttime raves.
Consent is a major theme of this year’s event, the Gate reports — a crucial part as so much of the experiences on this year’s program revolve around sex, from after-hours orgies and flogging to black-light bondage.
All events take place at The Playa – a seven square mile stretch of the Nevada desert
The theme of this year’s event—dubbed a “temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance”—is “Waking Dream”
Some of the sculptures featured at this year’s Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert
It will feature mutated vehicles and art cars, which are “unique motorized creations that either bear little or no resemblance to their original form or a standard street vehicle or are out of context for the normal setting (a pirate ship or spaceship on the desert, for example)”
An illuminated dragon sculpture has been pictured at this year’s Burning Man festival in Black Rock City
But Burning Man is also known for its art installations, which this year include several sculptures such as a dragon and honey containers in the shape of a bear.
It also encourages mutated vehicles and art cars, which are “unique motorized creations that either bear little or no resemblance to their original form or a standard street vehicle or are out of context for the normal setting (a pirate ship or spaceship on the desert, for example).” .’
And while all that is going on, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab will be handing out 600 small barrels that look like Altoids cans, in hopes that people will pass them around and use the pen and paper to write down where and when they get the item. have received as well as where they camp.
Using no matter how many cans find their way back to the team after the week-long event, Axios reports, the researchers will “map the economy of Burning Man,” where people operate a gift system.
Here’s a girl interacting with one of the many art exhibits at La Playa this year
Another artist has made an installation with the honey bottles in the shape of bears
The annual event has been called a “temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance.”
On Sunday, cars lined up to get to The Playa, with an art car crashing near the entrance to the annual event, causing some delay.
But traffic is a given for the revelers, with the hour-long delays even recreating in last year’s ‘Virtual Burn’ when organizers canceled the in-person event for a virtual one.
It’s designed to mimic as much as possible of the annual festival known for its music, art, nudity and sex, complete with the hour-long traffic jams to get in, according to the Wall Street Journal after virtual reality developers from six different companies spent a year replicating the scene.
They wanted to build a city from scratch where participants can live in a utopian society that follows the principles of ‘decommodification’ (not needing money to obtain goods and services) and ‘radical inclusion’.
But the idea of a ‘Virtual Burn’ was too much for some die-hard Burners, and groups like Black Rock Plan B, Playa Poop Protocol, Unity 2021 Free Burn, RenegadeBurn, Renegade Man, and Rogue Burn began taking to the desert how then.
About 30,000 attended the festival without a ticket, known as ‘Renegade Man’, described online as the ‘non-event, event that takes place rather than that one trademarked event whose name we cannot name’.
One of the art cars crashed just outside the entrance to this year’s Burning Man, causing some delay
Traffic is to be expected during the annual event, with the hour-long delays even recreating in last year’s ‘Virtual Burn’ when organizers canceled the in-person event for a virtual event
Revelers began arriving at Black Rock City in the Nevada desert on Sunday for the annual event