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Guide to Attending The Burning Man

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Have you heard of this event? The Burning Man Event is a one of a kind gathering that happens every year in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. While it is not a spiritual retreat, per se, many do go there for spiritual reasons. Many others go for creative reasons. And of course, many go for a big, wild, blow it out your **# party! If I went, it would definitely be for the creative and spiritual aspects. The reason I haven't went is it is SO rustic. Though I have never attended the Burning Man event but I've been very intrigued by the types of creative sparks this event ignites in people. Some of the things they create out there in the desert every year are just awe-inspiring.

If you've been thinking about attending the Burning Man event, my strong suggestion would be to read up and prepare. It is the desert, after all, and there are things you can definitely do that may make the difference between it being a fun stay and a nightmare. If you've never gone, and you're not sure what to expect, this guide to Burning Man may be very helpful.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Burn, a comprehensive event guide, which detals the history of Burning Man as well as how to build a camp, what to bring to the desert, the culture of Burning Man attendees and practical info like how to change a bicycle tire and how to wire your camp for solar power and grey water disposal.

The Hitchiker's Guide to the Burn was developed in collaboration with, edited by, and is published with full permission from Burning Man. The first thing one needs to know about Burning Man is how the event came to be. From bonfires at Baker Beach to the current week-long event in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Burning Man has evolved into a spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

Now that Burning Man has been the subject of so much public scrutiny, it is important that the culture of Burning Man is both understood and preserved. For those attending Burning Man for the first time, this guide may be particularly helpful in understanding cultural norms for the event, including Gifting Economy, the Leave No Trace effort, controlled burning, and all manners of Playa Etiquette.

One thing I like about this event is that Leave No Trace commitment. There is hardly any evidence that anyone was there when they leave. The temporary metropolis that was Black Rock City is completely dismantled and disappears until the next year. I love that in a big event like this! However, that means a lot of work afterwards, and if you're going, be prepared to volunteer for the clean-up as well.

Another aspect that sets this event apart from concerts or festivals is that all the creative events that occur are directly the work of the participants themselves. There's no headliner or celebrity on the stage, but the creativity stems from a grassroots collaboration of all involved.

The 10 Principles: There are 10 basic principles behind the Burning Man event and the word "radical" appears a lot in those principles. That should give you one clue as to the environment to expect. The 10 principles are Radical inclusion (anyone who wants to come can come), Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-Expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation and Immediacy. You can learn more about what these principles mean on the Playa here: 10 Principles of Burning Man

When is the next Burning Man?The dates for the 2016 Burning Man event are August 28 - September 5. The theme for this years burn is Davinci's Workshop. The man burns on September 3rd. This work of art that is burned every year gave the event it's name of Burning Man because literally they burn an art-rendered structure at every event. This gathering has been happening for years and started from humble beginnings when Larry Harvey and Jerry James burned the first wooden figure on a San Francisco beach. The event now draws artists and free spirits from all over the world. The desert is transformed into an alive village of creative passion and then, when the event is over, all is cleaned away and the desert looks as if no one was ever there ... til the next year.