Burning Man is an eight-day annual event that takes places on an ancient lakebed, known as the playa, in Black Rock City, a temporary desert metropolis in Nevada, 90 miles northeast of Reno. It is one of the country?s biggest counterculture festivals with over 50,000 people in attendance. The city created by attendees, named after its location on the Black Rock Desert, is the largest in the county when it?s up, and one of the ten largest cities in the state. Burning Man starts on the Monday before, and ends on the day of, the American Labor Day holiday.
The event, which takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, is described by the organizers as “an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance”. It is a showcase for music, art and performance, and no money changes hands within the playa.
For 20 years, the Black Rock Desert has been home to the increasingly popular and influential Burning Man event. The annual art event, which began on a beach in San Francisco in 1986, has grown to attract 50,000 participants annually, from every state of the union and 23 countries worldwide. Since 2003, Black Rock City has donated more than $566,500 to Washoe and Pershing County charities. Each year, the total donation amount has increased, even in 2009, when Burning Man?s revenue and population went down.
The city is built in less than three weeks where people also get creative in making their own themed camps, wacky vehicles and crazy outfit. The whole spectacle is mix between a carnival and a Mad Max. Participants are required to bring their own installation be it an adorned bicycle, a costume or an artwork. You can see bizarre artworks and vehicles everywhere. Few wear normal clothes and it is okay to put on your brightest and craziest costume, or even go naked. The final night sees the lighting of the Burning Man itself – along with much of the artwork.