Got a Match? Update on The Burning Man Festival 2008

comments (2) August 31st, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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I couldnt find a photo of The Burning Man on fire, but heres the Big Rig Jig!

I couldn't find a photo of The Burning Man on fire, but here's the Big Rig Jig!

Over a cup of coffee this morning I watched the Burning Man light up (complete with fireworks) on the CBS Sunday Morning News. I have to admit, it was rather exciting to watch and I felt compelled to share some more tidbits I picked up about this unique art festival.  

The playa, as it's called, is a dried up lake bed in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.   It has become the home of the Burning Man Festival. They have their own radio station, post office and a census bureau. The "countess" runs the census and is busy counting "burners" who attend the festival each year.  Over 50,000 people attended this year--1000 times bigger than it's debut 22 years ago!!  Interestingly, this event attracts people of all ages--from 1 year to over 80 years old!!!  The only deterring factor seems to be the harsh weather conditions, otherwise there is something at Burning Man for everyone.  (Once you get there, one of the guiding principles is group survival against the wind, hot, dry days and cold nights.)  If you're interested in what it takes to experience Burning Man, check out the Survival Guide--it's required reading for all attendees.

I got to see some of the decorated art bikes that burners were getting around on.  Some of them took more than three months to create.  Amazing! 

What keeps this gathering from just becoming a huge, crazy party is the art.  The sculpture featured in the news segment was the Big Rig Jig...It's an amazing "jigsaw" puzzle that towers over 45" high.  Designed from two mack truck bodies and huge metal pipe segments,  Burners can climb right into it and hang out!  (Many of the exhibits are designed to be interactive.) Organizers of the Burning Man Festival provided start-up money to get the project going--giving artists the means to express themselves at this unique event! 

Two weeks of peace, love and art culminated in the ceremonial burning of the man...It was the bonfire of all bonfires!  I could almost feel the the sense of community popping out of the TV screen.  Until now, I hadn't even heard of the Burning Man Festival--as I watched it on TV is wondered what it would be like to experience something like that in person...maybe I will......




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Comments (2)

jadesmith writes: Burning Man festival is an event which has grown from being a beach party celebrating the summer solstice to the incarnation of personal freedom, radical self expression. If you’re looking for a totally unique experience, The Burning Man Festival will provide you with one, but only if you participate. Festival ensures you to be aware that currency is discouraged at the event and can only buy you coffee and ice, normal vehicles are not permitted so bring a bicycle and be aware that the event is clothing optional.
Posted: 4:52 am on October 14th
pelli writes: As a Reno resident, the flurry of activity and anticipation for the two weeks prior to the event is amazing to see...even signs in the local super-store saying 'Burners: Supplies are in our patio section'!!! Costuming is amazing, crazy, creative and no-holds-barred, and although I couldn't stand the heat out there and won't ever be a participant, everyone who goes adores it! A lot of people left early because of a white-out dust storm yesterday. The amazing thing is the playa looks untouched by humans after everyone breaks down and leaves...there is no footprint on the earth! If you ever want a week's worth of down-to-earth creativity and comraderie, get your tickets early for next year!
Posted: 1:40 pm on August 31st
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