For almost 30 years Burning Man has been the craziest festival in the world. 70,000 freaks from around the world gather every year in the Nevada desert to have great party-fun and meet incredible people. Psytrance plays only a side role there.
Forget everything you know from rock or Goa festivals. Burning Man is completely different. It’s a mixture of Madmax, Dune, Woodstock and Star Trek with hundreds of parties by day and night – a whole week long. You may hear every conceivable music genre and experience like thousands of flashing and fire-breathing mutant vehicles that drive, fly or levitate over the huge desert plain – 24/7. You can also hear Psytrance from time to time on one of the countless dance floors. Mostly the music varies between Techno, House, Electro and Minimal. Everywhere you meet naked and costumed folks, colorful bicycles, aliens and you may visit orgy tents and experience incredibly terrific interactive installations. Totally anti American and yet deeply American. On Saturday, the man, who looks different every year, burns down – just like the temple that is flared on Sunday evening. These are sacred moments for the global burner community – fire seas with millions of flashing LEDs – unreal and extraterrestrial.
You pay 400 U$ for a ticket to the greatest open air playground in the world. You must apply for the right to purchase tickets and on the sales day they are gone within an hour. The festival has its own airport, radio stations, several clinics and even a post office. But there is nothing to buy or sell, except for a few drinks at the center camp and bags of ice buckets sold directly from giant trucks. All bars are free and alcohol flows like hell. Trash bins, bars, restaurants or advertisement for anything imaginable simply do not exist – at least you get mobile restrooms. Everything is super clean. The Burner respect their sacred 10 principles – among them “leave no trace”. The work of 1000s of volunteers makes sure that the desert looks like before. The Playa in Black Rock City is an arena of artists, engineers, freaks and geeks of all kinds. People join together in lovingly constructed themed camps and organize the most incredible events. Workshops range from holotrophic breathing to Tantra or drumming-masturbation, everything is possible – and of course, it‘s free. No purchase, no exchange, everyone gives what he or she (or it) likes and can give, when even and where ever.
Burning Man is not for tender beings. It may take several hours with more than 60 degrees Celsius in a hot car until you reach the entrance and nights can be freezing cold. Sandstorms are a real challenge. The checklist for the desert equipment looks different from going to a Goa festival. If you don’t live in the US or Canada best is to gather within a camp. Well, you‘re never alone on the Playa, but the Community camps are so much more fun and everyone helps each other. Why can’t Burning Man be everywhere on this planet?
Founding father Larry Harvey flared the first Man in San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986. Since 1990 the men burn regularly in Nevada. Idols of the festival were The Grateful Dead, the Merry Pranksters, the Human-Be-Ins of Timothy Leary and the Beatles in the Golden Gate Park, the LSD events in Fillmore Club, the anti Vietnam demonstrations of the 60’s and science fiction movies. Several movements (for gays, peace, women, organic food and environment) also nourished the melting pot of ideas. Burning Man is radically anti-capitalist, fanatic for freedom, hedonist and yet responsible. The 2015 art theme is „Carnival of mirrors“.