Every year the lunar landscape of the Nevada desert plays host to the heady and hedonistic Burning Man festival.
The temporary, commerce-free community is known as “Black Rock City”. For eight days it bursts into existence as an experiment in radical self-expression and self-reliance and disappears without a trace on day nine. “Burners” must remove every sign of life from ever being there before they depart as one of the conditions of the festival.
Self-expression takes many forms… from gaudy, colorful costumes to stark nudity. The playa has unrelenting heat, wind, and sand during the day and freezing cold at night so both wardrobe choices have their strengths and weaknesses.
Burning man is famous for its collaborative art installations, many of which rise high above the plains. “Burners also build theme-camps to foster interaction and serve as hubs. Short term, mini villages act as subsets of the greater community. The only commerce allowed is the sale of ice and coffee. You must bring in everything you need to survive when you come or barter with other participants.
The event culminates on the final Saturday night with the burning of the eponymous effigy.