Ever wondered what actually goes down at Black Rock City, Nevada ? Here are a bunch of important facts about the festival that dispel ridiculous myths and educate you on how important a festival like this is to the idea of self-expression.


1. It is NOT a music festival

We cannot stress on this enough. Yes there are lots of makeshift stages, musicians and music heard but that is only a tiny aspect of Burning Man. Over 5 1/2 miles of desert you will find all the weird and wonderful people, art, workshops conducted by a community dedicated to the spirit of self-expression and self reliance. The festival is a week long and to truly understand what the event is, you must actively participate.

ProTip : Do not come with expectations.

Burning man stefanie-hoepner2

(Image Courtesy : Stefanie Hoepner)

2. There’s nothing you can buy

The community works on a well structured ‘gifting’ barter System. Or rather, a gifting culture. Apart from ice, nothing can be bought or sold at the festival. There is all the food, drink and alcohol, quirky artefacts, jewellery and hugs you can possibly want gifted out by various people in the festival. So bring with you all you want so you can spread the joy as well. We’re telling you, it’s infectious.

Remember : This is no place for cynicism.

Burning Man tikiicebar
3. There are lots of weird, kinky activities you can partake in

From orgy tents, spanking classes to group masturbation(?) and naked foam parties, there are a multitude of strange activities for the adventurous ‘try-anything-once’ lot. It’s all about opening your mind and appreciating beauty in all forms (and ways?)

ProTip : Don’t try it if you don’t want to, but don’t judge.

Burning man orgy
4. You will be given ‘burner’ nicknames

To the normal world you may be a Tom, Jane or an Aarti but at Burning Man, special nicknames are assigned to you by other people, depending on what they think or feel about you.

Burning man stefanie-hoepner

(Image Courtesy : Stefanie Hoepner)

5. It just gets bigger and bigger.

As something that started out as a ceremonial beach bonfire in San Francisco back in 1986, Burning Man has surely come a long way as a one of the most coveted and beautiful event dedicated to building a community of self reliance and self expression. Last year around 68000 people attended the gathering, making Black Rock City the third largest city in Nevada (USA). Temporary city, that is.


6. Dozens of weddings take place at Burning Man.

And why not? We cannot of think of a more beautiful and surreal place for you to celebrate love.

Burning Man Wedding Kevin Tang

 (Image Courtesy : Kevin Tang)

7. Burning Man has some of the wackiest, beautiful and strange art (and installations) you will ever come across.

From the spinning monkey, to the fire breathing octopus car to the ceremonial ‘Burning Man’, it’s everything you haven’t seen before!

Protip: Don’t just walk by and snap pictures. Lot of the art installations are interactive.

Burning Man art kevin tang3

Christian Jacobsen (C) adjusts the sand at the Guardian of Dawn art installation during the Burning Man 2013 arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada

8. Social interaction is the backbone of this festival

Black Rock City is like a parallel universe where the life is all about experiencing new things and where the people are genuinely nice. The lack of cellular service or the Internet in the city really pushes people to make real conversation, make eye contact and enjoy a natural atmosphere of social interaction. It may be weird on the first day, but by the last you’ll be doing the same.

Protip : Random hugs are the best conversation starter.

Burning man human interaction

 9. Art Cars

You should definitely watch out for these babies. Mobile art installations are a dime a dozen at the festival.

ProTip : If you do come across one, don’t forget to hop on.

art car 1


(Image Courtesy : Scott London)

Art car 2

10. The Burn

The Burn takes place on the last day of the festival, where the ceremonial ‘Man’ made of wood is set on fire. This gigantic ceremonial bonfire signifies different things to different people, but what it generally stands for is the burning of  ‘man’  who is as a greedy, corrupted politician – everything that is wrong with the world today.

ProTip : Don’t ever miss this.

burning man the Burn

 (Image Courtesy : Peter Pan)