“I had a wonderfully involved greeter who had me get naked and scream through the entire ceremony.” – attendee on Reddit

Burning Man is known as a copiously immersive experience that often changes lives. Some of the most incredible Burning Man stories speak of finding love, passion, enlightenment and humble but essential company out in the Black Rock City desert. We’ve compiled a list of experiences from the Playa that are equal parts inspiring, hilarious and strange. Dive headfirst into the world of Burning Man and breathe through these colorful experiences.


1. BM 101: Keep Your Tickets Safe

“I had been carrying the tickets on me whenever we left the van because I didn’t want them to get stolen, lost etc. Once we get back in the van, I was putting them in a cup holder so I’d always have eyes on them.We get about 40 minutes from the gas station and I look in the cup holder and don’t see the tickets. I freak out, we pull over on some random exit off 80 and start ripping through the car. Can’t find the tickets anywhere. I realize my buddy had cleaned out some of the trash from the van at the gas station.

“Longest 40 minutes of my life. I’m on Craigslist looking for new tickets. We finally get back to the gas station and my buddy starts digging in the can. I go inside and ask if anyone’s turned them in, no success. I walk out and my buddy is walking away from the trash can with that defeated look, about to go look in another can that he didn’t even throw any trash in.

“I start seeing some of the trash that was in the van. We keep going and see one ticket. We pull it out and it’s actually both of of them stuck together. The station is filled with burners, hugs and cheers all around for us. It was an awesome introduction to the playa even though we were still in reno.”

– attendee on a Reddit forum


2. This hilarious tragedy


– attendee on a Reddit forum


3. This heartwarming playa proposal

“For most Burners, the Temple is a place of mourning, a place to say goodbye and to come to peace with loss. It was the same for Oakland, Calif.’s Neranjan Bissoon, who goes by Venom on the playa.

During his second burn, last year, Bissoon brought an altar dedicated to his grandparents and his late cat, Dracula, to the Temple with the intention of honoring them and mourning them with the accompaniment of his girlfriend, Sarah Hartman, also known as Spillzies at Burning Man.

Granted, his plan shifted a little when he arrived at Burning Man. He started considering proposing to Hartman while at the Temple, though he was going back and forth on the idea.

“It was a journey the whole time. I didn’t have a phone. I didn’t have a ring,” he said, explaining that he had only a single friend to bounce the idea off of before actually following through with it. But then he decided.

He stood in the temple, with a cardboard altar in his hands, tearfully saying goodbye and leaving behind cat food for Dracula, a phone number for his grandparents (in case they wanted to call him, he said) and a Captain America item to protect them all.

“I want to give you this ziptie ring because if it can hold the playa together, and Burning Man together, then it can hold our relationship together forever,” he said, still crying. While they eventually will get an actual ring for Hartman’s finger, this year the couple will be tying the knot likely in the same location.”

– via rgj.com


4. An epiphany

“I remember sitting there wondering what I was doing there. I sat there, thinking about my past and if there was anything I want to let go of. There wasn’t. So I sat there, journal in hand and ready to write down any thoughts. Nothing.

I looked around at people with emotional baggage. It was touching. It wasn’t till a man brought out his guitar, and starting singing a wonderful song that reminded me of Bob Marley. It was a song about renewal and love. It was beautiful.

At this point, I’ll admit I shed a tear. The beauty that is humanity was very strong. It moved me.”

– Ryan Lum, Medium


5. This serendipity


“Right as I went to get into my tent, I heard someone whisper loudly, “Hey! Do you want to see three moons?”

There were 3 neighbors, older dudes next to our camp.  They were taking turns looking through a telescope.  The latin one beckoned me.  “Hey, come see three moons,” he said with an awesome thick Mexican accent. I walked over and waited my turn at the telescope.  They were a group of friendly old timers. The act of looking at something that is so so far away was already part of the trip I was on.  Again, the perspective of thinking beyond Earth changes how you see the normal ‘mundane’ life and world we live everyday.

I ended up in a conversation with one of the guys as the others took turns with the telescope.  He was mostly bald but had some nice tufts and these big kind blue eyes. He was simply a beautiful kind old man. He just listened to me and was so soothing to talk to and I began to cry a bit because I was so overwhelmed by the experience.  He said something interesting about how the left brain is not supposed to be running the world but it is right now. He went and grabbed a really old copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and read “Oh, Pioneers” to me.  He ripped out the page and told me that I’d find the part that meant something to me.

I parted with the kind astronomer friends and went and sat down in a loungey chair in my camp.”

– attendee on a Quora forum


6. Hallelujah, bacon!

“We were tearing down the French Quarter, moving tons of stuff, large beams by the hundreds and heavy cast iron railings. I felt like I had just exhausted my very last bit of energy and would collapse right away if I didn’t immediately get some replenishment. Crossing paths with a campmate, I shouted “I need bacon NOW!” And just as I say the last word, “NOW”, another campmate, Jen, shows up, turning around the corner about 15 feet away. She comes straight towards us with a large aluminum tray in her arms full of freshly made bacon, shouting “Bacon anyone? Bacon? Bacon?””

– attendee on the Burning Man Blog


7. Okay, then.

“Older veteran burner guy wearing nothing but a long flowing skirt and some weird necklaces to totally lost drunken OC frat boy who just can’t seem to find center camp. “Don’t worry in ten years you’ll be just like me. God forbid.””

– via tribe.com


8. This insanity


“The top of the Discofish is one of the best spots to be on the Playa, you get a great view of all the action. On our second night (Friday) we were on top of the fish and there was an erratic burner in his mid 40’s, greying scruff, wearing cowboy boots. He was stumbling all over the top platform. His behavior suggested that he was on some sort of drugs, and his safety was at risk.He would start down the ladder, then came back up again, acting erratic.I grabbed his hand and tried to help him down. He screamed “GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!” Then something insane happened…
He stood up completely straight, looked behind himself for about 10 seconds……  Squatted down, and backflipped. To our surprise, he executes a picture perfect backflip from 10 feet off the fish top deck, landing on the playa in a perfect squat.
He raised his hands into the air and screamed “TA DA!”
He took a moment to point at all of us, laugh, and go running away.”

– attendee on a Quora forum


9. Caught in the storm

““It’s a tornado!” shouted Justice from the top of the scissor lift, excitement and disbelief coloring his voice. I followed his gaze through the cluster of tents and shelters, straining to see if I could make out the form of a twister or oversized dust devil. Instead, to the southwest, a wall of dust was rolling and billowing inexorably towards our camp in the Black Rock Desert.”

– attendee on the Burning Man Blog


10. This unenthusiastic attendee

“I arrived late on a Tuesday night to what looked like the cultural remnants of a nuclear war. People ducked in and out of dirty tents or danced awkwardly in front of fires wearing patchwork Halloween costumes. If there was free love here, it didn’t look like it was being passed out yet. A painted teenager on a tricycle skidded to a stop in front of me.

“Welcome home,” he said.

“No,” I told him, “my home is much nicer than this. There’s a pool.”

“It’s what we say here. ‘Welcome home.'”

“That’s absurd,” I argued. “Have you seen my house? It’s outstanding.””

– via cracked.com


Please note: All of these stories have been curated from the internet and the credibility of each story lies with the individual who posted them. If you have posted any of the stories above, do let us know and we will provide credit where it is due. Also, many of these have been shortened to fit the post.

Check out our list of the most insane festival horror stories!