Burning Man is a festival or an event focused on community, self-expression, art, and self-reliance, held annually in the western United States. Since its inception in the 1960s, Burning Man has become a global culture known and experienced even in countries as far as Japan, and over time has grown from 25 participants to over 71,000.
Burning Man began as a bonfire ceremony on the summer solstice on June 22, 1986, when Jerry James, Larry Harvey, and some friends met at Baker Beach in San Francisco. In the history of the festival, there has been a steady increase in attendance. In 2019, more then 78,850 people participated in the event.
The Burning Man is a counterculture festival held in Nevada’s Black Rock Deser near Gerlach over Labor Day weekend. One of the most obvious principles is the principle of giving gifts. At the celebration, the participants share everything and do not expect anything in return; they see utilities as entitlements rather than commodities that are evaluated monetarily.
Every Burning Man festival has a unique theme, which is announced before the event, and almost all aspects of the festival reflect that theme. Each year a temporary city – with designated roads, villages and camps – was built in the desert to accommodate all attendees. After the festival ended, the city was completely wiped out, in keeping with the “leave no trace” policy of the festival organizers. Event includes several camps, large-scale art installations and group-built projects at the desert site.
People are expected to interact with each other, create and perform artwork and fashion, play music, dance, perform spontaneously – as long as they actively participate. Burning Man is a way of good life that causes cultural changes in the way people communicate and relate to each other.
Many people view the Burning Man festival as just a festival; however, it warrants analysis as a subculture because it motivates a specific community to guide themselves together under ten shared principles. Burning Man promotes community through conversation, curiosity and collaboration.
Encouraged by the Internet, other media, and the Word of Mouth, Burning Man has become a populist event where participants set up a temporary city for a few days, building their community.