It seems that everyone you talk to now has either heard of Burning Man or knows someone who has been to it or at least knows about it. Reports are made on news outlets and stories are told of the many celebrities and cultural leaders who attend Burning Man, an event which does not advertise and that does everything by word of mouth.
Some of the celebrities who have or who regularly attend Burning Man are musicians Sting (solo artist formerly of the band The Police), Adam Lambert (American Idol runner-up), Perry Farrell (founder of the annual Lollapalooza music festival and vocalist for band Jane’s Addiction), Joan Baez, Michael Franti, Todd Rungren (solo artist and member of band Utopia), actors Robin Williams, Rosario Dawson and Amy Smart, as well as a number of others. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are said to be such enthusiastic “burners” that they reportedly chose Eric Schmidt to become the CEO of Google based on his involvement in Burning Man[i]. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has also attended “the burn”, and several European companies have sent their executives to “the burn” for training in creativity[ii].
What is Burning Man?
So what is Burning Man? As anyone who has attended the event will tell you, it is very hard to explain to someone who has never been there. An explanation of the event found on the Burning Man website states that,
“Burning Man is an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance.[iii]”
Although a challenge to describe, a good single sentence definition of it might be:
“Burning Man is an annual week long festival where people from all over the world go to build a temporary city in a harsh desert environment in order to participate in creating and experiencing art, community and spirituality, all with radical self-expression without judgment.[iv]”The Burning Man festival is held in the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada every year throughout the week before Labor Day. “Burners” come from all over the world...