The sun peaks through the silhouettes of the sunrise warriors. Two-wheeled caterpillars and Mad Max-esque art cars leave a dusty trail on the horizon. Last night’s dance floor metronome continuously echoes – is their music still playing, or is that the pulsing dehydration headache talking? Welcome to Black Rock City, a collaborative, temporary metropolitan, where creativity thrives, radical self-reliance is law, and thousands (over 65,000, to be exact) of free thinkers, artists, and participants meet for a symbiotic celebration of life.
At the heart of the city, a larger-than-life wooden structure patiently waits for the main event, his fiery demise. Surrounded by theme camps such as Pink Heart (a rose painted, love-centered playground) and camp Cheezy Porn (you guessed it) the city of Black Rock is brimming with the collective energy of its members.
Since its 1986 inception, Burning Man has served as a mecca for those who defy the status quo. Everyone is a participant. From sculptors to musicians, fire benders to rainbow-studded disco dads, Burning Man is home to (and quite frankly requires) your truest expression of self.
Participants, known affectionately as Burners, meet once a year for this weeklong event in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This pilgrimage is certainly the highlight of the Burning Man calendar year. However, many Burners practice the 10 Principles year-round, and over the course of the past 30 years, regional Burning Man events have sprouted across the globe.
For some, the travel costs alone make going to Burning Man impossible. For others, the excruciatingly long wait until those late summer weeks have them searching for more. Whatever your reason, these 5 regional Burning Man events are here to provide your fix.
Where: Tankwa, South Africa
Take the ten principles and Nevada desert climate, fly halfway across the world, and you’ve got AfrikaBurn. 13,000 dust-covered participants gather at The Stonehenge Private Reserve to create their own fiery South African “jol.”
You’ll find art installations, mutant cars, and enough dust to forget you ever left Black Rock City.
Where: Mantong State Forest, NSW, Australia
Burning Seed, like all Burning Man events, places a heavy emphasis on the gifting principle. There is no exchange of money, your gifts and services are the only commodities allowed.
The art installations, campgrounds, and vibrant energy are a product of your radical self-reliance. Come prepared with your arsenal of survival gear and enough water to last the event (and then some).
Where: Negev Desert, Israel
At a young age, MidBurn has become one of the most prominent regional Burning Man events. This 6-day celebration takes place in the heart of the Negev Desert, staying true to the dusty undertone of the Nevada burn.
While this regional event is still in its early stages, there is no shortage of creativity flowing through the collaborative art projects on this desert playground.
Where: Valdez, Colorado, United States
Need a little time to practice your participation before Burning Man? Head over to Valdez, Colorado, just 20 minutes southwest of Trinidad for a weekend of artistic expression.
The open grasslands and deep ravines may not resemble the deserts of Nevada but is sure to provide attendees with the same radical inclusion, expression and connection as the burn.
Where: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Where the Sheep Sleep is a new regional Burning Man event held in the fairytale woods of the Netherlands. This event gives the European burners an opportunity to collaborate and live the Burning Man lifestyle without the 13-hour flight to Nevada.
Burners “Leave no Trace,” a practice of leaving no physical evidence of the event. MOOP (matter out of place) is painstakingly removed from the grounds, so leave the feather boas and sparkles at home.
Burning Man and its regional events are the results of creative collaboration between an all-inclusive tribe known as Burners. If you are interested in learning more about the Burning Man values and lifestyle, please visit Burning Man and reach out to your regional Burning Man organization.
Feature image: Burning Man. Photo credit: Ron Lussier
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