Burning Man Is Not a “Music Festival,” or Even a “Festival”

Looks cool, but it isn’t us. (Photo by Gorod – SKY)

It’s amazing what people don’t know about Burning Man.

Exhibit A:  this past weekend I was visiting some friends of mine, and when one of them found out I’m involved with Burning Man she asked “Are there any women there?”

Exhibit B:  This week Yahoo listed Burning Man as an “essential” music festival.  We’re number 3, after Bonnaroo and Bumbershoot (making me suspicious that they just listed them in alphabetical order), but ahead of Lollapalooza … which is apparently still a thing … and Orion.

Granted, the piece does acknowledge that Burning Man is “more like a makeshift city than a festival.”  But it’s also pretty clear that the author hasn’t been there.  Also, is it just me, or do music festivals all sound like they’re named after obscure Gilbert & Sullivan characters?

Exhibit C:  Every year Media Mecca gets dozens of requests from publications asking “who’s playing” at Burning Man this year.  Nothing we ever do seems to persuade them that we wouldn’t know.  Honestly, I think we ought to start telling them “Your mother” and demanding they print it.

It’s natural that people who are unfamiliar with Burning Man immediately look for something they do know about … the men’s movement, a music festival … to compare it to.

But given how much of what happens at Burning Man is aimed – sometimes explicitly – at frustrating expectations, it’s really not helpful.

This is especially the case as more and more events and festivals try to piggy-back on Burning Man’s success, claiming to have a common ancestry, philosophy, or “vibe” with us.  To be “authentic” representations of whatever it is we do.  Yet generally the more they claim, the less they represent.

It’s not just that those organizations would love to get sponsorship from Krug Champaign while we regard it as unfit to urinate on our enemies.  It’s not that our “events” are better than their events, or that they are centered around bands while we are most definitely not.

It’s that there is a fundamentally different mindset at work.  And if you don’t understand that then nothing you think you know about Burning Man is going to make any sense.

Ironically then, it is our poor imitators who are likely to define who we are in the media, as at least what they do (there are bands, you watch them; there are yoga sessions:  you do them; someone gives a talk:  you listen) is easy to understand with a cursory glance.

Most people, including media and kids wearing fuzzy boots, have a hard time understanding the “no spectators” concept.

This fact was driven home to me almost exactly a year ago when I went to Lightning In A Bottle – an event so obviously inspired by Burning Man that one of their mottos is “Leave A Positive Trace,” which is practically Freudian in its simultaneous identification-with-and-rejection-of its mom and dad.

“You can’t tell me to Leave No Trace!” Lightning In A Bottle shouts while wearing a t-shirt of its favorite band, which you just wouldn’t understand.  “I’m going to leave a POSITIVE trace!”  Then it slams the door and runs to a friend’s house.  It tries to open up about how hard it is to live in its parents’ shadow, but his friend always says “Dude, Burning Man is so cool!”  And that hurts.

But where Burning Man is definitively not a music festival, Burning Man imitator Lightning In A Bottle definitively is:  it has three official music stages, which have lists of prominent bands playing there every night of the festival.  It has food vendors.  It has a vending area.  Sure, there’s also a “temple of consciousness” and a little art and a whole section on their website devoted to “sustainability,” but … look … they have yoga at Lollapalooza too.

But it’s not just the stages and the line-up that make LIB a music festival and the lack of them that makes Burning Man unique.  It’s something else, and that something else is often hard to describe.  My best efforts have led to language like “engine of possibility” and “creating a liminal space.”  And I think those still apply … but they’re admittedly problematic.

Here’s my story from Lightning In A Bottle that explains it.

I woke up one sunny morning, waited in line for a coffee, and drank it glumly (I hate mornings) on the upper causeway.  Lots of people were walking by.

So far nothing that couldn’t have happened at Burning Man.

I saw Chicken John.  He was also drinking a coffee, and he was also in a bad mood.  He was wearing a red clown’s nose and holding a ukulele case.  I went over and grunted at him.  He grunted back.

So far nothing that couldn’t have happened at Burning Man.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it has.

A little kid walked over and pointed at Chicken’s red clown nose.  Chicken opened his ukulele case and pulled out bag of balloons.  He blew one up and made a balloon animal for the kid.  The kid walked away, delighted, and Chicken tossed the bag of balloons on the ground next to the case.

So far nothing that couldn’t have happened at Burning Man.

Then, inspiration hit me.

I leaped up from my perch and began barking at the passers-by.  “Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege to introduce you to the world’s most cynical clown!”

I pointed at Chicken.

“That’s right, the world’s most cynical clown!  Right here!  And, today only, the world’s most cynical clown is making custom balloon art!  That’s right, any balloon shape you want from the world’s most cynical clown!  Tell him your heart’s desire and he will give it to you in cynical balloon form!  Step right up!  Who wants a piece of cynical balloon art from the world’s most cynical clown!”

Chicken stared at me, and then just sat there, grumbling, while I went through my spiel, over and over again.  “He’s played for princes, kings, and the dictators of small nations everywhere!  He’s the world’s most cynical clown and he will represent your dreams in cynical balloon animal form right here, right now!  Who wants a cynical balloon animal!”

When people sopped, Chicken was a genius.  Somebody said “Love,” so he blew up two balloons and tied them into a heart.  Then he popped one of the balloons and gave her the surviving half.  Brilliant.  “That’s right, folks, he’s the worlds most cynical clown!  Tell him your dreams and he will produce them for you right here in cynical balloon form!”  Somebody wanted a car so he made a balloon steering wheel.  Somebody wanted to rule the world, so he blew up a balloon … and then let it go soaring through the air and over the causeway until it ran out of air and fell over a ridge.

Brilliant – and it could have happened at Burning Man.  It was pure Burning Man.  But, here’s the difference:   Hundreds of people passed by at LIB, and yet it took us … swear to God … about 15 minutes before one of them actually stopped to participate.  In total we did this over an hour and we barely got 10 people to step right up.

That wouldn’t have happened at Burning Man.

At Burning Man we would have been mobbed by people naming their heart’s desires.  At Burning Man a tribe of clowns would have wandered by and challenged Chicken to a cynical-clown balloon off.  At Burning Man, a glass blower would have set up shop nearby and pretty soon a whole informal “cynical crafts district” would have sprung up.

Get the difference?  It’s hard to quantify what that is, but it’s a real quality that exists strongly at Burning Man precisely *because* there aren’t well defined stages with events;  precisely because there isn’t a set agenda;  because Burners are actively responsible to make sure anything can happen, and does.  Even if it’s cynical, or mean, or aggressive.

Nothing against festivals … I happen to be very fond of the Aspen Music Festival and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival … but they are not comparable.  Anything that happens at one of them can happen at Burning Man, but it will be floating in a very different sea.  Festivals encourage you to be spectators.  Burning Man refuses to acknowledge the category.

What sets Burning Man apart isn’t the desert (though sure) or the Man burning (though yeah) or the lack of official stages (which are more than made up for by sound camps).  It is that Burning Man is an engine of possibility, and Burners are its agents, and if you go to Burning Man thinking you know what you’re going to do every day … you’ve never been there before.

It’s interesting, in this light, that the Regional events – which are directly descended from Burning Man and run by Burners – are spending far more time and effort developing their own identities than trying to be Burning Man clones.

The most successful ones are, indeed, completely different from Burning Man – except that they keep some degree of that engine of possibility.

Really that’s all you need … and past a certain point that’s all we’ve got.  A simple concept that we haven’t yet got a good elevator pitch to explain to a media with 30 second attention spans.

It’s amazing what people don’t know about Burning Man.

Caveat is the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca at Burning Man.  His opinions are in no way statements of the Burning Man organization.  Contact him at Caveat (at) Burningman.com  | Cover image of La VIctrola by La Victrola Society, 2017 (Photo by George P. Post)

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat is Burning Man's Philosopher Laureate. A founding member of its Philosophical Center, he is the author of The Scene That Became Cities: what Burning Man philosophy can teach us about building better communities, and Turn Your Life Into Art: lessons in Psychologic from the San Francisco Underground. He has also written several books which have nothing to do with Burning Man. He has finally got his email address caveat (at) burningman (dot) org working again. He tweets, occasionally, as @BenjaminWachs

46 Comments on “Burning Man Is Not a “Music Festival,” or Even a “Festival”

  • Todd Gardiner says:

    I can see how you would think that Bumbershoot is an obscure Gilbert & Sullivan character, given that it is old British slang for an umbrella (this festival is in Seattle).

    On the other hand, it’s awkward to recommend two different festivals that both occur on Labor Day weekend, I would think.

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  • Tia Burnswell says:

    Yes!! Timely blog:-)

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  • G says:

    It is amazing what people think they know about Burning Man.
    A common misconception that annoys me totally is . . . “That’s where everyone that goes there is high on drugs and having orgies”. “Yeah, well except for the sometimes heavy handed presence of law enforcement” is my rejoinder to these folks. I do smile inside though, because people’s misconceptions of what Burning Man is all about, can reveal much about their inner selves.

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  • Blues Bob says:

    All festivals are stupid, but Burning Man is the stupidest. I want balloon bacon.

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  • Tammo says:

    i’ve attended BM 10 years in a row, and i can say rather than a festival or a party in the desert, burning man has all the primary characteristics of a cult. people who immerse their lives in the community (like i did) will eventually discover the similar attributes.

    it’s funny that burners think that non-burners don’t ‘get it’, when in fact it is themselves who don’t ‘get it’.

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  • Jingle says:


    BM used to be a cult. It’s evolved away from that now because of the scarcity of tickets. People can now offer a good excuse to skip a burn or two without being ostracized from their immediate burner communities. Just saying that you couldn’t get a ticket but you tried really hard is enough, it might even score you sympathy points. This can only fall down if someone offers you their extra ticket. Then you could be in trouble.

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  • G says:

    Umm, a cult?
    There are some common threads with the definitions I looked up.
    Burning Man is not a good fit with those definitions, although there are common threads.
    Any nation corporation or organized religion shares common threads with the definitions.
    Maybe another fresh post on this blog is in order “WTF is Burning Man: religion, cult, subculture, circus, party?

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  • Bama says:

    I think it’s awfully insensitive (burners? Insensitive? Well I never!) to refer to Burning Man as a “cult”, when there are plenty of people who have been victims of spiritual/physical/emotional abuse/longstanding mental health damage due to an *actual* cult.

    …but if it makes you feel better to call BM a ‘cult’ because you didn’t get tickets, then feel free, I guess.

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  • JV says:

    These are the 3 things I mention when people ask me what Burning Man is like:

    1 – no official stages or schedules where you stand around staring at millionaires

    2 – no signs warning you not to touch or climb or stand back

    3 – no trash cans (this is the most important one, it changes everyone’s attitude and actions)

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  • Cheese Simon says:

    I’ve always really struggled to answer the question “What is Burning Man?”. But that’s a struggle I enjoy sharing!

    My sound-bite answer is that “it’s Bladerunner meets Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland”, which usually has the effect of finding out whether the question-poser is really interested or not.

    But after reading the above, very interesting blog post, I’m thinking I might just introduce it as “the world’s biggest tabula rasa in every sense”.

    Or dammit, it’s just a place where you can go up to someone you’ve never seen before and ask for a hug and there’s every chance they’ll give you a really heartfelt hug. I don’t know anywhere else quite like that!

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  • Cheese Simon says:

    I guess the perfect caveat to the “tabula rasa” is that it’s left that way at the end too. :)

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  • CJ says:

    Odd piece since a recent interview with Larry Harvey had him calling BM a ‘festival’ multiple times after claiming it wasn’t a festival.

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  • Jingle says:


    if most of your friends are burners and when you get together, you can’t go 10 minutes without talking about burning man, then burning man is your life; not part of your life. if burning man is your life, you are in the cult. that doesn’t mean that it’s bad, some cults can be very good.

    the trouble arises when you try to leave or if you are perceived somehow to be a non-believer or if you criticize the culture – you will quickly learn who your real friends are… and odds are they’re not burners, as you’ll find out eventually.

    but have fun, whatever.

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  • Rio Gordon says:

    For me, Burningman is so many things….its a pilgrimage, an art sojourn, a family reunion, a weeklong church retreat, the mark of a new year, the culmination of my attempts to be a gifter, a camping trip, my one annual what-have-you-let-it-all-hang-out, a social experiement and model, a couple dozen concerts, an amazing sexual release, the pinnacle of my joy, etc, etc….could it be a cult, I guess so, but not really…cults seem to suggest a central ideation of thought and limit personal expression, Burningman is an amalgam of a modality of thoughtforms, loyalties and themes, and the emphasis is on uniqueness and self reliance and self styled free expression…to me that sounds like the opposite of cultish thinking….I would gather that the Burn is a natural stopgap to the programming and cultural detritus of our cult of personality that we call Western living…for me, Burningman is the center of my year, themost meaningful I do, and the main source of my joy and inspiration…when asked about what its like by those who have not attended, I like to reply “Its pretty much God’s birthday party…” and that about sums it up for me…I could write scores of tomes on the subject, but I digress, and sign off with my playa name….

    Capt Sparkletop

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  • Serg says:

    Great patty, great festival, it’s great because it’s the community is who make it happen… if it was up to the guys that manage bm, it would be left to chance.

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  • epiphany starlight says:

    Wonderful blog, great thoughtful comments. I tell people who ask it’s just the most amazing thing happening on the planet… but don’t go. Then if they’re still listening I can talk endlessly about art, community, participation… I agree it’s the opposite of a cult. I’d say it’s more a passion. I could live that way forever if I could have a garden too. Yay Burning Man… The fire in me recognizes the fire in you.

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  • BurningDad says:

    Going to Burning Man, Lighting in a Bottle, or eating a chili dog are just moments that come and go in our flicker of exsitence. Enjoy each for what it is don’t think that one is any better (or tastier) than the other. Bacon, however, is another story…………

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  • Jon Mitchell says:

    Brilliantly done, Caveat. This document will be my go-to explanation.

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  • BrotherMichael says:

    For me, Burning Man is primarily about the art… so to ME, Burning Man is an art festival. To someone else, maybe not. What Burning Man is…. is different for every person who goes. To some, perhaps it IS a music festival.

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  • Sid says:

    I like to think of it as the Burning Man Festival of Art, Culture, and Dirt.

    Music is a subcategory of art. The definition of art at Burning Man is greatly expanded precisely because the desert is a blank canvas, and everything is devoid of familiar context. Each year, the wonder lessens, because the desert stops being alien, and only the contents change, but it still has an energy that I’ve never felt anywhere else.

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  • JV says:

    That’s just it, Burning Man IS an arts festival, it’s a music festival, it’s a DIY engineering festival, it’s a desert shelter construction festival, it’s a food festival, it’s a spirituality festival…and all taking place in the absence of direct commerce.

    The thing that sets BM apart is that the people buying the tickets are also the ones providing/instigating the activities. And, those activities can happen at any moment and at any place within the boundaries of the event. And when they do, anyone within earshot is encouraged to add to it (usually).

    So, Caveat’s term “engine of possibility” is fairly apt. And, as far as I know, it’s unique among gatherings of humans. Even the regionals aren’t as interactive, for the most part.

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  • Papatua says:

    While I understand what Caveat Magister is saying here, I kind of think he’s putting Burning Man up on a pedestal and saying every other event which *dares* to do some things similarly to burning man is a cheap knock-off that doesn’t get it. Seems to me like he’s tripping on his own expectations about what an arts festival *should be* like.

    I’ve seen plenty of people doing strange little things on the backroads in BRC get ignored by passersby. It’s not really that uncommon at all. Not everyone wants to interact with everyone at every moment. Personally, my LIB experience was pretty different from his. I found people to be *incredibly open* and there was TONS of community and participation out in the camping zones…I spent more time out there then on the proper groomed festival grounds.

    To each their own, but Burning Man is a festival. It’s a unique festival, but not some sort of golden shape of community that is the only-good way. LIB is not trying to be Burning Man, it’s trying to be a music festival with some burning man-like attributes. Is that so wrong?

    I’d say no.

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  • Boopie says:

    Burning Man to me is like a flower in the desert. Like a beautiful circle of fairies dancing in the moonlight. Where everyone is a goddess or a god, and when the sun rises, it smells like roses. It’s a gentle sea breeze of freshness combined with a feather boa of love, blowing in the wind.

    I just hope one day out there on the dusty playa, I get a chance to blow harvey on an artcar.

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  • Burners.Me says:

    It’s clearly a festival, and it’s pointless trying to deny that. Further discussion of this post here: http://burners.me/2012/06/02/bmorg-blog-sneers-lib-is-no-burning-man/

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  • Dusty Rusty says:

    Why u gotta h8 on LIB, Cav? They are who they are. They aren’t saying they ARE Burning Man. A LOT of things are KINDA like burning man….whatever. Tea is kinda like coffee….but it ain’t coffee. Everyone’s just trying to draw parallels to communicate something about their experience.

    At Burning Man I’ve never gotten a ride on an art car that’s roaming the open playa. Does that mean I’m not at Burning Man? Of course not. And just because your patter at LIB didn’t draw a crowd…..maybe the people who passed you by needed coffee first.

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  • “Exhibit C: Every year Media Mecca gets dozens of requests from publications asking “who’s playing” at Burning Man this year. Nothing we ever do seems to persuade them that we wouldn’t know. Honestly, I think we ought to start telling them “Your mother” and demanding they print it.”

    I think this is a brilliant idea.

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  • harinama says:

    Burning man is whatever WE want it to be every single year. Maybe this year it is a sex orgy in the mud after a big rainstorm. Or maybe it is an desert survival course. I would call it a music festival, but i have come to hate most of the music. Maybe it will be an artcar demolition derby. Or even, just maybe, an arts festival.

    The difference is that Burning Man (outside of city planning) is ONLY what WE make it to be. I’ve had enough of the losers that dis on BM, because THEY have had enough of it. Trust me, we’ll make it the most incredible event this year BECAUSE YOU AND YOUR NEGATIVITY ARE NOT THERE.

    Want it to be different? THEN MAKE IT DIFFERENT.

    And it’s no more a “cult” than monday nite football..

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  • Mr. Mackey says:

    Hey Cav, it feels like you have a hidden agenda to slam the Do-Lab. Did they touch you in your bathing suit area?? Burning Man is a wonderful event, but it has reached critical mass with back to back sold out years. Why should you encourage BM Regionals, yet hate on a festival that is trying to espouse LNT principles and elevated consciousness for it’s participants? I’m pretty sure I recall seeing Do-Lab’s original Woogie stage at 10 o’clock back in 2009, but havent seen them in 2010 or 2011. Is there bad blood between Do-Lab and BMORG?

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  • Caveat says:

    Hey Mr. Mackey:

    I can’t speak for the BMORG. I’m a volunteer, and speak only for myself. As I’ve noted on this blog before, I only show up to Burning Man meetings that:

    A) Directly impact my volunteer work as volunteer coordinator for Media Mecca;
    B) Have an open bar;
    C) Offer fish tacos.

    Otherwise, I never show up. So I’ve honestly never had a conversation about Do-Lab, or LIB, with anyone who works for Burning Man. Nor do they review my blogs in advance. I’m a fucking loose cannon.

    I’ve taken a little heat for coming down hard on LIB and … okay … sure. That’s fair. And it’s fine for people to defend a festival that they love. Of course they should.

    All I’m saying is … look, Burners.me linked above to their response to this piece. After reading it, here’s the things they say made LIB better than Burning Man this year:

    • LIB provides a line-up
    • Their wristband for this year had one word in bold type “Legendary.” Which looked sharp.
    • Their 36-page festival booklet was printed “to the highest standard”
    • Recycling bins had attendants.
    • Even bigger merch area this year

    “Little touches like that,” they write, “say these people are really professional.”

    That’s it – right there. Right there. Come to LIB and you’ll get a sharp wrist band and a high quality festival booklet and a big merch area and a comprehensive list of bands produced by professionals.

    Come to Burning Man and you’ll get an amateur clown offering to create your heart’s desire in cynical balloon animal form.

    There’s no more perfect illustration of exactly the point I was trying to make.

    Which isn’t that Burning Man is “good” and LIB is “bad.” That’s not the point. The point is they’re aiming at very different aesthetic experiences. LIB is trying to be an awesome festival-of-festivals, and Burning Man is not trying to be a festival at all. It cultivates the very rough edges LIB is polishing away.

    Coming up with a better way to talk about Burning Man is, among other things, an issue of truth in advertising.

    That’s the point.

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  • Sergio says:

    Dusty festival!

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  • Linus Minimax says:

    My two favourite answers to ‘What is Burning Man?’ are:

    “It’s the reason the aliens haven’t wiped us out yet.”
    “It’s the only ‘setting’ for psychedelics that’s BETTER than “Nature” or silent darkness.”


    I’ve often told friends Burning Man would be worth the ticket price just for the music (and that was before the flood of Superstars); but it is of course so much more that it’s hard not to sound derisive comparing it to a ‘mere’ music festival.

    IF Burning Man “is” a festival, JV’s comment is useful:
    “The thing that sets BM apart is that the people buying the tickets are also the ones providing/instigating the activities.”
    So it’s like asking what kind of a video site is YouTube, and the best nutshell answer might be: Burning Man is a user-generated content festival.


    However, if the sentence ‘Burning Man is …’ needs to be completed with a different but familiar category, I’ve always found that “It’s not a festival, it’s a CITY” does the trick nicely. Assuming optimal sleep and attention span, your CONSUMPTION of a “music festival” is limited only by SCHEDULING conflicts between a handful of defined “stages”, whereas in Black Rock City, you are always MISSING a functionally infinite number of “things that are going on”. Seriously, I propose ‘city’ as the “official” counter-category to ‘festival’; if I was the Visionary Leader, I would diktat it. Which brings us to….


    The social and groupthink reasons for calling Burning Man a ‘cult’ aren’t untrue, they’re worse: lame and boring, SIDE-effects that are statistically inevitable (and thus tell us nothing). The counterarguments are superficially true, but to me they’re overpowered by the whole MAGIC and PASSION thing, and the reverence for immediacy. I think of Burning Man as “a cult” in the GOOD senses of that word. You should brainstorm what those senses may be, but the question might remain what Burning Man is a cult OF…….

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  • emma says:

    “All festivals are stupid, but Burning Man is the stupidest. I want balloon bacon.” This is the funniest comment so far… what the heck is balloon bacon?! At least Burning Man is in the desert. Here the ‘festivals’ are just a big muddy field, hence why I’ve got my Hunter wellies at the ready for this years’ season!

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  • Dirt Wheel says:

    I believe it would be in our best interest if we try our best, not to be defined as any one thing. This is ever changing. So, not to be defined as a festival, concert, art or theatre show seems to go with the immediacy, ever changing, create/destroy background of this. Start by using the word festival enough so that we can destroy the association with that word for starters. I dont want to attach this to me by defineing it. I just want it to be that thing I go do in the desert. You want to know what it’s about, just go. And you’ll know. Do we need another name at the end of a long list to define us like Deadheads, Phishheads, Gearheads, Foodies, Burners. Shit, let’s see if we can get this thing to be defined by not being defined at all. If it’s possible. Too much categorizing and trying to put in box and carry it around with you. Let’s just go and BE. In the desert. And quit listening to everything the media has to say about what that they think this is. It’s about being free and being someplace that feels like no other you’ve EVER been. Face it. It’s not about contimplating buying a concert tee or a $9 Coors Light. It’s WAY more. And once you go, then you’ll know the truth. Coming into setup camp just before sundown, crackin’ and ice cold one, coming on and feeling the playa come alive can be a lasting experience. One that shouldn’t be defined Hell, Rolling Stone already has labeled it and listed it (June issue-the one with a big drag on the cover) as one of ‘Summer’s Hottest Dance Parties’ with tickets prices in the range of $240-$420. Wait, WTF, Holy shit are there still tickets available? Stupid magazine.

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  • Finn says:

    What is Burning Man? Your mom.

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  • moot says:

    burning man is the same thing as having your anus ripped out and then everyone watching saying, ‘cool, i never knew what an anus ripped out looked like, but now i’m a better person for it.’

    it’s totally spiritual. can’t wait go Go Home!

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  • jwow says:

    I’m unclear on who the “poor imitators” are. Regional fests that are put on and attended by Burners are actually pretty Burnerific. Since in the future the playa may or may not be able to hold the capacity of people who want to burn, my hope is that the “imitations” keep feeling more and more like “home.” (Case in point Lucidity Fest 2012.)

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  • Kit Dingo says:

    I go to the regionals and B Man to hang with the people I will meet there. There are some old friends, but for the most part I don’t know who I will be with. I don’t know what we will do. I go to find out who I am and to learn from others. I want to find out what human beings can be if we allow ourselves to be free. B Man has changed my life because it provided a setting where amazing things could happen–and they did. I am just plain grateful that some people came up with the idea and made it happen. B Man is teaches me to be a real human being, and I can bring that into my day to day life. And that, for me, is a tremendous gift. I am grateful to anyone who reads this for being part of BRC. I am trying to think of something funny and cynical to end this with, but I can’t do it. Fuck it, in some strange and awesome way I love you all.

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  • Chicken John says:

    Is Lightning in a Bottle a movement? Is BM a movement? What is a movement? Do movements get festivals? Harvest time gets a festival, why not a movement?


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  • factoid says:

    I had a BM (bowel movement) this morning that compared favorably with most of my festival experiences. But not with BRC. Which is better than balloon bacon. And certainly better than your mom.

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  • Dirt Wheel says:

    2 a : tendency, trend  
    b : a series of organized activities working toward an objective; also : an organized effort to promote or attain an end

    festival \fes·ti·val\
    1 a : a time of celebration marked by special observances 
    b : feast 2
    2 : an often periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus
    3 : gaiety, conviviality

    Each year, a festival was held to celebrate the harvest.
    The town has a summer festival in the park.

    ……….Still, the most defining of all. You choose

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  • billwun says:

    Calling Burning Man simply a “festival” is like calling Fantasia simply a “cartoon”

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  • Moze says:

    yup, you got this one right on the fucking red clown nose. Thanks Caveat.

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  • Summer says:


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  • Liam Be'em says:

    Opening line of article: “It’s amazing what people don’t know about Burning Man.”

    Am I the only one here who is beginning to think that might be a GOOD thing (after the bizarre rate of increased demand)?

    In other words, don’t tell everybody about your good fishing hole. Fine, tell your close friends, but DON’T tell the fucking Huffington Post. The Post (I’m convinced) helped create the ticket stampede by running a story a day or two before the main lottery: “Hurrrrrrry, get tickets before it’s tooooo laaaate!”

    Therefore, if we all stop gushing about our good fishing hole… we, you know where I’m going with this. Maybe the rate of increasing demand could be a little less exponential going forward.

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  • Tracy says:

    Its too late. I’m cold and empty inside.

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  • dial 7 says:

    I am grateful to anyone who reads this for being part of BRC. I am trying to think of something funny and cynical to end this with, but I can’t do it. Fuck it, in some strange and awesome way

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