Remembering the Solstice Burn That Started it All

“The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees

Is my destroyer.”

—Dylan Thomas, The force that through the green fuse drives the flower, 1952

No one could have imagined that a small Solstice gathering of friends on a San Francisco beach could spark such an epic network of collaborators. And so, on Solstice we celebrate the birth of the Man, and the culture that continues to emanate from that formative moment. 

Ready for all the feels? Hit play and enjoy footage from the first Man Burn on Baker Beach and our original instigator Larry Harvey, plus some raucous scenes from Burning Man’s early years in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada. 

(Source: Why We Burn the Man from Burning Man on Vimeo)

Happy birthday to the Burnerverse, and to that spark which drives each of us to play, imagine, co-create and organize community. We like to imagine that this wide world is now filled with thousands of formative events like that 1986 Solstice Burn, each the catalyst for ever-evolving, mind-bending art and experiences that will continue to impact the world long after we’re all gone.

Thanks, Larry.


Cover image of “Passage Home” by Kate Raudenbusch, 2018 (Photo by Scott London) 

About the author: Kirsten Weisenburger

Kirsten Weisenburger (aka Kbot) began her Burning Man journey in 2004 when she touched down in Black Rock City with a handful of disoriented Canadians. Since that early misadventure, she has shared in the wondrous emergence of Montreal’s Regional Burning Man community. A Black Rock Ranger and occasional theme camp organizer, Kirsten spends her summers bounding between Regionals in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern US. Her biggest adventure yet involves joining the Burning Man Project Communications team, where she identifies storytelling opportunities and co-creates the global nonprofit’s communication strategies.

2 Comments on “Remembering the Solstice Burn That Started it All

  • Gerflash says:

    Thanks, Larry! I am forever grateful to you!

    Report comment

  • Kandy Kane says:

    I’m a single mother and was lucky to get just 2 tickets (my ex just left me) and a vehicle pass. I’m wondering if anyone can help me get to Burning Man this year. My ex has agreed to take my child (god help her!) for the week, but she should be okay for just that time. I’m willing to pay for gas and food if anyone can help. Please PM me. I don’t know what else to do. I tried posting in other forums and no one has ever responded. I’m also a good cook. Peace & Spiritual blessings! Please don’t let me have to sell these beautiful tickets.
    Kandy Kane

    Report comment

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.