What does it take to run the Burning Man festival?

For one week every summer, up to 70,000 revellers gather in the Nevada desert for one of the world’s most far-out festivals.

Wearing anything from neon-coloured tutus, to nothing at all apart from a slick of face paint, they head for Black Rock City, a “temporary metropolis” in the desert, for the Burning Man event.

The aim is for attendees to help “co-create” a huge arts festival, while surrounded by giant interactive art installations and sculptures, such as a 25ft (8m) tall steel coyote, a 30ft-tall spinning wheel, and a temporary ornate temple.

A huge wooden man is then ceremonially burnt towards the end of the event.

With 10 declared key principles, including “radical self-reliance”, “radical inclusion”, and “radical self-expression”, to some outsiders the festival doesn’t so much sound radical, more like a gathering of hippies.

Add the fact that many participants don goggles to guard against the occasional sandstorm, and the event is often described as “Mad Max meets Woodstock”.


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