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Our take on Burning Man

Our take on Burning Man

Speaking of summer events out west, Burning Man started this week.

What is Burning Man?
Burning Man went from a small festival on the beach of San Francisco in the 1990′s to a 48,000+ member week-long event in Black Rock City, Nevada. Participants journey out to the Black Rock Desert to be a part of an experimental community where they are challenged to express themselves and rely on themselves. They set up a makeshift city and end the week with the burning of a massive effigy – the burning man.

According to the festival website, there are no rules about how everyone should behave or express themselves as long as they protect the health, safety, and experience of the rest of the community. Each individual decides for themselves how they will contribute to the community.

What’s to love about Burning Man?
What’s not to love about a festival that requires its participants to be one with the desert and with each other? The sheer amount of passion and creativity in one place results in incredible art throughout Black Rock City.

Burning Man also places heavy emphasis on taking care of the environment. While festival members camp in the desert for a week, they have a “leave no trace” policy, meaning that once the festival is over, there is literally no evidence that anyone has been there.

If you pare it down, Burning Man gives its participants the opportunity to experience something rare – self-discovery in the context of a safe, creative community. The journey to Black Rock City is like a pilgrimage, and the week spent there is life-changing for nearly everyone who experiences it.

Burning green at Burning Man
Something unexpected – Burning Man has actually been called the MOST dangerous place to do or share drugs in the United States.

Cannabis and Burning Man have a long history together, which comes as no surprise considering the relationship between cannabis and the artistic community (and the fact that Burning Man is known as a “hippie” festival). Tokers look at Burning Man as a place to let go and see where their art will take them.

Although the festival boasts freedom from rules to encourage self-expression, in the past few years, the marijuana community has found Burning Man to be a dangerous place to express themselves through that particular medium. The scent is everywhere, but the law enforcement that patrols Black Rock City will crack down if they know where it’s coming from. Smoking marijuana is still a felony in Nevada, and the state (and federal government) will not recognize medical marijuana cards.

Anyone ever made the journey out to Black Rock City? How was your experience? Let us know on Facebook, or come tell us your stories in person!


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