What is Burning Man?

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What is Burning Man?
Burning Man is an annual event that takes place on a whole week. The event is held at the Black Rock Dessert in northern part of Nevada, USA. Burning Man starts on a Monday and ends on a holiday, which is the American Labor day. The event’s name was taken from its ritual of burning an effigy on the Saturday evening before the Labor Day. The occasion is annual experiment devoted to radical self-reliance and self-expression. For those people who have attended the event, they all seem to agree in one thing ‘“ you will not really understand it unless you experienced it.

Annually, the festival had different themes. Burning Man had included themes such as Fertility, Time, Outer Space, Hell, The Floating World, Beyond Belief, The Body, Vault of Heaven, Psyche, Hope and Fear etc.
The beginning of Burning Man can be traced back in the year 1986. Larry Harvey with Jerry James and with some friends burned an approximately 9-foot wooden man along with a small wooden dog. The burning was held at Baker Beach in San Francisco. However, Harvey and his friends are not the one who first burned a man’s effigy. Before the year 1986, a friend of a friend of Harvey named Mary Grauberger already held the same solstice bonfire get-togethers, in which Harvey attended some.

In 1990, Kevin Evans along with John Law arranged a similar event to be held at a remote, dry lake. The location of the event was known as the Black Rock Desert. However, the burning of the effigy was disrupted by the state park police. The reason was for not securing a permit. In 1991, a permit with Bureau of Land Management was secured and it was the initial year, which the event had a legal permit. Come 1996, the event had a formal affiliation and owned the name Burning Man.

The year 1997 was considered the crucial year for the festival. The event was organized without the founding members. John Law along with Kevin Evans and other key personalities of the event left. The Black Rock City, LLC was brought into being by the remaining organizers of the event. However, a series of bans and restrictions was imposed for the event. Guns and driving was banned along with imposing a low speed limit for art cars.

LLC was faced with problems and challenges due to the many requirements of BLM and among other law-enforcement organizations. However, LLC tried to maintain equilibrium on the participants’ freedom.
Since the celebration of the event, the following restrictions were imposed:

  • A 5mph speed limit was imposed
  • A curved grid street construction was imposed
  • Prohibition on driving (art vehicles and service vehicles are exempted)
  • Art vehicles must pass safety standards
  • Campfires as well as Tiki torches are not allowed
  • A bar on firearms, fireworks and even dogs

The event has evolved and many restrictions were added as well. A 7-mile plastic fence surrounding the event forming a pentagon was a notable restriction to people who are attending the Burning Man. A trash fence was also built, which is a 4-foot high barricade that is built purposely to catch trashes being blown by the wind.

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