On the last Monday of every August each year, if you dare to attend, is one of the biggest alternative, hippy fests the planet knows! Tens of thousands of people congregate in the Nevada desert at a place called Black Rock, for a spiritual, fun, happy, artistic, save-the-world, peace & love experience.
This is an experience where everyone unites to celebrate life, love, art, nature and above all, sharing! Ok, I know this is all sounding a little airy fairy, but seriously, if you are looking for a different experience, and you want to know what it might be like to live like a true hippy for a week, then this is the fest for you! Here, you will live in a world of sharing, where money does not exist, and experience new and unusual things, while making lifelong friends.
Dress as a bumblebee or a fairy, like Elvis or Santa Claus, or even walk around in your birthday suit, no one will judge, as this is a place of pure freedom and self-expression, a place free from the usual enclaves of our modern living and society’s expectations. Anything goes here! Is there anything you have ever wanted to do, or to try, or wear? Then, now is your time to shine!
So how do they manage to make this a money-free event? Well first of all, the festival is independently funded and run by volunteers, and the tickets for the event help to pay for the rest. The philosophy that is practiced here is that the land must be left exactly the way it was found. Participants are very adamant about this, to the point where volunteers actually comb the area for months after the festival to ensure every single bottle top or straw has been picked up.
Basically the gist of Burning Man is that everyone is supposed to bring something… anything! It can be tangible things like chocolate chip cookies, or intangible things like massages and free hugs. The idea is that there is no money, no bartering, and no exchanges. Everything is based on gifting. Giving without expecting anything in return… Oh how Buddha would be proud!
You must be prepared to a certain extent when you come here however. After all, you are in the desert in the middle of summer for crying out loud! While camping out might be the more difficult part of the experience for some people, it is also the more fun and unique part of the experience as well. I mean, how many times in your life will you get to camp in a desert, experience blinding dust storms, and see phenomenal art installations amidst the barren earth? There are certainly not many places like this in existence.
As well as a tent and warm clothes for those cold desert nights, you should also bring a bike as this will be your main mode of transport. As you pedal from one side of the desert for a juggling workshop –and past incredible art installations– to the other side of the desert for a glow in the dark yoga gathering, you will be thankful that you brought a set of wheels that can get you from A to B with ease. There are so many inspiring and unusual experiences and activities at Burning Man, so you will most certainly never be bored, and most likely you will be hooked for life.
Written for thereadersbureau.com