Some people might be nervous to tell their employer that they’re jet-setting to the desert for Burning Man — because, wait, what is Burning Man anyway? The answer is not a simple one.
A festival? Nope. A Mad Max-esque utopia? I’d say so. A party in the desert? Sure, but I’ll get back to that. The largest Leave No Trace (LNT) event in the world? You betcha. A new trend? Nope, this all began (on a much smaller scale) back in 1986 when friends Larry Harvey and Jerry James built an 8-foot tall human effigy and burned it on Baker Beach in San Francisco (population: 35).
The Burning Man organization has been an active community for 32 years and counting, and it’s a community unlike any other I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.
Whether you’re a community builder or a community member, online or in person, I truly believe we could all stand to learn a thing (or ten) from how the Burning Man community operates. But I won’t lie – it’s incredibly daunting to write about. I don’t know a single soul who can confidently capture its essence with mere words, because it’s very much a “you had to be there” kind of place to understand. Alas, as your resident ‘Burner,’ I vow to do my best.