The Beginners’ Guide to Burning Man: Some Pro Tips

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It’s that time of the year again, where over 60,000 people travel to the vacant Black Rock Desert for an explosive eight-day music festival-slash-rave-slash-art show known as Burning Man.

The annual festival which takes place August 30th – September 7th is known for its radical self reliance, which brings together creative lovers from around the world into a vast space filled with debauchery, freedom and lots and lots of dancing.

Burning Man was started in 1986, by Larry Harvey and Jerry James, who began to hold an annual fire party at Baker Beach in San Francisco. Because they were plagued with issues from the police, the duo took their festival to the desert, and it has since turned into a massive event that continues to grow 24 years after its inception.

For a first-time goer, the festival can be slightly overwhelming. However, these easy tips are sure to prepare you for the quintessential Burning Man experience.

Prepare to step out of your comfort zone

Burning Man is all about sharing an experience with others, and using your own self expression to fully enjoy the experience. Be prepared to go outside of your regular boundaries — whether that’s wearing a fun costume that might make you cringe with embarrassment or merely making an effort to interact with more people during your time there. Remember, it is a week long, so being open to a new experience and new people is key.

Desert essentials are, well, essential

A week in a desert means there are some essential items you can’t leave without. From bottles of water (kinda obvious) and wet wipes, to dusk masks and goggles for possible sandstorms — you don’t want to forget these bad boys!

Go in style

Burning Man festival-goers are always decked out in fun, bold ensembles that make Coachella’s look like a total bore. To fit right in, make sure to pack your neon clothes, lots of glow sticks and glitter, feather boas and the sickest glow-in-the-dark gear you can find.

Adhere to the “Leave No Trace” Policy

The festival takes place in an area that isn’t inhabited by people, but animals and plants. In order to keep the area clean and clear, it is very important to not contaminate the area with litter throughout the weeklong event.

Ditch the cameras and just enjoy!

As a person who also records just about everything, I admit that this is the one festival that you simply must enjoy in the moment, away from the cameras, Instagram and Snapchat. The experiences at Burning Man are vast, and are really to be lived in the moment to experience all the best it has to offer, so make sure you do!

About The Author
Leah Sinclair