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|What is Burning Man, you may ask. Well, the more I've attended
Burning Man, the harder it is for me to quantify it.
It is an art event.
It is the single most inspirational event I have ever attended. It is the most wonderful community I have ever been in. It is held in one of the most lovely places in America. You will not be the same after attending.
Participation art: It is a place of the fantastical, where you become gullible of the impossible. The visual spectacle is breath-taking. The things people build together out there will astound you -- a refrigerated truck called "Antarctica" serving hot chocolate in the middle of the day, a submarine appearing to surface from the dry clay lakebed, people in stilts, cars with bars built on them. Anything you can imagine can exist at Burning Man. And all of it invites you to interact with it, and become a part of the creative process.
Non-commercial: An experiment in a gift-based society, Burning Man discourages the exchange of money. There is no vending, and no commercialization. Your ticket is the only income they receive to put on this event. There are no t-shirts to buy. No $7 sodas. No huge posters of drink or shoe companies. Even rental trucks must be covered or modified.
Gift based: Everyone is a "participant". Everyone brings something to share with the community at large -- be it art or shade or a sip of water. Don't know what to bring? Just show up, and you will find you already have many things to give...
Survival: Burning Man is held in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. You must bring all provisions for you and your group. This includes enough water and food and shade. No vending, so no concession stands. No public trash cans, so you must take everything you brought back with you. "Leave no trace." No one will clean up after you, so you have to return your campsite to the condition it was in when you arrived. You take these skills home with you, and it changes how you live.