How Burning Man Works

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Author's Note: How Burning Man Works

It can be difficult to approach a subject objectively when you have prior information, and I know some Burners. The ones I know are dedicated to the festival and the experiment. They bring art. They create theme camps. They tell stories of the beauty that is Burning Man.

I was reminded, however, on sharing my research discoveries with my husband, that our friends' devotion to the social experiment may have been held by almost all Burners in the festival's early days, but as with all things revolutionary, time and hype can dilute. I focused here on the ideal that is Burning Man, and it's important to note that with an attendance that has grown to 50,000 people, some of them are going to care not at all about such things as Radical Self-reliance and Community Service. For some on the playa, it's just about sex and drugs -- something to be aware of lest disillusionment set in on day one.

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  • Burning Man. "First-Timer's Guide." (Jan. 8, 2013)
  • Burning Man. "Survival Guide." (Jan. 9, 2013)
  • Burning Man. "What is Burning Man?" (Jan. 8, 2013)
  • Epstein, Emily Anne and Beth Stebner. "Burning Man lives up to its name! Revelers at week-long festival ignite 50-foot statue in spectacular pyrotechnic display." The Daily Mail. Sept. 2, 2012. (Jan. 12, 2013)
  • Jones, Steven T. "Burning Man tickets sell out for the first time." SFGate/The San Francisco Chronicle. July 25, 2011.
  • Moze. "Spirituality and Community: The Process and Intention of bringing a Temple to Black Rock City." Burning Blog. Jan. 3, 2013. (Jan. 8, 2013)
  • Pisillo, Jenny. "The homes at Burning Man." SFGate. Sept. 2, 2011. (Jan. 8, 2013)
  • SFGate/The San Francisco Chronicle. "Burning Man." (Jan. 8, 2012)
  • Taylor, Alan. "In Focus: Burning Man 2012." The Atlantic. Sept. 2012. (Jan. 12, 2013)