The Origin of Expression
“Burning Man” is an annual event, held in the western United States at Black Rock City, Nevada. It is an experiment in community and art. And it is influenced by ten principles: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-Reliance, Self-Expressions, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation and Immediacy. The event’s name derives from the festival’s culmination: Attendees celebrate a symbolic burning of a large wooden sculpture referred to as “The Man” the Saturday evening before Labor Day.
The annual festival originated 34 years ago in 1986. And it has spanned the nine days leading up to Labor Day every year since then. It was the brain-child of Larry Harvey, an American artist, philanthropist and activist, and Jerry James. However, Burning Man Project is the wider, non-profit behind the festival these days. But regardless of organizer, attendance has steadily increased over the decades, reaching approximately 80,000 people in 2019.
The Festival Is Facing Hardship
Due to the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, this year’s edition of the Black Rock event has been cancelled. As a result, Burning Man Project is working hard to find alternative ways to keep the event and its spirit alive.
In order to support art, expression and community, they have launched a new live virtual events platform called “Kindling“. It aims to become a digital space for the festival itself. The channel will provide virtual parties, performances, screenings and talks all online. Therefore, all Burning Man fans and community members can participate, interact and even host their own events.
Cancellation of the main event resulted in a huge budget shortfall for the Burning Man Project. Consequently, the organization risks not having enough money to stay afloat. So, in an effort to help secure the future of the event they have launched a crowdfunding initiative.
“we remain optimistic. We are committed to maintaining the critical infrastructure we’ll need, after cuts to expenses and staffing, to produce Black Rock City 2021 and continuing our vital off-playa work in the year ahead. We can’t do this without your help.”
Lend your Support
In addition to joining “Kindling”, supporters can make donations to Burning Man Project here. (They are grateful for one-time gifts, as well recurring contributions.)
If all goes well, we hope to see you at the 2021 event. Until then: stay safe, stay positive and be kind to one another.