Burning Man: Outsider Art In The Nevada Desert

Erdinch Yigitce

Celebrating grassroots creativity and experimental artistic activity, this free spirited liberal arts festival in North Nevada attracts more than 50,000 eccentric visitors a year from around the world.

The inclusive festival, which has the slogan ‘no spectators, only participants’, is described by the organisers as ‘an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance’. This celebration of impromptu experimental art, music and performance takes place every year in the Nevada Desert during the last week of August. The main festival ground is known as Black Rock City, a temporary makeshift desert town which is located 90 miles outside Reno on the dried, prehistoric bed-lake of Lake Lahonton, and only exists for the duration of the festival before it is disassembled, but during the festival it qualifies as Nevada’s fourth largest city.
Defiantly non-commercial and not-for-profit, The Burning Man Festival has grown in stature over the years and features arts and crafts, themed camps, music and guerilla street theatre. The event originated organically in 1986, when Larry Harvey and a group of friends built a three meter high wooden effigy and set it on fire on a beach in San Francisco. The regular tradition began to attract visitors, and when it was banned by local authorities, it relocated to the desert, where it joined forces with other small scale festivals.
The burning of the now 50 foot Man is the traditional closing ritual of the eight-day event, where participation and unconventionality is actively encouraged. The Festival is an anarchic celebration of finding new ways of expression in a dusty experimental metropolis, and is also a rites-of-passage pilgrimage for artists to express themselves outside of the hermetically sealed confines, and economic pressures of the art world.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article