The end of Burning Man as you knew it.

Tomorrow is the start of Burning Man: where 60,000 people will flock to the Nevada desert for a week of self-expression, self-reliance, and setting a 100 foot tall wooden sculpture aflame.  I’ve never been to Burning Man, but I have had many friends over the past thirteen years who have.  For many of these people, it has been an event that inspires their lives in the same way that church inspires the lives of the religious.  No, that’s not quite fair.  It’s more like the way a pilgrimage inspires the religious: lots of people go to church, but not all of them would drive out into the middle of the desert for their beliefs.  For many of my friends, Burning Man has become a sort of moral compass.

Or at least it was. 

Recently, I’ve been hearing different stories from some of my friends who were Burning Man veterans when I first met them thirteen years ago.  Burning Man, or perhaps it is just some of the local Burning Man events, is not what it once was.  It’s not my place as an outsider of this event to go into any details, but from what I’ve heard it sounds like 28 isn’t what it used to be.  And there’s a lot more people who are 28, or thereabouts, redefining the event. Meanwhile the 40+ crowd has slowly thinned out: moving on to other things, settling down, or just plain broke.

For those that are left, that must be a sad tale indeed.  But those are the very sorts of tales that this blog is about.  So if you have that story and want to share it, let me know.  If you think that story has been eloquently shared elsewhere, let me know and I’ll put up a link to it. 


2 Responses to “The end of Burning Man as you knew it.”

  1. Cam Jones Says:

    So I saw your link to this blog on the LA Times piece on Burning Man. I thought there would be an actual article on why BM is not the same as it was 10 years ago.

    You really are an “outsider”. “burning man veterans” are usually called Burners, by the way.

    • Sorry if my question was vague, but I’d love to hear your story if you have one.

      I used the phrasing that I did because this blog is not meant exclusively for Burners, so I wanted everyone to know what I’m talking about. I never have been to the event. The closest would be an event about ten years ago that has since become a regional Burning Man event.

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