If you believe regular attendees of the event known as Burning Man (AKA "burners"), it isn't just an arts or music festival, or a Coachella-esque getaway - it's a lifestyle. From the unique fashion and architecture that arises from the event to its governing principles of extreme self-reliance, self-expression, and participation, it truly does have its own culture.
For those unfamiliar, The Burn spans a full nine days, during which attendees withdraw from society to create, enjoy, and eventually set fire to massive works of art. Their playground consists of a ring of village camps surrounding the dry lake bed known as Black Rock Desert - which burners refer to as the "playa." It's here that all these unusual works are housed, and the experience all culminates in the burning of the Man himself - a wooden effigy in the center of it all.
So, now that you've got the basics down, enjoy these wild stories from Burning Man, and don't forget to vote up the ones that best describe this beast's untamed spirit.
From a former Redditor:
Saw a bunch of people in full-body raccoon suits rummaging through random people's coolers loudly at four in the morning.205Let it burn?
Literal Party Pooper
From Redditor u/murdera:
Sometimes, when you walk out of the dreaded poop-sauna porta-potties, there will be a red carpet rolled out for you. There will be a band playing "Pomp and Circumstance." There will be people clapping and cheering for you. You will receive a prize for "winning Burning Man." It's great, and one of the millions of things that make Black Rock City magical.
From Redditor u/WalkingPhoenix:
I got Porta-Partied my first year! Red carpet, disco lights, music and all. :)177Let it burn?
Never Too Old To Burn
From Redditor u/killemyoung317:
I went to a regional Burn event this year, PEX, and my favorite moment was on Saturday night when everyone was in full character mode, and there was a group of people dressed as cranky senior citizens (wearing depends and hospital gowns) towing with them a "Dehydration Station" with IV drips of liquor (which you drank, rather than injecting, but still). They're known as the Grampage.111Let it burn?
From a former Redditor:
A particularly treasured memory: dancing to mind-bendingly deep house music being pumped from the bowels of a gigantic cattle train done up to look like a massive, fire-breathing steampunk wolf. In front of me was an old man (I'd guess between 60 and 70) and what I presume was his granddaughter (about 10 years old), with matching dreadlocks, dressed in badass matching leather and beadwork trenchcoats and big comfy Himalayan boots. Cutest pair I've ever seen.147Let it burn?