Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV 2014
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Burning Man, it is a week long art festival held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. People who attend, or “Burners,” must bring everything one needs to survive (including water) and then pack everything out. Radical Self-Reliance & Leave No Trace are two of the festival’s ten principles.
Because some 70,000 people come to the event on a two lane highway, getting in and out of the festival is often a challenging experience. From where the road ends and the playa begins, the Man can be seen miles away on the approach to Black Rock City. This year I was lucky to enter on Sunday morning just after gates officially opened with only an hour delay in line! This is very smooth compared to the nightmare delay burners had the next day where rain caused the roads to be closed sending people through a 22 hour ordeal involving being sent back to Reno and standing in an epic multi-hour line for will call. Yikes! Tip: get paper tickets – always.
Our camp’s theme was “Love Alway” which is inspired by Charles Bradley, a funk/soul/R&B singer (think James Brown) who lived a vagabond life in poverty and was discovered in his 50s. His gut wrenching lyrics and soulful style demonstrate what a heart that remains pure through struggle is capable of. After his performance at Sasquatch Music Festival he spoke to the crowd and reminded us to always choose love. Being illiterate, he signed my friends shirt “Love Alway” and the rest is history.
It was a visually stunning event yet again with just about every scene at any given time of day worthy of taking a picture. The lighting conditions change through the week so each day brings new opportunities. I took out the camera when I could but I tried to preserve my energy to last the whole week. I ended up coming down with a head cold (like many others) on Friday and the dust was so bad that I felt I had to get off the playa. I left before the Man burn and Temple burns. Even though I missed those two great events, I still had a complete experience at Burning Man this year. The highlight was meeting and making a connection with a group of three ladies who randomly asked to join our camp. In the end, it’s the people who make the journey that make the event what it is. Here are some snaps that I got off while making my way around the festival. I hope you enjoy them, and I encourage you to share this blog post with anyone who might find these pictures inspiring.
Click on any photo to view the larger versions. Or check out my updated minimalist tumblr page for a smoother viewing experience.
And my friends, remember “Always Choose Love”