When she stopped holding the fires, attendees Larry Harvey and Jerry James kept them going, with a twist — in , the bonfire was an eight-foot-tall wooden man. After the man was ignited, a bystander ran forward and shook the burning man's hand. The wind had shifted slightly, blowing the flames so she was unharmed. The increasingly spectacular pyrotechnic event was halted in by park police as a fire hazard. The zone would feature dadaist performance art and free expression.
Every year, thousands gather in a remote section of the Nevada desert to, essentially, have the best time ever. The festival - which has been running since - starts on the last Monday of August and ends on the first Monday of September. Event organisers encourage festival-goers to abandon their phones, their money, and probably their clothes, and live and care for each other as one community for an entire week. More: Why there was a see-through toilet at Glastonbury this year.
Last year, I appeared at the gates of Burning Man aboard a foot-truck loaded with enough gear to keep a dozen people alive in the desert for a week. My campmates and I were greeted by a lissome young woman wearing pasties and leather booty shorts, who commanded us to open our truck for inspection. My traveling companion, Virgil, turned off the ignition and opened our truck for the gate-girl, who, despite the perkiness and pasties, struck him as officious. MOOP, or Matter Out of Place in Burner argot , is frowned upon, as it must be meticulously removed after the event by hundreds of volunteers, by hand, in the hundred-degree heat.
The event is difficult to describe. My images of the event have been widely published, appearing in newspapers and magazines worldwide. More info here. You can view a selection of galleries below.