Burning Man 2017: The Radical Ritual

Nearly everyone has heard of the Burning Man festival. Whether you’ve heard legends about the festival in the desert, or know someone who jumped headfirst into the event, you have an opinion on the Burning Man.

No matter what that opinion is, you should definitely consider experiencing the Burning Man for yourself. One of the best ways to do that is with an Apollo RV rental. Jump into your rented RV and drive out into the desert for a more comfortable, convenient and streamlined Burning Man experience.

What is the Burning Man?

Burning Man is an annual festival held at Black Rock City, a community established in the middle of Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The annual event is self-described as “an experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self expression and radical self reliance.” In other words, the Burning Man’s purpose is to provide a community in which people from all walks of life can come together to explore various methods of expression, all while celebrating said expression.

"Burning Man" By Retinafunk via flickr.com/photos/retinafunk/9874650225 under a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY-SA 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

The first Burning Man was nothing more than a bonfire on the summer solstice of 1986 on a beach in San Francisco. Jerry James, Larry Harvey and a few of their friends burned a large, wooden statue of a man and his dog in an impulsive act of extremist self-expression. The friends continued this annual ritual with their small group until, in 1988, Harvey formally named the event the Burning Man. By this time, it had started to develop a following, with more and more people coming to enjoy and participate in the experience

Now, the festival attracts nearly 70,000 people every year, with the Burning Man statues reaching heights of over 80 feet. The annual, week-long festival is organised and put on by the Burning Man Project, a non-profit organisation.

The festival is always held the week before Labor Day, and ends the holiday weekend. Tickets for the Burning Man 2017 are $425 each, and one Vehicle Pass costs $80.

Themes, Symbolism, and Main Attractions

Every Burning Man attendee, or “Burner,” comes to Black Rock City with a different focus or goal. These goals range from community and deco-modification to artwork, absurdity or just plain revelry.

"Burning Man 2015" BY Max Talbot-Minkin via flickr.com/photos/maxtm/21317980944 under a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

As a Burner, you can participate any way you want! Be that through art installations, performances, helping as part of the clean-up crew and other services, building city infrastructure, or simply getting inspired by what you see around you.

Burning Man has 10 principles that were created to help guide each Burner through the event. Originally created by Larry Harvey in 2004, the principles are:

  • radical inclusion
  • gift giving
  • self-reliance
  • self-expression
  • social responsibility
  • leaving no trace
  • immediacy
  • participation

The theme for this year’s Burning Man is Radical Ritual. The goal is to explore the “living faith” experience found somewhere between traditional creeds, religions and dogmas and our primordial world.

As a 2017 Burner, you are invited to create ritual processions, shrines, temples, interactive rites, and elaborate schemes that build upon what you deem sacred in your own way. Discover what sacred means to you and the surrounding world, and revel in the exaltation, dread, sorrow and awe that manifest inside you through your personal and community exploration.

Logistics

If you’re renting an RV, it’s easy to make your trip to see the Burning Man an enjoyable one. But to help you out a bit more, we’ve put together a couple of tips and tricks just to make your experience as seamless and memorable as possible!

Keep Cool Creatively:
While your rented RV will most likely come with a generator, you don’t want to over-use it and run out of gas too soon. Save your air conditioning for true emergencies, and use evaporative cooling to say comfortable.

Light it Up: 
Cover your RV with lights! It’s not only welcoming for your fellow Burners, but it can also get pretty dark in the desert. Use solar powered garden lights and Christmas lights to save energy.

Fuel:
Make sure to fill your RV gas tank, and then some, before you get close to Black Rock City. Gas stations near the event have notorious lines, and can even run out.

Leave No Trace:
Follow the Burning Man guidelines and leave no trace of your stay in the desert. Make sure your RV tanks are crack-free to prevent oil spills. Also, be sure to save room to take your garbage out of the city on your way home.

Seal, Seal, Seal: 
Seal up EVERY seam in your RV. Burning Man is famous for dust, and taping up windows, doors, and vents will help keep it out of your RV. This not only offers a more comfortable experience, but also makes cleaning your rental a lot easier before you return it.

Burning Man 2017 is sure to be an impressive experience, plus it’s something a bit out of the ordinary and definitely a cool story to tell your friends when you get back! Don’t miss out, and rent an RV so you can create awesome memories and new friendships when visiting Burning Man.

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