Summer 2017 – From August 27 until September 4, Burning Man festival will glow with neon and fire in Nevada Black Rock Desert. Over 70.000 burners will settle in Black Rock City, a temporary city pulsating with over 3.000 art and architecture projects destined to be burnt down to ashes when all gigs and parties are over. Explore the only-one city that rises to combust again every single year.
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“Burning Man is the first Bohemian scene to turn itself into a city” says Burning Man founder Larry Harvey. Architecture is protagonist: across the city secular and mystic cathedrals, public spaces and themed camps invite burners to get inspired by visiting and interacting with ephemeral structures.
The Temple of the Golden Spike, the Shrine of the Brotherly Love and the Altar of the Inner Bitch are just some of the architectures that will be fed to the flames at the end of the 2017 edition which is themed Radical Rituals.
After dusk, the city shines with flames and psychedelic neon shows meshing the mystic atmosphere of the day with a crazy party vibe pulsating all night long. Flamboyant vehicles drive through the desert contributing to boost the dreamy and in-wonderland vibe of the festival.
Holistically speaking, “Black Rock City is not a machine but an organism that It is more then the sum of its parts.” Said once BLack Rock City master planner Rod Garrett. “As it burns down every year, its map refers to the phoenix, the mythical bird, the temporary metropolis rises from its ashes.”
THE PLAN – Black Rock City is centered around the Burning Man, a landmark sculpture which works as the fixed point of a drawing compass and The Playa open area. All the tents and services are disposed in a crescent divided in sections. The radial streets of Black Rock City are named by their clock position while the annular streets have always odd names such as Genuflect, Lustrate and Hallowed avenues.
THE MAN statue is the epicenter of Black Rock City which is always spectacularly burnt down to ashes at the end of every edition. This year, the sculpture will be encased in the Temple of the Golden Spike. Inspired by Ancient Greece omphalos sculptured representing the navel of our world, a golden spear will pass through the spine of Burning Man emerging high above the temple.
At the center of the crescent, the MAIN CAMP hosts the Playa Information Center, the Arctica ice-store and the the Main Camp Café, the largest temporary freestanding tensile shade structure in the world.
The Main Camp Cafè occupies an entire acre for art, encounters and intergalactic convergences. Here every participant, parades, mutant vehicles, marching bands, or green aliens can meet up and interact.
Located near Center Camp at 6:30 & Esplanade, THE ARTery is Burning Man Head Quarters and functions as a check-in and service center for artists as well as a hub for information about art. The main lounge is always filled with artists and other visitors, here you can find all informations about the art installations in town.
Like any other city, Black Rock City has essential INFRASTRUCTURE and COMMUNITY SERVICES including city planning, emergency, safety and sanitary infrastructure and even an unregulated temp-airport. This year for the first time, some area will become pedestrian to avoid traffic jam and optimize waste management.
In Black Rock City there is not garbage pickup, the festival manages a recycling camp where burners can bring cans – the most practical eating solution in town – which are then up cycled into art installations.
The Department of Mutant Vehicles licenses and supports participants to share their mobile creations with the community of Black Rock City. The Department of Public Works plans, surveys, builds, and takes down the basic infrastructure in town.
All photos by Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co), CC, Burning Man 2016.