Another Burning Man has come and gone. This year was marked by whimsy, sex, magic, and, sadly, death. Over 70,000 people turned an expansive desert in Nevada into Black Rock City. That’s 70,000 experiences, lives, journeys, and stories. The semi-circle of humanity stretched to the horizon as people dosed dreamed, and danced. In the end, attendees left behind the ashes of all the funky and surreal art that makes Burning Man so peculiar. Those attendees are slowly trickling back into the real world, like a band of phoenixes rising anew.
So what is it that draws so many thousands out to the desert? It’s hard to say. There’s a liberty in it. There are the drugs, the music, the sex, the art, the connection. Then there’s the commoditization, the Silicon Valley exceptionalism, and the luxury of private jets and super models. Is it perfect? No. But as an experimental society with love as its highest value, it seems to be working.
If you’re not a Burner, but always wanted to know what the hell all this fuss was about, we’ve done some digging for you. Below are some of our favorite photos from this year’s social media feeds that capture the mundane, the spectacular, and the humanity of Black Rock City.