By Shaun Busuttil @shaunbusuttil05 Sep 2017Every year, tens of thousands of people from all over the world converge in the desert to be part of a colourful, creative and totally unique experiment and celebration in what it means to be a human being. Wow, that’s pretty dramatic way to start an article, huh? But seriously, Burning Man deserves such an introduction, because honestly, there’s nothing like it on earth. Weird and wacky costumes, art installations, altered states of consciousness – Burning Man is a hive of creativity and deep convos, and the perfect breeding ground to make new friends from all around the world. Read on to learn more about Burning Man and how you can take part in the next one. WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? First things first, let’s clear something up okay. Burning is not a festival, I repeat, NOT A FESTIVAL. It’s a community of like-minded peeps who come together once a year at the end of summer (this year it was held on August 27 to September 4) to form Black Rock City – a temporary metropolis erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA. Around 70,000 people attend the eight-day event every year (known as burners), and tickets cost either $425 or $1200 USD. The higher fee is used to provide grants for artists. Note: If driving to the event, you’ll need to pay extra for a car pass. The event gets its name from the large man that is erected in the centre of the grounds who is set alight at the end of the eight days. WHY EVEN GO? Honestly, do we even need to go into this?! Burning Man is an incredible and totally unique celebration of radical inclusion, self-expression, active participation and an experiment in organising society in an alternative way. Underlying all of this is the core philosophy of “leave no trace behind.” Check out our little gallery we ran on Facebook, giving you an insight into just how spectacular it all is: If the popularity of this gallery is anything to go by – next year’s Burning Man will be even busier! HOW CAN YOU BE A PART OF BURNING MAN? There are a few ways you can be part of the Burning Man experience. You can volunteer, get creative and make some art on “the playa” (where all the art installations are located), or simply join a camp and contribute your positive energy that way. The focus of Burning Man is active participation: you must contribute in some way – that’s what makes Burning Man so uniquely special. HOW DO YOU PAY FOR STUFF? Money isn’t used to pay for stuff in Burning Man. Instead, burners rely on a gift economy, whereby everyone is encouraged to give gifts to each other (e.g., food, drinks, massages, etc.,) unconditionally. A pretty radical concept huh? This doesn’t mean you can just swing by without any preparation. Each participant is excepted to bring all their own food, 50 litres of water, and extra stuff to give away over the course of the eight days. So plan ahead. HOW DO YOU GET THERE? The easiest way to get to Burning Man is to fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RTIA). Once you’ve landed, you can either take a shuttle bus, or rent your own car and drive the rest of the way (travel time is approximately 3 hours). It’s also possible to take a shuttle bus from San Francisco to Burning Man. Burning Man 2018 is scheduled to take place between August 26 and September 3. Have you ever been to Burning Man? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. Other stories you may like One of these 5 Travel Agents WILL WIN a $10,000 trip to the USA Head South! This is where you’ll discover the true heart & soul of America UNMISSABLE: Wed 21 March = BIG Prizes, epic food & drinks, Art vs Science’s Dan Mac + YOU!