Burning Man is overwhelming and impossible to describe in one post. This is the first in a series many about this past year's gathering in the middle of the desert.
Black Rock Desert, Nev., is 100 miles north of Reno, sits 3,900 feet above sea level, is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and for the past 23 years has played host to Burning Man, "an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance. That "temporary community" is called Black Rock City (BRC). It consists of a series of concentric (A-N) and radial streets (2:00 - 10:00) that are centered around The Burning Man. The circle's diameter is approximately 2.3 miles long; its circumference is a little over 7 miles. BRC was home to 68,000 'burners' from August 26 through September 2, and in a place where there is no running water, electricity, cell phone service, or plant or animal life, it is hard to find a cab. Bikes are the way to get around.
Editor's Note: Victor Jeffreys II, the author of this post, attended Burning Man as a member of the credentialed press. Black Rock City, LLC, the for-profit entity that organizes the Burning Man festival and owns the trademark to the name, requires credentialed photographers to sign a detailed and onerous contract as a condition of entry. Among other things, the contract forbids publication of images that portray "nudity, sexual activity, the use of drugs or any act that might be considered in violation of criminal laws." It also requires photographers to submit all images to Black Rock City, LLC, for review prior to publication.
This is a stupid and perverse policy. But signing the contract was our only way of getting in, so we signed it. These images have been "cleared" for publication by Black Rock City, LLC. Our arrangement with Burning Man does not extend to submissions of photos from other photographers, so if you have any images depicting nudity, sex, drug use, or any criminal activity at the 2013 Burning Man festival, please send them our way. Our better yet, post them in the comments below. We would be delighted to publish them.
[ Images by Victor G. Jeffreys II]