Burning Man, the legendary desert festival, began humbly in San Francisco in 1986. It was simple celebration, a fire party on the city's Baker Beach, an event created by Larry Harvey and Jerry James.
Nearly 30 years later, the festival has morphed into a major event that takes place every year in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, drawing in tens of thousands of free spirits. The festival gets its name from the culminating event every year, the spectacular burning of an enormous effigy.
The event moved away from San Francisco after the 1990 gathering grew too large, and unruly, to take place in the city. It's become known over the years as a place where nothing is off limits, where people taking to the desert just for the experience. Law enforcement has struggled to maintain order.
"We don't have the personnel to issue citations to 70,000 naked people on the playa, but we will be upholding the law to the best of our ability," said Nevada's Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen to the Associated Press.
The 2015 festival is scheduled to last from Aug. 30 to Sept. 7. Eye-catching images emerge from the festival every year. Burning Man features art and is "united in the pursuit of a more creative and connected existence in the world," according to the festival's website. The overall goal is to make the world more like the art-minded culture at Burning Man.
"The mission of the Burning Man organization is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world," reads the festival organizers' mission statement.
Over the years the culture of Burning Man has become one that encourages and features art, allows for creative expression and pushes people to participate in creative endeavors. Last year, one of the most popular installations featured an enormous wooden couple embracing. Check out below for images of past festivals, including art, people and the vast playa.