The annual counter-culture festival known as Burning Man is set to kick off once more in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, where it's been held since the early 1990s. It begins Aug. 30 and ends Sep. 7. Here is everything you need to know about Burning Man, from its history and principles to how to watch it live.
The man always burns the Saturday before Labor Day, which, this year, is Sept. 5. You can watch a live stream of the burning and the rest of the festival here:
Don't feel like watching? You can listen live to Burning Man here. Attending the festival but confused about how to get around? Find a map and guide to Burning Man through the app iBurn, which includes information about art, camps and different events.
This year's theme for Burning Man is Carnival of Mirrors. Since 2004, the festival has been based on 10 principles: Radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy. How Burning Man defines those terms precisely can be found here.
According to its official website, what happens during Burning Man is that tens of thousands gather in this "temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance." The idea began in 1986, when two friends burned a wooden figure of a man on a beach near San Francisco. They did it again the next year, and in the following years, it became an annual happening that attracted more and more attendees. By 1996, 8,000 people attended the burning.
This year, the festival has made available 27,000 passes for vehicles, which gives some indication of the size of the expected audience. As one attendee has described it, Burning Man is thrives "on a culture of possibility" and is "supported by a network of dreamers and doers," where attendees are immersed in art, friends, desert dust and inspiration and freed from inhibition, secrets and regret.
To see how Burning Man has changed since its inception, watch the 1989 Burning Man -- the festival's fourth iteration -- here: