I’ve enjoyed the Burning Man festival in all its’ glory. I’ve tasted love, fear, anger, happiness and a lot of dust. To help you make the most of this festival, I’ll share some of the lessons I’ve learnt.
1 Don’t plan beyond Burning Man
During the time I was packing for Burning Man, I was already planning a lot of exciting activities for afterwards. This meant, with hindsight, that my focus wasn’t always on the festival. The experience is very intense and you will take more lessons home than you think. Therefore take your time to enjoy the moments both of, and after the festival.
2 Use love to your advantage
Whilst watching a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar, some people were standing-up, whilst others sat down in the dust. One group in particular would not sit down and felt offended when people collectively shouted ‘please sit down, so everyone can see’. After the message changed to ‘please sit down….we love you’, the anger went and they happily sat down. So use love to your advantage.
3 Accept your state, anywhere, anytime
Playing on The Playa entails a lot of sweat and a lot of dust: never the greatest combination. The most common affliction I noticed: a sweaty bum whilst cycling, but you need to accept your state, anywhere, anytime. The desert decides how your visit will be, so guard yourself by not wasting valuable energy on these minor concerns. Concentrate on your water supply, protection from the sun and dust storms and most of all having fun.
4 Be a part of the festival
When you set foot in the Burning Man festival – especially as a first timer – you will feel overwhelmed. You’ll start to enjoy the festival as you explore the Nevada desert. Time passes quickly and you can easily forget to take part as a volunteer. For example as a lamp-lighter or litter-picker. Join in, and be grateful to the others that do for walking the extra mile, especially in these conditions.
5 Give your cell phone and camera a rest
The Playa is best shared together and you can’t really share if your mobile phone is your best friend. Consume dust, let others have their daily dose of Twitter and Facebook and totally immerse yourself in the festival, with your body, mind and soul. Take your camera to shoot some amazing pictures, but know when to stop so you can focus on the here and now.
6 Play like never before
So much of what we do in our lives is based on fear. The fear of not being accepted or worrying about what others might think of us. Let these thoughts go. Just play. Experiment. Do what you’ve always dreamt of and always longed for. This is a place where group goes before ego and freedom above fitting in. Think about what ‘play’ means to you and just do it.
7 Let all emotions go
Burning Man has some sacred spaces, like the temple. Here pain, joy, life and death are united. You will see an enormous collection of stories, pictures and works of art. Some of these are heartbreaking, others full of joy. Don’t be afraid to add your own personal message, your story is worth sharing as well.