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16 Destination Festivals Better Than Coachella, Burning Man + Outside Lands

The summer festival has become de rigueur. Hell, even Gap and Bloomingdales are sporting mannequins adorned in what’s become known as festival attire (short shorts, something crocheted, a reusable water canteen, a piece of cultural appropriation—you know the drill). As the series of annual rites of passage take place across the country (Bonnaroo, Coachella, Outside Lands, Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza, and, yes, Burning Man are among the largest), music festivals especially, are becoming interchangeable, featuring rotating rosters of the same bands (with a surprise must-see here and there) and offering much of the same experiences—artisanal culinary zones, locally grown booze camps, upcharged VIP retreats, and digital detox areas.

Wedding Inspiration: A Burner Couple Gets Hitched in La Playa Style

If getting married at Burning Man was just a little too kooky, diehard burners Christina and Ephraim would recreate the experience in their own unique way, blending their loves of adventure and nature. 

World's First Burner Hotel Welcomes Burning Man Enthusiasts

Reno residents have long experienced the train of art cars and their Burner inhabitants that stream through the city en route to Burning Man in northern Nevada each August, leaving a trail of dust behind them on their way back out. But now the city offers a bit of respite for festival-goers as host to the world's first dedicated Burning Man hotel. 

A Burning Man Children's Book Now Exists

Filled with psychedelic music, carts shaped like dildos, and enough drug use to put Lewis Carroll to shame, Burning Man should (seemingly) be an adults-only playground. But why should grownups have all the fun? 

A Book Party with Belly Dancers! The Launch of Burning Man: Art on Fire

Surrounded by a harem of belly dancers, glittering ladies, and men of velvet and furs, you'd be forgiven should you mistake the woman with hennaed hands and jeweled hair as some mysterious monarch from the other side of the planet.

This Week in Theatres: The Trouble with Burning Man and Six More

A scene from Steve Brown's new doc Spark: A Burning Man Story.

One review and six previews of this weekend's upcoming flicks.

An Emotional Guide to Burning Man

Burning Man

Originally published on

I remember my first Burn fourteen years ago. Having been told mental preparation for Burning Man required physical preparation, I created checklists to monitor my checklists. Arriving on the Playa, I expected an elated nirvana, but found an emotional hell instead. While “welcome home” was the mantra of the day, I felt far from home amongst the wilderness and weirdness of Black Rock City. 

After all my physical and mental prep, I realized I’d done no emotional prep.

How Not to Act at Burning Man

burning man

For the past few years, my veteran Burning Man camp has played host to several virgin Burners, who usually suffer a few breakdowns here and there before heading out. Their issues are not the heat, the dust or even the nudity: They are thoroughly concerned that they don't know how to act.

Five Unusual Places to Visit on Your Way Back from Burning Man

Leeloo Dallas at Burning Man

After nearly ten years of going to Burning Man, I can admit the desert event is probably one of the most unique places in the world you can visit. After you've experienced it for a week or more, it is difficult to return to the Default World and face being ordinary again.

The Misconceptions of Burning Man

Burning Man

On a call a few days ago, the web developer sheepishly told me, “So, the last week of August I won’t be on the call because um, well (pause), I’m, uh (whisper) going to Burning Man.”

It’s undeniable that Burning Man has a particular stigma in San Francisco among those who have not experienced it. It’s a stigma that makes virgin Burners ashamed to admit they are finally going to give it a try.

I, too, was one of those uninterested and apathetic on the whole Burning Man thing. Five years ago, I went. And yes, it was amazing. The fuzzy boot-clad, sparkle-adorned, die-hard Burners may intimidate (or scare) you, but Burning Man is misunderstood by most. Here’s why:

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