The Guardian Guide to Burning Man

Our guide leads you to the best art and parties on the playa -- and helps you prepare for the journey of a lifetime

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Blissdance by Marco Cochrane, a beloved piece from Burning Man 2010, now dances on Treasure Island
PHOTO BY MR. NIGHTSHADE/THEBLIGHT.NET

It's a Burning Man world

Burning Man dominates August in the Bay Area. It's everywhere, almost impossible to escape, even if you try. That's a never-ending source of irritation to those who don't go, particularly for those who are the rare holdouts in social circles filled with burners, where playa preparation, anticipation, and exaltation can unexpectedly snake their ways into any conversation.

So, on behalf of my Burning mates, please allow me to sympathize, even if I'm unwilling to apologize. We just can't help ourselves. There's just so much to do right now, so little time to do it, and so many little reminders that the playa is out there, waiting for us to come build it into the city of our own creation.

It's important to plan your attack, and there is no shortage of resources to consult, from the official Burning Man Survival Guide that gets mailed to ticket holders to the sample packing lists that many people post online, and they're all worth consulting. So our contribution is meant to supplement what's out there and offer some useful tips and resources from the perspective of the Bay Area, the launching pad for more burners than any other single place on earth.

From fashion tips to food advice, from getting in to getting off, from this year's coolest projects and events to a profile of the people who will lead this culture for years to come, we hope you find this guide a valuable addition to your playa preparations. Now get busy, because time is tick, tick, ticking away. (Steven T. Jones, a.k.a Scribe)

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A link to our continuing blog coverage of the festival