Burning Man didn't exactly get off to a great start!
The annual festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert was delayed—twice!—due to heavy rain. But roads leading to the area opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, allowing "Burners" to kick off their...communal self-expression through a celebration of art?
It's difficult to describe Burning Man because, as the organization's website states, "trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind."
Essentially, though, since 1986, bobos and free spirits (likely the type who list "free spirit" in their Twitter bio) have convened the week before Labor Day for the participatory experience of creating art and a counterculture all its own. As the site promises, you definitely "won't be the weirdest kid in the classroom" here.
Purchasing a ticket to the festival costs anywhere between $380 and $650, and once you're there, nothing except coffee and ice is supposed to be for sale. The experience used to cater towards low-key hippies, if you will—the kind of people fine sleeping in tents and using Porta-a-Potties.
In recent years,though,"baby billionaires" and Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs have made the migration to Nevada, too, and according to the New York Times, some say they're "ruining it for everyone else" with their "secret game of I-can-spend-more-money-than-you-can."
A non-tech camp can cost about $300 a person, but according an insider, a venture capitalist camp was about $25,000 a person—collectively costing these posh partygoers over $2 million for their accommodations.
Some of the wealthy attendees "are spending thousands of dollars to get their own luxury restroom trailers, just like those used on movie sets," according to the Times. (Curious on this: Does the share-everything mentality extend to these commodes, and if so, for No. 1 only or No. 2, too?)
In any case, Burning Man isn't just the time you spend in the desert. According to its website, it's "a thriving year-round culture" that exists via "a tapestry, an ever-widening network of actions and relationships extending far beyond the place called Black Rock City."
How trendily transcendental!