Burning Man

Burning Man participants are manifesting the playa more frequently in Las Vegas

The “Man” sculpture is illuminated at the Burning Man festival in Gerlach, Nevada, this past August.
Photo: Andy Barron/AP

The past week has been a busy one for local burners, even though their big event ended the day before Labor Day. There was Monday night’s annual Burning Man Town Hall at Art Square Theatre, last Saturday night’s Blinking Man Rave Ride and an October 16 Town Square screening of recent documentary Spark: A Burning Man Story, which sold out a week prior.

When it comes to manifesting life on the playa in the default (or real) world, local burners have never had it so good. That’s because this particular region—one of about 120 in the global Burning Man network—has reached a “critical mass,” says Cameron Grant, a regional rep for Burning Man. And that swell has resulted in numerous local events inspired by the yearly event up north.

“Many of us return from Burning Man radically infused with energy,” he says. “So it’s a natural progression to see people producing so many events related to our culture and wanting to bring those feelings home.”

And those flames will be fanned through 2013. Rounding out the year: a nighttime costume party called Playaween at Bally’s, Downtown’s burner-founded Las Vegas Halloween Parade, a “decompression” weekend gathering just outside Las Vegas called Decamp and the Santa Rampage at Fremont Street Experience.

For a bunch of so-called hippies, that’s quite an organizational display. But it’s born out of the desire to enliven and enlighten Las Vegas through the core Burning Man principles, such as radical inclusion and self-expression, participation and communal effort. And the subsequent flurry of activity is another contributor to Las Vegas’ sociocultural evolution.

“It’s incredibly cool to witness, like watching a star turn on in a distant nebula,” he says. “Only this star is right here where we all live, and our creativity is the fuel that drives it.”

Tags: Culture
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