10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Burning Man At Least Once In Your Lifetime

It seems that now, festivals have become equated with glitz and glam; full of say-anythings and know-nothings who mainly come for the Instagram opportunities and adamantly applaud the faux bands Jimmy Kimmel makes up.

Well, what happened to flower power and fighting the man? We all take part in expressing our angst over Twitter Nation, yet we’re glued to refreshing our notification feeds.

While we’ve antiquated the true essence of most festivals, Burning Man’s 10 guiding principles have succeeded in converting the perpetual Twitter-heads and later-grammers into something much greater. Here are the 10 reasons you should visit Burning Man at least once in your life:

1. Radical Inclusion

For once in your life, you are welcome to be your most honest, craziest self without any exclusion or judgment. You don’t need to know the door girl or slip the bouncer a $20. As long as you can pay for the ticket, you’re welcome to join the party.

2. Gifting

Honestly, who doesn’t love presents? Don’t expect a pair of Louboutins, though. What’s given here may possess less obvious appeal, but it will stay with you forever. Consider it a talisman or a keepsake of the wonderful memories and people you've met.

3. De-commodification

What you pay to get into Burning Man is essentially the only time during the experience you will have to worry about money. Burning Man places an emphasis on communal sharing of drinks and food — even showers are provided free of charge!

4. Radical Self-Reliance

There is no running water, Starbucks or Internet. To survive Burning Man, you must learn to live free of any outside resources.

5. Radical Self-Expression

Picture a week-long artistic explosion filled with creative souls that come together to celebrate their passions in the most jaw-dropping way. Ten-foot-tall sculptures, mermaids and banana brigades will surround you and at night, the city will light up brighter than Times Square. You are free to create what you want to create and be who you want to be without any overbearing restrictions.

6. Communal Effort

The best part is the wonderful, beautiful people. Immediately after stepping foot on the grounds, you will be enveloped in a sentimental, familial bond. Every structure erected and every pit stop that services is a product of teamwork.

While strolling outside of your camp, you’ll undoubtedly get scooped up by a booze-boat filled with music, laughter and, you guessed it, plenty of alcohol to keep you from going thirsty.

7. Civic Responsibility

You’ll end up taking more responsibility and being more organized than if you were at your office or in class. Once you are there, you won’t be able to help but to get involved with the community and the life. This will foster a sense of obligation without any forced regulation.

8. Leaving No Trace

One of the most trying conditions that Burning Man imposes is leaving in the same condition you arrived. By placing a strict obligation on respecting the environment as well as the cleanliness of the earth, something wonderful happens to the patrons. The obligation to clean up never goes away, even after Burning Man does.

9. Participation

The Burning Man website really does say it best: “Everyone is invited to play.”

10. Immediacy

It’s a place like none other. It tests your mind, body and soul. It startles you. Most importantly, it provides immediate gratification. It removes all excess to satisfy a long, forgotten need.

Burning Man isn’t just one wild big party; it’s a way of life. Regardless of the intentions, even after the Man is burned, you will forever remain a burner.

Photo via We Heart It