Burning Man: the hippie’s music festival.
Designed to bring together the world’s dreamers, lovers, and artists, it’s grown into a pop-up city that invades the desert once a year to bring all the glory of commercialism to what was once a sacred meeting space for Earth lovers and hippies.
But in the wake of Burning Man, what’s left behind is garbage, memories – and a graveyard of bicycles that begs the question: is Burning Man really a pro-Earth gathering anymore? Or has it moved on to less green pastures?
We already know that the festival leaves behind a massive carbon footprint.
In 2019, the Nevada Bureau of Land Management decided to take drastic action to curb the size and scope of the Burning Man festival, after a report showed that the festival releases around 100,000 tons of CO2 each year, a whopping environmental impact for a so-called “free spirit” and “conscious” festival.
Attempts to require sustainability plans and cap attendance have yielded some small improvements, but it’s hard to tell just how much organizers and attendees have improved since the pandemic disrupted the past few years.
But if Burning Man wants to get back to its hippie roots and bring back the kind of “peace, love, planet” vibe that first brought people together in the desert – it’s got to get its shit together.
You can’t promise to be stewards of a planet you trash thoughtlessly, and “leave no trace” doesn’t look like heaps of garbage.
But if people don’t really care about the planet and they’re just in it for the money or to have a good time, the way Burning Man is ravaging the desert starts to make a lot more sense.