Photo by Waldemar Hormat, 2008

The Burning Man Festival gates opened yesterday. The festival is one of those what you call “crazy fabulous things to do before you die.” Hat tip to my friend Naomi in Chicago who told me about it two years ago.

It’s a high octane annual fringe desert festival of the conceptional arts held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Better yet, let them explain it to you:
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.

Burning Man is not a desert Woodstock. It was actually founded when Ronald Reagan was president in 1986 by baby boomer Larry Harvy.

Naomi described it to me in the context of a Burning Man artist designing a party in Chicago. Somehow Burning Man gave the party stylist some kind of street cred and command to ask for a pretty nice fee I’m sure.

For me Burning Man would be like living out a “Mad Max” movie adventure. Who are the heroes of Burning Man? Do they need any? Water is shared because there’s not that much of it in the desert. A giving and generous heart is a must. There are no hotels. Bring your own crib. There is a $300 entrance fee.

The people who attend Burning Man are no mere “attendees,” but rather participants in every sense of the word: they create the city, the interaction, the art, the performance and ultimately the “experience.”

Though it’s a free-to-be-you-and-me environment, there are a few rules. Here’s one:

Hopefully this festival, as it builds on its popularity, will not be run over by Hollywood caravans (as was Sundance and the Toronto Film Festivals). That would definitely put out the fire.

REad Burning Man Tweets @blackrockcity and @burningman.