Black Rock City, Nevada is an ephemeral town that exists for only one week each year, during Burning Man, a radical gathering experience. At its maximum occupancy, the town has about 60,000 citizens and a post office, an emergency services crew, a volunteer police department, roads, houses, bars, clubs, restaurants, and hundreds of art installations and participatory “theme camps”.
After a week, the city is completely disassembled – much of it burned – leaving the stark, white desert exactly as bare as it had been when the event started.
The Burning Man community, although widespread and anarchic, has some guiding principles (codified and exemplified in catch phrases) that make the event manageable and possible. First and foremost is the concept of “self-sufficiency”. With few exceptions, there is “No Vending” of any kind in Black Rock City.
Attendees are expected to bring along all their own food, water, shelter and any other supplies they need to live in the desert during the week. Most attendees are helpful and generous, but travellers should do as much research as possible before leaving for the desert in order to be ready.