Burning Man 2017 – Nevada festival sees thousands of revellers braving ferocious dust storm for insane Mad-Max style party


MAD Max-like cyberpunks were pictured dancing wildly in a dust storm that tore through Burning Man – one of the world’s biggest and most extreme festivals.

The ghostly figures wore masks or a cloth over their mouths and continued dancing as the howling wind kicked up choking dust in the desert of Nevada.

Reuters

Burning Man participants dance to the music of an art car in the midst of a desert dust storm
 The dust storm that tore through the desert couldn't stop the party

Reuters

The dust storm that tore through the desert couldn’t stop the party
 Pili Montilla basks in the sunshine in a wacky headdress

Reuters

Pili Montilla basks in the sunshine in a wacky headdress
 This dancer donned a mask made from the tips of coloured pencils

Reuters

This dancer donned a mask made from the tips of coloured pencils
 The dance parties were ablaze with colour despite the gloom caused by the dust storm

Reuters

The dance parties were ablaze with colour despite the gloom caused by the dust storm

Other out-there pictures show the colourful and wild outfits and art installations that transform the bleak landscape.

The yearly Burning Man festival sees tens of thousands of people gather for at least a week of mayhem and mutiny.

This year the theme of the event is “Radical Ritual” to honour the rituals that humankind has created over the years.

Revellers from all walks of life — from surreal artists and far-out families to high-flying CEOs and tech titans – enjoy the party every year.

In the past, electric car pioneer Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook joined the rebellious souls at Burning Man.

Last year’s festival hosted over 70,000 “burners” including 3,000 rich enough to fly in to its unregulated Black Rock City Airport.

And in the past there’s been a tent for mass lesbian romps, a human petting zoo and first-timers get hugged by a stark naked welcoming committee.

The event began Sunday and continues through this week about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Reno.

Thousands of revellers gather in the Nevada desert for the Burning Man festival
 This aerial view shows the incredible scale of the week-long party

Washoe Sheriff / Twitter

This aerial view shows the incredible scale of the week-long party
 An eerie figure cycles through the gloom

Reuters

An eerie figure cycles through the gloom
 Burning Man participant Kai Rey of Sebastopol, California dances alone in the "Field of Fairies" art project

Reuters

Burning Man participant Kai Rey of Sebastopol, California dances alone in the “Field of Fairies” art project
 A shibari rope scene takes place during a driving desert dust storm

Reuters

A shibari rope scene takes place during a driving desert dust storm
 Burning Man participants who go by the 'Playa Names' Coy and Vance cling to the top of a 20 foot high art project pyramid tower called 'The Tower of !Babel'

Reuters

Burning Man participants who go by the ‘Playa Names’ Coy and Vance cling to the top of a 20 foot high art project pyramid tower called ‘The Tower of !Babel’
 The event draws free spirits from around the US and further afield

Reuters

The event draws free spirits from around the US and further afield
 Participants gather in the shade of the art installation Tree of Ténéré

Reuters

Participants gather in the shade of the art installation Tree of Ténéré
 Burning Man participants reach for free bracelets from a man participating in the event's 'gifting culture'

Reuters

Burning Man participants reach for free bracelets from a man participating in the event’s ‘gifting culture’
 The event was named Burning Man because it began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice

Reuters

The event was named Burning Man because it began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice
 A dancer shows impressive skills as he balances a bottle of champagne

Reuters

A dancer shows impressive skills as he balances a bottle of champagne
 Lauren Rock reacts as she and Bob Peterson of San Francisco are pronounced married

Reuters

Lauren Rock reacts as she and Bob Peterson of San Francisco are pronounced married
 Burning Man participant Lauren Rock (right) throws her bouquet after she married Bob Peterson (left) in front of the 'Mucaro' owl art project

Reuters

Burning Man participant Lauren Rock (right) throws her bouquet after she married Bob Peterson (left) in front of the ‘Mucaro’ owl art project
 A man calling himself Jonny Moderation parties in a military-style cap

Reuters

A man calling himself Jonny Moderation parties in a military-style cap
 These runners did a marathon on the main strip known as the Playa

Reuters

These runners did a marathon on the main strip known as the Playa
 A 'burner' called 'luiS' enjoys some shade

Reuters

A ‘burner’ called ‘luiS’ enjoys some shade
 A parade of people in bright green morph suits draw a crowd

Reuters

A parade of people in bright green morph suits draw a crowd
 An 'alien' poses for the camera as the day draws to a close

Reuters

An ‘alien’ poses for the camera as the day draws to a close
 Chung Huynh of South Dakota wears the helmet that he worked on for three weeks

Reuters

Chung Huynh of South Dakota wears the helmet that he worked on for three weeks
 Participants ride in the playa on a mutant vehicle

Reuters

Participants ride in the playa on a mutant vehicle

The Burning Man Festival was first held by Larry Harvey and his group of friends in 1986.

They named the event Burning Man because it began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice on Baker Beach in San Francisco.

 A couple is married under the Tree of Ténéré art installation

Reuters

A couple is married under the Tree of Ténéré art installation
 Participants watch the sunset before the night's revels begin

Reuters

Participants watch the sunset before the night’s revels begin
 Tired revellers lie down after the day's partying in a building known as 'The Temple'

Reuters

Tired revellers lie down after the day’s partying in a building known as ‘The Temple’
 Performers are everywhere you turn at the event, which attracts around 70,000 people

Reuters

Performers are everywhere you turn at the event, which attracts around 70,000 people
 Memorials to loved ones are posted by visitors to The Temple

Reuters

Memorials to loved ones are posted by visitors to The Temple
 Pippa Sutherland (left) and AJ Bertenshaw dance in the twilight

Reuters

Pippa Sutherland (left) and AJ Bertenshaw dance in the twilight
 Participant David Huffman is covered by the swirling dust

Reuters

Participant David Huffman is covered by the swirling dust
 Burning Man participant 'Mama Jax' smiles from the back of 'The Penetrator' art car

Reuters

Burning Man participant ‘Mama Jax’ smiles from the back of ‘The Penetrator’ art car
 enise Winkler of Dresden, Germany offers a remembrance tag to be written on and added to 'The Shrine of Lost Moments'

Reuters

enise Winkler of Dresden, Germany offers a remembrance tag to be written on and added to ‘The Shrine of Lost Moments’
 Heavily modified 'art cars' are a huge part of the entertainment

Reuters

Heavily modified ‘art cars’ are a huge part of the entertainment
 These two Burning Man participants were caught in a driving desert dust and rain storm

Reuters

These two Burning Man participants were caught in a driving desert dust and rain storm
 The effigy of 'The Man', which will be burned at the culmination of Burning Man 2017

Reuters

The effigy of ‘The Man’, which will be burned at the culmination of Burning Man 2017
 Jen Van Schmus plays kickball on the Playa

Reuters

Jen Van Schmus plays kickball on the Playa

Since then, the gathering has been organised by the Burning Man Project and has become an annual event which this year was attended by over 70,000 “burners”.

And for many, it marks the end of summer, the festival is rounded off by living up to its title – with the burning of a giant wooden man-shaped construct

 Burning Man participant Marshall Mosher from Atlanta surfs through the desert dust on a motorised surfboard

Reuters

Burning Man participant Marshall Mosher from Atlanta surfs through the desert dust on a motorised surfboard
 Diggy Shakes lights the art installation Efflorescence as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival

Reuters

Diggy Shakes lights the art installation Efflorescence as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival
 Kylie Webb of Santa Cruz, California spins inside a metal hoop on a roller disco floor

Reuters

Kylie Webb of Santa Cruz, California spins inside a metal hoop on a roller disco floor
 A masked man takes part in a fire ceremony in the desert

Reuters

A masked man takes part in a fire ceremony in the desert
 A reveller dances under the blazing desert sun

Reuters

A reveller dances under the blazing desert sun
 The annual gathering kicks off on the last Sunday of August, and runs until the first Monday of September

Reuters

The annual gathering kicks off on the last Sunday of August, and runs until the first Monday of September
 Two women escort a mutant vehicle on the playa

Reuters

Two women escort a mutant vehicle on the playa
 Burning Man participant Cole Wardley of Salt Lake City plays the Baby Grand piano inside the "Heardt" art project

Reuters

Burning Man participant Cole Wardley of Salt Lake City plays the Baby Grand piano inside the “Heardt” art project

But anyone wanting to spark up a joint at the party should think twice – even though Nevada has legalised recreational marijuana.

“The broader public including those that go to Burning Man seem to think that at Burning Man, anything goes,” said Rebecca Gasca, CEO of the Reno-based cannabis consulting firm Pistil and Stigma.

Voters in the state passed a marijuana legalisation measure in 2016, and sales began at retail stores on July 1.

But consumption is allowed only in private and even possession remains illegal on federal lands, including the stretch of Black Rock Desert managed by the US Bureau of Land Management where the counter-culture festival is.

“You’re not exempt from the law at Burning Man, and that is doubly true this year,” festival spokeswoman Megan Miller told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

BLM officials say a pot possession arrest can result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

But federal agents made no arrests for any crimes last year at Burning Man, or the year before.


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