Burning Man 2018: dates, tickets, theme and what to expect
Staff writer - August 20, 2018

Burning Man 2018: dates, tickets, theme and what to expect

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Burners at Burning Man

While the UK is host to some of the biggest and best festivals in the world, for the really far out parties, it’s often worth looking a bit further afield.

Burning Man "Festival" (it's technically not a festival at all, more below) is about as unique a summer experience as you could imagine.

Here’s everything you need to know about Burning Man 2018, including dates, tickets and what to expect.


When is Burning Man 2018?: dates and tickets


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The latest edition of the popular counterculture event takes place between August 26 and September 3.

If you’re struggling to get hold of tickets, check for fellow Burners on StubHub who (at time of writing) have extra tickets they need to sell.

RELATED: 10 biggest and best UK festivals 2018

What’s happening at Burning Man 2018?


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Burning Man insists that it is not a festival (there’s no lineup to announce), but a community that decides what will happen at the event on any given year.

The theme for 2018 is ‘I, Robot’, presumably inspired by the Isaac Asimov book (and later 2004 film starring Will Smith).


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The event’s home of Black Rock City in the Nevada desert is built as a collaboration of its attendees and is all taken down again when it’s over as part of the “leave no trace” principle (more on the 10 Burning Man principles below).

The festival culminates in the burning of a giant wooden man from which the event takes its name.

Burners - the name given to Burning Man attendees - also set fire to a temple. This year’s temple is called Galaxia.

What are the 10 principles of Burning Man?


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There is no schedule of events or artist lineup for Burning Man.

Instead the festival is forged by the work of its participants based on 10 principles designed by co-founder Larry Harvey.

1. Radical inclusion

Burning Man is open to all.

2. Gifting

You can’t buy and sell stuff at Burning Man, but you can give and trade.

3. Decommodification

No advertising, sponsorship or transactions.

4. Radical self-reliance

Take care of yourself.

5. Radical self-expression

Burners are encouraged to offer performances as a gift to the community.

6. Communal effort

Collaborate and meet people.

7. Civic responsibility

Take care of everyone else.

8. Leaving no trace

Clean up after yourself like you were never there.

9. Participation

Get involved!

10. Immediacy

Not much red tape at Burning Man - just get on and create!

How do you get to Burning Man?


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If you’re heading to Burning Man from the UK, you could book a flight to Reno-Tahoe International Airport and head to the event from there via bus or car rental/share (the journey is about three hours). 

Or if you’ve got a private plane handy, you can fly straight into Black Rock City (you might even be able to can hitch a ride).

How did Burning Man begin?


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Burning Man essentially started in 1986 when co-founder Larry Harvey (who passed away in April 2018) built a 9ft tall wooden sculpture of a man and burned it on a beach in San Francisco.

He did this every year, creating a bigger and bigger statue until in 1989 it reached an impressive 40 feet.

Police stopped Harvey from burning the man without a permit, forcing him to look for another location.

Keith Evans and John Law recommended Harvey join them for a trip to a dried up lake in the desert, which has been home to the Burning Man ever since.

MORE: Is Dr Dre secretly the founder of Burning Man? 

Stay tuned to LineUp for more unmissable international events.