There is a medley of accommodations to choose from, depending on festivalgoers’ budgets. Most participants stay in tents or camp in their vans. Many more have formed small communities and stayed in theme camps. These camps developed as a way for groups of Burners to create spaces for interactive experiences while also offering shelter.
The camps usually group themselves around a common theme or interest. It can be as simple as their love for country music or as random as their love of an incredibly specific flavor of Ben & Jerry’s. Finally, luxury camping sites became known as “plug and play” camps and made their way to Burning Man.
Jumbo Jet Plane
A group of artists called Big Imagination Foundation built this jumbo jet that you are seeing in this picture as an art installation in 2017. They converted a Boeing 747 into a moving art experience for Burning Man. And it has a lot more to offer than this picture shows — at night after the sun sets, this piece of flying machinery glows in the dark! So cool!
Their plane used to carry passengers in Brazil. Their goal was to convert the aircraft into a new kind of vehicle inside which dreams, inspired by the same spirit of flight, can come alive.
As you can imagine, it can get pretty crowded out there on the Playa. The festival usually gathers crowds of up to 80,000 Burners, so yes, that's a lot of people! Many prefer to be amongst all the people and soak in all of that human energy. Others, however, can be overwhelmed by it, and we can't really blame them.
Wanting to be more secluded and sequestered, those people will choose to set up their camps in Black Rock City's "suburbs," the far-out areas that are less dense. This will help them avoid the sensory overload that can sometimes take over one's consciousness when they get into a large crowd.
The spirit of modern-day hippie-ness that surrounds Burning Man will have you thinking that the average Burner is also an average human in terms of living standards. However, that's usually not the case. Despite the festival's essence, elite crowds are widespread throughout the event.
Some 79% of the participants were white, and their median household income exceeded $94,000 a year, that's more than double the county's norm. When elites invade Burning Man, they bring luxury with them. Ultrarich festivalgoers sometimes charter private planes or helicopters to the event. A week before it starts, volunteers cobble together the Black Rock City Airport on a dusty road.
As the festival is held in a lakebed desert with sand so fine and powdery, it makes sense that there would be a lot of dust storms, so many of the Burners come prepared with appropriate provisions, such as goggles, bandanas, and masks to help reduce dust inhalation and end up with cleaner lungs.
As you can see, these dust storms can be quite brutal and sometimes even dangerous as the storm reduce visibility to a few feet. This also means that whatever costumes, installations, and modified cars Burners are planning to bring — they need to make sure they can withstand those dusty conditions.