How much does freedom from judgment cost? To Burning Man Festival coordinators, just $380. The steep ticket price affords you a communal experience where expectations and conventional social norms are tossed out the window. Complete self-expression is encouraged, and so long as you pay up, you too can enjoy what life looks like from outside society.
The summer festival has become so popular that tickets for the 2014 event sold out in a mere 44 minutes, which speaks to the power of ideas. In the summer of 1986. Jerry James and Larry Harvey – along with a dozen of their close friends – went to Baker Beach, San Francisco to burn a wooden effigy they created and to celebrate the Solstice. It’s unlikely that they foresaw how such an intimate tradition would grow in the following 25 years, attracting tens of thousands of people a year.
Now held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, people trek from around the world to take part in this unique and wild event, with a counter culture that in many ways harkens back to Woodstock and the heyday of the hippie.