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Burning Man 2016 Survival Guide: Da Vinci’s Workshop


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Every year creative minds, entrepreneurs, wanderers, and spectators from around the world gather together in the middle of the harsh and dusty Nevada desert to experience the week-long life-changing festivities and wonders of Burning Man. Such grand experiences push the limits of the human body as well as the psyche.

Burning Man is often regarded as the precedent of modern transformational festivals, challenging the status quo with its Ten Principles and an annual theme that explores a cultural topic of interest.

Burning Man’s 2016 theme titled Da Vinci’s Workshop is a nod to the flourishing Western arts and science revolution of the Italian Renaissance. It focuses on the multi-faceted approach to developing cultural infrastructure through the promotion and exchange of crafts and ideas. Leonardo Da Vinci was an influential figure during the Renaissance, inspiring a community of artisans and intellectuals to create things and to explore the offerings of the natural world.

In preparation for the journey ahead, here are some tips for surviving the Burn this year.

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1. Preparation is key.

First and foremost, surviving. Having extra water and food is better than not having enough. Burning Man encourages self-reliance, that means being able to take care of yourself and others as well. With any long duration festival, having camping gear, basic building supplies, lights, and toiletries will make living in the elements more tolerable. The festival has seen just about everything: extreme heat, freezing cold, high speed winds, and rain and dust storms. Burning Man is also Leave No Trace, which means all waste coming in will have to be packed and taken out. Reducing waste output helps exponentially in preserving the environment and thus keeping the festival around.

2. Sometimes having no plans and an open mind can contribute to a better experience.

For first-timers it can be the most exciting thing. It can also be overwhelming with the sheer amount of activities to do, sights to see, and people to meet. Sometimes, it’s perfectly ok not to make plans. The beauty of Burning Man is that experiences almost always happen spontaneously. It’s nice to keep a bucket list, but it’s also nice to find things along the way that you never would have thought twice about. There will definitely be activities going on that will test your judgments, so being proactive with your personal limits will keep you at ease.

3. Don’t be afraid to show your true colors and help others along the way.

Express yourself! Spread positive energy. Show everyone your talents, your weaknesses, your desires, your knowledge, everything that makes you human at Burning Man. At the same time, be respectful of others in their struggles and in their endeavors of self-expression. Everyone is in it together.

4. Try out (almost) everything.

The possibilities are endless. There is a lot of art to discover, a myriad of interesting panels and gatherings happening throughout the week, plenty of music at all hours of the day, and a lot of empty space in between to find calm in the storm. It’s a playground for all walks of life.


And that’s it! When in doubt always refer to Burning Man’s comprehensive Survival Guide, essential reading that includes answers to most fundamental questions about surviving on the playa.

2016 also signifies an important step for the Burning Man Project. The organization purchased its new home of Fly Ranch, 21 miles north of Gerlach, Nevada. This is a breakthrough to make Burning Man a year-round cultural impact, propagating the Ten Principles beyond the festival and establishing the center of a modern Renaissance, so to speak. The cultural movement is going strong with the project’s Regional Events, most recently with a new regional Burning Man in the Netherlands projected for 2017.

Burn on and have fun )*(


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