This weekend, tens of thousands will convene in the Nevada desert to watch an enormous man be lit on fire. Okay, not a real man, but a huge wooden effigy, and the namesake for the Burning Man festival. This week long celebration of art and the human spirit culminates with the lighting of a the 40 foot man, which happens just before this temporary community packs up and moves off, leaving no trace of itself behind.
Ask anyone who’s been to Burning Man for a synopsis, and they may liken it to a party on the moon. It’s an experience like no other, with an emphasis on self-reliance and self-expression, and the perfect outlet for both fun and personal growth.
Um, personal growth? At a festival? Seriously? The answer, in short is—absolutely.
Most people walk away from Burning Man and similar festivals with a completely different outlook on life. It encourages tolerance and creativity, and serves to open both eyes and minds.
There are plenty of other festivals worth checking out this weekend as well. Bumbershoot in Seattle features music from acts like Foster the People, Panic! At the Disco and Wu-Tang Clan. The North Coast Music Festival in Chicago hosts Bassnectar, Kid Cudi and Snoop Dogg. And Budweiser’s Made in America Music Festivals in both Philly and L.A promise to deliver the goods with acts like Kanye West and Kings of Leon.
Although these festivals focus mostly on music, you’ll still find similar spirits of camaraderie. That’s what great art and music events are all about, right? Feeling the love.
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