Burning Man is a bit of a legend in the festival world. When I tell people I blog about festivals, around 50% of people will ask me if I’ve ever been to Burning Man.
With the cost of the ticket ($400/£280), the RV I’d have to rent ($1000/£700 split), the things I’d need to buy (loads probably), the flight (£600ish), and the accommodation either side (£who knows?) it’s too expensive for starters. For seconds, you need a good group of friends to go with to get the most out of the whole experience, and with most of my friends married off, having babies or tied to mortgages I don’t have that either. And for thirds, I feel like so many people go now it can’t possibly have that same small festival / everyone’s in it together vibe people flock there for.
Burning Man-inspired festivals
There are so many Burning Man-inspired festivals popping up all over the world, ones I think would hold a much more interesting story and experience.
With desert, fire and freedom as the underlying essentials for any festival a la Burning Man, along with a good dose of community, self-expression and art on top here are a few more festivals around the globe I’d love to go to.
– We’ve missed a few so far in 2015, but let’s bare them in mind for next year…
1. Lucidity Festival
9 January 2015
For Lucidity, seven is the lucky number. The festival has seven different villages each of their own theme although all falling within the realms of transofrmational art and music. Again it’s a chance to let freedom of expression reign while embracing and preserving the natural landscape.
– More details on the Lucidity Festival website
2. Les Dunes Electroniques
Retaining the otherworldly feel indegenous to Burning Man, Les Dunes Electroniques takes the fantasy feel a little further taking place in a Star Wars village created by George Lucas himself. The electronic music festival gathers in the crowds and light-saber lovers for a desert music event.
– More details on the Les Dunes Electoniques website
3. Splore Festival
Set in another unique and natural spot, Splore Festival is all about bringing in new energy to an area of historical significance. Another community event, it promotes the idea of looking after the world we live in while encouraging people to become interactive with their arts in an ‘anything goes’ culture.
– More details on the Splore Festival website
A little more subdued than Burning Man, Aurora, as it is officially known, still carries with it remnants of the sister event but swaps deserts for greenery and has adopted mellower tones. However, with art and music at its core this four day events attracts those all for peace, freedom and strong bass lines.
– More details on the Aurora Festival website
5. Afrika Burn
Tankwa, South Africa
25 April- 1 May
This is not just an event but the creation an entire city. Each year volunteers come together to create an epic space for free-expression. Afrika Burn, like BM, also has a set of principles to help attendees access the magical experience and also snubs vendors making it a BYO event when it comes to food and drink.
– More details on the Afrika Burn website
6. Burning Flipside
All about community creation and self-expression this Texan event says emphasises inclusion and acceptance. Another one to shun commercialisation, there are no concession stands so pack the sandwiches. Flipsiders are also encouraged to get involved and help create pretty art and make sweet music.
– More details on the Burning Flipside website
One for the quirky, experimental and radical individuals, Midburn captures the otherworldly ambience of Burning Man and brings it to Isreal. An event for creativity and expression, expect much in the way of bizarre dress, desert activites and musical genius.
– More details on the Midburn Festival website
8. Electric Forest
As if being in a forest wasn’t cool enough, Electric Forest piles on the neon, paraphernalia and fireworks and brings in the best bands in electronic and jam music. The event is an opportunity to connect with nature, enjoy the arts and participate in a community that loves musical expression.
– More details on the Electric Forest Festival website
9. High Sierra
30 June-3 July
High Sierra’s mountain setting creates a laid-back and life-loving feel. Over four days attendees can hear the best in music from a variety of different genres and break up their time with movies, workshops and yoga sessions. There’s also gourmet grub up for offer at this fest making it a popular one with individuals and families.
– More details on the High Sierra Festival website
Similar to Burning Man in its desert location, Nowhere channels all the creative thinking behind visual art and culture and brings it to this small Spanish location. At every turn there are sculptures, exhibits and installations while many musical acts create the perfect soundtrack. It’s also a free for all when it comes to performing so anyone can get on stage.
– More details on the Nowhere Festival website
11. Secret Garden Party
Abbots Ripton, UK
21- 24 July
Another event jumping on the community and expressive experience is the UK’s Secret Garden Party. Surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests, SGP channels the natural energy and encourages festival go-ers to embrace all things creative whether that be by attending a yoga class, creating art or having a mud wrestle.
– More details on the Secret Garden Party website
Since 1997, Boom has celebrated the full moon biannually with art and culture. Add in some neon lights and psychedelic vibes and you have a pretty cool August weekend. House, trance, electro and chill-out tones are the genres of the weekend but you can also attend yoga classes, film screenings and group meditation
– More details on the BOOM Festival website
A myriad of shapes, colour and trance, Ozora is a popular one for electro-lovers. While the music is a big draw, many also come for the vibrant art and to meet fellow Ozorians who share the love for Mother Nature and daddy techno.
– More details on the Ozora Festival website
Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe BoomTown was born out of a small village fete. Today it’s a staple to any music and art calendar. With diversity at its core, BoomTown brings together a community of ‘freedom loving people’ who come together to celebrate the fact that we all have hopes, dreams and passions.
– More details on the BoomTown Festival website
A little more family orientated, Shambala packs in enough events to keep both the kids and the bigger kids happy. From musical acts to organic markets and intense debates, the event brings together a community of like-minded people who appreciate the environment and look to enhance their own learning.
– More details on the Shambala Festival website
North Carolina, USA
Hailed as a psychedelic experience, Equinox (aka Touch Samadhi) brings trance music to this sleepy North Carolina town. It also encourages attendees to express themselves in all things art and music allowing for a weekend of creative overload.
– More details on the Equinox Festival website
17. Burning Seed
28 September – 3 October
Burning Seed have taken on the same 10 principles of Burning Man but, in the middle of a forest they out their own Auzzie spin on it. There are themed camps, interactive exhibits and burning temples to entertain those free-spirits looking for cultural diversity. Here, collaboration and participation are key.
– More details on the Burning Seed website
18. Universo Paralello
27 December – 4 January
Universo Paralello recently switched its mountain location for the wild and often wet beaches in Bahia. It’s here that the Brazilian electronic music scene comes alive to bring in the New Year.
– More details on the Universal Paralello website
LunarBurn takes its call to action depending on the phases of the moon. Once in full swing in the Californian desert, LunarBurn brings in music, art and even a UV chill area. Firespinning, watching the sunset and listening to live bands all make for favourite activities over a LunarBurn weekend.
– More details on the LunarBurn Facebook page
Been to any of these Burning Man-esque festivals?