Burning Man is a massive Festival usually held every year in Nevada on a salt flat. It attracts around 70,000 people and becomes the 3rd biggest city in Nevada for a week. It is the original Burning Festival, with many affiliates having sprung up all around the world.
This video has some great scenes from the festival, as well as some beautiful tunes. Called Desert Tech, these melodic Techno tunes have a very dreamy and danceable vibe. This is an art festival, and the massive art pieces and flamboyant clothing tell a wonderful tale.
What’s your feeling about Transformational Festivals like Burning Man? Do you feel they have a valuable place in Art and Society? The art at these festivals is much more interactive than those pieces generally found in galleries. They are also usually much larger than those pieces found in our homes and museums.
A lot of these festivals claim to be spiritual and believe that they help people evolve to be more conscious and caring. What has your experience been?
Transformational festivals exhibit features commonly found in cults and new religious movements. The events are characterized by heightened transpersonalism, collective ecstasis, utopian narratives, and community allegiance. They attract the atypical attendance of a social class characterized by expendable amounts of financial and temporal wealth. Their charismatic deployment of spiritual and entheogenic information emboldened by on-site ecstatic experience closely parallels religious revivals. Attendees may disengage conservative social norms and identify as an “evolved culture”—a worldview influenced by millenarianarchetypes of planetary transcendence, and the evolution of consciousness.
At TEDxVancouver 2010, filmmaker Jeet-Kei Leung presented a TED Talk about transformational festivals, and discussed their similarities to pagan festivals. Less than a year after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jeet-Kei Leung and Akira Chan screened the first installment of their four-part documentary film series, The Bloom: A Journey Through Transformational Festivals (2013).