While it began as an underground gathering of artists, Burning Man has become one of the most popular and unique festivals in America today. It is held yearly in the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada. For nine days, tens of thousands of people show up in eclectic vehicles and clothing to celebrate "radical" principles such as inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression.
Burning Man has gone from an obscure local event to one of the most popular festivals in the world. It started in 1986 when a couple of buddies constructed a wooden man and burned it on San Francisco's Baker Beach. When they did this, a crowd showed up, and this was the humble beginning of the festival.
Since then, the event would grow from a couple of hundred attendees to over 70,000 in 2019. Just like the first time, a wooden man is always set aflame to mark the ending of the event.
Everything in Burning Man is free, and the organizers do nothing to schedule entertainment or concessions. Instead, they rely on the festivalgoers to handle the fun and attractions by way of theme camps. There are no services at Burning Man except for port-a-potties and the amenities brought by other Burners.
As it has for many years, Burning Man will take place in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada in 2020. The setting is known as Black Rock City, a temporary town located 100 miles northeast of Reno.
A large percentage of the attendees will be showing up in some sort of recreational vehicle. Because there are no hotels and very few public services anywhere in or near the event, having an RV is smart, especially if you plan on sticking around for a few days.
Because it's the desert, you've got the real possibility of both dust and rainstorms. Even when it's not storming, there will still be dust everywhere thanks to the tens of thousands of people moving about.
Ever tried cooking in a dust storm? The resulting meal is not the greatest culinary feat, unless, of course, you fancy a little grit with your dish. In an RV, you'll be able to cook, shower, and just hang out, safe and sound from the elements when you need a break.
The organizers insist that you come in an RV that's ready to handle up to a week without needing to be repaired. The following list will help make sure you won't get into dire situations out there and will also help you be a conscientious RVer who leaves no trace.
• Fresh water: Aside from the generosity of others, there's nowhere in the event to get potable water. Therefore, you should make sure your tanks are full and that you have a few 5-gallon water bottles on hand. After filling your tanks, make sure they aren't leaking and that the RV plumbing is producing fresh water.
• Grey water: Be sure to fill your grey water tank by running water in your sink. Doing so will let you know if there's a leak. If there isn't, then empty the tank and try not to use it until you get to the event.
• Black water: Flush your toilet a few times to fill your black water tank. You want to make sure that there are no leaks in the tank. If there are, then you must remedy this before the event.
• RV fluids: If you've got an older RV, then you might have a leak. If so, determine where the leak is coming from and try to have it fixed before arriving. If you can't, then have an adequate receptacle, such as an oil pan, to catch your fluid and a safe place to contain it for your drive out.
If you really want to be sure you show up in a great RV but don't have one, then check out RVshare. You'll be able to find lots of RVs you can rent that are in fantastic condition.
If your tanks get full, don't fear: RV servicing is available for your grey and black water tanks.
Once you park your RV, you can decide to stay in it, or you can head over to walk-in camping and set up a tent. Keep in mind that spending too much time in your RV may potentially isolate you from others at the event.
It's easy to get to Burning Man since there's really only one road in to the event. Whether you're coming in from the east or west, you'll probably either be on Interstate 80 or Highway 50. If so, you'll want to head to the town of Fernley. Once there, you'll take Exit #46 and then head north on Highway 445, which will take you to Wadsworth. Take a right on Highway 447 and head 76 miles north to Gerlach and then 10 miles north on State Route 34 to Burning Man.
If you want to drive your RV or any other car to Burning Man, then you'll have to get a separate parking pass, which will run you $140 plus tax. The steep price is to encourage carpooling in order to cut down on traffic and the burning of fossil fuels.
Once inside, you can park your RV inside the event. Click here for more information.
Tickets for Burning Man are sold on a tier system and released at different dates before the festival. This year, there are 4,500 tickets available for low-income attendees; you must apply for this type of ticket. Applications for these passes open February 12th.
After that, there are group sales tickets, FOMO tickets (pre-sale), main sale registration, kids' tickets, and OMG tickets. Check here for more information on the dates these tickets are available.
Having an RV at Burning Man is a fine convenience that comes with a lot of responsibility—the event has a leave-no-trace rule that's strictly enforced. When you get there, be sure to take lots of photos and send some to firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be featured on the RVshare blog or social media sites.
Check out @burningman on Twitter, @burningman on Instagram, and Burning Man Project on Facebook to stay up to date on all the Burning Man 2020 action.