The annual desert campout Burning Man made headlines over the weekend after heavy rains temporarily stranded more than 70,000 attendees. The Onion takes a deep dive into the history of Burning Man and this weekend’s fiasco.
Q: When did Burning Man start?
A: The famously free-thinking, anti-establishment, peace-and-love year of 1986.
Q: What is the purpose of Burning Man?
A: To give everyone in the participants’ lives a break from them for a week.
Q: What do people do at Burning Man?
A: Talk about how they’re attending Burning Man.
Q: How does money work at Burning Man?
A: Attendees reject traditional notions of capitalism, instead trading with goods they bought beforehand with their parents’ money.
Q: Has anyone ever died at Burning Man?
A: The real question is has anyone truly lived before experiencing Burning Man?
Q: What is Burning Man’s ethos?
A: The radical acceptance of all forms of self-expression that human life has to offer as long as it includes a valid ticket and parking pass.
Q: How does this year’s Burning Man compare to Woodstock ’99?
A: It had roughly the same amount of mud but not nearly as much Limp Bizkit.
Q: Did anyone find my goggles?
A: They are part of the playa now.
Q: Are future Burning Man gatherings at risk?
A: Yes, if nothing changes there will likely be a Burning Man next year too.