Burning Man

ambienceSounds of the city


We’re listening to the sounds of a city in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. What’s special about this community, though, is that its 20,000 members only gather for one week of the year. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. This year, the gathering in the desert, called the Burning Man Festival, will be held from August 28th to September 4th. The festival’s founder, Larry Harvey, has seen it grow and change each year since it’s birth in 1984.

“This city just leapt into being this year. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. I mean, it rose with breathtaking swiftness. I see much more commitment.”

The folks at the Burning Man festival spend the week camping out and pushing the boundaries of their creativity. There are sculptors here, dancers, actors, musicians and artists who defy categorization. Each person brings in all of the resources that he or she will need in the desert, and sometimes those resources are quite extravagant.

“We’re doing everything a city does. This town has newspapers, a lot of radio stations.”

(Edie, Radio Burning Man) “You are listening to Burning Man Radio from Black Rock City, Nevada. 99.5 with twelve and a half watts coming out to you all the way from Limbo, Nevada.”

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“This town has an entire urban infrastructure really. It’s temporary. True. But we deal with all the things you deal in a designing a complex society.”

There’s something about the Burning Man Festival that captures the imagination of all its participants. And although he is given credit as the founder of the festival, Larry Harvey is quick to point out that it’s the creativity of the population as a whole that makes this instant city continue to grow year after year. Please visit our website at nationalgeographic.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Burning Man

The annual Burning Man Festival is like an alternative city of 20,000 people, teeming with creative energy. But it's a town that only exists for a week.
Air Date:09/04/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

ambienceSounds of the city


We're listening to the sounds of a city in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. What's special about this community, though, is that its 20,000 members only gather for one week of the year. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. This year, the gathering in the desert, called the Burning Man Festival, will be held from August 28th to September 4th. The festival's founder, Larry Harvey, has seen it grow and change each year since it's birth in 1984.

"This city just leapt into being this year. I've never seen anything quite like it before. I mean, it rose with breathtaking swiftness. I see much more commitment."

The folks at the Burning Man festival spend the week camping out and pushing the boundaries of their creativity. There are sculptors here, dancers, actors, musicians and artists who defy categorization. Each person brings in all of the resources that he or she will need in the desert, and sometimes those resources are quite extravagant.

"We're doing everything a city does. This town has newspapers, a lot of radio stations."

(Edie, Radio Burning Man) "You are listening to Burning Man Radio from Black Rock City, Nevada. 99.5 with twelve and a half watts coming out to you all the way from Limbo, Nevada."

music surf music

"This town has an entire urban infrastructure really. It's temporary. True. But we deal with all the things you deal in a designing a complex society."

There's something about the Burning Man Festival that captures the imagination of all its participants. And although he is given credit as the founder of the festival, Larry Harvey is quick to point out that it's the creativity of the population as a whole that makes this instant city continue to grow year after year. Please visit our website at nationalgeographic.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music