Lonely Planet Writer

Photographer shares images from six years of Burning Man desert festival

With two weeks to go until Burning Man 2017, a photographer has shared a series of stunning images taken over the past six years at the event, depicting some of the eye-catching art installations that have been on display throughout that time.

"Be" sculpture by Laura Kimpton, from Burning Man 2015.
“Be” sculpture by Laura Kimpton, from Burning Man 2015. Image by Jessica Yurasek

Taken by photographer and blogger Jessica Yurasek, the images capture the unique atmosphere and spirit of Burning Man, showing people interacting with a range of dynamic sculptures set up in the middle of Black Rock City, the town that springs up every year on the playa of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

"Tensegrity" structure built by Will Buchanan and team at Burning Man 2016.
“Tensegrity” structure built by Will Buchanan and team at Burning Man 2016. Image by Jessica Yurasek

“Black Rock City is a place of radical participation; attendees don’t go simply as onlookers. Everyone on the playa is a part of actively creating the experience. It still blows my mind that nearly 70,000 people gather together to build a temporary city. It becomes the fourth largest city in the state of Nevada for just one week a year. Humans can collectively build this whimsical, fantastical large-scale art and an inclusive community, all without pay and all temporary, “Jessica told Lonely Planet Travel News.

"Love" sculpture by Laura Kimpton, featuring lovers Leah and Al Majkrzak taken at Burning Man 2014
“Love” sculpture by Laura Kimpton, featuring Leah and Al Majkrzak taken at Burning Man 2014. Image by Jessica Yurasek

Started in 1986 as a spontaneous bonfire ritual on a beach in San Francisco, Burning Man has evolved into one of the most famous and well-attended art events in the world. While many of the happenings and installations that take place over the week are spontaneous, the Burning Man website also features a selection of projects that are open to the public to support and fund.

Stilt walkers at dusk taken at Burning Man 2011.
Stilt walkers at dusk taken at Burning Man 2011. Image by Jessica Yurasek

Proposed installations for 2017 include a 30-foot tall representation of Múcaro, a wise and woody owl and mascot of Puerto Rico. At the height of the structure’s stairs are two ladders for access to the top, where visitors find the focal point – a sweeping view of the playa through Múcaro’s giant eyes that move with its head as it rotates. The event culminates with the burning of a wooden effigy of a man, recalling the roots of the event.

"Seeing humanity for what it really is" sculptures by Laurence Vallières, taken at Burning Man 2016 .
“Seeing humanity for what it really is” sculptures by Laurence Vallières, taken at Burning Man 2016. Image by Jessica Yurasek

Burning Man 2017 is happening from 27 August to 4 September. More information on the event is available at the official website.

Jessica will be attending the event again this year and will be sharing brand new photographs on her Instagram.