A gallery of fire and absurdity from this year’s annual gathering in Black Rock City.

IT WAS WHEN the massive Trojan horse exploded in the distance, that I remembered why I’d come home. Above me, a masterful musician slid his gloved fingers along the “Earth Harp” – massive strings reached from his platform and attached to the surreal Temple of Transition a hundred feet away.

This was my third burn, and every year in the frantic lead up to departure, I wonder why I put myself through the ordeal. All the packing, planning, coordinating, and driving seem insurmountable. And yet, when I gaze out onto the playa, surrounded by a circus of oddities that I couldn’t begin to describe – I realize there is nowhere on earth I’d rather be.

Burning Man: Rites of Passage offered this to say about our current time:

We are living in a period of widespread fear and insecurity. We cling to what we have, but what we’ve had was merely the illusion of a mortgaged future. Nothing that we see around us feels sustainable. As one who blunders off a cliff, our legs still twiddle in the air: we haven’t gained a foothold that will see us through. Deeply-fathomed change we share with others — the kind of change that summons up the earth to meet one’s feet — becomes the only pathway forward, our most crucial step.

Enjoy our favourite pics from this year’s leap into the abyss.


The Man

In the fading light, the Man straddles the chasm of our future. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


The Playa

Heading out into the vast playa. Photo: Ross Borden



Portal to a new world. Photo: Ian MacKenzie



"Joywhirl" spreads her pink bliss to all. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Use protection

"Electro Jester" surveys the landscape. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Devils dancing

Dust devils are often seen dancing along the playa. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Center Camp

Center Camp resembles a cafe from another planet. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Fishing for burners.

Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Skeleton crew

If participants heave and ho just right, it triggers a strobe light that gives the illusion of the skeletons rowing.Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Poi at night

Poi spinning is everywhere you turn. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Hail the Octopus

Every been to a dance party with a giant flaming octopus? Photo: Ross Borden


"Mercury" rising.

Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Grown tall.

Photo: Ross Borden


Evening in BRC

Photo: Ross Borden.


The Temple of Transition

The Temple of Transition - an utterly beautiful sacred space. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Burning of the Trojan Horse.

Photo: Ross Borden


Tiptoeing among the flowers.

Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Jar-jar binks

Costumes of all types roam the playa. Blink and you'll miss them. Photo: Ian MacKenzie


The door to nowhere.

Photo: Ian MacKenzie


Dali versus Black Rock

Black rock desert stretches into the landscape of your dreams. Photo: Ross Borden


All you need is...

Photo: Ross Borden


Sunrise from the Temple of Transition.

Photo: Ross Borden


Burning of the temple

On the Sunday night, the Temple burns in a somber ceremony. The flames take with them the sorrows and grief of all. Photo: April Reed.