Just about every year, tens of thousands of people committed to changing the way we live get together to celebrate how they are different from the rest. Some spend significant sums of money getting there and staying there. The local government strains to support the endeavor, which has become an icon of more than one movement. Sometimes the national government has to lend a hand with policing, etc.
It’s kind of an experiment in a temporary community based on values.
Unlike the COP 21 in Paris which was the subject of my first paragraph, Burning Man is a for profit endeavor that is committed to leaving no trace of its having happened.
One is about having fun in an environment presented as a playful alternative to modern society. The other often seems determined to radically change the way we live.
COP 21 will have 40,000 attendees, carefully shepherded by 30,000 Parisian police. Burning Man hosted about 67,000 in 2014.
The government budget for COP 21 is 187 million Euros. On the other hand, the Burning Man event pays $4.5 million to the Bureau of Land Management to use the land where their party is held, and another million dollars in taxes and fees.
I know which one I’d rather attend.