Burning Man: A Place You’ll Never Forget

      Burning Man is an experience not many get to enjoy and those that do have an unforgettable adventure. With the majority of the continually rising 100,000 Burning Man population coming from the west coast or other countries, it’s refreshing to see an increase in east coast festivalgoers. In fact, many from our own Chattanooga community traveled into the dessert to reach Black Rock City in the hot Nevada dessert this 2013 festival year. On the corner of Vine street and Lindsay downtown near campus sits a painted Man graffitied on the old Toast café’ that signals our own burner community’s presence in good ole’ Chatty. In case you’re unfamiliar with how a Burn compares from the average music festival, let’s just say this, it doesn’t. Unlike your average run of the mill music festival, Burns focus on art, community, self-reliance, and leaving no trace (no trash or anything for that matter is left after the conclusion of the festival). Typically speaking a Burn prohibits the selling of food or merchandise except for ice and coffee. Eliminating the sale of goods promotes self-reliance and encourages burner’s to interact with fellow burners and neighboring theme camps. Theme camps operate by the means of every camp bringing something specific that aids the reliance of themselves and the community. For example, a camp serves spaghetti at dusk each night, has an open bar throughout the week, produces buttons and stickers to hand out to the community, or offers lectures or lessons. Burns are successful because of the people they appeal into attending; at no point does a burner hesitate to ask another burner for food or goods. Black Rock City, built annually by hard working hippies who want to burn their problems away (literally as your skin is burning from the sun!), enjoy the time of their lives throughout a week long adventure on a dried up lakebed known as “the playa.” Actually adventure doesn’t seem to cover it, Burning Man has been continually listed on those “Top Ten Things You Should Do in Your Twenties” lists we’ve all been reading. I know what you’re thinking, what a long way from Chattanooga, I don’t know if it would be fun without any music (which there still is by the way), seems a bit pricey, etc. But with the energy of our twenties, our perseverance with alcohol as college students, and a rise in eastern seaboard festivalgoers, it seems like 2014 might be the year to establish our very own UTC theme camp. Any takers?

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