The annual Burning Man Festival is fast approaching. If you're one of the lucky thousands with tickets, you must remember the 10 principles of Burning Man.

Following the Burning Man Festival's 10 governing principles will not only make your 8 days in the desert more enjoyable but will also keep you in the spirit of the festival.

The 10 Principles of Burning Man:

Radical Inclusion

As long as you have a ticket, you can go. But don't forget to bring all your own basic needs, shelter, food, etc. The ticket takers will turn you away if they believe you aren't properly supplied to survive 8 days, or however long you plan on staying, in the desert.


Cash transactions are not allowed in Black Rock City, the temporary community built for the festival. Burners are encouraged to give gifts to one another. An underground barter system was prevalent in the early days of Burning Man but this is now frowned upon. "The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value."


In an effort to preserve "the spirit of gifting", money is not part of the scene. This temporary community is protected from commercial sponsorships, advertising and transaction. "We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience." However, certain things will be made available for purchase. Ice, drinks at the cafe and transportation in and out of BRC can be bought.

Radical Self-Reliance

Although there are villages and theme camps throughout the city, each burner is responsible for their own well-being. I'm sure people are willing to help each other out but Burning Man is an experiment in radical self-reliance.

Radical Self-Expression

Seeing as the whole festival was founded on a form of radical self-expression, burning the man, this is part of the foundation of the festival. Burners are encouraged to express themselves in any way they see fit.

Communal Effort

Again, even though all are expected to bring everything they need, Black Rock City thrives with the help of all of the temporary residents.

Civic responsibility

Anarchy is not the name of the game, despite what some may believe. A civil society lives in accordance with all local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace

This is probably my favorite principle of all 10. And what first caught my eye when I heard about Burning Man. Burners are not only expected to but must leave the BRC in the same, if not better, condition than when they arrived.


The founders of Burning Man believe that only through personal experience can true transformation occur. Although no one is forced to do anything they don't want, getting involved is the best way to experience the festival.


We live in a world where we are faced with barriers everyday. The participants at Burning Man are encouraged to break through these barriers. Don't let differences keep us apart.