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Burning Man is Turning 21

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In a couple of weeks I will be joining 40,000 artists, misfits, deviants, hippies, vampires, musicians, furries, and nudists to participate in the 21st Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. So if you happen to be strolling through Venice Beach during the week of Aug. 27- Sept. 3 and wonder where all the freaks are at don’t be alarmed, we’re all just taking a much needed vacation from the default world. I have signed on as your resident tour guide of this giant party in the desert, which has been described as Disneyland for adults if it was run by Mad Max. Since there will be no internet, no telephones, no cell phone service, television, or indoor plumbing on the playa, I will be publishing my report when I get back (if I survive).

Los Angeles is home to the 2nd largest Burning Man community (SF has us beat) and there are Burning Man related parties and events occurring almost every weekend in the city. Burning Man is an event that has no headline act (other than burning a wooden statue), and yet manages to satisfy it's participants with an entire week of art, music, fire, and hippie-love. Burning Man has been featured or parodied in episodes of Malcom in the Middle, South Park, and Reno 911. Celebrities like Daryl Hannah, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Sting, Robin Williams, and Joan Baez have been known to anonymously wander around the playa. Not only has the festival become a playground for Silicone Valley billionaires and hippie engineers, but it has become an institution for an alternative lifestyle in the world.