Burning Man is an annual festival that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including "radical inclusion" and community cooperation, "radical self-expression", "radical self-reliance", gifting and decommodification, and leaving no trace. First held in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and a group of friends, it has since been held annually, spanning from the last Monday in August to the first Monday in September.
Burning Man plays host to various forms of artistic expression created for the event by its attendees and others, including experimental and interactive pieces, performance, and art cars among other mediums, often adhering to a yearly theme chosen by organizers. The event takes its name from its culmination, the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy ("the Man") that traditionally occurs on the Saturday evening of the event.
Burning Man is organized by the Burning Man Project, a non-profit organization that, in 2014, succeeded a for-profit limited liability company (Black Rock City, LLC) that was formed in 1997 to represent the event's organizers, and is now considered a subsidiary of the non-profit organization. In 2010, 51,515 people attended Burning Man. Attendance in 2011 was capped at 50,000 participants and the event sold out on July 24; the attendance rose to 65,922 in 2014. Smaller regional events inspired by the principles of Burning Man have been held internationally; some of these events are also officially endorsed by the Burning Man Project as regional branches of the event.