It was the summer solstice of 1986, and two friends on a beach in San Francisco decided to burn a man made of sticks. The wooden effigy stood at about 8-feet tall. About 35 people showed up to see what was going on.
“Well it began spontaneously, as a playful impulse,” Larry Harvey, one of those two friends, explained.
The event that started from that spontaneous moment, known as Burning Man, now turns 30.
Sunday, an astonishing 70,000 music lovers flocked to Black Rock Desert, Nevada, for the latest incarnation of the festival. Burning Man’s cultural significance is such that it has its own verb (to go is to “Burn”), noun (to be a loyal attendee is to be a “Burner”), and the festival has even inspired an airline (Burner Air). (GMA)