15 Jul Viva Las Burners
How Burning Man has grown. What began in 1986 as a sort of fringe ritual among friends on a San Francisco beach has exploded over the last three-plus decades, expanding from a counterculture festival to a pop-culture phenomenon that attracts nearly 80,000 people, including a slice of the tech elite and, of course, lots of Instagrammers.
And it’s long since entered the bloodstream of Las Vegas. The Park at Park MGM features “Bliss Dance,” the sculpture of a female form that debuted at the desert festival. Burning Man hosted the fire-breathing mantis before Tony Hsieh bought it for Container Park. “Big Rig Jig” at Fergusons Downtown made its debut at Burning Man in 2007. Whatever this says about the curious relationship between counterculture and capitalism, it makes a certain strange sense: For better or worse, Vegas depends on leveraging artistic expression as part of the consumer experience. We excel at turning art into an appendage of commerce. Read the article