In recent years, the Burning Man Festival has come under criticism for becoming inaccessible to the masses. The festival has been accused of being over-run by elites from Silicon Valley. The result is that this festival has lost its authentic anarchic feel. It is now an event for top one percentile. However, it is not the only festival of its kind. Here are just a few interesting alternatives to the burning man festival.
1. The Envision Festival.
The next festival is scheduled for February 25- February 28, 2018. At the festival, the focus is on nature. Attendees are able to access workshops, which help them reinforce their connection with nature. The festival takes place at the Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge found in Uvita, Costa Rica. With the wide-open skies and beaches, this festival seeks to demonstrate how to relate to the earth and with each other. It shares the desire with the Burning Man to seek out an alternative lifestyle but has a more sustainable approach.
A more recent addition to desert festivals is the MidBurn. It takes place in the Negev desert of Israel. This dessert has been host to numerous desert parties in the past, but this is the first genuine attempt to host a festival similar to the Black Rock city event. The event is run by volunteers and is built around the principals of self-expression through art. It has its own burning effigy called the MidBurn. It is the best alternative for Europeans looking to experience the Burning Man festival outside the US.
3. Lass Fallas Festival.
This is another festival, which has the same flavor as the burning man festival. It entails bacchanalian celebrations where artists and craftsmen set their works on fire. This urban version of the celebrations is held annually in Spain and has a diverse representation from all corners of Europe. The experience of watching 400 hundred sculptures being set alight is breathtaking. Unlike the Running of the Bull festival, also held in Spain, this one will not have you running for your life. You only need a good camera to have lasting memories of this event.
4. The Secret Garden Party.
This is another creative take on the Burning Man Festival, which takes place annually in England. The festival, held in the English countryside, has a unique theme for each year around which costumes and the camp are built. Fred Fellowes, who wanted something different from the mainstream British festivals, started the event in 2004. Much of the inspiration from this festival is drawn from the Burning Man. Founders of the festival make their way to the Black Rock desert each year to spread the word about the Secret Garden Party.
5. What The Festival.
Many genuine fans of the Burning Man feel that this festival has just become too big for them. Besides that, preparing for and getting to the festival is quite a major challenge. This is one of the reasons why What The Festival has sprung up. It has all the elements of the Burning Man, but everything has been toned down for a more intimate experience. They have also added their own elements, such as the signature wading pool, which creates a unique experience.
6. Form: Arcosanti.
The experimental music jamboree was the brainchild of alt-rockers Hundred Waters. This was after they came upon this breathtaking urban landscape called Arcosanti. The festival has attracted top acts such as How to Dress Well, The antlers, Jacques Greene, and even Skrillex. One of the main features that set it apart from other festivals is that there is no entrance fee. At the festival, friends and the musical family are offered free food and accommodation. Besides that, the guest list is limited to only 500 people. These are chosen after they fill out an extensive online questionnaire. This is in an attempt to screen those whose attendance would dampen the festival vibe. It takes place annually in Arizona, USA.
7. Boom Festival.
The festival takes place in Geopark Naturtejo in Portugal during mid-August. The festival is set along the historically rich rivers of Portugal and its many geo-monuments. Despite being mainly a music festival, the festival also has a clear connection with nature. Three months before the start of the festival, Boom gets a team of permaculture gardeners to plant edible and ornamental plants across the site. These sites are intended to be special spots where attendees can connect with nature. The next event will take place from July 22 to July 29, 2018.
8. Shambala Festival.
Each year for four days at the end of August, the Shambala Festival goes down in England. The intention of the festival is to inspire attendees to live their lives in a more sustainable way. Many activities take place to promote this theme. They include a permaculture field accompanied by workshops on urban gardening, spoken word, art installations, wildflower planting for the kids, dance, and music. Although it has a more wellness and living focus, it still offers the same electrifying performances as the Burning Man for attendees to enjoy.
9. Beltane Fire Festival.
If fire is your main attraction to the Burning Man, the Beltane Fire Festival is perfect for you. Beltane translates to fire in the Celtic language. The festival has the fire displays you can expect to find at the burning man festival. However, they have a more traditional and Celtic pagan practices theme to them. The event culminates in a procession that takes place around Calton Hill, Edinburgh. The event, which occurs in late April, has a focus on the fertility of the land. The aim is to revive ancient traditions while creating a unique connection to the cycles of nature.
The event is registered as an official Burning Man event. It is the largest regional event outside of the Burning Man festival. The festival has been running since 2007 in the Tankwa Karoo National Park. The event has most of the elements of the Burning Man. These include costumes, theme camps, mutant vehicles, and a lot of fire. Like its rival in the US, the event is all about creative expression and has a few major art pieces that are similar to those of the Burning Man. If you happen to be in South Africa and wish to experience the Burning Man festival, just head over to the Tankwa Karoo National Park.
11. Blazing Swan.
If you live down under, this festival in Jilikan Rock City, Western Australia is perfect for you. The festival is held on the banks of Salt Lake Kulin and is quite magical. It takes place each year in April and is an official Burning Man event. It prides itself on intimacy and is limited to just 2000 individuals.
The Burning Man Festival is still great but not everyone will be able to attend. Besides that, not everyone wants to have to deal with the big crowds at the behemoth of a festival it has become. If that is the case, you have many alternatives from which to choose from. Just pick any of them from the list above and go. You will have as much fun, if not more at these awesome festivals.