With people from around the world interested in attending Burning Man, we find it exceedingly special when other countries choose to join us. There aren’t many better options for bonding with people from other cultures than the shared experience of Burning Man, the camp, and its many projects and gifting. We learn so much by hosting and we are all enlightened by the experience.
Our hope is that our international guests feel the same way about inclusion and immersion. We want to build diverse, deep and lasting kinships. We find that most feel the same, but there have been a few exceptions. We don’t feel anyone intentionally sets out to act separatist; with some groups from some countries, this just seems to happen. For example, sometimes visitors create and attend events for their country only. Granted, we are fully aware that Americans do this A LOT and that is an equally sad display. But this is Burning Man! One of the few places in the world where absolutely everyone is accepted, embraced and loved. Please don’t come to Burning Man only to surrounding yourself with your own countrymen. Hang with us…we appreciate your journey and we want to know you!
International is part of our camp culture, but not all camps enjoy hosting internationals and there’s a rational reason for this. Internationals are almost always unable to participate in the most difficult aspects of establishing a theme camp. Implementing a camp means getting together for a lot of physical work on projects long before the event, having the resources in the states to work on projects and collect gear, storing and maintaining that gear, then hauling a massive amount of gear to and from the event with trucks and trailers. 99% of internationals have no such capacity. While their journey may be expensive and difficult, and the logistics may be challenging with all the rentals, shopping and navigation required on the way in, the average camp participant in the states still spends far more money and time to make a camp possible.
We work hard to host internationals in our camp and they have always constituted more than half of our membership. We take on extra expenses and projects improve the experience for our long-distance guests. We feel our camp benefits greatly from the cultural infusion, the fascinating differences and the similarities in how we all appreciate the Burning Man experience together.
We don’t do everything for internationals. Every visitor to Burning Man is still expected to undertake the 10 Principles, especially radical self-reliance, which pre-event means DOING YOUR RESEARCH. Our role is not to hand you all the answers to the mysteries of Burning Man, but we will take you under our wing and help you once you arrive, aiding your quest for the transformational experience of a lifetime. We’re in this together!