Black Rock City is a remote town that exists only for a week every year. It’s located in the middle of the Nevada Desert, about two hours north of Reno. When Black Rock is there, it consists of about 60,000 people, several bars, a post office, an emergency services crew, nightclubs, restaurants and a lot of art installations.
Black Rock City exists for Burning Man Festival, a radical arts festival that takes place in late August. What’s quite remarkable is that if you visit Black Rock at any other time of the year, you’ll find nothing but sand and dust. The city is demolished after the festival every year as part of the “leave no trace” policy of Burning Man. Most of the town is, as you’d expect, burned, leaving the harsh desert exactly as it was before.
Black Rock is built by volunteers and paid organizers of the Burning Man Organization with the aid of local officials in order to provide for the festival attendees. It is a community of radical self-expression; nudity is widely accepted, as are drugs of all kinds and mass orgies. The “anything goes” attitude of Black Rock City does not, however, overflow into the less curious or expressive attendees. It’s a civil community of raw debauchery, if such a thing is fathomable.
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