Thousands of so-called "burners" are already in the midst of the eight-day party that is Burning Man 2018, where they'll see dust-caked revelers in eye-popping costumes, experimental art installations, an "orgy dome," and a 75-foot-tall sculpture set aflame in the middle of the desert.
What they won't see very much of, though, is money changing hands. That's because Burning Man is a "commerce-free event," according to the Burning Man Project, the non-profit organization that hosts the annual event.
Through the end of Labor Day weekend, more than 70,000 people will make the trek roughly 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada to the middle of the Black Rock Desert for Burning Man 2018, the annual event that's part arts festival and part experiment in communal living. But, despite the large number of people setting up camp in a remote location, Burning Man organizers say that attendees need to bring all of their supplies because only two items are sold on-site: coffee and ice.
"[B]ring all supplies, food, water and tools you will need for survival in a harsh environment. No food or sundry items are sold anywhere in Black Rock City," says the Burning Man website's FAQ section. "If you forget something vital, your best bet is to make friends with your neighbors."
With none of the myriad drink tents, food trucks, or gift shops that typically populate festivals, anyone who forgets essential items (at Burning Man that can be everything from food to toilet paper to bicycles for transportation to goggles for sandstorms, plus recreational drugs and maybe a glow stick or two) could find themselves out of luck. The closest general store is over 15 miles away.
Burning Man organizers have also completely shunned corporate sponsors (that means no Google Pixel photo-booths or American Express Club like at Coachella.)