Desert storm! World”s wildest party underway at city in the sand as 60,000 gather in searing Nevada heat for Burning Man festival

Burning Man, an annual art, music and everything-else festival held in the middle of the Nevada desert is well underway, with more than 60,000 “burners” lighting massive fire displays, donning eye-catching costumes and performing passionate dances at sunrise.

The theme of this year”s event is “Fertility 2.0” in honor of the female form as well as the artistic creations that come into being on the occasion of Burning Man. This year”s residents of Burning Man will enjoy the fervent community dedicated to self-reliance and self-expression that began 26 years before.

“Black Rock City is a kind of Petri dish,” its website reads. “Theme camps cling in fertile clusters to its latticework of streets, artworks tumble out of it, like pollen on the air. These nodes of interaction mutate, grow and reproduce their kind, only to efflorescence and spread across five continents.

Fire

Fire: Participants watch the flames from El Pulpo Mecanico during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 29, 2012

ViewView: An aerial view shows the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 30, 2012

Overview: An aerial shot shows the Burning Man 2012 Fertility 2.0 arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 30, 2012

Overview: An aerial shot shows the Burning Man 2012 Fertility 2.0 arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 30, 2012

Face to Face

Face to Face: “Ocram”, his playa name, is pictured at sunrise during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2012. More than 60,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival, which is celebrating its 26th year, to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops

Aerialist Indie-Lou

Perform: Aerialist Indie-Lou performs during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 29, 2012. This year”s residents of Burning Man will enjoy the fervent community dedicated to self-reliance and self-expresssion that began 26 years before

Party time: Ciberfy, his play name, dances at sunrise during the Burning Man festival

Party time: Ciberfy, his play name, dances at sunrise during the Burning Man festival

“This year”s art theme contemplates the tendency of any being or living system to create abundant life.”

Festival-goers were encouraged to create works based on fertility and all its many wonders. TheBurning Man, so named for his destiny, will stand astride a grand pavilion that is similar in shape to the Pantheon of ancient Rome.

“Archingportals and two mezzanines will wrap around an atrium; circles will encompass circles, telescoping to an open skylight several stories overhead,” the site says.

“An interactive sculpture, sprouting from the courtyard of the chamber, will invite participants to clamber upward through the center of this mesmerizing space, much as bees might swarm about the pistil of a flower.”

Everyonevisiting the “hive” is encouraged to “express their own peculiar sense of inner beeing,” which can include, but is not limited to pretending tobe a bee and engaging in bee culture.

Hoop

Hoop: A young women hula hoops on top of bus while a band play music next to her at Burning Man near Gerlach, Nev. on Aug. 28, 2012

Art:

Art: Bingram Lai explores “Zonotopia and the Two Trees” during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2012

Affection: Rainbow Fish (left) and Ambidrextrous, their Playa names, enjoy a bottle of wine and a kiss at sunrise during the Burning Man

Affection: Rainbow Fish (left) and Ambidrextrous, their Playa names, enjoy a bottle of wine and a kiss at sunrise during the Burning Man

Inferno: Artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burned during the Burning Man 2012 festival

Inferno: Artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burned during the Burning Man 2012 festival

Burning love: Zane Salzetti (left) kisses Memory Collins while artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burnt

Burning love: Zane Salzetti (left) kisses Memory Collins while artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burnt

Scorching: Kitten, her Playa name, watches artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies burn

Scorching: Kitten, her Playa name, watches artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies burn

Sizzling display: Participants watch as artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burnt

Sizzling display: Participants watch as artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burnt

Performance: The Samurais dance at sunrise during the arts and music festival in Nevada on Friday

Captivating performance: The Samurais dance at sunrise during the arts and music festival in Nevada on Friday

Id:

Id: Ruth Kidd explores the art piece “Ego” before sunrise during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2012

Building:

Building: The Temple of Juno is seen at sunrise during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2012. The theme of this year”s event is “Fertility 2.0” in honor of the female form as well as the artistic creations that come into being on the occasion of Burning Man

Shipwreck:

Shipwreck: An art piece named La Llorona rests on the playa at Burning Man on Wednesday morning Aug. 29, 2012 near Gerlach, Nev

The festival, which has become a haven for hippies, artists, musicians and dancers, provides a week for people to explore artistic expression. No money is exchanged at the event; instead the festival-goers swap gifts to attain goods.

Around 50,000 people attended the festival at the Black Rock Desert, which is 120 miles North of Reno, last summer.

Jake Markow, a Seattle resident and fourth year attendee, told ABC before the event: “I think that the emptiness and harshness of the desert really makes us look inside of ourselves, takes us out of our comfort zone and allows for that opening to happen.”

As always, Black Rock City residents are expected to obey the ten principles.

Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation and Immediacy are of the utmost importance to the community.

Sip:

Sip: A woman of the playa name “Indigo” participates in a drinking game during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 29, 2012

Inventive: Hallie McConlogue stays cool partially submerged in a fishbowl helmet in the Nevada sun on Friday

Inventive: Hallie McConlogue stays cool partially submerged in a fishbowl helmet in the Nevada sun on Friday

Where

Where”s Waldo “Nick”, his playa name, rides across the desert during the Burning Man 2012 “Fertility 2.0” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada August 29, 2012