The Uppers

No money, no commerce, no ads… just good vibes and free spirits in Nevada desert

The clothing is optional, currency is not existence, the age is just a number and good vibes are essential… The festival for free spirits – Burning Man – has started on 28th of August and will last until 5th of September. It’s an eccentric festival in the middle of the Nevada desert which goes against normal societal rules.


First Burning Man

As the founding legend is told, in 1986 Larry Harvey and a dozen friends burned an effigy of a man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in a cathartic act of spontaneous creativity. This experience of reconciliation and rebirth quickly grew into an annual ritual with hundreds of people, leading Harvey to move his Burning Man experience to U.S. government land in northern Nevada’s remote Black Rock desert.

Burning Man today

Today, this is where 70,000 people gather the week leading up the Labor Day, transforming one of the least hospitable pieces of land on Earth into a loving, hospitable temporary village called Black Rock City. Burning Man attendees include Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, iHeartMedia chairman Bob Pittman, director Chris Weitz (who met and married his wife, Mercedes Martinez, there) and such celebrities as Anne Hathaway, Jared Leto and Michelle Rodriguez.


It’s a mix of participatory artworks with crazy costumes, aerialist troupes, shirtcockers (guys who, as it sounds, wear shirts and nothing else), the anonymous-sex-orgy dome (men can’t go alone), fire dancers, yoga and meditation sessions and TEDx talks… Burning Man —is Cirque du Soleil, Coachella, Art Basel and Woodstock all rolled into one, under a layer of notoriously hard-to-scrub-off mineral dust. The entire week is capped by the ritual burning of the towering wooden Man effigy on Saturday night each year.



While participants pay an entrance fee which offsets administrative expenses and the fees charged by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (the largest fee charged to anyone in the U.S.), organizers prohibit vending and any form of advertising and have rejected all offers of sponsorship. With no emphasis at all on buying or selling anything, the participants in the festival must rely on themselves and each other to fulfill needs whether for food or water, protection from the sun, or for help of any kind.

It all works as giving economy, whether it’s camps that give away grilled cheeses or beignets, have open bars or misting stations or games, or simply offer free hugs. You might be cycling around on the playa, and you’ll see this tent with older folks cycling on stationary bikes to generate a motor to make shaved ice with syrups like you get in Hawaii, and they are just giving them to you in the heat and the dust.


At Burning Man, you become aware of what the essence of being a human is, what our society would be like without fights, greed, money, labels, genders, and corporations…


Costume-wise, there’s no such thing as subtle, and people enjoying the anonymity of dust-blocking masks include Will Smith and Katy Perry, whose goggles caused her to take a spill on a Segway in 2015. “People can cut loose without people knowing who you are,” says Fifty Shades of Grey and House of Cards producer Dana Brunetti, who “Burned” for the first time in 2014.


Really, anything – anything – goes at this experimental festival, which counts ‘radical self-expression’ as one of its key principles. However, don´t forget the basics: it’s the desert, and the desert gets dusty and hot! So sunglasses are vital, enough sunscreen has to be used, stay hydrated and cover your head and hair from the sneaky desert sun.., The extra large silk scarf is a perfect option for the last – you will be well protected and keep on stylish and chic!

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Who joins The Uppers team and Burning Man 2017? ☺ 

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