Burning Man 2011: Rites of Passage in Nevada Desert

The 25th Burning Man Festival came to an end Monday. Nearly 50,000 people gathered in Nevada’s Black Rock, where they lived, partied and celebrated “community, artwork, absurdity, decommodification and revelry” for a week.

The theme for this year’s Burning Man was “Rites of Passage.” The event which used to be free now cost $360, with tickets going for as high as $1000 on Stub Hub.

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A group of women pose at Burning Man in 1999. (Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images)

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A participant shows her octopus hat to a friend as they visit the effigy of the man during the Burning Man “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in Nevada. (Reuters)

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A participant during the Burning Man 2011 “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, August 31, 2011. More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival which is celebrating its 25th year. (Reuters)

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A participant looks out from a platform before the burning of an effigy during the Burning Man 2011 “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in Nevada. (Reuters)

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Participants chant together inside “The Temple of Transition” during the Burning Man “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. (Reuters)

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A Burning Man participant looks at an art project during the Burning Man 2011 “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. (Reuters)

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A woman riding in an outrigger aboard a music camp art car playing dance music fires a flame cannon over the heads of Burning Man participants as they dance in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning after midnight during the Burning Man 2011 “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in Nevada September 2, 2011. (Reuters)

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Burning Man participants look at an art installation in the Black Rock Desert in the early hours of the morning in Nevada. (Reuters)

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Brian Wadman, a Burning Man participant from Auckland, New Zealand, toasts a giant Trojan horse art project shortly after sunrise on September 1. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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Burning Man participants fly hot air ballons across the desert past the large art installations on display on September 1. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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More than 50,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the Burning Man 2011 “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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Katrina Van Marter wears face paint and Shaza Anderson takes part in a tea ceremony with Ken Hamazaki on September 2. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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A participant rides a bicycle across the Black Rock desert during a dust storm in the midst of the the Burning Man “Rites of Passage” arts and music festival on August 31. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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Participants talk near art projects as the sun sets on September 2. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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An art car, and “Tympani Lambada” art installation created by the Flaming Lotus Girls group illuminate the early hours of the morning on September 2. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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Participants drive a Burning Man art car made to resemble a Cheshire cat on September 3. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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A participant in a checkered mylar bodysuit lit by laser lights sits on on his bicycle while talking to a friend on September 3. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

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People experience the Wet Dream art installation on September 3. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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Fireworks erupt and then The Man is burned on September 3. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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Firefighters stand near the remains of The Man after it was burned on September 3. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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The Temple of Transformation burns on September 4. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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Through the years Burning Man participants have found countless ways to dress — or undress — for the occasion. (AFP/Getty Images, Associated Press, Nevada Appeal)

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Burning Man has inspired regional events. An Afrikaburn sculpture is displayed, and an Afrikaburn crew member tries to ignite a wooden sculpture in 2009 during the Afrika Burn art event in the semi-desert area of the Karoo, South Africa. AfrikaBurn is an annual Burning Man regional event that adheres to the ten principles of Burning Man, among them the Leave No Trace philosophy, radical self-expression, radical self-reliance, and communal effort. (Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images)

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Participants sit inside an art installation in 2011, and attendees are reflected in an art piece on the playa of the Black Rock Desert in 2007. (Reuters, Associated Press)

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Participants enjoy the playa near an art installation in 2007. (Brad Horn/Associated Press)

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A four-wheeled bike decorated as a fish drives by a sculpture at the Burning Man Festival in 2000. (Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images)

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An artist performs a Mass celebrating the end of the millenium on the “Tree of Time,” a sculpture by San Francisco-based artists Dana and Flash, at Burning Man in September 1999. (Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images)

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Participants attend the festival in 2007. (Brad Horn/Associated Press)

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A fire breather blows fire at the Burning Man Festival in 2003. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

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Suenos Del Agave performers dance on the playa during the festival in 2008. (Brad Horn/Associated Press)

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Burning Man participants stand inside the Temple during the 2009 festival. (Tara Todras-Whitehill/Associated Press)

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The Temple of Light, an art installation and memorial created by the Seattle Memorial Temple Project to honor 6 shooting victims, is set on fire in 2006. (Ron Lewis/Associated Press)

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Flames shoot from an art car as it drives across the desert during the15th annual Burning Man festival in September, 2000. (David McNew/Newsmakers)

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The Man, the stick figured symbol of the Burning Man art festival, is silhouetted against a morning sunrise in 2006. (Ron Lewis/Associated Press)

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‘The Man’ explodes during the festival in 2008. (Brad Horn/Associated Press)

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Stuntman Ted Batchlor sets himself on fire as he ignites the neon-lit Burning Man statue on the last night of the festival in 1998. (Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images)

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